Water is vital for survival. Therefore, a significant part of emergency preparedness is making sure you have enough clean water to survive. The good news is that ⅔ of the earth is made up of water. The bad news is that not all of that water is drinkable.
Lakes, streams, and rivers were once safe for drinking, but – largely due to pollution – that is no longer the case. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), “contaminated water can transmit diseases, such as diarrhea, cholera, dysentery, typhoid, and polio.” A good doomsday prepper knows that this is detrimental to survival.
There are many water treatment and purification methods, but water filtration yields immediate results.
The Rule Of Three
This golden rule dictates that survival is only possible for:
- Three minutes without air.
- Three hours without warmth.
- Three days without water.
- Three weeks without food.
When we look at the law of three, we can see that water is essential for survival, even more so than food. The quickest way of making water safe for consumption from natural sources is by filtration.
This method forces water through tiny spaces, removing contaminants. Even a few drops of water from a lake or river can contain billions of harmful chemicals and microorganisms.
A Quick Guide To Micron Ratings
A micron rating measures the size of the pores found in a filter – the smallest sizes start at .1 microns, which can stop bacteria (sized .2 microns) from passing through.
The quality of the water source you are drawing from will determine the micron size your filter system needs.
- Protozoa: Giardia, cryptosporidium – 0.5 microns or larger
- Bacteria: Cholera, e.coli, salmonella – 0.2 – 0.5 microns
- Viruses: Hepatitis A, rotavirus, Norwalk virus – 0.004 microns
Generally, you should aim for the smallest possible micron size. Still, a water purification system, e.g., chemical or ultraviolet, should be implemented to avoid virus contamination for very contaminated water sources.
Choosing The Best Filtration System For Your Survival
Water weighs about 8lbs per gallon; each person needs a gallon of water for consumption and hygiene use – meaning carrying enough water to survive is impossible – you either need to filter as you go or have a base for storage.
Survival water filters are categorized as follows:
Pump Filters: The oldest method of filtration and among the most expensive. It can pull water from very shallow sources. Extremely effective with tiny micron sizes. Expect to treat up to 2000 liters (440 gallons) before needing replacement filters.
Gravity Filters: This method requires minimal labor, works by hanging a dirty water reservoir above a clean water reservoir and letting gravity do the rest. Maintenance is simple but must be done regularly. Water treatment takes a long time, but you can expect to get up to 1500 liters (330 gallons) before replacing filters.
Straw And Bottle Filters: Designed for ease and convenience, this method works by sticking one end into your water source and drinking from the other. Bottle filters are similar, allowing you to fill a bottle and drink through a filter. On par with other filter systems in terms of micron rating, however, it doesn’t allow for water collection for other purposes like cooking. Better used as a one-person option, you can expect to get anywhere from 1000 – 5000 liters (220 – 1020 gallons). This system requires regular cleaning.
The way the world is going, it’s better to be prepared for the worst – one of the most vital elements of doomsday preparation is ensuring access to clean water – whether on the go or at your home base.