At the top of everyone's survival and preparedness checklist is drinking water. Pure, refreshing, sweet water. We want it to be clean and free from dangerous bacterias, cysts, and viruses. That is because without water to drink we are dead in just a few days. That is not all though...without clean water, we risk both sickness and death!
You can store water for emergencies...and you should. But what happens if you don't store enough or you have to evacuate your home? How many days worth of water do you think you can carry with you if you are on foot? We each need about 1 gallon of water a day...do you think you can carry 2-3 days worth?
Suppose you don't have to evacuate but the crisis lasts longer than you are prepared for. What are you going to do?
There are several solutions to these problems, but the one that makes the most sense to many people is to invest in either water filters or water purifiers.
Both types of devices come in small portable bottles that are ideal for someone on the move, and larger units designed to take care of an entire household.
Many people don't know the difference between a water filter and a water purifier though. Both use a filter or series of filters to decontaminate the water. They both remove protozoa, bacteria and parasites from the water. They both make water much safer to drink. The difference is that water purifiers also remove viruses from the water.
Removing bacteria is important because even clear water can have salmonella, E. coli and cholera. These bacteria not only cause illness, they kill people that drink contaminated water every year. Both kinds of devices are good at removing them.
The water purifier will also remove dangerous viruses from the water such as the Hepatitis A virus, Rotaviruses, and Norwalk-type viruses. Not usually fatal, these viruses can definitely make your life miserable for a while though.
You can also kill viruses by boiling the water, using iodine tablets, and adding chlorine tablets.
Each of these methods has disadvantages to consider. Boiling water uses fuel that can be used for cooking and is time intensive. Some people are allergic to iodine and it leaves a strong taste in the water. Chlorine tablets take 4 hours after you have added them before you can drink the water.
No matter what, the first step that you should take when disinfecting or purifying water should be to select the cleanest and clearest water that you can find. The clearer the better, because particulates in the water such as clay and silt will reduce the effectiveness of your filters and also make your chemical disinfectants less reliable.
When choosing your water from a still source such as a pond you should take it from the top because you will find less particulates in the water there. The only reason that would cause you not to remove the water from the top would be if it has oil or some other surface contaminate in it. Water that is removed from the top also has the advantage of being disinfected somewhat by the sun's radiation.
The important thing is that you invest in one or more of these lifesaving gadgets. Get a large home model and a smaller portable bottle if you can. You may never need one to save your life, but you will be thankful that you have one if you get caught in a crisis.
Hi, I'm James Sorick and I run a website that teaches about survival gear and preparedness strategies. I invite you to visit my site where I go into greater detail about the water purification bottle and many other topics including the basics of survival food.
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