It seems obvious, but water is one of those absolute basic needs. We have to have it, or we’ll die. But where should you begin?
When it comes to storing and purifying water, get the guidance you need fromThe Prepper’s Water Survival Guide, by Daisy Luther. It could save your life. Daisy has put together a primer on water and survival. No need to wade through numerous online sources or hunt and peck through your book collection on preparedness to gather that all important info on water.
Below is my review of this book for your consideration. Some time after this post was published, Daisy was my guest on DestinySurvival Radio. Read about it here.
Having Water on Hand for Emergencies
Several scenarios could leave you and me without water. Severe storms come to mind right away. It seems ironic, but severe flooding can swamp water treatment systems and leave a city without clean water.
Or pipes can give out. In her introduction, Daisy Luther mentions the situation in Boston back in 2010, when they were without water for several days because of a water main break.
Remember what happened in the Toledo, OH, area in the summer of 2014? Algae bloom made the water undrinkable for days. Many people got sick in spite of taking recommended precautions.
Then there was the major chemical spill in West Virginia a couple years back. It got a lot of people thinking about the need to have access to clean water in emergencies.
Another scenario is more sinister. I’ve heard the suggestion that, if martial law is implemented, particularly in a given location, water could be shut off to bring people into compliance. Do you think this could happen?
Or what if you’re setting up a new homestead, and there’s no running water? In chapter 5, Daisy relates the hardships her family experienced after moving from the city to a rural cabin. If you’re thinking of moving to the country, you’ll want to pay attention to what she has to say.
Knowing How Much and Where to Store Water
One of the first questions to come to mind is, how much water should you store?
Daisy recommends having a two week supply of water for each member of the family. That means having a minimum of a gallon a day per person. More is certainly better. But if you really want to get a grasp on how much water you and your family will need, try an experiment. Go without running water for a weekend.
Then, of course, you have to figure out water storage–containers to use and where to put them.
Don’t take planning for water storage lightly. Don’t just start filling up water jugs. You’ll want to analyze your own situation. What are your needs? What level of preparedness can you afford?
Chapter 7 covers a variety of methods and containers for water storage.
You’ll want to conserve the water you do have, too. Make sure you use it wisely. For example, use gray water for flushing the toilet.
Daisy says to look to the old fashioned ways as an inspiration for solving problems. That’s a principle that can apply to much more than using and conserving water.
Avoiding Illnesses Caused by Water
All kinds of illnesses can occur in the wake of a disaster. For example, how many times have we heard of cholera outbreaks in less developed countries? We take a certain amount of pride in claiming such a thing couldn’t happen here. But could it? What if it ever does?
In recent years even our everyday tap water has become a concern. All kinds of things are in our water, even though there is presumably government scrutiny. Even the mainstream media has told us about the existence of residue from medications in our tap water. Plus, there can be heavy metals, chemicals and microbial life in what we drink and wash with.
That doesn’t sound pleasant at all, does it?
No matter whether you get your water from your tap or what appears to be a clear running stream, the last thing you want is for the water you drink to make you sick. Here are some of the illnesses you could contract from contaminated water.
- Hepatitis A
- Viral gastroenteritis
To underscore the importance of clean water and good sanitation, it only takes one person to handle waste improperly to contaminate the water supply for hundreds, even thousands, of people.
The chapter on sanitation deserves attention. It’s one of the longer chapters in the book. Following simple, common sense tips on washing your hands, bathing, and keeping clean in general, will help minimize the threat from diseases. You’ll most certainly want to keep food preparation areas clean.
Other topics covered include doing laundry by hand and disposal of human waste. Ever thought of building an outhouse?
When it comes to garbage, you’ll want to sort it as you toss it. That’s because some of it can be recycled, composted or burned, if conditions are right.
Knowing What’s in Your Water
Testing your water is important, even if you think it looks drinkable. You never know what’s actually in it. You may want to test for something as ordinary as fluoride.
The subject of water fluoridation has become controversial over the years. It’s worth noting that it’s better dental care, not fluoride in drinking water which has led to a decrease in tooth decay.
If you have a well, you’ll want to know what’s in your well water. This is especially true if you’re in an agricultural or industrial area where chemical runoff is an issue.
Filtering and Purifying Water
To be sure your water is safe for drinking, it must be both filtered and purified. Boiling water gets rid of most pathogens, but it could possibly concentrate some chemicals as the water evaporates.
And, as you are probably aware, boiling water requires fuel for the heat. That poses its own set of problems if our modern conveniences aren’t available.
In The Prepper’s Water Survival Guide chemical treatments are explained, including iodine, unscented chlorine bleach and calcium hypochlorite. Filtration methods are described, including carbon filters, reverse osmosis, distillation, UV light, and gravity flow filters, like Berkeys.
We may think of dehydration as extreme thirst. A little water, and we’ll get through it. But did you know dehydration can affect your mood and ability to think clearly? That means you need to stay hydrated to make best use of that most vital survival tool between your ears.
Your body needs water to function. Otherwise, your electrolytes get out of balance. That can lead to a variety of physical problems. The fact is, by the time you notice you’re thirsty, you’re already mildly dehydrated.
I won’t spell out all of the symptoms of dehydration, but it’s time to rehydrate if you notice…
- Nausea (with or without vomiting)
- Dry mouth
- Dry skin
- Muscle weakness
- Stiff or aching joints
- Rapid heart rate
- Blood pressure changes
In The Prepper’s Water Survival Guide you’ll find info on oral rehydration therapy (ORT), including recipes for making your own solution for restoring electrolytes. Ingredients include sugar, baking soda and salt. You add these to water or citrus juice, like orange juice.
Do you know where you’ll get water when you need to?
In an emergency, look for water sources within your home. One source is your water heater tank. Instructions on this are provided in the book.
There’s also brief info on using water from your swimming pool, if you have one. However, I’ve heard contrary advice, suggesting you shouldn’t use pool water. Be wary and use it at your own risk.
Of course, if you have streams nearby, or a lake or pond, you’re fortunate. However, you’ll most certainly want to filter and purify any water you get from such sources.
If you’re lucky enough to have a spring on your property, be aware that springs may not be the pristine water sources one might think. Spring water may contain chemicals or pathogens picked up from other places.
The same can be said for rain water. You’ll want to filter and purify it before drinking, especially if it’s coming down into your rain barrel from the roof.
Getting More from This Book
The concluding section gives a brief summary of each chapter. Take a look and see which chapter you want to explore in greater depth. A master supply list will help you know what to have on hand. For example, if you’re going to do laundry in a bucket, you don’t want to buy a cheap one that won’t last.
A resource section gives you a few Web addresses and products recommended in the book.
You won’t find pictures and drawings, but headings and subheadings are large enough you should be able to easily find what you’re looking for as you thumb through.
Finding Out More
If you’ve looked for prepping info online for a while, you’ve probably come across articles by Daisy Luther. However, if you’re not familiar with who she is, here’s the bio blurb from the book. I’ve added links for your convenience.
“Daisy Luther is an author and blogger who lives in a small village in the foothills of Northern California. She is the author of The Organic Canner and The Pantry Primer: A Prepper’s Guide to Whole Food on a Half Price Budget. Her website is The Organic Prepper, and she is the cofounder of the website Nutritional Anarchy. Daisy uses her background in alternative journalism to provide a unique perspective on health, nutrition, and preparedness. Daisy’s articles are widely republished throughout alternative media. She is the proud mom of two wonderful and talented daughters.”
Daisy believes preparedness is a sign of optimism. You prepare because you believe there’s hope of survival in difficult times. If you agree–and I hope you do–then you’ll want to add The Prepper’s Water Survival Guide to your survival library. To get your copy, click on its title wherever you see it linked in this post. Or click on the image of the book cover above. You’ll be taken to the page where you can place your order.
Find companies who offer products for water filtration and purification on the Water Filtration and Purification page in the DestinySurvival Prep Mart.