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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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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Distillation is the Best Process During an Emergency (Part 7)

This is the seventh article in an important series that will provide you with essential  and practical information for surviving during an emergency. Please start with the first article in the series. Distillation is the most secure method of purifying water for consumable purposes during an emergency. Distillation provides the highest level of  protection against the full range of possible contaminants, ESPECIALLY BIOLOGICALS. It’s also the only process that can reliably purify ocean water. BUILD YOUR OWN WATER DISTILLER FEMA and the Red Cross have the following instructions for making your own basic water distiller: To distill, fill a pot halfway with water. Tie a cup to the handle on the pot’s lid so that the cup will hang right-side-up when the lid is upside-down (make sure the cup is not dangling into the water), and boil the water for 20 minutes. The water that drips from the lid into the cup is distilled. (See illustration.) BUT THERE IS A BETTER WAY TO DISTILL YOUR WATER… Yes, you can try building your own water distiller like this, but it is much better to be prepared with a professionally designed emergency water distiller. The best emergency water distiller on the market
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Going Beyond FEMA Recommendations (Part 6)

This is the sixth article in an important series that will provide you with essential  and practical information for surviving during an emergency. Please start with the first article in the series. GOING BEYOND THE FEMA AND RED CROSS RECOMMENDATIONS. There is an obvious weakness with the FEMA/Red Cross recommendations. While biological contamination is the most dangerous type (and they are right to put so much emphasis on biological contaminants), the other types of contamination can also be dangerous. For example, the Japanese disaster of 2011 shows us that nuclear power plants can be damaged to the point of releasing large amounts of radioactive metals into the environment. Pipelines, tanker trucks  and chemical refineries are equally vulnerable and can release large amounts of other chemicals into the environment. The key point to remember is that you don’t know what will be in the water, so it’s important to protect against the full-range of possible contaminants. HAVE PROPER PRIORITIES. Your priority for treating water during an emergency should be as follows: Priority #1: Protect your family against biological contaminants that could be in your water. Priority #2: Protect your family against the full range of possible contaminants, as long as priority
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Why FEMA and Red Cross Do Not Recommend Filters (Part 5)

This is the fifth article in an important series that will provide you with essential  and practical information for surviving during an emergency. Please start with the first article in the series. Now you understand what water treatment methods FEMA & the Red Cross recommend during an emergency and you know WHY they recommend these methods.  Now you need to understand what methods they do NOT recommend. Methods that they do NOT recommend include… Filters of any kind. Ozone and Ultraviolet Light (UV). Chemicals other than chlorine, such as iodine or water treatment products (sold in camping or surplus stores) that do not contain 5.25 to 6.0 percent sodium hypochlorite as the only active ingredient, are not recommended and should not be used. WHY DO FEMA & THE RED CROSS NOT RECOMMEND FILTERS? It’s important to understand that FEMA and the American Red Cross do not recommend the use of water filters for treating water during an emergency. This is for a few reasons: ALL FILTERS FAIL. Filters deteriorate over time, which is why you have to periodically change filters. This decline in effectiveness is FAILURE. When it comes to biological contaminants, there is no room for failure, thus filters
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Understanding FEMA and Red Cross Recommendations (Part 4)

This is the fourth article in an important series that will provide you with essential  and practical information for surviving during an emergency. Please start with the first article in the series. NO ROOM FOR ERROR In the last article in this series, we examined why biological contaminants are ABSOLUTELY the most dangerous type of contaminant in water. Understanding this point is the key to understanding WHY FEMA / Red Cross recommend certain treatment methods and not others.  They recommend treatment methods that offer consistently high levels of protection against biological contaminants. There is NO ROOM FOR ERROR when you are dealing with biological contaminants. Let’s review the treatment methods and how they protect you against biological contaminants… BOILING: Prolonged boiling of water is an extremely effective way to kill biological contaminants. The effectiveness of boiling is recognized by health departments around the world and is the reason for “boil alert” notifications from municipal water treatment companies. If they suspect, or have evidence of biological contamination of tap water, a community will announce a boil alert and tell you that water may not be safe to drink unless first boiled. Boiling is highly effective at killing biological contaminants, but it
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The Most Dangerous Type of Water Contaminant (Part 3)

This is the third article in a very important series that will provide you with essential  and practical information for surviving during an emergency. Please start with the first article in the series. THE MOST DANGEROUS CONTAMINANT. In the last article in this series, we looked at the different types of contaminants that can be in water. Of course, many different types of contaminants can be harmful to your health, but there is one type of contaminant that is MUCH more dangerous than other contaminants. The most dangerous type of contaminant is microbiological. Biological contaminants are living organisms including bacteria, parasites, viruses, cysts and more, such as cholera, e. Coli, giardia, worms, etc. These organisms can cause serious illness or death. Here are some of the reasons why biological is the worst type of contaminant… Even small amounts of biological contaminants can incapacitate, make you severely ill or even cause death very quickly. Babies, children, the elderly and immune compromised persons are most vulnerable, but biological contamination can cause serious illness in even the healthiest persons. Biological organisms can have strong defenses that make them resistant to being killed. Biological contamination grows and multiplies, and can do so very quickly.
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