Wednesday, September 30, 2009

H20 - Continued

How do I clean water?
1 - Clarify
Strain out any debris by using a coffee filter, layers of paper towels, tightly woven cloth or commercial water filter bags.

2 - Disinfect
Boil, pasteurize, distill, solar, iodine, silver and chlorine are all ways to disinfect (I do not list bleach because you get more cleaners and fragrance than you get disinfectant.)
Boiling - Full rolling boil for 15 minutes (you will need a way to bring to a boil.)

Pasterize - Water at 160 degrees for 20 minutes.

Solar - Fill small transparent container 3/4 fill and shake for 20 seconds, finish filling. Place in direct sunlight for 5-6 hours, increase to 2 days if heavy cloud cover. (This will not remove chemicals, tastes, or smells and will not treat large volumes.)

Iodine - Comes in different solutions - follow the instructions on what you buy. The amount needed varies with the water's temperature, PH and strength of the iodine. (Not recommended for pregnant women or long term use.)

(Colloidal) Silver - is antimicrobial and will treat water, but not all colloidal silver solutions are the same, so read the label.

(Powdered) Chlorine - (Sodium Dichloro-s-triazinetrione) a powdered bleach that stores from 10-12 years. Must be 99% Sodium Dichloro-s-triazinetrione (check the label). This is powerful stuff, use with care. 1/4 tsp. treats a 55 gallon drum (I said it was powerful). A slight chlorine smell should be present 24 hours after, if not, repeat the process.

In any/all of these methods always remember to clarify first.


Intestesting facts:
- The human body is about 60% water for adult males and 55% water for adult females.
- If you're an average adult, every day you lose more than 10 cups (close to 2.5 liters) of water simply by sweating, breathing and eliminating waste.
- Eating food will cause the body to dehydrate. (No water = No food)
- Dehydration occurs when you lose more fluid than you take in, and your body doesn't have enough water and other fluids to carry out its normal functions. If you don't replenish lost fluids, you may suffer serious consequences.
- With an outside temperature of 90 degrees you can live without water for a maximum of 7 days, in 100 degree weather that is cut to 5 days. (The average summer temp in Salt Lake City is 88 degrees, the average summer temp in St. George is 99 degrees.) Also, I would cut 1-2 days off of that max, because in those last 2 days you will probably wish you could die.

So, I think it's safe to say that next to breathing, water is the pretty dang essential!

How much water? How do I store water? How do I clean water? There are so many questions regarding water and what to do with it I could write FOREVER, but I am just going to list a few basics. What I know and what I do.

How much water?
Guideline - 1 gallon per person per day with minimal activity. 14 gallons for 2 weeks per person or one 55 gallon barrel for a family of 4. I store one 55 gallon barrel per person for 2 weeks. This may seem a bit much, but this is drinking, cooking, bathing, cleaning, everything. More water is ALWAYS better than less.

Families with small children, pets, warm climates and those performing physical labor need to double the suggested numbers.

How do I store water?
Store in food grade, clean (preferrably new) containers. They make water barrels in a variety of sizes and even shapes, this is what I use. They also make water store boxes. Make sure everything is clean/sterile. If using water barrels do not store on cement, put a couple 2x4's underneath the barrels, also, do not store the water barrels where they risk being in direct sunlight, one word algae, no one wants to drink green water - even if it is clean.

You can also store water by buying cases of platic water bottles. Please keep in mind that these have expiration dates and that plastic absorbs the smells of whatever surrounds it. Store away from harmful chemicals or strong odors.
Example: Water bottles in the garage taste like exhaust, gasoline, etc.

For "other use" water (washing, etc.) water stored in 2 liter pop bottles works. If you are not drinking it you don't have to be as picky, but I'd still be careful.

Store where leakage would not be a problem. Protect from heat, light, and freezing. Plastic milk jugs do not seal well.

*To restore taste to stale water, poor back and forth between 2 clean containers to add air to the water.


Let's just get this out of the way shall we... What is up with the name of this blog?

Answer: My husband, Harley, has for as long as we've been married teased me about my food storage and the "Zombie Apocalypse" (as he would put it). Yet, I have continued to buy extra and try to get prepared for "just in case" as much as possible. He has learned over the years that this "just in case" attitude is pretty awesome.

Examples: Harley - Honey I just finished ______(fill in with food items, toothpaste, etc.), do we have any more? Amber - Of course, here.
Harley - I wish I had some _________(cookies, cereal, etc.). Amber - I'm pretty sure there is some in the basement or pantry.

Because he continues to tease me (even though he benefits) I have decided to make him sing my praises everytime I come to the rescue. So, when we are out somewhere and he has a headache and wants the Aleve, I make him say "You are the coolest most prepared woman I know." Or when the kids need something and I magically have it, when I can run downstairs in the middle of cooking dinner instead of going to the store - Harley says "You are the coolest most prepared woman I know."

Truthfully, I am not, I am SO FAR from it, but preparedness is near and dear to my heart so here goes!

(Disclaimer: I am not an expert, heck I'm not even that smart, but here you will find things I've read, learned, tried, etc. in regards to Preparedness. I am not perfect! I am just one girl talking about something I feel passionate about - Period.)
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