Two choices

1. Store water 

2. Learn to purify the water that you have collected from streams, rain, shallow wells, etc.


1. Store water

Buy lots of water bottles. Small ones are the most convenient. Large ones cost less per gallon. 


Acquire or buy some big food grade plastic barrels and fill them up.It's recommended to refill them each ear to keep the water fresh. I did this and filled them with filtered water. They lasted several years without any change in flavor or smell. If it's filtered water in a clean barrel, there's really nothing for bacteria to eat, so they can't grow. To be safe, it's best to change it, but if you're lazy, like me, it will probably be fine.


Good to know: If stored water tastes stale, pour it from one container to another. This puts air in it and surprisingly changes the flavor. That's why water fresh from the faucet is so much better than water that's been sitting in a cup on the counter for hours.


Every home should have a three to five day supply of water. A good rule of thumb is to store one gallon per person per day for drinking, cooking, and hygiene. Plus store some for pets. Store it where it won't freeze. 


2. Purify water.

First, filter any dirt out of the water by pouring it through a piece of clean material, like a T-shirt. Then chose one of the following:

  • Boil for at least ten minutes to kill germs.

  • OR...

  • 10 drops of bleach per gallon of clear water will kill germs. Let it sit at least a half hour. If the water is cloudy, add 16 drops of bleach just to be safe. (Don't use bleach with additives, like lemon scent.) Bleach isn't healthy if you drink a lot of it, but dehydration is a lot worse. Also, if you leave the water open overnight, most of the bleach evaporates out.

  • OR...

  • Buy a water purifying system. There are lots of choices out there. Both choices on the right are about $20.

  • The Berkley bottle eliminates 99.9999% of bacteria and viruses as well as some toxic chemicals and heavy metals. It looks like a sports bottle.

  • The Sawyer Mini Water Filter purifies up to 100,000 gallons of water. The filter is cleanable and reusable. It takes a tiny storage space compared to cases of stored water bottles.

  • The drawback is that you have to have water to purify. Not helpful if there are no streams around. Neither of these do polluted or salt water.

  • OR...

  • Distil water to remove germs and dirt and chemicals. This is more work than the previous two choices, but it removes ALL the bad stuff in the water. You can drink polluted water or salt water if you distil it properly. See below.



Here's an awesome youtube on how to make a solar water distiller with stuff you have in your kitchen. You can literally take sea water or mud puddle water and turn it into safe, drinkable water using these items: A bowl, plastic wrap, a rubber band, a cup, a rock, and sunshine. Don't believe it? Watch this video. 





I tried this using bay water which is saltwater.

I put gross salty water in the pitcher bowl, then

put an empty glass in the middle. Covered it with 

plastic and weighted the plastic with a rock.

See the youtube video for details.

My homemade solar distiller didn't make much 

water, but it tasted perfectly healthy and clean. 

Not even a hint of the taste of salt.




The youtube video below shows a surprising way to get water. Do you remember back in high school Biology learning about transpiration in plants? Plants draw water from their roots and pull it up their stems or trunks, and then the water moves out of their leaves. You can take advantage of this by putting plastic around the leaves and letting the plant and sunshine fill the plastic. It's like magic.




Water, water everywhere,

but not a drop to drink

What do you do when the faithful water company quits being faithful?


I live near the beach. Unlimited water. Totally undrinkable. I have friends who live in the desert. No water at all. I have relatives who live in the city. No water that's not piped in. If the pipes all break, they might as well live in the desert.


  • Store or acquire about a gallon a day per person for drinking and sanitation.

  • Allow people to drink according to their needs. Dehydration causes headaches, dizziness, and a dry mouth. Not something you want in an emergency situation. 

  • Drink water that you know is not contaminated first. If necessary, suspicious water, such as cloudy water from regular faucets or water from streams or ponds, can be used after it has been treated.

  • Do not drink carbonated beverages instead of drinking water. Caffeinated drinks and alcohol dehydrate the body, which increases the need for drinking water.

  • Turn off the main water valves. You will need to protect the water sources already in your home from contamination if you hear reports of broken water or sewage lines or if local officials advise you of a problem. To close the incoming water source, locate the incoming valve and turn it to the closed position. Be sure you and your family members know how to perform this important procedure.


4 Hidden Safe Water Sources

Click here to see what they are. Bet you didn't think of all of these.




Unsafe Sources, Don't Drink

  • Radiators, hot water boilers (home heating systems).

  • Water from the toilet bowl.

  • Waterbeds. Fungicides added to the water or chemicals in the vinyl may make water unsafe to drink.

  • Swimming pools and spas. Chemicals used to kill germs are too concentrated for safe drinking but can be used for personal hygiene, cleaning, and related uses.


Water Rules in an Emergency Situation

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