Category Archives: WATER

All things water go here. water procurement, treatment, water storage, sanitation systems. Sanitation systems MAY also go under medical.

Fukashima 2018

Fukashima Japan incident was 2011, March 11th 7 years ago.

At the time I said that it needed to be watched as it would effect us locally at some point, which it has. Several people locally told me that I was just being a fear monger and NOTHING bad would happen.

WELL, the reactors continue to spew radioactive materials into the air and seas. Wild life have been showing up near Hawaii, Alaska and the US west coast with mutations as has land plants near the site.

So, how does this effect us here in Wyoming? We are down wide via the jet stream from Japan, particles filter out as it drifts and lands on our soil just like it did when we bombed them in WWII.

Anyone who eats sea food from the Pacific ocean is getting some amount of radiation which is in the plants [seaweed for example] that are used to amend your garden soil, as food for livestock and people too along with use as medications / supplements. As little fish eat the plants the radiation levels accumulate and gets into the bigger fish that eat the smaller fish and at the top of the food chain in the sea is tuna and sward fish and then we eat them. As for me, I wont buy stuff from the pacific anymore. I will buy stuff harvested from the Atlantic.

FLU again

Flu again…..

The FLU is back in the news again. It is SO bad this year, the flu is the worst EVER… and for those who get it, it IS no fun at all and for those who die from it and their families the statistics are of no concern because stats NEVER are of interest to that group and rightly so. When young or very old die it does sound bad when 5 or 20 die and the news hypes it is on everyone’s mind. For the rest of us shall we look at some of the real statistics.

Depending on how you count in a NORMAL year the average number of deaths due to the flu runs about 30,000 people in these US of A.. Some want to split hairs and say it was pneumonia which often starts as the flu. [IF you have other stats go with those if you want] The important part is the mechanism that causes many of those deaths.

Nausea, vomiting and diarrhea is the basic causal agent. Then you get run down and other bugs attack you. If you don’t feel good you wont drink enough water and other fluids and you wont eat properly to keep up your strength. Some people swear by the flu vaccine…. others swear AT the flu vaccine and those who administer it. Some stats that I have seen are that the flu shot is only 10 – 25 % effective. [beats me if that is correct AND if it works for you or it does not the stats do not really matter – see above]

Obviously this article as with everything else you read here is to spark discussion between you and those who you have a professional relationship with.

Sanitation and proper hand washing is the major prevention issue.

Most Americans do not drink enough water and fluids in general. What we have found to work well for us follows.
Re-Hydration drink

This is about the best all-around recipe for Re-Hydration drink—- this replaces Pedilyte and Gatorade / sports drinks, a lot cheaper too.
Mix as follows and you can pre-mix into unit dose packets for use while you are on the move.
In a 1 L container mix the following
1/2 teaspoon salt substitute �KCl aka �NU-salt�
1 pinch Epson salt MaSo4
2 tablespoon sugar [omit to use in Jell-O or instant potatoes]
Kool-aid to taste    [omit to use in Jell-O or instant potatoes]
Chill and serve —
BTW, Kool-aid comes in a colorless version too for when the person is vomiting. .
It is always better to prevent de-hydration by drinking water. How much should you drink a day? It is NOT the oft repeated 8, 8 ounce glasses.  For the basic amount take your weight in pounds and divide by 2 = the number of ounces you should drink a day. This amount assumes that you are sitting at a desk. The best way to know that you are drinking enough is to check your urine. Normal healthy urine is clear to straw color with no odor. In babies we like to see 8-12 wet diapers a day. Most adults should do the same � ahhh EXCEPT hopefully without diapers.
Are there other recipes? Yup, just like IVs you can mix this to replace electrolytes that lab work shows are missing.

water treatment / disinfecting

water treatment / disinfecting

Water is the first need after air! Water can easily and imperceptibly become contaminated. It is critical that you “purify” or disinfect the water in advance to you consuming it.

On average healthy people can only last about 3 days without access to clean water. Depending on conditions and dumb luck you could die in as little as 12 hours or as much as a couple of weeks. In the latter situation you will most likely have irreversible kidney failure long before you die. In any case you will not be functioning at your best.

Water is often the least stored provision prepers think of and stock. At best most people will only store 14 gallons of drinking water per person and they seem to think that will take care of drinking and cooking AND sanitation for 2 weeks. Good luck!

Even IF you store a proper ration of drinking water if the emergency lasts long enough you will run out and have to procure more water for consumption [and sanitation]. After all there IS a limit to how much water you have room to store. BTW you would need at least 365 gallons of drinking water for a year supply, if stored in 2 L coke bottles [which IS a great way to store and transport drinking water] you would need 730 bottles – go ahead measure how much room you will need for that.

The good news is that with some planning and forethought you CAN have a month’s supply of drinking water for everyone in your household AND be ready to treat thousands of gallons of water for consumption.
Bleach [aka Clorox aka sodium hypochlorite] 6% & unscented can be used to disinfectant water. The down side of bleach is the reputed short shelf life which is rated at one year. Sodium hypochlorite is what the city uses to disinfect drinking water. Another drawback is space, it takes up more room.
Pool shock aka calcium hypochlorite can be used to disinfect drinking water as well as pool water. Calcium hypochlorite and sodium hypochlorite are used world wide to disinfect drinking and pool water. Both calcium hypochlorite and sodium hypochlorite have a distinct chlorine smell.
The disinfection process first step: gather the supplies you will need
safety glasses
rubber gloves
heavy plastic container, NOT a milk type jug, PETE is good in one gallon-sized OR 2, 2L sized will work OR a 5 quart ice cream-style bucket
one gallon of clear water to be disinfected
calcium hypochlorite granules
a 2.5CC [½ teaspoon] measuring spoon
coffee filter or cloth or thick paper towel to strain out any particulate matter.

NEXT steps in the treatment process
With the safety glasses and gloves on, pour a gallon of raw clear water into your treatment container, then add one half level teaspoon [2.5cc] of the calcium hypochlorite granules. Stir or shake the container[s] to mix. Let stand 5 minutes. Loosen the lid and shake the container again allowing a little of the treated water to leak out to decontaminate the area. Tighten the lid again. Let stand at least 30 minutes if the water is warm and at least 1 hour if the water is cold. [cold and or cloudy water will require more time and perhaps more of the chemical].

After the allotted time open the container, there should be a detectable odor of chlorine. IF you can not smell chlorine add 1 cc more of the calcium hypochlorite and repeat the process as above. Repeat until there is a slight odor of chlorine.

If there is a slight odor of chlorine but it is not too strong you can taste test it. It will not taste as good as city water but it should be acceptable.

If on the other hand the smell of chlorine is too strong you can aerate the water by pouring it back and forth between clean containers.

Shelf life and storage
Dry granulated calcium or sodium hypochlorite stores better, longer and in way less space than liquid bleach does. Another advantage is that you can mix it stronger to use in cleaning or medical care. Although sodium and calcium hypochlorite is shelf stable and cooler storage is better do not let it get above 100 degrees F as it will deteriorate faster. Keep in mind that these chemicals are CORROSIVE so keep it away from metals and other chemicals.…coke-bottles-2/

Heat-related related injuries

Heat-related related injuries

Last week a friend sent picture of his thermometer in his vehicle…. 118 degrees in California … same day we had 97 degrees in Wyoming. Yesterday it was 99 just a little north of us. Last week there were reports of a young dad who ‘forgot’ hiw 15 month old twins in the car….. baked. ;[ Never leave young OR old folks [nor your dog] in a vehicle unattended.

‘Extreme’ heat is especially hard on the young, old and infirm of our population. The best way of treating heat injuries is to PREVENT them. This is best accomplished by drinking plain water. How much water do you need to drink a day to prevent and treat heat related injuries? It is NOT the oft stated 8 – 8 oz containers of water which adds up to 64 ounces or 2 quarts a day. You need a lot more water than that on a normal day. Cross ref and

stay in side or at least in the shade during the heat of the day. An example of this custom is known as the Siesta. typically after a light lunch folks would nap or only do light activities. I personally like to take naps after lunch, especially if I can nap in a hammock, I would highly recommend this system even in the North lands.

How to treat heat injuries ==

Drink extra water,, even more than you think you need.

Wet them down with water, if possible have a misting device going in their area to help cool them. Fans help this effect.

If there is air conditioning get the victim into it. That is sometimes easier said than done, especially in a grid down situation. There is a low tech way around this. Hold that thought for a few minutes. In today’s throw away world there are large numbers of 2 L Coke bottles available for re-purposing. The thumbnail picture of this is that the bottles are cut in half reserving the bottom* for other uses. The top will now look like a funnel. When constructed and installed the wind is compressed and cooled as the air moves through. The actual plans with video are located at which is open source. They have a templates for free downloading.

I suspect that the actual mode of action for this device is that it shades the inside of the house while still letting the air move and carry away some of the heat.

Homemade Air Conditioner 2016 EcoCooler-Homemade Air Conditioner hot against not electric-EcoCooler

*The bottom of the coke bottle will make a great planter. Cross ref [[ ]]
In a related story reporting 4 deaths–abc-news-topstories.html

4 Dead in Arizona as Southwest Endures Record-Breaking Heat
EMILY SHAPIRO and BRIAN MCBRIDE,Good Morning America 2 hours 28 minutes ago 

Four people are dead in Arizona amid a dangerous heat wave that’s extending to several Southwest states.
Two hikers died Sunday in Pima County, Arizona, from heat-related illnesses, the Pima County Sheriff’s Office said. A 28-year-old trainer died from heat exhaustion Sunday after mountain biking at the Phoenix Mountain Preserve, according to the Phoenix Fire Department. A man died of heat exposure after hiking the Superstition Mountains on Saturday, the Pinal County Sheriff said.
Temperature records were shattered Sunday in dozens of cities in New Mexico, Arizona, Nevada and California.
Yuma, Arizona, hit 120 degrees; Phoenix hit 118 degrees; Palm Springs, California, reached 118 degrees; and Burbank, California, reached 109 degrees.
Previous records were hit in Albuquerque, New Mexico, 103 degrees, and North Las Vegas, 109 degrees.
Monday is expected to be the hottest day of the week, with temperatures in some areas topping 120 degrees. Utah, Nevada, California and Arizona are facing excessive heat warnings and advisories.
The extreme heat is hindering firefighters who are trying to contain large blazes in New Mexico, Arizona and California.
The record heat has affected plane travel. A United Airlines flight operated by Mesa Airlines departed Houston’s George Bush Intercontinental Airport on Sunday afternoon and was minutes away from landing at Sky Harbor Airport in Phoenix when the flight crew notified passengers it would be turning back; because of excessive heat’s effects on aircraft equipment, it is against the law for planes to take off or land in temperatures of 120 degrees or higher. [[Interesting! Safety point]]

NO room

Don’t tell me that you don’t have enough room to store food and water.

This is the most used excuse that I have heard over the years. The come back to that excuse is that if something is important to you, like being able to feed your children, then you will find a way to accomplish that task.

One of the first times we taught preparedness I thought if I heard this excuse one more time I would pull my hair out. At that time of our lives we lived in a 2 bedroom trailer with 2 pre-teens and we had a year and a half worth of food inside the trailer with us. Now, our home was not out of Better Homes and Gardens but we could take care of ourselves and others. We had homemade storage shelves that we could take apart and move easily and our bed was built up on a platform and we had storage underneath. We used the closets and stored food and water in there on the floor and put shoes on top of the boxes. The kids had bunk beds with their desk underneath. We put boxes against the walls and then their stuff went on top of the boxes.

We partitioned off part of the living room and made another bedroom for the other child. And his room also had a bunk bed with the desk underneath and storage boxes along the walls with his things on top of the boxes. With our bed built up we could put the roll a way rubber-made garbage cans underneath to be able to get them out easier. We stored our camping supplies in these. And we had homemade storage shelves along our walls. We built all of the shelving and the beds with bolts so we could take them apart and move them easily.

At this time we taught a class on how to make furniture out of storage boxes and how to disguise them to look and function as furniture. We took 3 boxes and placed a board on top of them and then placed a table cloth and had an end table. And if you make them 4 high and 2 wide with a little larger board on top and then a table cloth you have a kitchen table. We put 4 high boxes against the wall and then 3 high against that and and board over the 3 stack and a board against the 4 high. Then we made cushions to sit on and to put against the 4 high and we had and covered the boxes with cloth and we had a couch. We put 3 high boxes with a board over them and had a coffee table. We even made an entertainment center to put the TV on, and then covered the whole thing with sheets to make it look nicer. Of course it is easier if all of the storage boxes are the same size. Ours had #10 cans of dried food so they were sturdy enough to sit on. When we moved, everything was easy to take apart and set back up at the next place. No large pieces of furniture to move.

This will solve 2 problems: one if you don’t have much furniture you can build it, two takes care of how to store your food and with a bonus of it is easier to move than a traditional home move. The smaller cans and the water were put on the shelves that we made. So, now you will have a come back when someone tells you that they don’t have enough room to store food and water.

Apartment Water Storage

Water Storage in an Apartment

We live in an apartment, so space is premium. We were worried about water storage and found a solution. The closet floor is wasted space, so we placed plastic pop carriers upside down on the floor. This provides air circulation, especially since we have carpet in the closet. Then we put water in 2 liter bottles on top of the carriers. Depending on how much space you have between the floor and the clothes will depend upon how high to stack the pop bottles.

We take empty boxes and break them down and place these on top of the carriers. Then we can place a second layer of pop bottles filled with water on top of the first layer. We then place a second layer of empty boxes on top of the second layer of bottles. Then we place our shoes which are normally on the closet floor onto the bottles which makes them easier to get to and you will have water storage, too.

If you do this with each of the closets in your apartment or home you will have at least a start of water storage. We have 2 closets in our 1 bedroom apartment and have 64 two-liter pop bottles of water stored just in the closets. With 2 of us in the apartment that will be enough for 16 days of water. If we had a disaster in our town having 16 days of water saved up would be a difference between life and death in some cases. Also not having to depend on others to help us gives us self-sufficiency.

We also have put an industrial 5 wire shelf in, where we keep extra food and store water on the bottom shelf. There is another 20 two-liter bottles of water along with quite a bit of food. It is located in the bedroom and we have placed sheets covering the shelf which covers up what is on the shelf. The shelf takes up about the space of a large dresser. The shelf was around $100 and gives us much security in knowing that we have food and water enough to sustain us in case of an emergency.

If you do not drink pop or juice in the 2 liter bottles, ask your family, friends or neighbors if they have empty bottles. Usually they will be glad to give them to you. All you have to do is to wash them out with dish soap and water, rinse well and place tap water in them. Tap water from city water supply already has chlorine in it, so no need to put more in. Also, no need to change out the water every 6 months like many people think because it already has chlorine in it. When you get to the point of needing to use it, if you are not sure about the water then you can put bleach into the bottles. No need to make things more difficult than it has to be.

Trips 19

19 **************

Back to planning and packing.
Water bottle – There are lots of options here. There are collapsible ones, metal ones, hard plastic ones – and many of them have a carabineer on them so you can hook them to your belt or daypack. There are also carabineers made specifically to hold a regular water bottle (or soda bottle). They are very inexpensive and you just replace the bottle with a fresh one when it is empty. Many backpacks and belly bags also have a water bottle holder, too. If you are going to be doing a lot of walking or if it’s hot, it’s best to stay hydrated.

I might add a note here about flavoring. If you get tired of “plain old water”, several companies including MIO, Crystal Light, Dasani and Kool-Aid make a small bottle of concentrated liquid flavoring. Just squirt it into your bottle of water until you find the right strength and shake. They are small, convenient, and relatively cheap and will flavor many bottles of water from one small bottle. They even come in dozens of flavors.
[also see the re-0hydration drink in the first aid section- R] Depending on your preference for caffeine, check the bottle closely. Some are considered “energy” or “sports” drinks and have more caffeine and some don’t have much (or any) at all. Maybe high caffeine to get your engine started in the morning and the other for later on. You could take two or three of the little bottles in different flavors in your backpack and not take up much space or add much weight. There are also powdered packets of flavoring (Crystal Light) but they are pre-measured so if you like yours stronger or have a larger bottle, you might need a pack and a half – wasting the other half pack. They are lighter to carry, however.

BOL idea

There are many places that may make a good Bug Out Location or at least a way point to some place else. One such place that I visited several years ago looked ideal [except that I am sure that others have the same idea and would most likely get there sooner than I would now.] I list it as an example to look for. This ‘park’ was about 45 miles from home at the time and was along the route that I would have traveled during a bug out. ;]

The park is a natural rock bridge that had been carved over the centuries by a large creek.

The park portion had several hiking trails and there were those standing BBQ cook areas with picnic tables that were comfortable for the lunch we had packed.

The site was / is very beautiful and has a rich history as an oasis for the local American Indians. One of the pluses is that it is well protected from the wind. Some of the other features included more than enough fresh water for the tribe and their animals. There are several apple trees which are reputed to have been planted by the Indians. Game such as fish, deer, rabbits and birds are plentiful. I didn’t have time to search very hard but there were many edible plants such as Purslane, plantain, cattails, milkweed and burdock.

I can really see why the Indians would tarry there and perhaps even a good place to settle in the general area.


Water is the single most important item to plan for in your 72- hour Kit. Allow a minimum of 3 Liters (preferably one full gallon), per person per day. This is absolutely essential. The body can live without food for extended periods of time, up to 2.5 months [BOBBY SANDS of the IRA early 1970s]; but can live only about three or four days without water. This is at rest, not considering people in active, stressful or emergency situations.

Be sure that all family members know how/where to find safe water and how to purify it.

Carry your water inside your backpack (or other container) or strapped to the outside. Use canteens; empty one or two liter Coke bottles work great too.

NEVER use milk jugs because they are designed to self-destruct. Be sure that all water containers are clean and free of defects. Check them from time to time, at least every six months, to insure that they have not developed any leaks and to verify that the water is still usable. You should consider having six two liter Coke bottles per person. That will give you three days supply. If you don’t have adequate water, DON’T eat as this will de-hydrate you even faster. Remember that the BEST way to store and carry water is inside of you. NEVER ration drinking water!

In addition to the water you actually carry with you, be sure to carry supplies to purify more water. Liquid chlorine bleach, iodine tablets and iodine crystals are good disinfecting agents. Learn how to use them and rotate them properly to insure maximum shelf life (See chapter on Water Storage and purification for further details). Nevertheless, be sure to include in your kit any one of the above-mentioned items to disinfect water because in times of emergency you may not be able to build a fire or have access to other heat sources to boil water.

Personal Hygiene

Personal Hygiene


Personal Hygiene is a difficult situation during a disaster. If you are sheltering in place you can still use the tub and have the luxury of taking a bath of course in smaller amounts of water and not as much soap as usual. You can heat water up however you are doing that and put some cold water with it and just wash up. You do not need to take a bath every day or you will use your water supply up. And you can wash your hair the same way, and have someone pour water slowly over your hair as you get the soap out. Your hair does not need to be washed every day either. In between you can use any kind of personal powder or baking soda. Just sprinkle either on your hair rub into hair and comb as usual. This dries up the oil that gets into hair and causes it to look dirty. This is what we use in healthcare as waterless shampoo, For the men maybe this would be that special time that you get to grow a mustache and a beard. But you can still shave if you have a straight razor or a safety razor and a non-breakable mirror (look in the camping section). You can use just soap on your face instead of shaving cream. A straight razor is great for camping because you do not have to worry about extra blades, the straight razor can be sharpened like a knife.


In case you need to bug out everyone should have a washcloth and a towel.

Kneel down with the bowl of water in front of you. Take your shirt off and take your washcloth and get it wet and a very small amount of soap and wash your face and neck and upper body. Rinse and dry off, then put your shirt back on. Take your pants off and lay them on the ground and kneel down on them. Wash your lower body, rinse and dry off, then put your pants back on. It is better to have a look out and be up against a group of trees or rocks. This way if someone comes upon you, you’re not completely undressed. This should be done as fast as you can and following these directions will be safer. To wash your hair especially longer hair kneel down as before having someone pour water over your hair, use little shampoo, lather up and have someone pour water slowly over your hair as you rinse out the soap. A comb takes up less room than a brush. Also if anyone has long hair it is a good idea to have something to put the hair up with or braid it would be even better. Deodorant is also a good idea. Some insect repellent and sun protection and a few chap sticks would be good. Some medicated powder would be a good idea especially to use at first until your body gets use to walking a lot.


For the women in your group who have the monthly visit of nature some extra hand towels or premade cloth pads that can be washed out and reused. This may not seem like a good idea, but how many disposable pads can you carry. Of course you can start with the disposable but you probably will have to go to the reusable at some date, depending upon how long the disaster lasts.


For babies and toddlers the same thing applies. How many disposable diapers can you carry or save up. They still sell cloth diapers and rubber pants. And you can wash them out and reuse them.


As far as soap to use, it would be easier to use only 1 type of soap for washing dishes, clothes and the body. Whether to use like dawn liquid you would have to be careful that it did not spill in your pack. Bar soap lasts longer and would not spill, you could use something like Ivory [or Grannies’ Lye soap] for everything.

We must Prepare to Survive & Thrive.