Water 101

We cannot survive long without drinking water. Have you ever heard the rule of 3’s: you can only survive without air for 3 minutes, water for 3 days, and food for 3 weeks. Besides having safe breathable air, having safe drinking water is extremely important. You need to be able to use a water filter to extract water from almost any water source and eliminate the risk of becoming a victim of dehydration, sickness, and death. Also, you need to be able to safely and effectively store water for later consumption. Both are equally important because when the water utility company is temporarily or permanently unable to deliver a fresh and safe water supply you will need a reserve on hand and, also, be able to filter more to sustain your life and the life of your loved ones.


Have you ever found an unopened bottle of water in your car or in the cupboard that has been there forever and a day. You open the top and take a sip with the intent of feeling refreshed and renewed, but instead you notice that the water tastes…off. You don’t quite know what it is, or how it could possibly have happened, but inexplicably the water in the bottle seems to have gone bad! But water does not come with an expiry date…does it?

Yes it does… sort of. What happens is not that the water expires so much as it gets contaminated in one of two ways:

  1. The first way is when you leave water in an open container at room temperature for an extended period of time. Under these circumstances, you effectively provide a breeding ground for bacteria, algae and, most commonly, mosquitoes.
  2. The second way of contamination is where the container you store water in starts to leach chemicals into the water it is holding. The second reason is why all bottles have been boasting about being “BPA Free” for the last several or so years.


In any extended emergency, you will need to find other ways to obtain and treat water, such as a pond, lake, well, or even through rain collection. To give you time to do this, and in order to have water on hand for getting out of dodge if need be, make sure you have a water storage plan in place to provide at least a couple weeks of water for your family. You will be glad you did! Click here to learn more about collecting water.


You can also make the not-so-potable water, potable again by filtering it with filters such as a gravity fed water filter like a Berkey water filter or a bio sand water filter. There are several filters and types of filters out there. The filter you use needs to remove dirt, microorganisms, chlorine, and other chemicals. It is my recommendation that all potable water go through the filter, for longevity of storage, but also for day-to-day health. Click here to learn more about water filtration.


Perhaps the only thing more important than food in a long-term emergency is water. Even the food you do have probably needs water to be cooked and eaten – especially dried beans and grains. Seriously, have you ever tried to bite into a dried bean? What is even more concerning is that water can be “bad” without anyone ever knowing it until it is too late. Crystal clear water can have dangerous bacteria growing in it, chemical run-off, high levels of lead, mercury, or even arsenic! Even if you store perfectly good water, storing it in the wrong way will mean that when you really need it, you will find yourself drinking poison rather than water. Just as critical as knowing how to store water, is knowing how not to store water. Click here to learn more about storing water.

Prepare Your Family for Emergencies

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