Water is crucial to your survival. The first and most obvious reason is that you need it to drink. Lack of water can kill you in three days. If you have water, but not as much as your body needs, you may survive but are likely to experience symptoms of dehydration, which can include dizziness, confusion, weakness, heart palpitations and fainting. You may be unable to sweat, which can cause you to become overheated, and you may have decreased urine output. So water, and enough water, is necessary to keep you alive and well.
But you need water for more than drinking. Think of everything you do with water over the course of a day. You bathe with it. You brush your teeth with it. You flush the toilet with it and wash your hands with it afterward. You need it to prepare food. You need it to wash your dishes and your clothes.
I’ve read articles that suggest that you prep a gallon of water per day per person. Considering everything you need water for, that doesn’t sound like much. Of course, in an emergency situation, you would be careful about using water and you wouldn’t waste it. Still, you could easily go through a gallon a day just using it for drinking, cooking and minimum personal hygiene. But let’s start with one gallon per person per day and increase your stock when and if you can.
Water is heavy and hard to carry, so if you are facing an emergency that has you on the move, you may need to rely on uncertain water sources and use water purifiers or filters to make it safe. Out in nature, untreated water may contain pathogens that can cause intestinal distress or worse. There are various ways of removing pathogens and all of them have drawbacks.
A rolling boil will kill most but not all pathogens in water. Obviously, boiling water requires the equipment necessary to heat water to boiling.
Water purification tablets provide another means of making water safer. These are tablets that dissolve in water. They kill bacteria and viruses but don’t filter out particulate matter. They usually leave the water with an unpleasant taste.
Handheld filters eliminate bacteria but not viruses. They take out particulate matter and usually leave the water tasting pleasant.
Since water is crucial to your survival, it should be one of the items you take great care in planning. Whether you are sheltering in place or bugging out, you should have a well thought-out plan for your water needs.
How have you provided for your need for water in your emergency preparedness plan? Please leave a comment to let us know.
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