While water does not appear to be priority for most people in terms of the pandemic, it is a priority for survival if some other disaster layers in on top.

While many people focus on the power going out, of more essence to survival is the loss of potable water. Your water depends on a source, power and pipes, all of which can be disrupted by a wide array of emergencies. How much drinkable water do you have on hand without relying on the tap?

Another huge factor for water availability is when your normal water source gets contaminated. This is becoming more and more common. Flint, Michigan is an example of long-term contamination. One of the by-products of floods is that the water supply quickly gets polluted as contaminants in the ground and in various storage facilities are mixed together with the flooding waters. Eighty percent of natural disasters are accompanied by flood. If you watch disaster relief, the first thing that is brought in is potable water.

The first step in water is at least two cases of water per person in your household. Just buy them, toss them in a dark space, and forget about them. Until you need them.

I recommend getting a water filter. For starters, something like the Katadyn Filter is a good buy. It’s the one I have in the house as an emergency backup.

We always put a high-end water filter in any house we live in, preferably whole house, but at least for the sink which is where get our drinking water and store in metal drinking containers. A portable filter is great for emergencies.

Separate from the normal sources of water in civilization, do you know how to acquire safe, drinkable, water? Do you have a source of water within reasonable distance of where you live? Is the water drinkable? Can you make it drinkable? You have to assume that any water that is not marked as potable (drinkable) is contaminated. Even in the deepest forest, there is a chance the water is tainted. Always stay on the safe side, because contracting giardia is no fun at all and cholera can be fatal.

On average, we can survive three days without water versus three weeks without food.

Over three-quarters of your body is composed of fluid. Perspiration is not the only way you lose water. We actually lose more water just by breathing. And you can’t stop that loss. We lose around 2 to 4 cups of water a day by exhaling (16 cups equal one gallon). We lose about 2 cups via perspiration. We lose ½ to a cup just from the soles of our feet. We lose six cups via urination. When you add that up (and it wasn’t easy converting all that) you lose more than half a gallon of water a day just existing; more depending on the weather and your activity level.

In your home, you need to be prepared for at least 3 days for mild emergencies, but I recommend doubling that. Your average water bottle is 500 milliliter. Here’s the math to make it easy: 7.5 bottles equal a gallon. Your average case of water has 24 bottles, so let’s round up to three gallons. That will last a person 3 days. A case of water per person in the household will last three days. If you are in a very hot environment, definitely double that.

Regardless, I recommend storing at the very least two cases of water per person in the household. The FDA considers bottled water to have no expiration date as long as the lid is sealed. Expiration dates printed on bottles are voluntary and reflect concern over taste and color; not safety.

Depending on the possibilities of emergencies in your area, more is better. FEMA recommends having at least a two-week supply for moderate emergencies. I recommend a month at a gallon per person, per day for extreme emergencies.

Tomorrow, more on water, including checklists and emergency sources.

If you’re following these posts, you are slowly getting prepared, step by step, similar to what I’ve laid out in the book below.

The Green Beret Preparation and Survival Guide. Also now in Kindle Unlimited.

The Green Beret Pocket-Sized Survival Guide (same as above, minus the preparation part in order to be smaller in print)