All living things both plant and Animal, consist of mostly water. A human can survive 2 to about 4 weeks without food, but only a few days without water.  Water is required to digest food, lubricate body's organs, joints and membranes, and maintain electrical balance in the body's cells. Water keeps you cool in the summer and warm in the winter. You even need water to lose weight, and bloating can actually be caused by not drinking enough water. In Starvation diets, and the beginning of most diets, the weight you lose quickly is water weight. Drinking plenty of water can help flush out extra fat.  Drinking plenty of water flushes the body of toxins and helps rid the body of illnesses like the flu.  You should have about 1 gallon per person per day for drinking, another 1/2 to 1 gallon per person per day for other things like washing, toiletries, ect.

When a disaster hits, it usually affects the water supply. When drinking water sources are unsafe, everyone runs to buy out bottled water from stores. this is why you should already have some stored.

In your home you have several possible sources. 

1) Plumbing systems.. (A) In water lines, turn on a water faucet at the lowest point. (B) Hot water heaters- contain 15-40 gallons portable water. use faucet on bottom, you may need to screen or filter sediment before use.  (C) Tubs and sinks, fill ahead if of time if possible. (D) Toilet Tanks, (not bowls) contain 5-7 gallons, treat before using. don't use if disinfectants or cleaners are used in tank. 

 2) Appliances.  (a) Refrigerator / Freezer.  consume beverages and liquids first before they become less palatable.  (b) Water coolers, clothes washer, tubs, buckets, pots and pans. - fill for additional reserves.  (c) Water Bed - Waterbed  mattresses are made with a algae inhibitor, so water in these should never be used for consuming.

3) In the Yard,  water buckets, barrels of rainwater, puddles, ditches, and troughs.  Hot water spas, swimming pools. (do not use water from pools and spas that have been treated with chemicals for consumption )  

4) Precipitation - Rain and snow can provide water for consumption if caught in clean containers, treat all water that is not caught in clean containers. First snow falls contain more contaminants.

 Other Sources:
 Lakes, Ponds, Streams, Rivers.  Can be used for washing, treatments and filtering are required before consuming.  You can also use wells,  and Cisterns. 
You can build a solar still, this is a sheet of plastic about 6' square inverted in a 3'x3' hole.  This can produce about a pint of water or more per day, water evaporates from the ground and condenses on the plastic, a solar still can also be used to distill ocean water or water that may otherwise be contaminated.  

"If we are to be saved in an Ark, as Noah and his family were, it will be because we build it....."

Bottled Water and storing water
For storing water, do not reuse cheap containers that held foodstuff, they were not ment to last long. a gallon water/milk  jug for example will break down and leak after about 4 months.  Use only sturdy heavy plastic food grade containers ment for water storage, and be sure they are sterile.  Preferable containers that have not been used for anything else previous, otherwise they can carry the odor and tastes of the previous items. Glass is not a good option, it breaks too easily, and never use metal. If Storage space is not a problem, the larger the containers the better. (don't forget to have a hand pump) 2 liter soda bottles can be filled and last about a year, (add 3-4 drops of bleach for drinking when you fill them)  For safest and easiest, buy already bottled water, they are stamped with dates, and last for about a year. We have made it a rule, that every time we go to wallmart we buy one 12 pack of 20 oz bottled water, this costs only about $2.50 and when buying a 12 pk every week, it adds up quickly.  One tip to remember is water will absorb odors and taste from anything, and if stored in plastic containers and set on cement, it will actually absorb  the taste of the cement through the plastic. Also note that bottled water from the store does not have flouride, so if you have young children you should stock up on flouride tablets. you can also store powdered drink mixes to help make the water taste better,  pouring from one container to another for aerating also helps improve taste.
*You can also buy mylar lined boxes that have a spigot to store water in.*


 Most water filters are made with a charcoal filter, Activated  charcoal filters can filter out radioactive contaminants. Filters can have different systems, which can include iodine, silver, or chlorine to kill bacteria.  Many are only partially effective. 

Bleach- Standard household bleach will kill harmful organisms, at a rate of 2 drops per quart, for clear water, for cloudy water use about 4 drops and allow water to sit atleast 30 minutes. Bleach older than a year or two will become less potent.  for safest and best tasting, use bleach that has sodium hypochlorite as its only active ingredient. a slight odor of chlorine should be detectable, if not, add alittle more.

Iodine- Resublimed iodine tablets have a long shelf life, be careful of iodine crystals they can be harmful if ingested. can cause skin burns, and toxic fumes. Long term use can cause other health problems. People with thyroid problems, pregnant women, and nursing women should not use Iodine.

Purification tablets like Tetraglycine hyperiodide are marketed as coghlan's, Globaline, Portable Agua. these usually don't have a long shelf life, and turn from grey to yellow as they become less potent. 

Boiling water- A rolling boil for atleast 10-15 minutes will kill many organisms, it does not solve all contamination problems, but will make it safe to drink.   but should still be filtered if possible. Disadvantages are that it makes the water taste flat. ( pouring water from one container to another back and forth will help aerate it and make it taste better). It also uses valuable fuel, and it may not always be possible to have a fire. 

   Much of this information was taken from the book "Making the Best of Basics" by James Talmage Stevens.  it is  a very valuable manual on Family Preparedness.  Add it to your bookshelf today.