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Sunday, July 31, 2022

First Aid in an Emergency

People have been taking care of medical needs since the dawn of time, and long before the advent of modern medicine. They used what they found in the world around them as their medicine, and that medicine is still here today. 

We have forgotten how to use this medicine, but in times of emergency, those are some of the best medicines to have stored and use. The key is learning to use them before you are in an emergency situation

First Aid everyday and in an emergency

First aid is an everyday tool. Many of us go through our lives not really knowing what things might befall us, and wait until an emergency strikes to seek for remedies or prevention. This is the hard way to face medical problems.

You may not know that 95% of all accidents could have been and can be avoided, and in 50% of those accidents, some simple first aid procedures could have prevented further problems if they had been performed before help arrived.

In an emergency situation, governmental agencies will be overwhelmed with need, as will the hospitals and all medical facilities. Preparing for and learning how to care for some of your own needs is an essential part of emergency preparation. A first aid kit is the first place to start.

The following is a basic list of what should go into everyone’s first aid kit. (in order of importance)

  1. Disposable gloves

  2. 4”x4” gauze sponges

  3. Kerlix or 4” roller bandage

  4. EMT sheers

  5. Duct tape

  6. Metallic (space) shock blanket

  7. Butterfly closure

  8. Triangular bandage

  9. Cold packs

  10. Eye wash

  11. Assorted splints

  12. Special medications for family members

These items, when used as intended, can help prevent further injury. A good first aid course or CERT course is an excellent investment in prepa- ration. If you already have some medical training, or have someone in the family or neighborhood that does, you can have a heftier first aid kit to take care of more involved medical emergencies

Natural Medical Care

There are three main indications for medical care: 

Emergency Care

Acute Care

Chronic Care

For emergency care, the items listed above are very useful, as are medical providers and facilities. If you have a life-threatening emergency, the faster you can find care, the better your chance of preserving a life.

For acute and chronic medical conditions, natural remedies are very useful and a lot of times, superior to what traditional medical care can offer. In times of emergency, they may be all you have. Learn about herbs and oils and other sources of medicine and learn how to use them now and in time of need.

Herbal and Natural Remedy First Aid Kit

  • Activated CharcoalFor acute use in food poisoning, intestinal illness, vomiting, diarrhea, ingestion of toxins, etc.

  • ArnicaTopical cream used for muscle pain or injury, bruises or any type of trauma.

  • Cayenne Powder —Topically, cayenne powder helps stop bleeding rapidly. It is also a useful remedy to take internally during illness as it increases blood flow and speeds recovery.

  • Chamomile Herb — Relaxing in a tub of water, made into a tincture and rubbed on gums or stomachs.

  • Comfrey Herb —An external herb that promotes healing from injuries and broken bones. A poultice made with plantain and comfrey that
    is placed on a wound can greatly reduce the healing time and help prevent and reverse infection.

  • Eucalyptus Herb and Oil— The essential oil can be diluted with coconut oil or olive oil and be applied externally to the feet and chest to help open nasal passageways. Also used as a respiratory steam.

  • Ginger Capsules—Ginger is great for nausea, reflux, stomach trouble and morning sickness.

  • Echinacea Herb–Useful to strengthen the immune system against viruses and bacteria. Not as a first resort, but it is helpful in prolonged illnesses.

  • Peppermint Herb and Essential Oil– Another great digestive herb. Tea for upset stomach or digestive illness. The tincture for headache or digestive troubles. The essential oil applied behind the ears and on the feet helps alleviate headache or nausea.

  • Plantain Weed— It is a natural remedy for poison ivy, cuts, scrapes and bites.

  • Slippery Elm Herb—Helpful for sore or irritated throat or when you lose your voice.

  • Apple Cider Vinegar–Organic Apple Cider Vinegar with “the mother” for digestive troubles, indigestion, food poisoning and more. Taken in a dose of 1 teaspoon per 8 ounces of water every hour, it helps shorten the duration of any type of illness.

  • Vitamin C– Helpful for all illnesses, but especially flu-related illnesses

  • Aloe Vera Plant— burns and blisters.

  • Epsom SaltGood as a bath soak for sore muscles. Dissolved in water, it can also be a good soak to help remove splinters.

  • Hydrogen Peroxide—Prevent ear infection and shorten duration of respiratory illness. At the first sign of ear infection or illness a dropper full of Hydrogen Peroxide can be put in the ear. The person then leaves the peroxide in for 15 minutes or until it stops bubbling and repeats on the other side.

  • Baking Soda—For severe heartburn or urinary tract infections, 1/4 tsp can be taken internally to help alleviate pain quickly. It can also be made into a poultice and used on spider bites.

  • Coconut Oil–From skin salve, to diaper creme, to makeup remover, to antifungal treatment.

  • Superglue– On minor to moderate skin cuts (not puncture wounds) use superglue and butterfly bandages.

  • Strips of sterilized muslin cloth in plastic bags for wrapping wounds.

  • Cut off wool sleeves from old sweaters to cover bandages and hold ice


  • Hot water bottle

  • Enema kit

  • Bulb syringe and NoseFrida for helping with congestion in children

  • Assorted bandages and gauze

  • Homemade ice pack— (just freeze liquid dish soap or rubbing alcohol in a double-bagged- ziplock bag and use it as an ice pack.) 

  • Cut off wool sleeves from old sweaters to cover bandages and hold ice packs

  • Hot water bottle
  • Enema kit
  • Bulb syringe and NoseFrida for helping with congestion in children
  • Assorted bandages and gauze
  • Homemade ice pack— (just freeze liquid dish soap or rubbing alcohol in a double-bagged- ziplock bag and use it as an ice pack.)

Dental Emergencies in a Survival Situation

  • Toothache—The most common dental emergency. This is generally from a badly decayed tooth. For temporary relief you can gently remove any food or other debris in the tooth with a small piece of cotton or instrument. Be careful not to go too deep or you may touch the nerve and cause severe pain. Rinse it vigorously with warm water then apply a piece of cotton that has been soaked in oil of cloves into the decayed area. 
  • If the decay is in an inaccessible place, either take some pain medicine or place oil of clove on the area, or dissolve half an aspirin in 4 oz of water and hold it in the mouth for a few minutes before spitting it out. DO NOT PLACE DIRECTLY ON THE GUMS OR TOOTH OR IT WILL CAUSE A CHEMICAL BURN.

  • Lost filling or hole in tooth– If you can see an area that can be filled in, you can use a temporary filling material to fill it in (see materials listed below). Mix the material with a small spatula or tongue depressor. Put it quickly into the tooth and smooth with a wet Q-tip. Remove excess before it sets up, and have the person bite down before it sets to make sure it isn’t overfilled.
  • Chipped tooth—if you have a small area of tooth that has chipped, if it isn’t sensitive, you can use an emery board or nail file to smooth it. You can also put Sensodyne toothpaste on the broken are if it is sensitive.
  • Avulsed (knocked out) tooth—If the tooth is out of place, put steady, gentle pressure on the tooth to put it back into place. If it is loose, gently bite on a cloth to hold it in place. You will need to splint it with wax and be very careful and avoid when eating.
What to do if a tooth is knocked out
  • When a tooth is completely knocked out (avulsed), if it is re-implanted into the tooth socket within 30 minutes the body will usually accept it and the ligaments will reattach. Over 30 minutes before it is re-implanted and the body treats it like foreign material and slowly dissolves the root over a period of weeks to months.
  • To treat an avulsed tooth, handle the tooth only by the crown, the part that normally shows in the mouth, clean off any dirt or debris by gently rinsing the tooth with sterile saline, disinfected water, or milk.
  • It is important that you do not touch the thin, whitish colored layer of soft tissue covering the root. This is the important layer of periodontal ligament that will allow the tooth to reattach. Replace the tooth into the tooth socket and with gentle, steady pressure push it into place. If a tooth cannot be immediately re-implanted, it should be wrapped in gauze and soaked in a container of sterile saline solution, milk, or the injured person’s saliva until you can get help. 

Sunday, May 1, 2022

 Kits and Lists for an Emergency!

Why isn’t a 72-hour kit first on the list of things to prepare? A 72-hour kit is also called a Grab-and-Go kit—something you take with you when you leave your home if you need to evacuate. A lot of emergencies don’t require us to evacuate our homes. Winter storms, other natural disasters, civil unrest, food supply shortages, power outages, loss of employment and sickness and quarantine - these are all examples of emergencies where we would stay in our homes, not leave. So a 72-hour kit is useful, but not needed for every emergency.

There are other kits that are good to prepare for use every-day. What if a bad winter storm came up while you were running errands on a typical day. Would you have what you need to make it home already in your car? What if you are driving during an earthquake. Do you know what to do, and do you have supplies to last a few days if it takes you that long to get home? These are some examples of times a 72-hour kit wouldn’t be used, but another kit would. In this post, we are going to discuss the kits you should make for every-day possibilities, as well as evacuations.

Here is a video you can start with:

Here is a rundown of the kits I will be recommending:

  1. Every-day Carry Kit. These are items that will slip in a purse or bag easily wherever you go. It’s light and portable and will cover a lot of basic needs.

  2. Get Home Kit. This fits in a duffel type bag, and stays in the vehicle
    at all times. It’s to cover you if your vehicle fails you, for whatever reason, and you will be walking home. What would you need to handle that situation? Those things are in the bag.

  3. Car Emergency Kit. This stays in the vehicle all the time, and contains the things you will need if your car has problems, or if you will need to stay with the car for some time if you are stuck in traffic, have a flat tire, are challenged by a weather emergency or other problems.

  4. 72-hour Kit. This bag is to sustain life and comfort for at least three days under conditions of evacuation FROM home on foot. It really should be in a backpack, and be limited to what you can fit in a back- pack. In three days time you’re going to get hungry, cold, thirsty, sleepy, and need to use the restroom. What can you take in a backpack to deal with those needs?

    You will also need an Evacuation List. This is a list of items you will take from your home in the event of an evacuation. The list will also organize your needs into time frames. For example, you should have a list of things to take if you have 10 minutes to prepare, and another if you have an hour to prepare.

  1. Create Your Evacuation Checklist

Here is how to create an emergency evacuation list:

I walked through my home with a clipboard, looking at everything in every room. I made lists for what I would take if I had 5 minutes before evacuating, 30 minutes, 1 hour and 1 day. Then I sat down with my family and went through the lists, making sure I included all of the necessities, as well as priceless sentimental items.

We then talked about what we would need to DO in those same periods of time. The things that are absolutely essential to grab or do are at the top of each list. I printed off multiple copies of my lists and put them in the garage, my bedroom, the kitchen, and my storeroom. We should all be able to find one in an emergency.

After you have your list, practice at least once to make sure you can get through everything on your evacuation checklist as quickly as possible and so you know how to fit everything in your car. Make needed adjustments, then practice yearly.

A few ideas:

  • If the house is on fire, get yourself and your family out and don’t worry about anything else.

  • Keep 72-hour kits in a place where they are easy to grab. In the garage, near the back door...

  • Keep shoes by the door at all times. My friend had a pair of flip flops by her door, so that’s all she took with her in the wildfire..

  • Put power out supplies, such as flashlights, light sticks and extra batteries together together in case you need to find things in the dark.

  • When traveling, we always take a 72-hour kit and an extended car kit with us.

  • Create a binder that has all of your important documents in it so you can grab it quickly. 

To Do This Month:

  • Prepare your everyday kits - Every-day Carry, Every-day, Get Home Bag and Car Emergency Kit.
  • Prepare your Evacuation Checklist with your family.
  • Prepare your Emergency Binder with all of your Vital documents in one place.
  • Prepare your 72-hour kits for your family 

Sunday, April 3, 2022

Gardening in an Emergency

The time to start preparing to grow your own food in an emergency is TODAY, not when the power goes out or fuel shortages have stopped the trucks from delivering food.

Gardening is a skill, much like being able to shoot a gun accurately. Gardening is much more than simply scattering some seeds, watering them a bit, waiting a few days and then harvesting some food. It takes time to prepare the land, nourish the soil, purchase or save seeds and grow the seeds! You also need to do things that work, make some mistakes, realize the good and the bad, and learn from them to become a better gardener.

Places to start:

  • Acquire some emergency seeds

  • Acquire some sprouting seeds. These will provide fast fresh food no matter what time of year it is.

  • Look for a space you can grow in

  • Ensure a source of water

Why it’s important to grow a garden, if possible, during emergency situations.

If an emergency occurs, you will be surviving on emergency foods. They are lacking in nutrients and you will quickly have nutrient deficiencies. If possible, you need to grow live foods that will provide those missing nutrients.

Starting on the day the power fails or the emergency occurs, let’s look at a timeline of what is possible, things to have in preparation and how every- thing can tie together to feed your family in the short and medium term 

  1. Emergency

  2. First day — Start sprouts in a jar. Will sprout in 4-6 days. Soak overnight then rinse and drain. Let sit in sunny window and rinse and drain 1-2 times per day.

  3. Day 3-7 — start more sprouts every other day. Start fast growing seeds outdoors (see list below)

  4. First week — should be able to eat out of your refrigerator and freezer. The refrigerator will keep things cool for 2 – 3 days. The freezer will become your fridge in 3 – 4 days as things thaw out but stay cool. Try to conserve canned or dried goods for later

    Fast-growing crops to plant ASAP after an emergency:

    • Asian or Mustard greens – 21 days for baby, 45 days mature

    • Beets – 35 days for beet tops, 50 days mature

    • Broccoli Raab/Rapini or De Cicco – 40 – 45 days for first harvest, can harvest again and again

    • Carrots – 50 – 70 days depending on weather

    • Kale – 30 days for baby kale, 60 days mature

    • Lettuces – 30-45 days depending on variety. Leaf lettuce will grow to harvest quickly.

    • Radishes – Bulb radishes 25 – 35 days

    • Spinach – 30 days to baby, 45 days mature. Works best in cooler


    • Swiss chard – 30 days baby, 55 days mature

      Being able to use this fresh garden produce to supplement the dried, canned, freeze-dried and other foods in your short and long term food storage will make meals much more interesting, nutritious and tasty.

Make sure...  Only buy Non-Hybrid and Heirloom seeds! You collect and use the seeds from these plants for future planting, so you never have to buy seeds again. This is essential in an emergency when seeds may not be available for purchase. Hybrid Seeds are sterile and CANNOT be collected and reliably used for future planting. 

Growing Sprouts in a Jar

The easiest way to grow sprouts for eating is in a jar. Almost any seed can be sprouted in a jar, following these basic guidelines.

Instructions for sprouting in a jar 

1. Choose a jar and lid.

  • Any glass jar will do for sprouting, though one with a wide opening makes it easier to rinse, drain, and remove sprouts. Choose a jar large enough to contain the seeds and sprouts - which will fill up at least 10 times as much space as the seeds alone.

  • You need a mesh-like, breathable 

    covering. This can be cheesecloth, a tea towel or very fine-gauge plastic or wire mesh. You use this when draining the seeds. While sprouting, you want the sprouts to get air flow.

2. Rinse Seeds.

  • Rinse seeds well with cool water and drain. Remove any stones, loose fibers or broken seeds if large enough to see.

3. Soak Seeds.

  • Place a small amount of rinsed seeds (1-2 T) in a jar and fill about 3⁄4 full with cool water. Cover with a mesh lid or cloth, secured with a rubber band, to allow air flow.
  • A general rule- soak at least 8 hours. Soak until the seeds have doubled in size. Larger seeds like chickpeas or kidney beans may require a 24-hour soak.

  • In warmer temperatures, the soak time is shorter. In cooler tempera- tures, soak time is longer,

4. Drain Seeds

  • Drain the seeds well, for several hours, while allowing plenty of air circulation. This is why you need a secured mesh lid. You need to keep the bottle upside down and draining for some time.

5. Rinse, Drain, and Repeat 3 times per day

  • Rinse seeds with cool water and repeat draining. Usually 2-3 days of rinsing and draining about 3 times per day is sufficient.

  • If it’s very warm, rinse more frequently. If it’s cold, less frequent rinsing may be fine, but keep in mind that seeds may not sprout as well.

 6. Final Rinse and Drain

  • Once sprouts are ready to harvest, rinse one final time and remove un-sprouted seeds and seed hulls if you don’t want them with your finished sprouts. Drain thoroughly one final time before eating or storing.

Using sprouted seeds

Sprouts are ready to eat at any point after a sprout tail appears. Taste daily during the sprouting process and eat or refrigerate once they taste good to you. Many seeds will become spicier if sprouted too long.

Storing sprouts and sprouted seeds

Sprouts are easy to grow in small batches every few days so that there are fresh sprouts to eat daily. However if you want to store them, drain them completely and store in a sealed container in the fridge. Can store for a few days. 

To Do This Month:

Grow something. Anything. Sprout some seeds in a jar. Start some seeds in a pot on your patio or inside a warm window. You need to learn that growing things is possible anywhere, anytime!

Buy some heirloom seeds for the things you would most like to grow. Store them somewhere cool.

Start preparing your soil by adding organic matter. Save your kitchen scraps.

Look into one way you could grow food in the winter.
Learn what Zone you live in and when you should plant for your area. 

Sunday, January 30, 2022

February 2022 - Short Term Food Storage

When I ask people what they think they should store first for an emergency, they always say food. They are close – that’s the second thing to store, but the food you should store first is not the food most people are thinking of.

I bet when you think of food storage you probably envision silver #10 cans of wheat and big bags of dried beans. Those are called Long-Term Food Storage foods because they will store a long time. They are food staples or what you might call “ingredients”. They require preparation, and sometimes special preparation, to be able to use them for meals.

Long-term stored foods are. essential in long-term emergencies, and the next chapter will be devoted to them, but they are not what you need to have on hand for a short-term emergency or the start of an emergency.

The simple definition of an emergency is something that you haven’t planned for, and that involves some sort of immediate consequence or struggle. In an emergency situation, the last thing you need to be doing, day one, is trying to figure out how to use wheat and dried beans!

You will be hungry and stressed and need energy to get through the next little while. That is what short term food storage if for. It’s food you can use easily and with very little preparation for a short time (up to three months).

What are short-term foods? The foods you eat every day at home now. These may be packaged or canned foods, fresh or frozen items, and things you can make simply with what you have on hand. In an emergency you and your family will want foods that are familiar and filling to get through the first few days and weeks.

Watch a video about short term food storage here:

What should you store?

Kitchen Staples

Baking chips
Baking chocolate squares Baking powder and soda Cocoa
Corn meal
Extracts (almond, vanilla) Flour
Canned Milk
Nonstick cooking spray Nuts
Cooking Oil
Rice – quick cooking Oats
Olive Oil
Salt and Pepper Shortening
Sugar - all kinds
Eggs, powdered
Lemon Juice
Dried Onions
Cooking Spray
Dry Milk Powder Evaporated Milk

Raisins and other dried fruits Jams/ Jellies

Baking Mixes

Brownie mix Cake mix
Corn bread mix
Muffin mix Frosting Pancake Mix Pudding, instant Quick bread mix

Canned or Bottled Foods

Applesauce Beans
Chicken or Turkey Fruits

Green chilies Jam and Jelly Ketchup Mustard Meats

Olives Peanut butter

Prepared entrées (chile, ravioli, spaghetti, soups, stews, etc.)

Pumpkins or Yams Salsa

Sauces (Alfredo, cheese, picante, spaghetti, etc.)

Soups, condensed Stew


BBQ Sauce Parmesan Cheese Spaghetti Sauce Apple or Fruit Juice Candy


Bouillon granules Hot pepper sauce Onion soup mix Soy sauce

Taco seasoning
Salad Dressing
Peanut or Almond Butter Teriyaki sauce Worcestershire sauce Powdered drink mix


Bread crumbs, dry


Noodle mixes

Pasta (noodles, macaroni, penne, spaghetti, etc.)

Rice, instant
Rice mixes
Stuffing mix
Packaged scalloped potatoes

Mac N Cheese
Food Bars
Potato flakes
Cold or Instant Cereal

Storage, Long-Term

Dried beans (black, kidney, navy, pinto)

Nonfat dry milk powder Oats (regular, Instant) Potato (flakes, Pearls)
Rice (instant, long grain etc.)
Wheat (red or white)

Egg powder

Non-Food Items

Multi-vitamins Baby food Formula Diapers

Baby wipes
Bar or liquid bath soap Toilet paper rolls
Facial tissue
Feminine items Deodorant/antiperspirant Razors
Shampoo & Conditioner
Dental Floss
Lip balm Sunscreen 

How much should you store?

You should store extra. It’s pretty simple. When you’re at the store, get a couple more cans of whatever you’re buying. Buy an extra box of garbage bags or get an extra bottle of salsa. If you get extra of everything, it will be enough to last for three months before you know it.

The long-term staples – beans, rice, wheat, oats – these can be the foundation for the meals and you can use the rest to make sure it’s familiar, filling, easy on your gut and easy to prepare.

How should you get prepared for these foods in an easy and economical way?

The best way to prepare is little by little. This month or while you are working on this section, buy extra of whatever you are able to afford. These are items that often have coupons. Buy one get one free, and other deals. And they are the items on case lot sales. Look for warehouse stores that sell things in bulk for less. You can find cases of things for much less per piece than in your regular grocery store.

Make a game out of it – how much can you get for the least amount of money? I think you will be surprised at how quickly you can get food stored that you and your family could live on for three months.

Pay attention to holidays and seasons. Everything will be less expensive when it’s in season and there are always great sales around holidays.


Sunday, January 2, 2022

 January 2022 - Water Storage!

“How are we to deal with both the somber prophecies and the glorious pronouncements about our day? The Lord told us how with simple, but stunning, reassurance: ‘If ye are prepared ye shall not fear’ [D&C 38:30]. What a promise! It is one that can literally change the way we see our future. Temporal, spiritual, and emotional preparation is our key to embracing this dispensation and our future with faith.” Pres. Russell M. Nelson, Oct 2020

Why is water so important to store?

Think about the kind of emergencies we may be faced with. Right now, many of us are having to quarantine from the spread of a virus. You may have an unexpected layoff. In these instances, as well as extreme weather, a chemical or biologic attack, or even most natural disasters, you would stay in your home. We would weather most emergencies in our homes, rather than be evacuated from our homes.

If you are confined to your home, you will need stored items to be able to survive for an unknown length of time. This is when the Survival Rule of Threes comes in:

The Survival Rule of Threes means you can live: 

• 3 minutes without AIR.

• 3 hours without SHELTER.

• 3 days without WATER.

• 3 weeks without FOOD.

Everyone stresses storing food, but you can live MUCH longer without food than you can live without water. That’s why Water Storage is January's topic!!

This video has been watched by people around the world - it's a great place to start to answer your questions and get you started on preparing for water storage!

Goals for this month:

  • To find the water you already have in your home–water heater, pipes, etc.

  • To learn an easy way to store at least 3 days of water, today.

  • To learn the difference between filtration and purification and store at least one way to do both.

  • To look around your environment to find water where you may not have noticed it before.

First steps to preserve water and protect your water during an emergency

If an emergency occurs that affects your water supply, you need to take immediate steps to preserve what you have in your home. What type of emergency would require this? Anything that moves or disrupts the ground, which is where all of the water pipes are. This means earth- quake, flood, and other natural disasters.

  1. Fill bathtubs with cold water, making sure you have plugged the tub with something that seals well like a bowl turned upside down.

  2. Turn off the water supply to the house so no contamination comes into your home.

  3. Drain your pipes. HOW TO: Turn the highest faucet in your home on to cold and collect all of the water that comes out of the faucet. Also turn the lowest faucet in the home on to cold and collect all the water that is coming out. All will drain from the top to the bottom so have the largest collection container at the bottom

  4. Drain your water heater using the instructions included below. You don’t have to do this immediately.  This is why you turn the faucets to cold so it doesn’t drain the hot water heater as well

How to Get Emergency Drinking Water From a Water Heater

Most water heaters hold 30 to 60 gallons of water that can be used in an emergency.


  1. Shut off the valve that leads to the hot water heater immediately after the emergency to prevent the water from becoming contaminated.
  2. Turn off the water heater’s electrical supply (or gas) for your own safety and to prevent the water heater from running without water.
  3. Allow the water inside the heater to cool before you attempt to drain any water from it.
  4. Disconnect the hot water line at the top of the tank. If you can’t get the line off, turn on a hot water faucet in the house to ventilate the water heat- er’s tank and prevent a vacuum from forming.
  5. Open the drain valve at the bottom of the tank and collect the water in a clean storage container. The gate valve does not have a traditional handle, but has a slot at the end of the stem where a handle would normally attach. The slot allows for operation with a screwdriver, or coin. Work this valve gently, as these valves are seldom used more than once or twice per year under normal service conditions, and could be damaged if forced.
  6. Check the first few gallons for rust and sediment. If the water contains rust and sediment, throw it out until clean water starts to drain.
  7. Treat the water by adding six drops of liquid household bleach for every gallon of water. The bleach should contain 5.25 percent sodium hypochlorite. Stir in the bleach and let the water stand for 30 minutes. If, after 30 minutes, the water doesn’t smell like chlorine , add another 6 drops of bleach and let it stand for 15 minutes. The water can now be stored.


  1. Store a short length of potable water hose (white hose) next to the water heater.
  2. Before disaster hits, mark which valve is for the water supply. Run some hot water from any sink. Go back to the hot water tank and feel the two pipes attached to it. The supply line will be the colder one. Somehow mark the valve as “supply”. This will be the one to close in an emergency so that contaminated water will not go into the tank as you drain the clean drinking water that is stored in it.
  3. It is a good idea to flush some water from the bottom of the tank once or twice a year. Sediment can collect on the bottom of the tank. Draining some water under pressure will clean out the sediment.  Regular flushing will keep your heater free of debris.


  1. Turn off the power supply to the tank first. Even if there is a power failure you must unplug, turn off the circuit breaker, or close the gas valve first. If the tank is empty of water when service is restored damage to the tank will occur.
  2. Allow the tank to fill before restoring power to the water heater. Open the supply valve and wait for the water to run out of the open hot water faucet.

Things You’ll Need

  1. A flashlight to find the circuit breaker, plug, and valves in the dark.
  2. Pliers to remove your garden hose.

Tool #1—Emergency Water Storage Inventory

It is recommended that you have 11⁄2 gallons minimum stored per person, per day. This is for drinking and hygiene.

  1. Figure out how many gallons you need to store for 1 week, 1 month, 3 months:

    • # people in your home x 1.5 gallons _________ gallons needed per day

    • Gallons needed per day x 7 = ________________ gallons for 1 week

    • Gallons needed per day x 30 = ______________ gallons for 1 month

    • Gallons needed per day x 90 = ______________ gallons for 3 months

  2. Discover sources of water in your home:

  • Pipe Water - turn on the highest faucet in your house. Then, collect water from the lowest faucet when you turn it on.

  • Hot Water Tank - turn off gas or electricity, whichever heats your water. Turn off the water intake valve to the heater. Follow instructions in Tool #2 in this chapter. Be careful not to burn yourself. You can wait to drain the water heater until the water has cooled and you need it. Do not heat the tank when it is empty.

  • Toilet Tank - the tank of water behind the toilet, not the water in the bowl.

  • Freezer - you may have a quart or so of frozen water in your icecube tray.

  • Bathtub- you can fill your tub if your water supply is not contaminated.  Fill with cold water so you don’t drain your hot water heater. You can use a WaterBOB to save all of this tub water and prevent the drain from letting it leak out.

3.Storage options:

  • Commercial water bottles.Typically 16.9 oz. and come in packs of 36. (Each person needs 11 per day. So a case of 36 would last for 3 days per person.)
  • 2 Liter soda bottles. (Each person needs 3 per day.)

  • 1 gallon jugs. DO NOT USE MILK JUGS! They will not last.

  • Water containers of various sizes – 2-5 gallons

  • 55 gallon water barrel

  • Larger water tanks

Water Inventory

# I have         


I Have

I Need

Pipes 1

Water heater 1

Commercial water bottles

2 liter bottles

Water containers

Water Barrels or tanks


2 gal

40 gal

11 = 1 gallon

2 = 1 gallon

2 gal

40 gal

What is the difference between water filters and purifiers?

You have to filter and purify found water. Filters strain out particles as water is forced through a filtration mate- rial. Purifiers chemically kill particulates.

Filters and Purifiers can treat for most bacteria. These bacteria are about 0.2 microns and larger in size, so the filters can catch them as long as the filter pores are at least as small as 0.2 microns. Purifiers can also kill bacteria. Some common bacteria that can be in the water are Cholera and Typhoid Fever.

Only purifiers can eliminate viruses. Viruses are so small (0.004 microns) that filters can’t reliably catch them. Some examples of viruses are Hepatitis A, Polio, and the Influenza Virus. Viruses can be killed by purification (chemical disinfecting) and boiling.

Only filters can treat for protozoa like the Giardia parasite, which is often in water and causes diarrhea. Protozoa are immune to chemical purification treatments because of their hard, protective shell. This is one reason that many purifier manufacturers choose to also have some sort of filter element on their purifiers as well.

Join us next month for Short Term Food Storage!