Water is the most important element when stocking up for a hurricane or other disaster. The recommended quantity is to store 3 gallons of water per person for each day the disaster will presumably last. But sometimes, disasters can last longer than anticipated, so knowing how to purify water from an alternative water source could potentially save your life. Since your source could be a river, lake or other, the water will not only taste and smell bad, but could be harmful because of the microorganisms and pollutants in it. This is why you will need to purify it before consuming it. It is always a better idea to get water from moving sources if you can.
The most popular method for purifying water is through boiling it. You need to let it boil for a whole minute, so that all parasites and pathogens get killed. Still, boiling the water doesn’t clean the water from chemicals, salts or heavy metals.
This is done by dropping 2 drops of liquid chlorine bleach for every quart of water, or 4 drops if the water is particularly murky. Then you need to shake it and let it sit for half an hour. If the water doesn’t smell slightly like chlorine, add a few more drops. This method will kill harmful microorganisms and pathogens. Don’t use bleach which is dyed or perfumed.
They are inexpensive and quite efficient for short-term or emergency use. They contain chlorine and iodine which kills the harmful pathogens in water. One tablet is used for each quart of water. Then the water should sit for 30 minutes.
Distillation is quite efficient, as it purifies the water from the harmful microorganisms as well as the heavy metals, minerals, salts and most chemicals. Distillation is boiling and collecting the condensed vapor of the water.
Filtering water can remove debris including radioactive fallout. It can be done with special water filter, but if you don’t have one, you can use a cloth, charcoal, sand, pebbles and a lot of other materials to filter out the impurities. It is a good idea to buy a commercial water filter which can kill almost any kind of bacteria and pathogens.
Combine the purification methods
If you combine several of these methods, you will be able to get water which is perfect for drinking and which can be stored. First of all, filter all the debris and particles, after that distil it to get rid of the harmful microorganisms, heavy metals and salts, after which you can chlorinate it just in case. This water can be stored and is safe to drink at a later time.
Some emergency sources of water
In case of a disaster or other emergency situation, you can get water from rain, snow, lakes, springs, or if you are inside – the toilet tank or the water heater.