Water, Water Everywhere? Make Sure You Have Enough Water For Possible SHTF Situations

During these uncertain times it is now doubly important to be prepared in the even of any type of disaster. This can be a natural disaster such as a tornado, blizzard, large scale fire or an earthquake. We could even be the target of a man made disaster such as an EMP or other type of dirty bomb. Any of these situations could potentially cut off the food and water supply for a length of time where it would detrimentally affect your family.

For the sake of this post, I am going to assume that you are able to stay in your home. Unless you absolutely have to bug out, it is my opinion that you are safest in the place that you know best. You are aware of the access roads to and from your home, the area around your home and your neighbors (for better or worse).

The one thing that you are going to have to make sure that you have enough of is water. Remember that the human body is made up of 2/3 water and It is vital for the circulatory system, breathing and just staying alive.

How long can I live without water?

Since water is essential in the short term to be able to survive, you can expect to live three to five days without any water. And please remember, that is under optimal conditions. In regards to the weather,  a lot of this depends on whether it is too hot or cold, how much are you exerting yourself and your overall physical condition.

How much water do I need to drink every day?

In order to survive, you really should be drinking a few liters of water per day. Once again, this depends on the climate and the amount that you are physically exerting yourself. This could mean more water, it could mean less. You also need to make sure that you have enough water for cooking.  

How do I save water?

Let’s look at two scenarios. The first is that whatever the event is, it hasn’t happened yet. Hence the term prepping. When you go shopping each week, buy a few extra gallons or cases of water and store them. In my case, I get water delivered so every month I usually add an extra 15-20 gallons and put them to the side so I have them in case of an emergency. Each person you have with you during a SHTF situation will need a minimum of one gallon per day.

The second scenario is, what if you didn’t prep enough and you don’t have enough water during an emergency? This could be a real issue depending on where you live. Regions that see a great deal of snow during the winter would have that as an advantage both during those winter months and as spring arrives when the snow melts. Here in the northeast, where I live, we do get a great deal of rain and depending on the winter, snow. If you knew you were going to be cut off from buying potable water for a period of time, it would be your responsibility to set up some kind of water trap to save rain water or to melt snow and ice.

This can be done by using a plastic bottle and funnel system or having a large tank outside that captures the water as it falls.

Below is a picture of when my friends and I went on what started out as a three day trip. It started raining late on the first day, so we set up a tarp to capture water for the next day. It worked beautifully. This could easily be done at home.

A tarp filled with rain water that we purified and used during our backpacking trip.

How do I know my water is safe to drink?

You don’t. My rule is if you capture rainfall, treat it as though it is not safe for you and your family to drink. Now, many people say that boiling the water is the best way to prepare it for drinking, but these days camping stores sell different chemical solutions that will purify your water so it is safe. They also have water purifiers such as the Sawyer Squeeze, which I love. You put the water in a pouch that is provided, screw the filter to it and squeeze. The process is quick, easy and with a little time you can have clean, safe drinking water.

As I have said, having clean drinking water is definitely a priority in any emergency situation. Not only is it necessary for survival, but if you don’t properly purify your water you can come down with bugs that will drain your system of even more water.

So, take the time and spend the extra money now to plan ahead and prep for what might come. It’s easier to do it now than when it becomes a situation of life and death.

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