30 November 2012

“To live, a man needs food, water, and a sharp mind.” ― Louis Zamperini

First off, I need to get something out there. I watched the new Red Dawn and it was AWESOME. I mean that.

I was worried. I've been looking forward to it for years and I was worried they would just kind of throw together some sort of awful remake, but I was seriously impressed. So, I'll leave that for now and just say that you need to watch it.

     Now on to water! Water is vital. If we're talking emergencies, and our time frame, for starters, is 72-hours, then I have to tell you that there's a chance you won't make it unless you think of this one little thing. Three days is about as long as you can survive without water, anyway. So what do we do, drink out of the toilet bowl? No, thankfully. You'll never have to drink out of your toilet bowl. Please don't, because that's really gross. It's really simple. You should have at least 1 gallon per person per day. That means three gallons for each individual's 72-hour kit. If you buy a case of bottled water for each person, that's the perfect amount to start with. You can also buy a gallon jug of water from the grocery store each time you go. They're pretty cheap.

     Today we're really just talking the minimum. We're not worrying about storing a year supply of water or drinking water out of the river. We're simply talking a couple days when the power or water is off and you've just got what's in your house. Water is one of the first things to go off the shelves before big storms or after an emergency.

     Well what if you're like me and you don't have a lot of storage space? Well, you're going to make some space, or else. This is pretty easy, so let's get to it. You can buy water bottles or water jugs. If you don't want to use those, re-use soda-pop or juice bottles. Just wash them out then fill them with water(don't use milk containers). You should circulate through your water every so often. Bottles you fill yourself may not be as clean as the stuff you buy from the store. If you are uncertain, boil it before you use it. If you can't boil it or don't want to, then you can do what I've decided to do: Sanitize it with bleach. There are other ways to sanitize your water, but today we'll talk about bleach.

     The water you store now is probably pretty good to drink, but just in case, you may want to disinfect it. You'll need some regular bleach. I'm not talking the girly lavender scented stuff, I mean plain old, boring, bleach with nothing added. The ratio is 2 drops for every 1 quart of water. That means 8 drops for a gallon. You can use a little more if you want, especially if your water is a little cloudy, up to double the normal amount. That's 16 drops per gallon(if your water is cloudy). So how do you remember this? Well, to tell you the truth, I don't. I keep some of our water stored above the dryer(which is right by the washer where there's bleach), and I wrote with a permanent marker a few reminders on the bottles.

     I either wrote how much bleach the container might need or the ratio. Ideally, I suppose a medicine dropper would be ideal for making droplets, so I'm going to work on rounding one up. If you don't have a dropper or can't figure out how to make drops, then for a gallon of water, you can use about 1/4 teaspoon of bleach which should be about the same. I didn't mark the store-bought water because it's never been opened or exposed to anything. This whole process took about two minutes to do. So go grab a permanent marker(which can also go into your 72-hour kit), and write on a jug or bottle. If you're almost out of juice, chug it and wash out the bottle. 

2 drops bleach/1 quart water
8 drops bleach/ 1 gallon water
You can use up to twice the amount if needed.
Close the container and shake well. 
Allow to sit for about 30 minutes.
(You should smell the bleach a bit, but it won't kill you)  

     My wife was just doing a little laundry and she just poked her head out and said, "Thanks for putting the bleach amounts on those bottles. I would have no idea how much to use if you were out somewhere and I don't want to drink contaminated water."
     Just doin' my job, ma'am.

p.s. I just tried the Jif chocolate flavored hazelnut spread. It's not nearly as good as Nutella. Not even close.

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