Drinking water when SHTF

For many of us, water is a resource that is only appreciated when it is scarce. Often, the shortage of food is a nuisance but you can  live for 3 weeks without it. You can only live 3 days without water. But, in a SHTF scenario, your need for water will increase because of stress, activity and anxiety. The problem is that you do not know how drinkable that water is following a disaster.

Once you realise that a SHTF scenario could happen, you need to fill up bathtubs, buckets and bottles with water from your taps. As the disaster occurs, it is likely that chemicals, fuel or sewerage will contaminate the municipal water supply and your water resources.

In a flood, for example, drainage pipes burst and vehicles overturn. The flood waters become contaminated and this water needs to be treated before it can be drunk. In a fire, storm or bombing, similar destruction of the water infrastructure could make the water undrinkable.

How to make water drinkable:

Before boiling water, filter out the debris using a sock, stocking or a cloth. Bring it to  the boil, let it cool and store.

Add a few drops of food colouring to a teaspoon of bleach. Add the unscented bleach to two litres of water. Wait until the bleach has settled. Drink.

Use what the military uses: iodine tablets or an iodine solution. Mix with water according to the instructions.

Chlorine dioxide tablets will purify one litre of water at a time but let the tablet fully dissolve. The taste is similar to a swimming pool but not as strong. Experimen and buy some tablets to add to water from the tap. You will not enjoy the taste but you might get used to it. 

Fill some clear glass or plastic bottles with clean water ( no murkiness or floating debris). Place the bottles in direct sunlight for 6 hours or more. The sun’s UV ( ultra violet) rays will disinfect the water. Alternatively, invest in a  battery- powered Stripen. These units destroy bacteria by using UV to modify the molecular structure of the molecules found in the water.

For the best results, use a ceramic filter. Unlike the five methods listed above which will get rid of viruses, bacteria and micro- organisms, ceramic filters remove almost 100% of all contaminants. Even lead, fuel and other toxins.

H.E.A.T. tip: Keep a 7 day  supply of bottled water in your home before a SHTF scenario. Whilst a minimum of 2 litres per person per day will be suitable for drinking and cooking, you will need other water sources for washing and cleaning.