Water is the absolute most essential requirement for survival. Your body cannot go more than a couple of days without it. In the event of a disaster or social unrest, water that is safe for human consumption will be scarce. The water that you get from the faucet in your kitchen is either not going to be available, or it will be contaminated and unsafe.
When it comes to meeting your water consumption needs, there are two main considerations: 1) Access to Water and 2) Water purification.
1) Access to Water: Most likely, if you live in a city, in a disaster scenario you will not have running water. This is because the water utilities that pump the water to homes will most likely be out of operation. These utilities require electricity to operate. If the power goes out, so will the water. If you live in a rural area, you probably get your water from a nearby well and, in that case, you will probably still have access to running water in your house. If you are in the city, you should consider how you would get water for your needs. You should have some water storage barrels that you can fill up and have available to last you a few weeks. For more long term solutions, consider locating the nearest lake or river. Also, consider rain collection methods such as rain water barrels and rain collection tanks.
2) Water Purification: There are a number of different ways to purify water. Here are the most prevalent suggestions with some pros and cons as well as some videos to help you visualize how each works:
Water Purification Tablets: These are tablets that you drop into the water you want to purify. They dissolve in the water and kill harmful bacteria so that the water is safe for human consumption. You have to use 1 to 2 tablets per liter of water. The downside to using tablets is that eventually you will run out if you are in a long-term survival situation. Also, it can take over a half-hour to purify water using this method. Here is a video displaying how to use water tablets:
Boiling Water to purify: Boiling water will kill almost everything in the water that is dangerous for humans to consume. How long you have to boil water depends on what altitude you are at. To be safe, you should let it boil for ten minutes. It is wise to combine this method with another filtration method. The downside to this method is that boiling water can use up precious other resources like fuel or firewood. I suggest you leave this as a last option where the other methods are not available.
UV Radiation Water Purification Devices: This is my number one favorite solution for water purification. It is incredibly quick, simple and safe. These devices utilize UV radiation to kill harmful bacteria and sterilize the water. As with every suggested piece of survival gear, you should have two or three of them in case it breaks or gets stolen. There are a few different types of devices, so I’ll let the videos do the talking:
In conclusions, you should assess these methods for obtaining and purifying water and then take steps to make sure you are prepared to supply yourself and your loved ones with the most basic element of survival.