By Harry R Weyandt, Nitro-Pak.Com Preparedness Expert
Most of us take for granted every day that when we turn on our faucet we will get safe drinking water. In an emergency or disaster situation, where regular water service has be tainted or interrupted (such as in the event of a flood, hurricane or earthquake) local authorities may recommend using only bottled water, require boiling or disinfecting the water until regular delivery is restored.
The instruction below will walk you thru step-by-step on how to make your water safe for drink by boiling, disinfecting and filtering. However, boiling and disinfecting the water will NOT destroy or remove other contaminates such as chemicals, fuels or bad taste. For those living along coasts, you could be able to use ocean salt water for drinking if you have a water distiller (see #4 below).
In emergency circumstances, FIRST used any bottled water or your emergency water storage you have. After this, ONLY USE TREATED WATER for drinking, cooking, meal or drink preparation, washing dishes or brushing your teeth. Do not take a chance on untreated sources. When in doubt, treat it, filter it or boil it or by using a combination of them.
We do NOT recommend using stagnant water from any source, flood control canals or flood waters since these typically have increased levels of bacteria, germs, sewage, parasites and other possible contaminates that can cause dysentery (severe diarrhea), typhoid and hepatitis. Never use water with debris material floating in it, has an odor or is dark in color. These are indications that the water is significantly contaminated and maybe too dangerous to safely filter or treat.
The best sources for emergency drinking water after your bottled stored water, is from clear flowing springs and streams. Lakes, ponds and larger rivers are your next best sources. Water may also be available hidden in your home from hot water heaters, home water pipes and upper toilet tanks that do not have bluing agent in them.
The best solution, according the American Red Cross, for insuring safe drinking water from outside sources is a 2-step process using methods described below. Which ones you choose will be by personal taste or preference and fuel availability.
When in doubt, treat your water using one or more of the following methods:
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Harry R Weyandt is the founder and owner of Nitro-Pak Preparedness Center Inc., one of America’s oldest and most respected preparedness companies. He has been a leading authority in the preparedness industry for over 30 years and has been interviewed by CNN, ABC News, FOX News, The New York Times, USA Today and The Wall Street Journal among others as an expert in his field. He lives in Utah with this wife Vickie along with their children and grandchildren. His hobbies are boating, camping, international travel and anything to do with preparedness