Prepping Intensive: Module 1

Water Preparedness & Sanitation

Some other materials

Weekly Challenge

How many vessels can you fill with water this week?

Want to make a huge impact on your preparedness without spending a lot of money?  Store water using containers that you have on hand.  Be creative in your search for vessels, and remember, they don’t have to be food safe in order to store water for sanitation. (You’ll need lots of that for flushing toilets, washing dishes, and personal hygiene.)

Dos and Don’ts

  • Do fill up canning jars that are sitting there, waiting empty on your shelf until you can something.
  • Don’t fill up plastic juice or milk containers with water you intend to drink (but these are fine for sanitation purposes.)
  • Do fill up empty, clean 2-liter soda pop bottles.
  • Do not store your bottles in places with extreme temperatures.
  • Do rotate through your water supply just like you do any other preps.

At the end of the week, figure out how many gallons of water you have stored away. We’ll discuss it during Sunday night’s check-in and we’ll have a thread just for this in the forum, here in the Module 1 Challenge.

Weekly To Do List

No-Cost Preps

  1. Do a sanitation survey. Discover the answer to these questions:
  • Do you have running water if the electricity is out? (If you have a well, chances are you do not)
  • Does your toilet flush into a main sewer line or does it flush into a septic system?
  • If your toilet flushes into a main sewer line, is there a valve that shuts your house off from the sewer line? If so, find out where it is and how to shut off the line to prevent back-up into your house.

2. Find the nearest body of water where you could acquire a bucket full for flushing the toilet, or in a dire emergency, for purifying to drink.

  • Is it within walking distance?
  • Would it be accessible during an emergency? (Some folks would frown on people traipsing through their yards to get to the pond out back.)
  • Do you have a way to transport it back to your house if your vehicle wasn’t working?

3. Organize your gear. You probably already have numerous items around your house that are typically part of emergency supplies and bug out bags. This week, begin in one room and see how many of these items you can track down in drawers, cupboards, and other storage spaces. There’s no point in spending money on more duct tape, for example, if you already have 3 or 4 rolls scattered around the house and garage!

4. Take a walk. If you’re just getting started with fitness, do what you can do. Go for 15 minutes at a slow pace. If you’re in good shape, commit to walking 5 days a week. This is great for your mind and your body!  We’ll talk more about health and fitness during Week 7 but there’s no time like the present to get started.

5. Begin storing water for sanitation purposes. Collect some containers for storing water to keep in the bathroom. If you have an interruption in running water, you can use this to flush the toilet, wash your hands, or clean surfaces. Don’t worry as much about the containers when it comes to water for sanitation.

6. Do a water audit.  See how much water you actually use in a day by only using water from containers. (It works even better if you can shut your water off for a day!)  Include in your tally: drinking water, cooking water, flushing water, hand washing water, dishwater….you get the idea! You’ll probably find that you use far more than the standby of one gallon per person per day.

7. Download the Hesperian Sanitation Guide – consider printing it out.

8. Switch to water as your beverage of choice. Even if you purchase it in $5 gallon jugs, it’s still the best deal around, with the added bonus of being good for your health.  Skip the soda pop, juices and sports drinks. Also, skip the individual bottles of water because those can be just as pricey as buying a soda. Coffee and tea that you make at home are also very inexpensive.

Low-Cost Preps

  1. Get some disposables. If your water isn’t running and it is a short-term outage, disposables will make life easier (and cleaner!)
  • Paper plates
  • Disposable utensils
  • Lysol cleaning wipes.

2. Get prepared to treat water in an emergency. Pick up single bags of pool shock. They’re fairly inexpensive and the powder will last longer than liquid bleach. Be certain that there are no algicides or fragrances in your pool shock. It can be used to purify water for drinking.

3. Purchase portable water filters for the bug-out bags. We like Sawyer Mini and Lifestraw. These are also great additions to the kids’ school backpacks.

4.  Stock up on the supplies you need to make electrolyte beverages. This will be essential in the treatment of any type of waterborne illness that a family might suffer in an emergency. Here are a few recipes.

Investment Preps

Choose a home filtration device.  Look for a gravity fed device that doesn’t require power to operate. (Note from Daisy: I used to use a Berkey, but now, I have switched to ProPur and AquaPail. In the water emergency in West Virginia and the current emergency in Alabama, these devices were powerful enough to make the water safe to drink, while Berkey devices were not.)

Shopping List

Each week, we’ll recommend our favorite brands and products.  You aren’t obligated to buy these particular items, but if you’re looking for something tested and true, consider adding these to your stockpile or library.

 

Disposable foam plates or paper plates ( foam plates stand up to the weight of food better while paper plates can be disposed of more easily by burning them.)

Disposable cutlery

Disinfecting cleaning wipes

The Prepper’s Water Survival Guide: Harvest, Treat, and Store Your Most Vital Resource

Sawyer Mini or Lifestraw portable water filters

Invest in a water filtration device. We recommend ProPur and AquaPail.

US Army Field Hygiene and Sanitation guide

 

Bonus

Since we’re talking about things that won’t break the bank this week, how about something that will save you money?  If you’ve had to go to the trouble of storing, acquiring, and/or purifying your water, you won’t want to waste a drop, especially during an emergency. We hope you enjoy this chapter on Water Conservation from Daisy’s best-selling book, The Prepper’s Water Survival Guide.

Water Conservation

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