Skip to comments.‘It can happen to you’
Posted on 06/13/2011 8:40:08 AM PDT by Kartographer
Get a kit. Make a plan. Be informed. For years, Evonne Richards had seen the signs and read the messages urging her to prepare for an emergency.
A mother of four, she found it easy to push off the task. After all, the only threat that seemed likely in the landlocked 21 acres where the family had lived 27 years was a house fire.
In September, she finally printed off the checklist from ready.gov. She stockpiled about 60 gallons of water in empty milk and juice containers, adding a dash of bleach to each.
She bought a three-day supply of dried beans, brown rice, oatmeal and raisins. She stored gas for their generator, fuel for the camping stove and extra batteries.
Then came April 27, late evening. Richards, her husband, Bill, and youngest son, Ellis, watched their computer as storms moved in. Their three oldest children were not home.
Richards walked over to the door and opened it.
Something seems weird, she told her husband.
He screamed, Get under the stairs.
In seconds, the tornado twisted and tossed thousands of tree missiles, cascading them like dominoes into the living room and across the driveway. The whirlwind wiped out dozens of their neighbors homes
(Excerpt) Read more at timesfreepress.com ...
OK folks, do NOT use old plastic milk jugs to store water. You can never get them clean of all the milk proteins and your water will rapidly become undrinkable. I suspect this person has found that out already.
” OK folks, do NOT use old plastic milk jugs to store water. You can never get them clean of all the milk proteins and your water will rapidly become undrinkable. I “
There are plenty of uses, even in a Survival situation, for non-potable water — toilets still need to be flushed, and eating utensils (and persons) still need to be kept clean and sanitary...
I live in an area that experiences frequent power (and therefore pump) outages, and I learned, after my first time around, to keep separate stockpiles of ‘drinking water’ and ‘flushing water’....
Perhaps you can help me on this. I have a 40 gallon hot water heater filled with 40 gallons of pure, filtered water. Why should I fill up more jugs?
“She bought a three-day supply of dried beans, brown rice, oatmeal and raisins.”
Three pounds of beans and rice, a box of oatmeal and a six pack of raisins is noteworthy?
Melancholy and I had this exact discussion a while ago and he described a method he used wherein he was able to store water safely in milk jugs, which I had thought not possible. I always figured milk jug water could be used for washing purposes only. Maybe he’ll chime in with his method.
How do you get the water out of the heater if there’s no water pressure?
Oh, duh, the bottom drain!
Here’s a true story.
A few years ago hub was working on our water system and said water would be off for a few hours. (Our system is a well and we fill up large tanks of water periodically from the well.)
I knew that anything DH embarks upon always takes much longer than estimated, so I filled up every available vessel in the house in the short amount of time I had. What with buckets, jugs, large pots and so on, I had just about 53 gallons of water.
We used that water very sparingly - I could wash no dishes, cooked very simply (for instance, used the water that I washed the rice with for washing hands, and then for flushing the toilet, etc), we did minimal “bucket baths” or sponge baths, flushed only for solid stuff.
After three days the water came back on, I had about 2 quarts of water left, and we and the house were filthy.
So, 40 gallons would be bare survival for a few days. You won’t have enough to really clean anything, bathe, flush the toilet more than once or twice a day if that, do any real cooking, no washing dishes, etc.
If that’s a good level of survival - at most, 3 days of extremely minimal water use, fine.
I like to have much, much more leeway than that. BTDT.
I noticed that too.
If people don’t normally have some basics like that on hand anyway, they must live in NYC.
I'd like to learn about it. Thank you.
If anyone knows where I can get an affordable water pump (hand) for my 2 inch well, please let me know!
How deep is your well?
Where possible, an old fashioned hand pump in the yard can be decorative and functional. It didn’t kill grandma and grandpa and it won’t kill me. In some places county government provides testing of well water for a small fee.
Clean them immediately after finishing the milk. I’ve had potable water stashed in the woods for years. Carry a canteen in and pour whatever I don’t drink in to replace what I drink from jugs. That said, a lot of people would last about 12 hours in my world, so YMMV.
I would like to know as well. Our well is 600 feet deep. Back in 2002 our shallow well went dry in the drought we were experiencing at the time. We were without water for almost FOUR months. NOT a fun time.
Turns out it wasn’t him, it was someone else, maybe with a name beginning with “M”, who had a vacation house in, IIRC, Virginia.
Wish my memory worked better!
I think he said that he washed them with very hot water and detergent, let dry, and then filled them, and used them in the vacation house with no problem.
But I vote for non-milk containers, I’ve never been able to get them clean enough.
Everyone starts somewhere. The point is she started, which is more than most do.
A handpump is on our list. Most regular hand pumps won’t work at our depth, with is 120 feet. An outfit called Simple Pump does make hand pumps that work at greater depths, they cost up to $1500 though. Not sure if they go down to 600 feet. I’m surprised that in VA you have to go that deep to hit water.
There are solar pumps around, too.
When we moved onto our property we had no electricity for two or three years, and used a generator to run the well pump and fill up tanks, we have a storage capacity of maybe 3000 gallons or a bit more. Then either gravity feed or a 12 volt run pressure tank with pump to the house, we’ve done both. Now we have electricity and still run the well pump only when needed to fill up the storage tanks. It’s real peace of mind knowing that if there’s no electricity for a considerable time we still have water.
Actually we’re selling the generator because we’d rather have a hand pump, generators make noise, so in a real down and dirty situation that means others know you have something maybe they don’t have; and they require gas. A hand pump is harder of course, but doesn’t require gas and makes no sound.
Thanks for your reply. I will be checking out Simple Pump for sure. Yes, we were quite surprised that they had to drill 600 ft. for water when our shallow well dried up. It was a HORRENDOUS drought. You don’t EVEN want to know how much it all cost....new well, new wiring in fuse box for new deep well pump, whole house water filter and then a water softener system.
We were ever so grateful to FINALLY have water again though. Hopefully we’ll be able to come up with an economical hand pump system.
What did you have to filter out? Is it very hard water?
I just did a quick search on how to build a water pump, and came up with thousands of hits. Here are a few:
VERY hard water. It was starting to ruin my bathroom fixtures. The filter catches sediment and has to be changed every couple of months. When the water starts to “smell”, we know to change the filter.
The water softener also helped quite a bit.
I respectfully say - Not so.
We live in a storm prone area and putting up emergency water every storm season is just part of our routine every spring.
We have been reusing milk jugs for years and I can state from experience that water we store in cleaned milk jugs is just as sweet in six months to a a year as the day the jugs are filled.
I read somewhere that hot wash water cooks the remaining butterfat. Don't know how valid that is but we have always used cold or cool water to wash and rinse and it works for us. When a milk jug is empty we give it a quick rinse, fill it with cold soapy water, let it sit for a while or overnight, then rinse and air dry several times until the jug is odorless and soap free.
We add a little bleach, fill with tap water and store the jugs out of the light. When the storm season is over we put the jugs, one by one, in the refrigerator and use for drinking water. Then we air dry the jugs and keep the good ones for next year.
Old plastic milk crates or store bought ones that hold four one gallon jugs make them easy to store, easy to handle and help protect the jugs. When it looks like a storm is heading our way it is fast and easy to pack some crates of water in the bailout vehicle.
We also use two liter soda bottles. They are easy to wash but they are cumbersome and not as easy to store and handle as milk jugs.
Thanks for the information. Sounds as though using the cold water to wash with does the trick, and the several rinses and air drying.
Thanks very much for the information. I’ll give that a try.
“OK folks, do NOT use old plastic milk jugs to store water.”
I wonder about these made-in-China cheap-looking containers they have at Wally World. If I’m going to stockpile water, I want to do it right.
If thats a good level of survival - at most, 3 days of extremely minimal water use, fine.
IF you've got a few minutes warning, here's a $20 way to store 100 gallons for a short period. Remember, don't have all your eggs- or water- in one basket.
I put a couple of rain barrels in at my place. Capacity is 130 gallons. Cost was less than $100.00. We’ve got plenty of bleach and a Katadyn filter to make it potable.
Stack 'em horizontally with the bottoms against a wall. I've got 200 in the pantry, rotated or used and refilled 20 per week. They're stacked about nine high.
In the event of an earthquake, they'll fall down and roll around all over the 5' x 8' floor of the closet. So? They won't break, and it'll save me having to unstack the things.
Good start. Now pick up a 2$-3$ one-pound bag of swimming pool HtH clorine [Shock] at your local farm supply or swimming pool supplier as a backup to your liquid sodium hypochlorite bleach. That'll be enough to treat 20,000 gallons of water.
Or you could just fill the tub, and have some hose lying around to siphon it into containers the old fashioned way. Or, you could just scoop it out. I don’t mean anything by this but the contraption looks like a real waste of money.
...Perhaps you can help me on this. I have a 40 gallon hot water heater filled with 40 gallons of pure, filtered water. Why should I fill up more jugs?...
Depending on how old your water heater is and the type of water you have, you might want to do a test run and drain some water out the bottom.(with heater off of course) The bottom of the tank usually has lots of rust sitting in there and it gets swirled around when you try draining it.
Waterbed. You do NOT want to try to use water from a waterbed as drinking water, due to the algaecides used to prevent anerobic growth inside the bag- some are quite toxic to humans- and you don't want to use sodium hypochlorite or calcium hypochlorite inside a vinyl container.
I like that. It’s pretty common practice around here to fill bathtubs when expecting ice storms, severe weather or when anyone even hints at working on the water system. Our water’s bad enough that we have to filter it from the tap, so a portable water filter is standard equipment. I wonder how hard it would be to incorporate a water filter into the inlet to keep the bladder from accumulating gunk from the water.
It keeps flies and skeeters and their larvae out of the water. Which for me is worth the $20 backup to my four 55-gallon plastic drums in the celler. And the 2 and 3-liter jugs in the pantry. And the 400-gallon *water buffalo* trailer parked behind the deuce-and-a-half. But parked empty in the wintertime.
Redundancy brings comfort, but should not generate complacency.
Got a couple of clean, food-grade 5 or 6-gallon plastic buckets with lids? $30 on this one [video and description at the link]
I live in an area where a slimy pink bacteria forms in any water left standing for more than a couple of days. Keeping it in an enclosed container might lessen the slime.
After posting I went back to read more on the bladder and wha’d’ya know, there was a link to that very filter. Looks like a great idea — a summer homeschool project just waiting to be made.
How much bleach do you use per gallon?
Well, if there are two of you, for example, you might want more water to be able to make it more than the 12-15 days that 40 gallons will buy you.
Many of us believe the disaster that is coming will last for months - maybe years. For example if the Great Depression were to happen today we would be in for some very serious pain (and that idea is being batted around by some pretty smart/informed people these days).
Do you know how to make water from open streams safe to drink? I know that ground water is not safe but in an emergency situation would it be possible to make it drinkable?
Zombie Apocalypse approaching, put me on the list, please.
I like farmer supply outfits. They have potable water containers in many sizes. White ones need to be protected from the sun so they don’t grow algae, and green ones too. Hub painted one with dark camo design to prevent the algae and plus it “blends in”. We have (IIRC) about a 1400 one and a 1000 gallon, plus an 800 gallon stainless steel that used to be a milk container, for drinking water. And these - old juice containers with aluminum framing, some come with a built on wooden pallet on the bottom. They seem to be made in Germany, they have a spigot, and they come in around 100 to 18o gallon sizes. We’ve had a few of them, I think we only have one now, I’d like more. They’re definitely easier than those huge ones, especially for people not on acreage.
First, gross filtration- get the twigs, dirt and other organic and nonorganic junk out of it. Then run it through a straining filter, which can be several feet of sand in a piece of PVC plastic water pipe, a Berkey or other ceramic filter, or anything of the like. At this point, most of the microbiological material should be removed and you can move onto the final stage. Boiling works. So does exposure to sunlight[SODIS], or chemical treatment with bleach or HtH, as described above.
That's probablt as good as you'll need, and likely the best you can do under field expedient conditions. It probably won't do in the event of serious industrial or military contamination of the water supply with toxins or heavy metals, but unless you can test for the presence of such hard-core contaminants, there's little else you can do anyway. Do the best you can, and pick a *designated drinker* to go first as the guinea pig for your family or group.
Berkefeld water filters are my favorite and they will purify pond water, puddle water, etc. They now have fancier ones than when I bought mine, that will get out most pesticides and other chemicals that the regular ones may not.
They have a variety of sizes, too. An outfit called Pleasant Hill Grains has the best prices I’ve seen and good customer service (last I got anything from them). I don’t have a link but you can easily find it with a search.