KM4NMP Safety Corner Emergency Water

This week for the safety corner we will be talking about emergency water and water purification. Now that the flood waters are receding from recent cyclone in Southern Africa, there is a new issue. One of the biggest concerns is clean water for consumption and proper hygiene. Amateur Radio Operators respond to assist in communications during these types of disasters. It is necessary to have a stash of emergency water and know how to purify water.

For Emergencies you need 3 gallons of water per person, per day. Most experts say you want to have at least 3 days worth of water. Personally, I like to keep a weeks worth of water for the family and when there is a threat of hurricane two 50 gallon food grade drums full. It is also a good idea to keep a couple bottles or pouches of water in your vehicle.

Water in a Pouch

Bottled water can be consumed directly out of the bottle. Any other source should be treated, just incase. Treating water is not hard; but, you want to make sure you do it right. We will go over 2 different easy ways.

If you have access to a heat source or fire, boiling water is a good way to disinfect water. If there is any solids floating in the water, pour it through a coffee filter or clean piece of cloth. Bring the water to a rolling boil. Allow it to boil for at least one minute. At altitudes above 5,000 feet (1,000 meters), boil water for three minutes. Let water cool naturally.

Don’t Use Scented Bleach

Adding the right amount of household bleach can also disinfect water. Sometimes this is combined with the boiling method. If your bleach is 6%, use 8 drops of bleach for every 1 gallon of water or 2 drops per liter of water. The 8% bleach formula is 6 drops of bleach per gallon of water or 2 drops per liter of water. Make sure the bleach is non scented and the only active ingredient is sodium hypochlorite.

There are many more methods and filters. Many work very well but these methods are cheap and easy. Stay safe!


CDC Water Treatment Water

Red Cross How To Prepare

EPA Drinking Water

MSN Cyclone Report


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