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Showing posts with label Water storage. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Water storage. Show all posts

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Chapter 30- Coping Without Running Water

Every Prepper worth their salt stores water and lots of it.  Not only that, they store one, two, three or more ways to purify water.  That is all well and good because you never know when a disaster or other disruptive event may occur and those water resources will be called upon for drinking, cleaning, hygiene, and sanitation purposes.

Recently, my number came up and I was the one without water during a short term, personal water apocalypse.  Now really, that may be a bit dramatic because I was simply without running water. This was caused by a break in the line from the water main at the street to my home.  All told, I was without running water for 12 days.

To be honest, I was quite relaxed about the ordeal.  After all, I had cases of bottled water for drinking, and a 55 gallon water barrel holding purified water.

Still, being without running water brought up issues I had not considered. Albeit water-ready, the reality of not being able to turn on the tap and have fresh, and especially hot, water was a new experience.

Today I learned more tips from Urban Man for coping without running water so that you can be better prepared if something similar happens to you. Below are 17 tips to help in this situation.

17 Tips for Coping Without Water:

1. With advance notice of a water shutoff, fill the bathtub and as many spare jugs and buckets as you can round up. In addition, fill the Berkey, if you have one and all of your sinks.

2. Double up on hand sanitation.  Fill a spray bottle with liquid castile soap, water, and a copious amount of tea tree or other anti-bacterial essential oil. To wash you hands, spray with a generous amount of your soap/tea tree mixture then rinse with water from a filled sink or a container of water set next to the sink.  Follow-up with commercial hand sanitizer.

3. Know the location of your preps!  In my case, I had two camp showers that could have been used for taking hot showers after heating water on the stove.  Could I find them?  Nope.

4. No mater how many buckets you have, you need more.  In addition, make sure the buckets you have are manageable, weight wise, when filled with water.  Remember, water weighs 8.35 pounds per gallon.  My buckets were re-purposed 2-pound buckets obtained for free from a local cafe and were small enough for me to handle comfortably when filled.  A water filled 5 gallon bucket would have been a problem.

5. When using the toilet, flush liquids daily but solids upon each use.  I had two toilets in use so it was easy to abide by this formula.  I did not, however, flush TP (see below).

6. Dispose of toilet paper into a wastebasket and not into the toilet.  This will prevent your toilet from backing up because it is crammed with paper!  Been there, done that.  Do, however, be mindful of the smell and dispose of the contents of your wastebasket daily.  Baking soda helps control odors if you can not dispose of soiled TP often enough.

7. When it comes time to flush, fill the tank with water and use the handle on the toilet to flush.  This uses less water than dumping water into the bowl.

8. Stock up on disposable plates, cups, and eating utensils.  Cleaning up after meals will be a challenge and will use a lot of water.  Save the water you have for cooking utensils and use disposables for everything else.

9. Clean with cloths and rags not sponges.  Without proper cleaning, sponges will become very unsanitary quickly.  Gross even.  Use microfiber cloths or cleaning rags made from discarded tee shirts or towels.  They can be washed using a Mobile Washer, tossed in the garbage, or laundered when things return to normal.

10. Learn to take “sponge baths” using a washcloth and soap.  Your spray bottle of castile soap will come in handy for this.  Better yet, lay in a supply of No-Rinse Bath Wipes (my favorite), homemade wipes (something I still need to learn to do), or baby wipes.

11. Have at least one way to filter and purify watered gathered from the outdoors.  See How to Use Pool Shock to Purify Water.

12. Learn to hook a hose up to your water heater so that you can use its water in an emergency.  It is a good idea to turn off the electrical breaker or turn off the pilot light first.

13.  Plumbers may not always be available so learn minor plumbing repairs yourself.  When the water came back on, one of our toilets failed, probably due to the back flow of gunk.  Repairs were easy with a backup tank repair kit.

14. Get to know which neighbors have what home repair and handyman skills.  Let them know about your own skill-set so that there is reciprocity and you can help each other out when something goes wrong and needs fixing.  Everyone knows how to do something, right?

15. Keep basic tools on hand, including shovels, axes, saws, hatchets, and other manly-man items.  Just because you are a woman does not mean you should not have basic tools!

16. Maintain a good sense of humor. Treat the experience and a learning experience as well as a grand adventure in self-reliance.

17. Purchase 30 gallon and 55 gallon water barrels for storing water at your home. I would recommend a minimum of 4. Learn to check and keep the water purified. Rotate water every 4 months by using the water to water your survival garden and yard, wash your car, etc. Purchase hand pumps to make removing the water easy.

The Final Word

Regardless of how much you drill for disruptive events, having something happen for real will open your eyes to considerations that were unplanned.  With camping, backpacking, and boating, you know in advance you will not have running water and can plan accordingly.

No running water at the drop of a hat is another story completely.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Survival Prep - Water and Reader Comments received an e-mail from a reader concerning his water plan...... Hey UrbanMan, I’m writing to tell you about the latest things I’m doing to prep in case someone else thought it is a good idea.

Water is my biggest concern, because if they shut off the city water, we’ll all be goners in a matter of days unless we have stored water. So I have a water service bring in sealed water containers for my water dispenser. I used to get the five gallon jugs, but recently found out they have 2.5 gallon jugs, with handles. So in case I have to Bug Out I can carry these much more easily and load them into my Toyota Tacoma 4x4. The bottled water is supposed to last at least six months, so I have ten 2.5 gallon jugs on hand. I go through 2 jugs a week, so I always have at least 8 jugs or 20 gallons hand. Each week I get two jugs delivered, so I just put the new ones at the end of the row. I am thinking about expanding my water supply to 6 or 8 more jugs – what do you think?

I have a checklist on the frig for my girlfriend who is kind off into prepping since it got her a new pair of fashionable hiking boots and some 5.11 pants, but the checklist says what to do if there is an emergency. Number 1 on my checklist is to lock the deadbolts on the doors and fill the bathtub with water. BTW, I have been linking survival prep and teaching my girlfriend some things as we watch the new show Walking Dead on TV. Have you seen Walking Dead and what do you think about it?

I figure we can get 50 gallons in the tub, plus the 20 gallons on hand so we could live for about 30-35 days off of this supply.

Another thing I bought was a folding game carrier, like a wheelbarrow but uses a bicycle wheel. This is used by hunters to bring the animals they killed out of the wild. My use will be to use it if and when the situation to go foraging for stuff is okay. I can push or pull 260 lbs on this game carrier and have a sack of bungee cords to lock things down that I “find”.

What do you think about all this and my preps? I like your site. Jeff.

UrbanMan replies: Hey Jeff, thanks for taking the time writing to me. I know who you got my e-mail address from if your city was correct. Anyway, absolutely water is a necessity. You are correct in thinking that about 70 gallons would last 2 people 30 days – if you use it very wisely. You should immediately go to a water-less human waste system, like a bag and a bucket and use minimal water for cleaning as well as for sponge baths – but you could do it. What are you plans if/when you run out of water? You water supply needs to also last for the duration of your Bug Out travel. That travel may have to be done on foot. Hard to carry more than one jug in your hand as yopur other hand needs to carry a rifle. Best case, both hands are free. But I have traveled on foot, overland carrying 5 gallon jugs and it can be done. The good thing is that you can rapidly drop it and run with a much lighter load. Ensure you have smaller Camel Baks and canteens for your Bug Out bags and use water from sources external to your personal kit when on the move.

Good idea having a checklist for emergency tasks on your refrigerator door. The checklist may also include who to call and what your immediate need items from the local store are if you are fortunate enough to make a run.

Space is usually a problem for urban dwellers. I have a buddy who stacks dehydrated food and cases of water, then covers them with a blanket for a coffee table and end tables. My wife would kill me if I did that, but it may be an option for you,…maybe you can bribe your girlfriend with a survival knife or new Bug Out Bag.

The television show, The Walking Dead, is how not to do things. Zombie movies are entertaining, but you would have to substitute human gangs for the zombies to approach what you may see for real. Again, how not to do things,…no stored food, no survival kit or gear, lack of weapons and ammunition. The Survivor base camp on top of hill near a quarry is a bad idea, especially if you cannot defend it. Being close to a water source is generally a good idea, but realize it will attract other people, some of whom may NOT have a high regard for your life.

The folding game carrier seems like a good idea. I like to receive these little Survival Equipment tips from time to time,…always seems like people are thinking. Be safe Jeff.