The one commodity you can’t live without: Water

If you live in Central Texas, this may have been a scene you may be familiar with:

The Bastrop Wildfires

This was one of the worst natural disasters in the state of Texas, burning over 34,000 acres during the worst one-year drought in Texas’ recorded history.  Some of my neighbors are complaining about dead grass, maybe this will give them some perspective!

Texas received just over 7 inches of rain from January through August 2011, less than some states get in a month!  As a result most of the state is in “Exceptional Drought” conditions as indicated by the dark red in the graphic below:

We all know water is essential to our survival, but we take for granted it’s availability.  According to the EPA, the average American consumes 100-150 gallons of water per day, compared to 74 gallons for Europeans and 23 gallons for Chinese.  It’s simple, just turn on the faucet and BOOYAH, you have some water.  However, this summer, some Texans got a small taste of what it would be like if our water supplies were threatened.  I say a “small taste” because the only sacrifice some of us made was not having to water the grass as often as we like and seeing it turn brown.  Boo hoo. According to the UN, Right now, 35% of the world’s population, or 2.4 billion people, do not have access to safe drinking water and sanitation.  Think about that the next time you tell little Johnny to finish his peas because there are starving people in Africa while you stare out at your lush green lawn.

If water is so valuable, what would you do to protect your family if there was a shortage of it? If a disaster struck, forget about going to the grocery stores because the supply chain would be disrupted and the shelves would be bare.  City services can easily get overwhelmed as everybody decides to hoard resources at the last minute.  Will you pray for rain?  Or pray that your current water supply from the city won’t be compromised?  Will you be prepared?

I think the best way to protect your family is to build a storage of immediate drinking water and begin purchasing cases of bottled water that you rotate through normal usage.  I find a 30 day supply of drinking water sufficient or about 1 gallon per person per day for 30 days.

To increase your water accessibility and independence from city water, create a rain water collection system.  I recently purchased two 60 gallon barrels and after a really light rainfall, these babies fill up fast!  My wife and I use these to water our vegetable and herb gardens.  We have another 50 gallon barrel in the front of our home to water a tree and landscaping. Between these three barrels and our 50+ gallon water heater, we have over 200 gallons in reserve to use for cleaning, drinking, and/or cooking.  If you’re fortunate enough to have a well on your property, swimming pool, natural spring or some other body of water, then those are excellent long-term sources for water.  If disaster struck, I’d be filling up my bathtubs and tupperware too!  You can never have too much water.

That brings us to the next question:  How do you ensure that the water you have is clean and safe to drink?

For us, it’s simple.  We just purchased a Berkey water filter.  It’s gravity fed (no electricity needed) and takes out a whole bunch of nasty stuff in your water like pathogenic bacteria, cysts and parasites and extracts harmful chemicals such as herbicides, pesticides, VOCs, organic solvents, radon 222 and trihalomethanes. It also reduces nitrates, nitrites and unhealthy minerals such as lead and mercury. This system is so powerful it can remove food coloring from water without removing the beneficial minerals your body needs.  We use it for our day-to-day drinking water and take it with us on extended camping trips.

As you can see, preparing for an emergency is something that can be very practical.  By incorporating these strategies into our lifestyle, we’re able to have a 30-90 day water supply that is independent of “normal” supply chains and distribution channels.  By stocking up, we never have to “run” to the grocery store for bottled water and we can purchase it when it goes on sale.  Our vegetables and landscaping grow much better with rain water that we collect.  Lastly, having a water purification system is great for day-to-day use and doubles as a convenient way to clean water when camping.

Got more ideas?  Start a discussion on our facebook page:  www.YourFavoriteHOMEboy.com and share them!

Your Favorite HOMEboy, Edward

A prudent man foresees the difficulties ahead and prepares for them; the simpleton goes blindly on and suffers the consequences. Proverbs 22:3

 

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