Why Be Prepared?

  Why is it a good idea to be prepared for the unexpected? It’s my belief that, for the sake of your family, you should be prepared for the unexpected. Not out of fear, but out of an awareness that the systems that we all take for granted could fail. We live in an extremely fine-tuned, specialized and interconnected world. This is our strength and our weakness. Here’s what I mean… FINE-TUNED: Businesses have become extremely efficient. It doesn’t make sense for them to keep a lot of inventory. You’ve heard of “just-in-time” inventory? Grocery stores, for example, don’t keep much inventory on hand. For the most part, what you see on the shelves is what they have. The computers simply have the products delivered at the exact time it’s needed. This is great for the grocery store’s profitability, but if there is a problem that prevents the trucks from delivering the food, the shelves will go bare in a day or two. So what could prevent trucks from delivering the food? A cyber-attack on computer systems, a black out, earthquake, hurricane or other natural disaster, interruption to gasoline supplies, civil disruption, war, terrorism, and countless other events. SPECIALIZED: Do
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What You Need To Know About “Boil Notice Alerts”

Today I wanted to discuss a particular type of water emergency; a “boil notice” or “boil alert notification”. These notifications happen quite often around the USA (see a recent one here). But there is a very important point that they never tell you. You need to understand what it is. First, what is a “boil alert notification”? When the water flowing to your tap contains, or is suspected to contain a biological contaminant, such as E. coli, the municipal water company will often (not always) tell you to boil the water before you consume it. Boiling the water will kill biological contaminants, thus eliminating that danger. It’s important to keep in mind that creating an infrastructure that provides us with biologically safe tap water was a HUGE step forward for public safety. And it’s something that we completely take for granted. Sometimes however, something goes wrong and biological contaminants pass through the pipes to our faucets, which puts us at risk. The largest such event to happen in recent times was the cryptosporidium outbreak that hit Milwaukee in 1993. Over 400,000 people became ill and over 100 died as a result. Biological outbreaks can be very dangerous for a few
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Get Your Priorities Straight!

  Every once and a while someone will question one of my recommendations. Let me give you a few examples… “I don’t want to buy bottled water because plastic is bad for you.” “Why do you recommend chlorine for treating water in an emergency? It’s poisonous!” “Why not just use a UV light to purify the water? It’s easier and can do a whole gallon in a few minutes.” This is a crucial point for you to understand, WHEN AN EMERGENCY HAPPENS YOUR PRIORITIES MUST CHANGE, IMMEDIATELY! Face it, you are spoiled. So am I. We have such tremendous infrastructure and it makes our life so easy. We go through life never having to think about the safety of our water. You never have to think about basic survival. You have lived your entire lives this way, so of course you don’t think about it. But if the power goes out for an extended period of time or an earthquake strikes; if the infrastructure fails, and you aren’t able to get safe drinking water, and you’re not able to get medicine or medical assistance, your world has changed. Ready or not, you are now in survival mode, and the first
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The Hierarchy of Water Needs

  A very important point to understand about purifying water in an emergency is that you don’t have to purify all of your water to the same degree. I call this the “Hierarchy of Water Needs”. Think about the different uses for water… At the top of the list is drinking water for infants, newborns, young children, the elderly and immune compromised people. Do you remember the cryptosporidium outbreak in Milwaukee in 1993? Over 100 people died from that incident, and most of the deaths were the very young, the elderly or people with compromised immune systems. Use only the highest purity water with absolute certainty of biological protection, or in other words, use distilled water or a large name bottled water, such as SmartWater or AquaFina. Avoid other types of water if at all possible. Also at the top of the list is water for medical purposes. See the previous recommendations regarding water quality. Next, and still extremely important, is drinking water for adults. It’s very important that you protect yourself from the different types of contaminants that can be in your water. This is especially true in an emergency situation, because the infrastructure that keeps us safe can
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Water and Your Child’s Health

  Today I want to talk about the single most important issue when it comes to water purity; children’s health. I think you will agree that there is nothing more important than protecting your child from potentially dangerous toxins. One way that some children ingest toxins is simply by consuming city water because many water systems across the country have been found to contain harmful chemicals. Unfortunately it’s very hard to get accurate information, so hopefully this article will help you. WHY ARE CHILDREN MORE SUSCEPTIBLE TO TOXINS? While it’s important for people of all ages to avoid chemicals, it’s especially important for infants and children. The fact is that children and infants are more susceptible to harmful contaminants that could be found in tap water. Here’s why… GREATER EXPOSURE: Infants and children consume more than twice as much water for their size as adults do, which means that their exposure to contaminants in water is considerably greater. LOWER BODY MASS: Children and infants have a much lower body mass, which means that toxins build up in their bodies faster. UNDEVELOPED IMMUNE SYSTEM: Children’s immune systems are not as developed as adults so they don’t have strong defenses against contaminants.
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A Clarification of My Position on Bottled Water

One of my core recommendations for being prepared for a water emergency is to have an adequate supply of bottled water on hand. Bottled water is very important, for reasons I will share. But every time I recommend bottled water I inevitably get some people who respond and proclaim that bottled water is the devil and I must be getting money from the bottled water industry for promoting them. I also hear from people who don’t like their water coming in contact with plastic, and there are other people who complain about the brands that I recommend. I want to set the record straight and cut through any issues you may have with bottled water. And also, before we go any further I want to say that no, I don’t receive any money from the bottled water industry. So with that out of the way, here’s what you need to know. WHAT DO I RECOMMEND? In brief, I recommend that you store one gallon per day per person for at least fifteen days. I recommend the small, half-liter plastic bottles and my preference is AquaFina brand. To see my specific recommendations, go here. WHY DO I RECOMMEND BOTTLED WATER? Bottled
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Don’t I Need Minerals In My Water?

  One of the most common questions I receive is, “Don’t I need minerals in my water?” This a persistent water myth, but if you look at it rationally, it’s easy to discover the truth of the matter. First, it’s important to look at this question from two scenarios; 1) an emergency situation, and 2) everyday life. In an emergency situation it’s very important that you ONLY consider one aspect; the safety of your water. All other factors are irrelevant. So, when you are in an emergency situation, follow the Red Cross recommendations, or go beyond these recommendations by using a water distiller to purify your water. In an emergency situation, don’t worry about whether your water has minerals, if it has the right pH, whether it’s clustered, super-oxygenated, harmonic, or whatever else someone is selling. It’s all about safety, and if anyone says anything else, don’t listen to them ever again. Now that I made that point crystal clear, let’s move on to drinking water for everyday life. Do you need minerals in your drinking water? No. Water is the most important substance you put into your body. It allows you to regulate your temperature, it transports nutrients and
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What Happens If You Go Without Water?

  This is an entertaining short video from the guys at SciShow about the importance of water in your body. Please watch! (No, that is not me on the video. )     Disasters happen. If the power goes out in your city for an extended period of time, your tap water could be dangerously contaminated for a long time. Without a supply of safe drinking water you can quickly become ill and not be able to protect and provide for your family when they need it most. The Survival Still can save your family, if you own one BEFORE an emergency happens!
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What is the Difference Between Pasteurization, Boiling and Distillation?

  There is discussion on the internet about pasteurization of water in an emergency situation. In this article I want to clear up any confusion between boiling and pasteurization, because they are not the same thing, and I want to compare both methods to distillation. Let’s start by comparing boiling and pasteurization. While there are some similarities, they are not at all the same. One similarity is that they both involve heating water, but the difference is the temperature to which water is heated and the length of time it is held at a specific temperature. Mankind has been boiling substances much longer than we have been pasteurizing substances. To my knowledge, no one person has been given credit for discovering the process of boiling though many have studied it. Let’s just give credit to early man or God since there are some examples of boiling in nature. The process of pasteurization, on the other hand, is named after a famous French Chemist, Louis Pasteur. He did much of his research pasteurizing wine and is also famous for anthrax and many other germ-related research. He is the one most responsible for the germ theory for infectious disease. We shall continue here by defining the
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Excerpt from Lights Out by Ted Koppel

Excerpt from Lights Out by Ted Koppel   “Darkness. Extended periods of darkness, longer and more profound than anyone now living in one of America’s greatest great cities has ever known. As power shuts down there is darkness and the sudden loss of electrical conveniences. As batteries lose power, there is the more gradual failure of cellphones, portable radios, and flashlights. Emergency generators provide pockets of light and power, but there is little running water anywhere. In cities with water towers on the roofs of high-rise buildings, gravity keeps the flow going for two, perhaps three days. When this runs out, taps go dry; toilets no longer flush. Emergency supplies of bottled water are too scarce to use for anything but drinking, and there is nowhere to replenish the supply. Disposal of human waste become a critical issue within days. Supermarket and pharmacy shelves are empty in a matter of hours. It is a shock to discover how quickly a city can exhaust its food supplies. Stores do not readily adapt to panic buying, and many city dwellers, accustomed to ordering out, have only scant supplies at home. There is no immediate resupply, and people become desperate. For the first
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