Water is one of your most urgent needs in a survival situation. You can’t live long without it, especially in hot areas where you lose water rapidly through perspiration. Even in cold areas, you need a minimum of 2 liters of water each day to maintain efficiency.
More than three-fourths of your body is composed of fluids. Your body loses fluid as a result of heat, cold, stress and exertion. To function effectively, you must replace the fluid your body loses. So, one of your first goals is to obtain an adequate supply of water.
Securing a dependable supply of drinking water may be your greatest challenge. Indeed, the entire world seems to be entering a crisis mode — one-fifth of humanity has no access to safe drinking water and it’s only getting worse. For most everyone reading this, however, there’s still plenty of easily accessible water, but water main breaks, flooding and contamination may change things abruptly. In addition, more regions of the country are facing long-term drought conditions that may break the back of public water systems. Whatever may come, I never want end up standing in line for bottled water.
- Water resists any “improvement” in portability and compactness. A gallon of water weighs just over 8 pounds and fills up a space about the size of a basketball… ALWAYS! So you’ll just have to “store, carry, or filter”.
- Ideally, you will need a gallon of water per person per day (half a gallon for drinking, the rest for cooking and other uses). If you intend to keep using a flush toilet, you’ll need to look into getting larger water containers (plastic rain barrels are ideal) or look into portable chemical toilets. Keep in mind that the water in your water heater tank is also available for drinking or flushing. At a minimum, make sure you have a toilet that only uses 1.6 gallons per flush (the capacity for most toilets made since 1982).
- Avoid storing water in plastic containers for extended periods since they may leach toxins into the water. There are certain types of plastic that show no evidence of leaching, be sure and do your research. FEMA says to avoid glass because of breakability and weight, use your best judgment. keep plastic bottles away from heat and flush them out or replace them after a year or so.
- Try to select storage container types in order to maximize quantity and accessibility. Ask yourself, “ how can I store the most water in the least amount of space while retaining easy access?” First off, if you can’t stack the containers, you’re severely limiting the amount that can be stored. Unless they are in closed cases, you can’t safely stack plastic or narrow neck glass bottles. One storage option often used — the large 5-gallon narrow-necked water bottle – is a challenge for stacking and moving.