While tornadoes, hurricanes and earthquakes are not the only emergency or disaster situations that could require having clean water on hand, they can be some of the worse. If you were faced with an emergency or disaster situation, would you have clean drinking water to last until the situation was over? Clean drinking water will be your number one supply needed in an emergency or disaster. First try to have a good supply of drinking water ready in the house. Then prepare other sources in case you run out or if the public water supplies are shut off or contaminated. Use this list to help you plan your water supply needs.
Gather Clean Water Sources
As soon as you find out an emergency is approaching take steps to secure as much clean drinking water as possible.
– Buy ice and bottled water.
– Fill containers and freeze water in your refrigerator or freezer.
– Fill large bowls, pitchers, serving dishes, and other clean receptacles with drinking water.
– Bleach out the bathtub, rinse it well and fill it with water. Ice can help keep food cold in case of a blackout. As the ice melts, it will be a source of drinking water.
Finding Hidden Safe Water Sources
Do you know where to find sources of safe drinking water in your home? These may be sources you normally would not use but knowing about them could save your life.
– The water in the tank of the toilet, not the bowl, is safe to drink ONLY if chemical treatments have not been added to the tank and the tank has been kept clean. Ø Drain any water backed up in the home water pipes. Put a container beneath the faucet and release the air pressure in the pipes by turning on the highest faucet in the house. Then drain the water from the lowest faucet into a container. If you are on one floor, just empty the water in each faucet into a container.
– Turn off the power to the hot water tank and let it cool. This could take several hours. With a container underneath the drain value at the bottom of the tank, open the value and drain the water into the clean container. Some of these water sources might need to be sterilized before drinking. Keep chemical purification tablets in your emergency supply kit just in case.
Safe Water Sources Outside
There could come a time when water from your home is not available at all. How would you look for drinking water outside of your home? Here are some of the more common sources of water from outside sources:
– Water left in a coiled garden water hose.
– Rain water collected in a piece of plastic or clean container.
– Melted snow that has been warmed prior to drinking. A concern is whether the potential drinking water needs to be purified prior to drinking, particularly if you find an outside source of water. Know purification methods and avoid drinking water you are not sure is drinkable.
Take special precautions with standing bodies of water or water from streams, rivers, or lakes. Water from any free flowing source may not be as clean as it seems either. Bacteria could be lurking in the water ready to make you very sick. You could even die from drinking contaminated or “non-potable” water. Knowing how and where to find safe drinking water during an emergency could save your life. While some of these alternative sources may not sound too exciting now, in an emergency you will be glad you know about them.