Article submitted by Brian S. Kiefat @ The Ready Center
If you’re like most people, when it comes to preparing for a disaster or emergency, it can be really easy to become overwhelmed. What exactly do I need? How much do I need? Where do I buy it? What am I preparing for again? And where do I start anyways? If any of this sounds at all familiar, you’re not alone. As a matter of fact, you’re in good company.
We are beginning a 4 part series titled, “Starting with the Basics”, in which we hope to aid those who are new to the preparedness scene and are looking for a place to start. We have broken it down into what we are calling the “The 4 Basic Prepping Categories”. These 4 categories are water, food, shelter, and security and should be your priorities if you take your life and the life of your loved ones seriously.
Please remember that these 4 basic categories cover just that, the basics, and should hopefully serve as a reminder to many of us just how little we really need in our overly busy and complicated lives. However primitive our basic needs may seem, be aware,that when you move from “beginner prepper” to “novice” or “expert”, that there are more than just “The 4 Basic Prepping Categories“ that help prepare us for the many storms of life that we sometimes must face. More such advanced categories include hygiene, sanitation, medical, heat & warmth, lighting, communication, cooking, fire, barter, charity, morale, spirituality & faith, etc. But we’ll save these advanced categories for articles down the road. Let’s take a look at the first part of “The 4 Basic Prepping Categories”. Water.
Water – Notice that water is the first basic category on the list, and purposely so. You can live without shelter or protection for months and possibly years depending on circumstances. You can live without food for weeks. Water on the other hand… you can’t live without water for more than about 3 days. The punch-line is this: without water, you die. In living the every day life, the average American uses 123 gallons of water a day. Some use more. This may seem like a lot until you think about every time you flush the toilet, wash your hands, take a shower, wash the dishes, use water in food preparation, have a drink, etc. On the other hand, when in “prep mode”, the average person uses 1 to 3 gallons of water a day. Where do you start? Try this: at minimum, make sure you have at least 1 gallon of water per person for your household. And if your budget allows, go for 3 gallons of water per person.
Containers don’t matter. If one gallon jugs work for you, then do it (caution: I have had many 1 gallon jugs spring a leak out of apparently nowhere after sitting in storage). The 2 1/2 gallon stackable containers with built in spigots that you can but at Wal-Mart work well if you don’t mind the slow rate of flow that comes with it. A 24 pack of .5 liter bottles is another good option as well. Each case is just a bit more than 3.1 gallons and they stack well. There is also the Aqua Blox, a small and inexpensive 3 pack of water boxes with straws included. Each Aqua Blox is pre-portioned as a single serving with each box containing 8.45 fl oz of water. The sealed boxes eliminate the potential waste that would accompany having to pour water from one container to another and can be stored or hidden almost anywhere. Purchasing water storage containers specifically designed to store water long term is also an option and are available in almost every gallon capacity (5, 7, 15, 30, 55, 100, 150, etc.). The upside is that they can hold a tremendous amount of potable water compared to all other options, but take into consideration that they can take up quite a bit of space, appear “odd” to non-preppers if left in plain sight, and can be difficult to move. Lastly, an option is to live near a water source and have the ability to transport and purify said water. Either this is feasible for you or it isn’t, and I’ll leave it at that.
We hope this has given you an option or two that will work for you and your loved ones, because being without water is no joke (just ask the survivors of hurricane Sandy or hurricane Katrina). Now is the time to begin, so get started on your water preparations and we’ll see you in part 2 of “Starting with the Basics”.
The Ready Center