Following a catastrophe that affects fresh water supplies, your supply of survival water is the most fundamental substance you need to prevent dehydration and possible death. Humans can live without food for three weeks, but lack of water swiftly causes medical issues leading to a complete shutdown of all the body's systems, and death can occur in three days.
Water constitutes almost 70% of our bodies and nearly 85% of our brains. We need fresh water to facilitate elimination of cellular and digestive waste, regulation of metabolism and body temperature and hundreds of other vital processes promoting optimal health.
Drinking contaminated water is just as deadly as lack of water, with diseases such as cholera and dysentery producing uncontrollable diarrhea and vomiting.
After several days without enough water to drink, humans begin suffering from isotonic dehydration, or loss of both electrolytes and water. Symptoms include:
To treat dehydration, administer a special rehydration solution. For a potable hydrating solution, use this simple recipe: add 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda, 1/2 teaspoon of salt and 3 tablespoons of sugar to 4 cups of water.
Survival Water Resources
Water systems that purify and supply water to U.S. residents rely on electricity to operate. Widespread power outages following a disaster means limited access to clean water. Having a seven-day supply of water that equates to seven gallons per person available at all times is recommended in the event of an earthquake, flood or other disaster.
Using plastic two-liter bottles in which to store water is a good idea, especially since these kinds of containers are not breakable. Don't use the plastic jugs in which milk comes, because that plastic will eventually break down.
Other resources you could use for emergency survival water include a hot water heater, which generally contains up to 35 to 40 gallons at any given time. Water from your toilet tank could be utilized in times of water deficiency, as well as rainwater caught by placing large buckets under downspouts.
Rain Catchment System
Collecting rainwater is another resource to utilize during times of limited water supply. Professional contractors can install a rain catchment system, or a do-it-yourselfer can construct one from barrels, PVC pipe, screens and rain guttering.
Simply catching rainwater in random containers does not prevent the water from becoming contaminated with debris, insects and bacterial growth. Barrels used in rain catchments systems are rot resistant and made from material adverse to illness-causing germs.
Survival Water Purifier Tablets
Water purification tablets effectively eliminate harmful microorganisms in contaminated water so that it is safe for drinking and cooking purposes. Tablets contain specific amounts of chlorine and sodium dichloro-s-triazinetrione to disinfect dirty water, usually one tablet per quart of warm water and two tablets for colder water. Individuals should wait for about ten minutes before drinking one quart of treated water. An opened bottle of water purifier tablets should be used within 60 days of exposure to oxygen.
Another water purification survival technique employs survival water filters to strain debris and sediment from disturbed water. The filters can be anything from cotton cloths and coffee filters to mesh screening or cheesecloth. Alternatively, portable water filters manually force water through ceramic filtering devices to deliver particle-free drinking water.
Survival Without Water
Humans cannot survive without water. However, when water is not abundantly available, you can collect small amounts of water that may help someone survive until a better water supply is discovered.
Survival water is absolutely necessary for life. In preparation for any disaster situation, keep water stocked, or the means to acquire water, available at all times.
Water and Survival