Water is third in line as a necessity behind air and environment, in the survival rule of threes. You can live:
- 3 minutes without air
- 3 hours in extreme cold or heat
- 3 days without water
- 3 weeks without food
In most areas water may not be too difficult to find, but the main concern will be the cleanliness of the source. Another major problem with water is it takes up a lot of room and is very heavy in order to store a long term supply.
Having multiple methods of gathering water is imperative. The experts consider 1 gallon of water per person per day for drinking and sanitation as a minimum.
Storing water is easy, finding room for it not. Most sealable containers, that are clean, can be used with the exception of milk jugs. The plastic they are made from breaks down, and could possibly fail to do their job. Good containers could be as simple as 2 liter soda bottles, or food grade drums in 15, 30 and 55 gallon sizes. If the water comes from the tap, it may be just fine to store without needing to add a few drops of chlorine bleach. As long as the container remains sealed, and no bacteria is in it, it should store well.
In a survival situation, water can also be collected from your roof. A normal house roof can provide hundreds of gallons of water from just an inch of rain. Care should be taken to avoid the first bit of rain that washes the bird poop, and other junk off the roof. The water collected needs to be filtered and sanitized to be safe for drinking
Making water safe to drink can be achieved from one of, or combined methods of boiling the water for a few minutes, using filtration to get out some of the minerals and bacteria, or using purification solutions to improve the quality. A filter can be made with a bucket of sand and charcoal that drips out much cleaner water than what went in. Clean drinking water is imperative to prevention of cholera and diarrhea, which cause dehydration and are leading causes of death in areas with poor sanitation and unsafe water conditions after natural disasters.
Keeping clean when normal conveniences are not available is also very important. Water that may not be safe to drink can be used or recycled for washing clothes, or flushing a toilet. Do not neglect keeping up with sanitation, as human waste and long durations of uncleanliness can lead to disease.
Please feel free to share your plans for obtaining water when the faucets are dry.