Thursday, August 28, 2008

Preppin' 101 - Part 2 - Water Conservation

In a disaster or emergency situation water supplies may be contaminated by a break in a water main, failure of the pump on your water well, or through contamination by floodwaters due to a storm or hurricane. Sometimes even simple access to supplies may be unavailable due to a tornado, snow storm, etc. and storing enough water for everyone in your family will be one of the most important things you can do to be prepared. Unfortunately, sooner or later any short term water supply that you have stored will be exhausted and you will need to find alternate sources of water.

The first step in meeting your long term needs in any emergency is to learn and practice water conservation. Making the water you do have available last as long as possible will help to get you through a crisis. When the average person uses 75 to 80 gallons of water each day, cutting back to just 3 gallons a day will be very hard to achieve without practicing good water conservation.

1.) You can very effectively conserve water through the use of moist towelettes and hand sanitizer. Washing your hands is one of the best steps you can take to prevent diseases from affecting you or your family in an emergency situation where water supplies are limited, and while taking a “sponge bath” with moist towelettes may not be your first choice for cleaning up, both of these actions will stretch your water supplies for drinking and food preparation.

2.) The next thing is to realize that you will need to limit your physical activities so as to minimize water loss by your body. Avoiding work or exercise during the hot part of the day will reduce the water loss by your body. Physical exertion will cause your body to perspire and there will be a resultant loss of body fluids. Working in the early morning or late evening hours will reduce your body’s loss of fluids and will help your short term water supplies to last longer by decreasing your body’s needs.

3.) Try to have available a port-a-potty, compost toilet, etc. or some other means for waste disposal that is not water use intensive. Modern toilets use approximately 1.6 gallons per flush and older toilets can use as much as 3 gallons per flush. That is a lot of water that can be saved by having alternate facilities available.

In all cases, always have the necessary means to develop additional water supplies through filtration, boiling and chemical treatment. Any additional sources of water you may find (the neighbor’s pool, a stream, etc.) will need to be properly treated. An extra supply of coffee filters, etc. should be kept handy for filtration purposes, as well as a means to boil any additional water supplies you find, and a means to chemically treat the water for safe use.

Here is an excellent reference for further information:

Water Treatment and Storage

BTW, Please take some time and check out the excellent article Crash-Hits-Close-to-Home by Selous Scout who works in an industry that is closely related to our water infrastructure. You can also read other articles at his site: Something Wicked Comes

Staying above the water line!



scoutinlife said...

Great post water is somethig we all take for granted that ease of turning the tap!

riverwalker said...

To: scoutinlife

I too am guilty of taking things for granted when we have things so easy. We often forget how quickly and how easily things can go wrong.



Mayberry said...

I need to stock up on some towelettes! Hadn't thought of that one....

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