A clean supply of water should be at the top of the list in nearly every survival situation. A person can survive for a few weeks without food, but serious health conditions can develop in three days without water (less in some environments). In most situations, plan to need one gallon of water per person per day. One half gallon is for drinking, the other is for cooking and sanitation. High temperatures and physical exertion will increase the water requirements per person. Be prepared by survival by stockpiling water supplies, knowing where to find clean water, and when all else fails, knowing how to purify water.

Many people underestimate the difficulty of finding clean drinking water after a disaster. Municipal water sources are frequently contaminated during large scale disasters like earthquakes, floods, and hurricanes. If you have well water, a simple power outage is all it takes to lose access to your water source. Water that was once suitable for drinking may no longer be safe. In an emergency situation all water should be considered contaminated unless you know for a fact that it is safe. For these reasons, storing water in your home is worth considering.

It is so cheap and easy to store water for emergency use, that everyone should do it. Water can be stored in most food grade plastic buckets, barrels, and jugs provided that they are well rinsed and sanitized with a bleach and water solution provided it is kept in a cool and dark space. Empty, sanitize, and refill the containers once a month to ensure your supply is always safe and fresh. You can also buy sealed one gallon jugs at any grocery store. Many of these containers will cost $1.00 per gallon or less and have an expiration date of about two years. The water will be good for considerable longer, but it should be checked for freshness every few years and replaced as needed. At some point, the stored water will run out water purification is very important.

Water filtration and purification are used to address three concerns; biological matter, chemical agents, and taste. Dirty water, or water with particulate floating around should be first filtered. Repeatedly pouring water thru coffee filters or layers of cloth effectively removes large particles. Boiling the water for one minute is a quick and easy way to eliminate harmful viral and bacterial organisms. After boiling, pour the water back and forth repeatedly between two sanitized containers. This aerates the water which will remove the stale taste that water has after boiling. Finally, add 16 drops of unscented clorox bleach per gallon of water and stir vigorously. Allow the water to sit for at least 30 minutes and you have done about everything you can to remove biological threats. Chemical agents are much more difficult to detect and remove. Distilling the water should make it safe for drinking, but that is beyond the scope of this article.

Storing a few days of water and knowing how to purify water can make all the difference in a disaster situation. Even if you are caught off guard, these few tips should help you avoid dehydration.