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It Starts With Water

Any preparedness plan begins with water. Conventional wisdom dictates the human body can survive up to three days without water. The reality is that dehydration sets in far sooner than three days.

Symptoms of mild dehydration include thirst, muscle cramps, and headache. These are things we can sometimes just work through with a little effort, though it isn’t a fun time. If the lack of hydration continues, the symptoms worsen. Dizziness, rapid breath and heartbeat, and irritability are all on tap. Dehydration also affects our ability to think and make intelligent decisions.

In addition to consuming water to keep our bodies healthy and our minds working properly, we need clean water for food preparation. Many people store freeze-dried and dehydrated foods for emergencies. They are tasty, reasonably nutritious, and have very long shelf-lives. But, they all require clean water to prepare. Even if you don’t have any of those special hiking or survival foods in the pantry, you’ll need water for your pasta, rice, beans, and other such standard fare.

We also use water to keep clean. While a full shower or bath is probably out of the question during a crisis, having a supply of water we can use for washing up will be appreciated by everyone in the household.

The bare minimum amount of water that should be stored at home for emergencies is one gallon per person for each day of the anticipated crisis. For a family of four, one week’s worth of water comes to 28 gallons. The reality, though, is you really cannot store too much water.

For many families, bottled water is convenient for storage purposes. To save you the math, one case of 24 half-liter bottles comes to just a bit more than three gallons of water. There are also containers that are purpose-made for storing water for emergencies. Keep in mind that water is bulky and heavy. Keep the containers small enough that you can move them easily when needed.

In addition to storing water, you should also have the supplies necessary for filtering and purifying water sourced from outside the home, such as rainwater, ponds, and streams. If you’re looking for a prepared plan, Sustain Supply Company provides packets of water as well as The Sawyer Mini or Sawyer Squeeze in their premium survival bags, which are excellent choices for water purification gear. They will allow you to make full use of water found around you and augment the water supply you have stored.

Water is an essential component of any preparedness plan. Have a supply stored for emergencies and ensure you have the means to filter and purify more water as needed.