purifying water

Everyone should know at least a couple of ways that they can create safe drinking water in case of an emergency. Water is the number one essential item that you will need if you were to be in a natural disaster situation. Every family should have a plan just in case.

First of all, you can always boil it to make it safe but make sure you boil it for at least one minute. This is if you have a source of heat like a fire. If you don’t have use of public water, the electric and most likely the gas would not be in use either.

If you won’t need large amounts of it, you could invest in personal purifiers like for a short period of time. These are individual mini purifiers and you can purchase them online. These will have filters in them and one of these can purify to about 100 gallons of water before the filter will need changing.

 Now you can also purchase these in an economy size. These containers will clean hundreds of gallons of water before you would need to put a new filter in them. Large table filters can be purchased and stored until needed. These water sanitizers can purify up to 60,000 gallons of water. There is no need to install them and they are pretty light. They are not very expensive either. They don’t require electricity and can process pretty quickly (4-5 gallons an hour). If you’re wondering where the water would come from, the answer is absolutely anywhere. You can use water sources in streams, ponds, rivers, or any fresh water source.

You can make a simple homemade water purifier out of a soda bottle. It is a very simple item which does not cost a lot to make.

What you will need:

  • 2 liter soda bottle
  • Coffee filter
  • Charcoal (you can even get charcoal from a fire you burned)
  • Cotton or batting (must be clean)
  • Gravel (fine and coarse)
  • Sand (fine and coarse)
  • Container to catch clean water

 You will need just the top of the soda bottle so cut the bottom off. This will be your filter when you turn it upside down. Put it on top of your container while you layer the items to filter your water.  It’s good to remember that most of the lighter items go on the bottom, while the heavier items go on top.  The batting will go first, then place the charcoal on top of it, fine grain sand, coarse grain sand, fine gravel, course gravel. Repeat this process until the entire bottle is completed. When all the layers are completed add the coffee filter. Now you can use this to filter to clean your water.

  You could make an investment and get a distiller. The downside is that it requires fuel to boil the water and purify it.

Another way to purify water is using iodine tablets which are easily purchased on the internet. These are the same types of tablets that the military uses when they are in places where they may have to sanitize their water for drinking. These should be a last resort as the downside is that they kill the good bacteria as well as bad so this will affect how your immune system can handle disease. If you have a thyroid problem you should never use them.

Bleach can also be used to sanitize as well. The water should not look cloudy if you are using the right amount of bleach. The formula is 1 quart of water = 2 drops but it can vary depending on the water and how bad it is. It should have a very faint smell of bleach and not be cloudy when it’s the right amount.

Some of these are simple solutions and some take some preparation.  You can choose one or a couple different options to be prepared if you have to face a natural disaster.



Handbook to Practical Disaster Preparedness for the Family, 3rd Edition
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