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Tuesday, July 13, 2010

All about Water - Online E-mail Class I Teach

I feel impressed to share this here. Please begin this session with prayer - Heavenly Father will help you with this!

Ask Him to open your heart and mind to the things you need to do as far as preparedness is concerned. I can not emphasize enough the importance of prayer in this. You will be guided and directed to know how you should proceed.

This class normally starts with the wheat information, but after getting back your survey's I feel that I need to give you the water information first. This will be discussed in much more detail when we get to the sanitation portion in the coming weeks.
Storage of water is one of the simplest but most neglected areas of emergency preparedness. Many people store dried storage foods such as powdered milk, beans, rice, etc. which require water for consuming.
You can survive several days or even weeks without food, but only a very short time without water. A normally active person needs to consume 2 quarts of water each day to remain healthy. Activity increases that amount, which if you were in a crisis circumstance activity would be increased.
If you have pets you need to remember to include about a gallon a day per dog and a pint per day per cat.
Facts about water
One gallon of water weighs 8 lbs.
Water is more essential than food in sustaining life.
Many times when you feel hungry, it is because you are dehydrated. When you feel hungry between meals, have a glass of water before you grab something to eat.
Water helps your kidneys function better. In fact water cleanses all your vital organs. Your spinal cord needs water to cushion the bones, Water helps reduce headaches & helps regulate your blood pressure.
Many of the health problem Americans suffer are actually caused by dehydration. By the time you feel thirsty your body is already dehydrated to some extent. Drink before you feel thirst.
Water is also a way to boost your immune system & help yourself stay healthy. It can lower your risk of major diseases. It also helps your skin & helps keep you looking younger longer.
Using water for dishes, bathing etc. water will be used for other purposes that be discussed later
How much water should I store?According to the Red Cross and Civil defense, you need a minimum of 14 gallons per person for a 2 week period. That is enough for 1 gallon per person per day, which is bare minimum survival,
This breaks down as follows per person:
Drinking- 2 quarts per day = seven gallons for two weeks
Food Preparation - This would include rehydrating dried foods and drinks or cooking rice or pasta - 2 cups per day (Not very much) = 1 gallon 3 qts
Washing Dishes - 1 quart per meal = 3 gallons, 2 qts
Personal Hygiene - Hygiene water is not optional! (We will discuss all these in detail when we get to sanitation.
Tooth brushing will take 1 cup per teeth brushing - twice a day = 2 cups per day or 1 quart every 2 days= 1 gallon and 3 qts.
Hand washing would take absolute minimum of 1 cup. Before each meal x 3 + going potty 5 times minimum 8 washings per day = 2 quarts per day or 7 gallons total
Sanitation needs- you can flush your toilet with out running water, if you don’t have broken pipes. We will talk about sanitation in detail later on, but several people would have to use the bathroom before you used a gallon to flush it. That would have to be a personal choice. For our purposes we will say 3 flushes per day = 3 gallons. (You would use water from left over from dishes & washing hands so we won't tally this need in.)
Bathing - via spit bath..say you use 1 quart to get cleaned up with - forget about washing hair right now = 3 gallons and 2 quarts.
So our tally for two weeks is:
* Drinking - 7 gallons
*Food Prep - 1 gallon, 3 quarts (Unless you have canned foods with no need to rehydrate or warm things)
*Dishes - 3 gallons, 2 qts. (Unless you have paper plates or can eat out of cans or use dutch ovens, etc.)
*Hygiene - 8 gallons, 3 quarts + spit bath 3 gallons, 2 quarts = 12 gallons 1 quart. (This would all be recycled for toilet flushing.) ( (Unless you have some antibacterial wash stored and you could cut out your spit bath - but not the hand washing.)
TOTAL with all of the above is - 24 gallons and one quart
TOTAL without food prep, dishwashing or spit baths - 15 gallons and 3 quarts
The reason I go into detail with this is to help us all realize how much water is needed and that 14 gallons suggested is really minimal. That if we plan on only using 1 gallon of water per day - realistically what that means. Ok now on to the education part.
If we were truly in a crisis situation , we would probably know after about a week that the water wasn’t coming back on, with this amount of water, we would hopefully have enough time to find more resources before it ran out.
This chart shows how much water you would need for a two weeks supply for 1-2-3-4-5-6 people with the minimum of 14 gallons for 2 weeks.
(Babies would need more.)
@person @ day
1 person- 1 gallon each=14 gallons
2 people - 28 gallons
3 people - 42 gallons
4 people - 56 gallons
5 people - 70 gallons
6 people - 84 gallons

What is the shelf life of stored water?
Water must be stored in clean containers and out of sunlight. If stored properly water should have an indefinite shelf life. It is advised that you trade out your water every 6 to 12 months. (We do ours every Oct. Conf.)
After setting for a while water will taste flat. You will need to pour it between containers to aerate.
How can I store water?
You can get really creative with storage containers for water. You can store a lot of water without spending a lot of money on containers I have 100+ gallons in random containers. Here are a few ideas: one and two liter pop bottles, juice bottles, mouthwash bottles, V-8, punch, gatorade, pedialite bottles, etc. I always take pop bottles after parties at family, friends and church. Any bottles that come with food liquid in them (except oil) can be used. Be sure to wash well. (Once you get your water supply you can also use these to store, wheat, beans, popcorn etc. Your water is top priority for these.) You can acquire two-liter plastic bottles for nothing. If you currently buy soft drinks in cans, switch to plastic bottles and save the empties. They are easy to tuck in nooks and crannies all over your house. They make it easy to transfer water from your large storage source into other area’s.
As you empty your fruit jars, wash lids and fill bottles (these wouldn’t be sealed) back up with water to store on your shelf, when canning season arrives and you haven’t used the water you can empty and fill with fruit. Never leave a canning jar empty!
Milk and oil containers will continue to leach fat back into the water, no matter how much you wash them out. Milk containers are also designed to break down after 6 months. I do use my milk containers in my garden and they work great for that.
You can also store waters in barrels designated for water, coke barrels, food barrels, as long as the food doesn’t have fat in it. If you buy used containers to use for water storage, be sure and wash them out with Clorox water before filling them with your water.
Note from Clorox regarding use of Clorox bottles for storage - "Although our current label says not to use the Clorox bottle for storage of any liquid except Clorox, it is safe to use the bottle for the storage of water after the bottle has been rinsed out with water and proper procedures are followed. Rinsing the bottle before adding water will avoid getting too much or too little Clorox in the water for purifying. Too much would not be harmful, but it would cause the water to be distasteful.
Do not use metal containers
5 gallon plastic water containers are available at army surplus, sporting good stores, discount stores and preparedness stores.
When you fill up barrels be sure and use water safe hoses to fill them up
This will be discussed later but you can start now to use your dishwashing soap bottles, liquid laundry soap bottles & dishwashing soap, liquid soap bottles too. You can use this water for sanitation and not have to use precious drinking water Cooking, washing dishes, cleaning, personal hygiene, etc. will all be discussed in coming up weeks.
Where can I store water?
Water is bulky, but in smaller containers you can tuck here and there. I have water in the back of our corner bathroom cupboards, in the outer darkness corners of our kitchen cupboards, in the backs of closets and the corners of upper closet shelves. Behind beds and under beds. You can tie a piece of twine or rope around the neck of 2 liter containers, mount a 2x4 along storage walls and hook the liter bottles over nails on those boards. These can be run high next to the ceiling to use otherwise wasted space in storage areas.
Be sure and keep water out of sunlight and heat.
How do I treat water?
It is not necessary to treat water from a public water supply if it is already chlorinated.. Many public water supplies are already treated and should be free of harmful germs. (For you local sisters - Ammon City chlorinates once a month, so you need to treat it, unless you get the chlorinating day! Idaho Falls chlorinates. Comora Loma is untreated, I don’t know about the other subdivisions.)
Water from untested and untreated water supplies such as a private well or spring should be purified or treated before drinking or storage.
Clorox - Amounts according to civil defense guidelines. Double if water is cloudy. After adding proper dosage, stir and allow to stand about 30 minutes.
Quart - 2 drops
½ Gallon - 4 drops
1 Gallon - 16 drops
5 Gallons - 1 tsp

Boiling - Most water can be purified for drinking purposes by boiling it for 5 to 10 minutes. Bring it to a boil then start timing If your pot is covered it will shorten the time to reach a boil. This method is recognized as the safest treatment against bacteria and viruses. NOTE: This does not remove pesticides or other harmful chemicals.

Sterilizing - Sterilized water may also be stored. To sterilize, boil water for 10 minutes and pout into hot sterilized jars, put on sterilized lids, or you can process bottles of water in a water bath. (Ten minutes for a quart jar.) Store in boxes with cardboard dividers or on shelves with a 1x2 board across the front of your shelves to prevent glass breakage in earthquake emergency

Purification Tablets - Tablets that release iodine may be used safely to purify drinking water. These can be found at drug and sporting good stores. Use tables according to instructions on the package.

Liquid Iodine - caution if you are pregnant, nursing or have thyroid problems do not use Iodine

From Civil Defense Website
Quart - 3 drops
½ gallon - 6 drops
Gallon - 24 drops

Filters - Most water filters will filter out bacteria and other chemical impurities and are used successfully by many people in places all over the world. They are generally designed so that pre treatment of the water by chemicals is not necessary/ But not all filters are the same and some may not work well on very small viruses. This is the reason for chemically treating the water before filtering. It adds an extra measure of safety. Portable water filers are available at most sporting goods store’s. You will need to research each filter to find which will meet your need.

Water Pouches or Water bottles - You can use these for 72 hour kits are storage. They are ready to drink and are minimal in cost.

Essentials of a water treatment kit
1 bottle Clorox (Clorox will loose it’s umph after about 18 months, so this needs to be rotated.)
1 tsp measure
1 medicine dropper
1 funnel
Coffee filters (these would be for filtering water with debris)
What other sources of liquid will count for liquid intake?
Water packed fruits and vegetables
Canned or bottled fruit juices. If they are concentrated, you need to plan on water to reconstitute.
Fresh fruits that are not contaminated
Do you know resources to get water from after a disaster has occurred?
Ice - Liquids in refrigerator or freezer such as milk, juices, ice, would be short term liquids to be used first.

Water Bed - Algae does grow in water beds so you need an algae inhibitor, make sure it is not poisonous to humans. This water should be used for flushing toilets or other uses rather than drinking.

Toilet Tanks - This holds 3-5 gallons, do not use for drinking.

Bath Tub - As soon as a disaster happens, if you are able fill your bathtubs and every container you have with water. If the water stays on, you can empty these out, if it doesn’t you will have it to use.

Rain Barrel - In the event that a disaster created a long term problem, a barrel that you can use to collect water after rainstorms after your house would be priceless. Place under down spouts on home. Cover top with some type covering or oilcloth to keep leave, dirt, and critters out. Put a clean rock in the middle of the oil cloth to draw the water down. You could use to do laundry, water garden, flowers or purify to drink.

Hauling Water - In the event we were without water for an extended period of time, we would need to haul water. You would also need containers to haul the water. By this time water barrels would be empty so they could be used for this purpose. Especially in times of disaster assume any water not stored or purchased is contaminated. It could a crystal clear stream and still be polluted. Even spring water could be contaminated. If you the water you locate is brackish, first strain the debris thought a paper towel, clean cloth or coffee filter. Follow purifying instructions listed.

Water Heater (50 gallons each)
Turn of gas/electricity supply to tank.
Close the main water valve to your home
Turn off the inlet water valve at the top of the water heater.
Turn on the nearest faucet This will allow air to enter the hot water tank as you drain it.
Drain water into a container by opening the drain faucet at the bottom of the heater.
Never turn on the gas or electricity as long as the tank is empty.

Water in pipes of house
Shut off incoming water valve to prevent losing any of the water in your pipes and prevent contaminated water from entering if there are broken or contaminated lines.
Open the two highest faucets in your home (hot and cold) This will allow air into the piping system and you remove water below.
Place a container under the lowest faucet in the house (a sink in the basement for example)
Open faucet to fill container.
Several years ago there were about 8 families who lived for 72 hours without water, electricity, plumbing etc and used our food storage foods. and we lived to tell about it!!! We learned a lot!
Each family filled out an evaluation form. These are a few notes from those forms.
(The notes about sanitation uses, cooking and cleaning will be included when we get to that part.)

1 - Was your stored water ok to drink?
Some of the water was cloudy, it made me nervous to use it. We did purified some and boiled other containers. Both of them were fine to use. But the water that was boiled after it had cooled tasted better. If you have to boil your water, you need fuel to do that, so it is better to just purify it right to begin with.
The water that had been siting for a while tasted flat, we used a couple of jars to pour back and forth between and then it was great! However some of our water had been stored for 20 years and no matter what I did I couldn't get it to not taste flat. I wouldn't throw it out, but it would be used for washing or something other than drinking, After doing this I will be better about rotating our water yearly.
We had a filter we used to put the water through, but then realized that the water we had stored was ok so we wouldn’t need the filter and needed to save it unless water had been contaminated.
Sometimes we weren’t real accurate about measuring the Clorox, so some of the water was stronger than others, we now measure the Clorox very carefully

2 - How was it only using one gallon per person per day?
At the end we were all ecstatic to turn on the water! What a blessing clear ready to use water is. We let everyone use the large pop bottles (2 quarts) for drinking and one bottle to use for everything else, washing faces, brushing teeth, spit baths, cooking and cleaning. It is not very much water!
We found it takes 1 gallon of water to do dishes for 6-10 people and about ½ (2 quarts) gallon to rinse. Times 3 meals is 3 gallons for washing and 1 ½ gallon for rinsing. The water when it was done was used to wash floors, etc. Paper plates were invaluable to help with water usage.
We also used Clorox in our rinsing water for dishes to keep them cleaner
Everyone used a cup of water to brush teeth and a cup each time we washed hands. We kept handwashing water to use for other things.
We had a lot of water containers that were empty, not sure where to put them after they had been used up.
In a crisis situation, we've either got to flush less or have more water. This was a real eye opener.
Assignment for this week:
Inventory the water in your house---How much do you have? How much do you need? What are your resources? What can you store water in and where?
Choose one day and let every person use just one gallon of water and see how far it goes. Then you can evaluate your personal circumstances to know how much water you think you should have.
By the end of May try to have the minimum at least 14 gallons per person in your home. (Remember your water heater counts in this total.)
Stock up on two-liter soft drink bottles– Soft drink bottles have three outstanding features: they are cheap, they are convenient, and when filled, in a post disaster era they will make excellent barter items, In an emergency, people will gladly exchange food, fuel, or other valuable articles. for safe, clean water.
Again, practice how you'll wash hands, dishes, flush the toilet, etc. NOW when deciding how much to store and how long it will last. Getting a sponge bath, brushing teeth without running water, and so on are all skills that many of us are unfamiliar with. (We will cover this in detail when we get to sanitation.)

Some of the strategies we've used would be useful in any emergency where water was at a premium.
1. Community water for bathing. If water is really short, then more than one person can bathe in the same water, just adding a bit more hot water, and saving a bit of fresh for rinsing hair. In the old days, everybody took a bath once a week on Saturday night in the same old wooden bathtub.
2. Don't empty the tub afterwards. Put a bucket in it and use it for flushing the toilet.
3. Save all grey water for watering plants. In the old days entire gardens were watered with this water. Water was taken from the top without disturbing the sediment that settled to the bottom. Soap is actually great for plants - I use it in my homemade fertilizer I make.
4. When rinsing dishes, fill the largest container with water, and rinse them all in that water. The idea is to get the stuck pieces off, so it really doesn't matter how dirty this water gets. Then wash by hand in clean water.
5. Water plants after dark, so evaporation is minimal. Water less often, but deeply. Both minimize the water needed and maximize the water available to the plant.
7. Hand wipes or antibacterial water less soap, cuts down on water needs.
8 Paper dishes would cut down for a short term emergency but not a long term situation.
9. Laundry you could postpone for a while if it is a short term emergency.
10. At some point if it is a long term problem we would have to build outhouses...will be discussed later.
Good old fashioned purifying water instructions: (This is definitely info for the binder!)
First, filter it. Filtering is important to remove the dirt and other debris that is in the water. Bacteria like to hang on to these things and they make it hard for any disinfectant to kill the bacteria. Start with a coarse filter (even a clean cloth) to get out the rocks and logs, then move to a finer filter. You can make a sand filter using a couple of five gallon buckets. Put holes in the bottom (big holes), then put in some rocks, that will hold the sand. Then put 6-8 inches of clean sand in on top of the rocks. You should have about 12" of open space at the top. Set this up over the second bucket (use the lid of the second bucket to set it on - with holes in the lid to match up with the top bucket). You can then put your water into the top of the first bucket and just let it filter through the sand. This is a slow sand filter and has been used for well over 150 years in many places to clean the water. It's pretty effective.
Finally, add chlorine (Clorox, etc.) to disinfect the water. Chlorine is not necessarily the best disinfectant, but it is cheap and can be stored easily. Clorox is good, but avoid the scented types. .
If you don’t have Clorox boil water for 10 minutes.

Personal Story
I have a new appreciation for water storage and I would like to tell, no, shout it out to everyone around me to make sure they have water stored!
The middle of last summer I mowed the lawn one very hot afternoon. I got dehydrated. I was obviously already dehydrated and this pushed it into a deeper level. It took me about 8 weeks to not feel any of the effects of it. The recovery from this is long and slow . Besides physical problems, it really affected my nerves. It creates a panic inside and claustrophobia when you feel that way. It was all I could do to keep myself from full blown panic all the time. I can’t not imagine feeling what I felt and being in a crisis situation at the same time. I couldn’t swallow food without water, because I didn’t have any saliva. I was joyful the day it came back! I could spit! WOO HOO!
These are the foods you need to help you recover more quickly.
We will discuss more about these foods at the appropriate week - I feel it is necessary to add this information here.
Gatorade (powered stores well--but you need water for rehydrate it!)
Yogurt (Yogurt starter is available, you need powdered milk and water for this),
Cottage cheese (you need rennet and powdered milk and water for this),
Apple juice
Ensure or meal replacement (powered is available--but you need water for this as well).
No hard foods for several days as it takes more water inside you to digest it.
In conclusion - I have lots of thoughts about this and I know we have to have the help of the Lord in these matters. He loves us and is always helping us. We have the Priesthood in our midst! I am so grateful for that. I know we can get water from rocks with Priesthood Power We need to make sure we have stored water enough to last us until we get to our rocks.
Build Zion in your corner of the world!


This was taken from the Meridian Magazine and has excellent ideas. PK

Water Storage — What if the Tap Goes Dry? By Carolyn Nicolaysen
I recently watched a national morning television show where the topic was emergency preparations. The “expert” gave some really awful advice about water storage. Some straight talk is in order.
Water storage is absolutely essential to a good preparedness plan. In an emergency, it may be too late to go to the tap and expect clean water to flow. One gallon per person per day is the minimum you will need to continue living the way in which you are accustomed. You will need at least two quarts for drinking and the rest for cooking, cleaning, flushing toilets, and personal hygiene.
When planning your water storage, don't forget your pets.
Water may be stored in a variety of containers:
Heavy duty plastic containers with a spout or a pump for dispensing water. Water is heavy, and you need to consider this when choosing containers. Five gallons of water weighs 42 pounds. Containers should be manageable for one adult to lift, or they should be equipped with a pump. Make sure when using plastic containers that they are approved for food use. Chemicals are available to add to storage containers, preserving the water for five years.
Plastic bottles. Water may be stored in well-rinsed bleach (hypochlorite) bottles. Begin by cleaning bottles with hot, soapy water. Completely clean the inside and the outside of the container, including the handle, the lid. Rinse well with plain water. Finally, rinse with clean water. Once you clean and sanitize the container, fill it with water you know is safe and screw the cap on tightly. You may want to fill containers with your own tap water. Water in different areas tastes different, and your family will be accustomed to the taste of your own tap. Before using, open the container for several hours. Pour water back and forth between two pitchers to add air back in and improve the taste. If the water appears cloudy, treat or use it for cleaning and bathing but not for drinking.
Soda Bottles. Liter soda bottles with screw-on lids work well for storing drinking water. Colored bottles are the best because they filter the light. Sanitize by rinsing inside and out with a solution of one-half teaspoon of household bleach per pint of water. Rinse well with plain water. Finally, rinse with clean water. Once you clean and sanitize the container, fill it with water you know is safe and screw the cap on tightly. Again you may want to fill containers with your own tap water. Liter bottles are also great to have on hand to grab quickly if you need to evacuate. They can be carried easily by an adult with the use of a lanyard type bottle carrier.
Mylar water storage bags . These are impermeable to gases and are usually sold in bulk cases for easy stacking. Individual pouches can be purchased for storing in 72-hour kits and in your car. These pouches are not rodent-proof, so check them often and place small pouches in a rodent-proof container.
Glass jars . As you empty your canning jars, sterilize them and the screw on lids, and fill with water until you are ready to refill them with the “fruits” of your gardening efforts. They are already taking up space, so put them to work! Glass jars should be stored in a dark place and preferably in a cardboard box. Water can also be canned by processing for 20 minutes in a water bath or steam canner. This is not necessary if water is rotated on a regular basis.
Picnic coolers . Fill with water between uses.
The bathtub . If you know a storm is approaching and there is even a remote chance you may be without water, fill your bathtubs and sinks.
Pitchers and pots. Drag out grandma's silver pitcher, pot, canners and anything else that can hold water. All of these items will hold water that you can safely drink. That is huge!
Swimming pools . Use for cleaning and bathing only.
Water heaters. Make sure you turn off the power (or gas) before you attempt to drain. To get a free flow of water from the hot water tank, open the valve at the top of the tank as well as the faucet at the bottom of the tank. Increase the water flow by turning on any hot water faucet in the house before draining water from the hot water tank.
Waterbeds . Use water from these for cleaning and bathing only.
Liquids in canned fruits and vegetables are good for cooking. This is one reason we recommend you have canned foods as well as dried foods in your emergency food supply. Peach juice is great for cooking oatmeal. Rice and pasta cook well in the water from canned vegetables.
Melted snow. Be sure the snow is freshly fallen and clean.
Rain water should be collected away from trees or structures, which could contaminate the water. Mylar blankets; new, unused 5 gallon buckets; new unused garbage cans — all work well to collect water.
Fruit juices should be included in every emergency storage plan. They are not only useful for drinking but also adding flavor foods such as oatmeal and disguising the taste of medications.
A Few Tips :
· Do not drink sodas or alcoholic beverages in an emergency. They will greatly increase thirst.
· Do not store water containers directly on a concrete floor.
· Water should be stored in containers that are filled completely to the top.
· Water should be stored in a cool, dark location.
· Water should never be stored near chemicals, pesticides, perfumed items, or products that may emit toxic gases.
· NEVER store water in milk containers. They are too porous, difficult to sanitize, and are easily contaminated.
· Label all containers with the words “drinking water,” and with the date you stored it.
· Stored water should be rotated every year. The best advice is to choose a date you will rotate your water every year. A good time would be a special occasion that falls during the summer months — birthday, anniversary, the 4 th of July. The old water can then be used to water outdoor gardens and trees.
· Train your family in the safe and responsible use of stored water.
· Do not use bottled water that has been exposed to floodwaters.
· If you don't have bottled water, you should boil water to make it safe.
· Boil: Boiling water will kill most types of disease-causing organisms that may be present, such as Giardia lamblia and Cryptosporidium , which are frequently found in rivers and lakes. These organisms are less likely to occur in well water (as long as it has not been affected by floodwaters). If not treated properly, Giardia may cause diarrhea, fatigue, and cramps. Cryptosporidium is more highly resistant to disinfecting, and it may cause diarrhea, nausea and/or stomach cramps. People with severely weakened immune systems are likely to have more severe and more persistent symptoms than healthy individuals. If the water is cloudy, filter it through clean cloths or allow it to settle, and draw off the clear water for boiling. Boil the water for one minute (altitudes above one mile, boil for three minutes). Let it cool, and store it in clean containers with covers. To improve the taste of boiled water, aerate it by pouring it back and forth from one container to another and allow it to stand for a few hours, or add a pinch of salt for each quart of water.*
· Disinfect: If you can't boil water, you can disinfect it using household chlorine bleach. Bleach will kill some, but not all, types of disease-causing organisms that may be in the water. Do not use non-chlorine bleach to disinfect water. If the water is cloudy, filter it through clean cloths or allow it to settle, and draw off the clear water. Add 1/8 teaspoon (or 8 drops) of regular, unscented, liquid household bleach for each gallon of water, stir it well and let it stand, covered for 30-minutes before you use it. The water should have a slight chlorine odor. If not, repeat the dosage and allow the water to stand for an additional 15 minutes. If the treated water has too strong a chlorine taste, allow the water to stand uncovered for a few hours or pour it from one clean container to another several times. Store disinfected water in clean containers with covers. As you plan for water needs, be sure to store some household chlorine bleach for treating water.*
· If you have a well that has been flooded, the water should be tested and treated after floodwaters recede. If you suspect that your well may be contaminated, contact your local or state health department or agriculture extension agent for specific guidelines.
· Water purification tablets are iodine-based and are specifically made to purify water. They are sold at sporting goods stores, military surplus stores, some large drug stores, and by companies selling emergency preparedness supplies. Carefully follow directions on the package. Purification tablets are for emergency use only, not everyday use. Unopened tablets have a shelf life of several years. Some kits include an additive to help improve the taste and color created by iodine.
· In an emergency, iodine in a medicine kit will purify water. Use 2 percent U.S.P.-strength iodine (read the label). Using a medicine dropper, add 20 drops per gallon to clear water and 40 drops per gallon to cloudy water. Mix completely by stirring or shaking in a clean container. Allow the water to stand at least 30 minutes, uncovered, before using. Iodine is an antiseptic and is poisonous, so use and store it safely, and only in a real emergency.
· Store the containers upright in a cool, dry place. Because direct sunlight and heat gradually weaken plastic containers, store them away from heat and light to prevent possible leaking. Water is heavy, so store the containers on a strong shelf or in a cabinet.
· A freezer is also a good place to store water for a long period. Freeze water in plastic bottles only; glass will break. Fill containers leaving two to three inches of space at the top to prevent bursting as the water expands and freezes. You probably won't have enough freezer space to store all the water you will need in an emergency, but storing at least some is a good idea. If you lose electricity, the frozen water will help keep foods in your freezer frozen until power is restored. Foods will stay frozen longer during an outage if the freezer is full so if your freezer is partially empty fill it with containers of water and you will help to solve two problems.
Don't be caught with “Water, water all around, and not a drop to drink”
* (U.S. federal agencies and the Red Cross recommend these steps to disinfect drinking water in an emergency. Remember no home method can guarantee complete safety. )

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