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In an Emergency: Drinking Water and Food Rations

If something should happen and you and your family are cutoff from neighbors or town for more than a few hours, you're going wish you had previsions, food and water over a lengthy period of time being the most important.


If something should happen and you and your family are stranded alone for a while, it's prudent to always have a week's worth of food on hand. I'm not referring to fresh produce and popcorn--nothing that relies solely on electricity to cook or keep cold.

Some of the best foods to keep on hand are:

  • Canned foods, like tuna fish. It might be smelly, but it's packed with protein. Canned fruit and preserve are always a good idea, but like most things, canned and emergency food has a shelf life. Be sure to rotate your cans and bleach in your pantry off and on.

  • Emergency brands and camping food is an option, where you just add in hot water (assuming heating water is an option). My husband likes Wise products for his hikes and to keep on hand for an emergency.


Perhaps I've watched way too many episodes of Naked and Afraid, but having adequate water is by far the most important thing in my mind when I think of being cut off from civilization for a while. You'll need 1 gallon pre day per person. And don't forget about your animals food and water too!

If you're worried you'll be stranded and your water is still working, fill up the bathtub so that you have that water if your supply should change. I have a pool and a fish pond in my backyard, all of which make me feel a little better if I were cut off from clean water from long periods of time, but even then I can't drink fish poop and chlorinated water and come out unscathed. So, I've learned a few different methods of purifying any water supply to ensure that it's drinkable and safe.

ONLY USE WATER THAT HAS BEEN PROPERLY DISINFECTED FOR DRINKING, COOKING, MAKING ANY PREPARED DRINK, WASHING DISHES AND FOR BRUSHING TEETH.​ Use bottled water or water you have properly prepared and stored as an emergency water supply.


Boiling is sufficient to kill pathogenic bacteria, viruses and protozoa.

  • If water is cloudy, let it settle and filter it through a clean cloth, paperboiling water towel, or coffee filter.

  • Bring water to a rolling boil for at least one minute. At altitudes above 5,000 feet (1,000 meters), boil water for three minutes.

  • Let water cool naturally and store it in clean containers with covers.

  • To improve the flat taste of boiled water, add one pinch of salt to each quart or liter of water, or pour the water from one clean container to another several times.

Bleach (I had no idea. Mind Blown):

Disinfect water using household bleach, if you can’t boil water. Only use regular, unscented chlorine bleach products that are suitable for disinfection and sanitation as indicated on the label. Do not use scented, color safe, or bleaches with added cleaners.If water is cloudy, let it settle and filter it through a clean cloth, paper towel, or coffee filter.

  • Locate a clean dropper from your medicine cabinet or emergency supply kit.

  • Locate a fresh liquid chlorine bleach or liquid chlorine bleach that is stored at room temperatures for less than one year. The label should say that it contains 8.25% of sodium hypochlorite.

  • Use the table below as a guide to decide the amount of bleach you should add to the water, for example, add 6 drops of bleach to each gallon of water. Double the amount of bleach if the water is cloudy, colored, or very cold.

  • Stir and let stand for 30 minutes. The water should have a slight chlorine odor. If it doesn’t, repeat the dosage and let stand for another 15 minutes before use.

  • If the chlorine taste is too strong, pour the water from one clean container to another and let it stand for a few hours before use.

Storage is equally important. You want to do research to see which storing method is best suited for you, your home, and your family. I personally like the idea of water bricks, which store 3 gallons each.

More information about prep kits, Go Boxes, car items, and more to come!


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