Urban Survival – Emergency Water Sources
It doesn’t get much more basic than the need for water. During almost any survival situation, it’s probably going to be one of your top considerations. During a disaster, where your local water sources become compromised, you need to take steps to ensure you have enough to ride out the crisis.
So what should you do if you find yourself in an emergency situation without water?
- Once a disaster hits you have to act quickly. The first thing you should do is find a way to store as much water as possible. Fill your bathtubs, sinks, pots and any large storage containers you have with water. The average bathtub holds somewhere around 50 gallons of water. Check out the Waterbob Emergency Drinking Water Storage system. It’s a good system to have on hand, and can help keep you water safe during a disaster.
- Shut Down Incoming Water. Immediately shut off your water main to prevent contaminated water from entering into your hot water heater, which is a great source of emergency water.
Where to find water during an emergency.
Your home has a number of places where you can find emergency water.
- Hot Water Heater Tank – Your hot water heater is a great source of emergency water.
- Canned Goods – Tuna, canned vegetables, beans and fruit all contain liquids that can be drained.
- Drain Your Pipes – If you live in a multilevel home, you can drain the water in your pipes by using gravity to your advantage. After the water lines into your house have been shut off, drain your pipes by using the lowest faucet in your house.
- Toilet Water – In an emergency, you can boil the water from the flush tank (not the bowl) of your toilet. I would only use this water as a last resort and only if I was sure it was free of chemicals.
- Rainwater – Use large pots and containers to catch and store rainwater.
How to Generate your own Water
- If you’re really prepared, you can actually generate your own water with the EcoloBlue 28 Atmospheric Water Generator. While it’s not cheap, and you will need a source of power, it may be a great option for those that can afford such a device. The system generates up to 7 gallons of pure drinking water per day from the humidity in the air.
External Sources of Water:
Once you’ve tapped out your in-home water sources, you may have to start looking elsewhere. During extreme crisis situations, where the crisis is long-term in nature, you may have to venture out in surrounding areas to find water.
To be prepared for these types of situations, I suggest always carrying a Multi-tool and a Water Spigot Key in your Emergency Bags. Most commercial buildings have outdoor water faucets, but most of them have the handles removed to stop the homeless from using them.
During an emergency, having a water spigot key can help you gain access to both commercial and residential water faucets. Just keep in mind that you are taking water from someone else, so it should only be done in an emergency, and you need to be discrete. The Superior Tool 4-Way Key is a great tool; it fits Stopcocks, Sillcocks, and Valves.
For more ideas on how to find water during an extreme collapse scenario, check out our article on Finding Food, Water and Emergency supplies in an Urban Environment.