Emergency Water Services Before Disasters
Whenever natural calamity strikes, there is always a lot of destruction that it leaves behind. Every affected person‘s life suddenly comes to a standstill. Basic amenities like water, food, electricity et cetera can all be cut off. In order to avoid this situation, having an emergency backup option is necessary.
Not that the other amenities aren’t necessary, but water especially is needed for basic life sustenance. Hence, it’s imperative for you to store water before the occurrence of any disaster.
Read on as we discuss a few ways in which you can store water to have ready access during emergencies.
If you want to store water for one or two weeks, you can always use regular packaged bottles, empty bottles, or even the 5-gallon jugs.
Always opt for containers that are made of food-grade plastic. You also have to sanitize the bottles in a bleach solution to make them ready for use.
Storing water in cisterns, water barrels, and even waterBOBs would make for the perfect place to store water for a month or even longer. This is a safer option in case of disasters because you can’t really predict how many days will your supply to freshwater be cut off. Since these tanks are sturdy and enormous, they have greater capacity when compared to packaged water bottles. They are very efficient to store water properly to prevent any type of contamination.
One of the biggest issues in the case of cisterns or water barrels is their bulky shape and size. If you don’t have a larger space available, installing these tanks for water storage can be a problem. Also, storing water in the bathtub waiting for a disaster to strike isn’t quite feasible as well unless, of course, you have a spare one.
In such cases, you should opt for inline water storage. Having a water storage system that is directly connected to your waterline is the most convenient way to solve all your emergency water woes.
ReadyMadeWater offers water storage tanks in the 80-gallon and 120-gallon capacity. The 120-gallon water tank, for example, has 50% more capacity when compared to the 80-gallon water tank. This, in turn, makes it suitable for families with four or more people.
The water tank is also self-rotating giving you access to hot and cold water. This is in addition to an automatic shutoff facility. The shutoff facility can help you retain water during a water shortage. There is also a strong pumping system that helps in adjusting the pressure as and when required.
The brand ReadyMadeWater itself has created a reputation for itself for its quality water storage solutions. It has a patented technology that is available at an affordable price for preppers.
Emergency Water Services After Disasters
If you had made provisions for water storage during emergencies, you don’t have to worry about finding a source of water. However, you have to make sure that the water you use for drinking, preparing food, or for hygiene is safe.
If you suspect that the available water you have isn’t safe for drinking, washing dishes, brushing teeth, or cooking food – don’t use it.
The only time that you should use water is after you have taken measures to make it safe for consumption. You can do the following to help this purpose.
- Boiling the Water
If you aren’t using packaged water for drinking, you can always go the traditional way of boiling it to make it safe.
Boiling is a sure shot method to kill any disease-causing organisms that include parasites, viruses, and bacteria.
If the Water Tastes Flat:
If you want to eradicate that “funny“ or flat taste of boiled water, there is a way for that as well. Pour the water from one clean, disinfected container to another and then allow it to stand for a few hours.
If you want to remove the taste faster, for each quart or liter of boiled water, you can add a pinch of salt.
If the Water is Clear:
Bring the clear water to a rolling boil for one minute. If you live in areas that are at elevations above 6,500 feet, it would be better if you boil the water for about two minutes more.
Don’t forget to store the boiled water in containers that have been cleaned and sanitized, after it has cooled down. Also, make it a point to cover the lid tightly.
If the Water is Cloudy:
Allow the dirt particles to settle to the bottom and then proceed to filter it. You can use paper towels or any clean cloth for this purpose. Even coffee filters would work. You will get clear water this way.
Bring the clear water to a rolling boil for one minute and again if you live at higher elevations, you’ll need to boil it for three minutes. Let the boiled water cool.
Store the boiled water in clean, sanitized containers that have tight covers to prevent any contamination.
- Disinfecting the Water
If boiling water is not exactly possible for you, you can also employ the use of disinfectants to make water safer to drink. Disinfectants include iodine, unscented household chlorine bleach, and chlorine dioxide tablets.
These disinfectants are powerful enough to kill the most harmful organisms including bacteria and viruses quite efficiently too might we add.
We would like to point out that chlorine dioxide tablets are especially effective for controlling the parasite Cryptosporidium as well that can be quite a resistant organism. But then again, if your water is contaminated with a chemical, adding disinfectants will not make it any better.
Disinfecting Your Water Using Bleach
You will find bleach in different concentrations. Hence, you need to know the concentration of bleach that you are using before you disinfect your water, which can be read on the label. Also, don’t forget to use a clean, disinfected water container that is approved for water storage, and clear the water after basic filtration through paper towels or a clean cloth.
If you are using 5 to 6% unscented liquid household chlorine bleach:
Add eight drops of bleach for every gallon of clear water. In the case of each liter or quart, using two drops of bleach would suffice.
In case you don’t have clear water or you aren’t being able to filter it, add about 16 drops of bleach for every gallon of cloudy water. In the same way, in the case of each liter or quart, you would need four drops of bleach.
After stirring the mixture well, let it stand for 30 minutes or more. Keep this disinfected water in containers that have tight covers.
If you are using 8.25% unscented liquid household chlorine bleach:
Add six drops of unscented bleach for every gallon of clear water and about two drops for each liter or each quart.
Again, in case of cloudy water, you need to add 12 drops of bleach for every gallon of cloudy water and three drops of bleach for every liter or quart of cloudy water.
Just like above, let the water stand for at least 30 minutes after giving it a good stir.
Disinfecting Your Water Using Iodine or Chlorine Dioxide Tablets
In this case, you need to follow the manufacturer’s instructions. Just remember to store the water properly after disinfecting the water.
- Using Filters
Many portable water filters can remove parasite contamination along with bacteria and viruses. In this case, you need to read and follow the manufacturer’s instructions which will vary from one water filter to another.
After you have filtered the water, use iodine, chlorine, or chlorine dioxide as a disinfectant for killing any remaining contamination.
Always make sure that you have an emergency water backup in times of need. These events include disasters as well as other emergency situations. After you have determined the correct water storage solution as per your needs and preferences, you do have the other task of ensuring its safety and cleanliness lined ahead in front of you.
While storing water isn’t rocket science, you do need to keep a few preventive measures in mind to make sure you are headed the right way.
The quality, durability, portability, and price should all be taken into account before you select a storage option for yourself. Nevertheless, once you do get everything figured out, you won’t have to worry about not having enough water for you and your family after a disaster. It is true that you will have relief officials to help you but then again isn’t prevention always better than cure?