SHTF. You’ve been preparing for this, but it happened in a way you didn’t expect. Maybe you’ve been preparing for nuclear fallout, but instead, a catastrophic storm hit your area.
Well, don’t blink. Instead, put what you’ve been prepping for into action even if things look different than expected.
One of the most significant preparations you should make regardless of the emergency situation is how you’ll have drinking water.
I’m going to bring you a few ideas on natural water sources, how you can purify water in an emergency situation, and give you a few methods to avoid. Here’s what you need to know about how to purify water whether it’s a storm hitting your area, a nuclear fallout, or you are in the woods:
Natural Water Sources
If you’re in a situation where you can no longer turn on your faucet and water come running out, you need to know where to find water.
Try these natural sources of water:
- Natural spring
- Water heater
When times are tough, you’d be surprised where you’ll look for water sources. It’s a good idea to have water catchment systems set up around your home as well.
They can help you collect water easier. Obviously, if a huge storm has wiped out your water supply, water catchment may not be of help.
Yet, if you’re preparing for future dangers, it’s certainly worth adding to your list of preparations. It’s also worth researching alternate water systems for your home to be better prepared too.
Water Purification Options
It’s hit. A massive storm. Nuclear fallout. Zombie Apocalypse. Whatever you may or may not have been prepping for, has now happened. Do you know how to make sure you and your loved ones have access to clean water – vital to your existence?
Sadly, many people will answer no to this question when it matters most. Chaos will ensue, and you’ll be glad you read this article and made preparations.
Here’s how you can purify water in an emergency situation:
1. Keep a Stash
Everyone who read this article won’t be preparing for total world catastrophe and chaos. If you’re one of those people, and you’re preparing for a significant storm your weather broadcasters are telling you is coming, consider stocking up on water.
However, don’t run to the store like every other crazed person in panic. Instead, go to your sink now. Use mason jars, water bottles, and any other glass or jug you have on hand to fill them full of safe water.
The tap water may not be safe to drink after the storm hits, but it’s still safe now. Save yourself the money and panic by using what you already have.
If you’re preparing for a future possible catastrophe, it’s okay to stock up on bottled water when it’s on sale. Have it on hand in case you ever need it.
2. Throw Some Heat at It
Boiling is my preferred method to purify water. It’s simple, and we all should know how to boil water. Any water you collect or find should be poured into a specific container.
It’s a good idea to allow the water time to sit for many of the impurities to separate on their own and the sediment to settle at the bottom.
Once this water has settled, slowly pour the water into a pot, covered with a coffee filter. Discard the lower part where the sediment has settled.
Place the pot on a burner or over an open fire. You can use a rocket stove, fire pit, a burn barrel, or a wood stove to contain the fire in an emergency situation safely.
Allow the water to boil for approximately 60 seconds. A little longer wouldn’t hurt for extra caution. Let the water cool naturally and store it in new containers with a lid.
Don’t use the containers in which you collected the untreated water initially.
3. Bleach is Great for Cleaning
I know some people are all about everything in their lives being natural. I am for many things, but when flu season hits, I pull out the bleach.
In an emergency situation, I don’t imagine it’s time to mess around either. I know bleach kills things. Therefore, it’s a great option for killing pathogens and bacteria found in untreated water.
Be sure to use regular, unscented bleach. You don’t want to use bleach been mixed with any other cleaners or additives.
Also, look for bleach where the ingredients list anywhere from 6-8.25% sodium hypochlorite.
Be sure to allow any harvested water to settle and filter it through a coffee filter or other filtration device. You don’t want the water to be cold if you can help it.
When the water has been filtered, add two drops of bleach per quart of water using a clean emergency or medicine dropper.
If the water is cold, cloudy, or discolored – double the amount of bleach added.
4. Water Purification Pills
This option is great if you find yourself in a particularly tricky situation. You may not have the time or opportunity to heat water over a fire.
If you carry water purification tablets with you or have them in your bug out bag, they work while you’re on the move. Be sure to filter the water and follow the instructions on the tablet package.
In most cases, you’ll use one tablet per one quart of water. The water should be safe for drinking in roughly 30 minutes.
5. Distilling Isn’t Only for Whiskey
Distilled water is another excellent way of making sure your water is safe for drinking. It requires more time, but some feel it’s worth the effort because it’s a more thorough way to clean water.
You can either purchase a distilling device or make your own. If you have a canner, you can use it to distill water.
Place water in the canner and turn the rack upside down. In the rack, place a glass bowl. Put the lid on the canner upside down.
As the water boils, the condensation will gather at the top of the upside-down lid and drip into the glass bowl.
It takes a great deal of time to get large amounts of water, but is a safe option for purifying water.
6. Keep Filters on Hand
Filtering your water to make it safer to drink is a must. You can do this by allowing water to settle and running it through a coffee filter or portable filtration system.
You can also use a Lifestraw filter. This filter will fit in your pocket or survival kit. It’s known for removing approximately 99.9% of bacteria and parasites.
Polyglu is another product you can purchase and store in your emergency kit. It’s made from soybeans and can be added to harvested water.
The product attaches to pollutants which causes them to sink to the bottom of the container. The water will still have to be filtered, but it’s a great way to remove any unwanted items from your drinking water.
8. Add a Hand Pump
My personal plan if SHTF in my area is to attach a handpump to my well. I have an electric well, but I realize in emergency situations electricity will not be available.
However, by adding a handpump to my well, it’ll allow me to have clean water at my convenience.
Like with any plan, it’s vital to have multiple ways to purify water in case one or more of them become null and void due to outside circumstances.
What NOT to Do
I’ve shared multiple ways with you to harvest water in emergency situations, and I’ve also shared numerous ways to purify water in emergency situations.
Yet, there are a couple of ways some people around the internet still push as safe methods when in need of water.
However, I must urge you to use great caution if or when you utilize these methods. Here are the two ways I strongly advise against using:
1. Solar Purifying Methods
Solar is great for many things. The sun is excellent for melting bees’ wax, drying clothes, for providing electricity and even charging your phone.
When using it to purify water, it leaves room for pathogens and bacteria to survive. If you’ve harvested water which is almost clear, solar may work fine.
However, if you’re purifying water which has massive amounts of contaminants in it, smaller pathogens and bacteria can hide within the larger contaminants.
Be aware of this if using this method for water purification.
2. Raw Water
I’ve read some advice on drinking raw water. The argument the writer put forward, is that it’s better to be hydrated drinking water with pathogens and bacteria instead of being dehydrated.
The issue I take with this is if you drink raw water to remain hydrated, but the pathogens and bacteria cause vomiting and diarrhea you’re going to become dehydrated and be sick on top of it too.
This will make it even more difficult for you to survive. Keep this in mind before taking every ounce of advice offered through the internet.
Well, you now have multiple ideas as to where you can gather water naturally, various ways to purify the water, and also a few options to stay away from in emergency situations.
Hopefully, this information will help to become more prepared in an emergency event or a dire SHTF situation.