Article 1 in Series. WATER.
Before collecting clothing, shelter, money, or any other item, the single most important thing to account for in your emergency preparedness plan is water. It is essential to life and without it your survival gear won’t be complete.
Water is the most common substance on earth. Though 70% of the earth is covered in water, less than 3% of the total water volume is fresh water that can be consumed by humans. And more than 80% of fresh water is in the form of glacial ice. I don’t know about anyone else’s situation but I don’t have convenient access to a glacier if there were an emergency. Further, most of the remaining fresh water is underground, leaving only 5% as surface water. This isn’t all. Two other items affecting water supply: increased global consumption and pollution. Bottom line, water is a scarce and diminishing resource.
The average person in the U.S. uses 65 gallons of water per day. That’s much more than what anyone would actually require, but in the event that the delivery of water to your home is cut off you’ll still need a clean source for drinking, cooking, and sanitation. Access to water is often disrupted after a disaster, meaning you will be responsible for the availability and quality of your own water supply.
The first and best option for a two to three day emergency is to have an adequate supply of water safely stocked. Water storage can be done in many ways, and many people utilize jugs, bottles or other larger containers such as 50-gallon drums.
The second option is to have a way to treat or purify water in case your source is contaminated. In the past, this process was difficult and cumbersome, but today the process can be simple and inexpensive. We offer water filters that can easily clean water from local rivers, streams, and lakes, and the purity of the water you get after using these products can actually be cleaner than the water coming from your own kitchen faucet.
Gear UP also suggests the best water storage plan is to have stored water in jugs and bottles as well as the purification bottles, jugs, bags, etc. This can all be done inexpensively.
Points to remember:
• People use more water during emergencies
• Pregnant women need to drink more water than normal
• Infants and children need as much water during times of stress as an adult
• Severe dehydration or death can occur within 3-5 days without water
Water is an absolute necessity for any emergency plan, but it can also be one of the easiest and least expensive steps.