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What Everyone Needs to Know About Emergency Water Purification

Nobody wants to think about the prospect of losing their home or entire neighborhood to a natural disaster, but the national news shows us it can happen to anyone, anywhere. Floods, hurricanes, tornadoes, earthquakes and tsunamis cause devastation and destruction with little warning. Survivors must be prepared to care for themselves until rescued, and the most important need is for pure drinking water via emergency water purification.

After the Storm

People can survive many days or weeks without food, but they can only survive three days without water. When storms or floods wipe out entire cities, water supplies are disrupted and can be contaminated with sewage and disease causing pathogens. Continuing to live in the devastated area without proper sanitation will make matters worse. It may be impossible to find a source of clean, uncontaminated drinking water. Consuming contaminated water can cause vomiting and diarrhea which in turn produces dehydration increasing the need for more water. Long term results could mean hepatitis, cholera, typhoid or death, making emergency water purification incredibly important.

Finding Clean Water

Those lucky enough to live through a natural disaster may also be lucky enough to be rescued quickly and removed from the scene. In other scenarios that involve remote or mountainous locations, rescue may be days away, or even longer. Even in locations that seem very accessible, such as New Orleans during the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, the overwhelming scale of the devastation and the number of people who are injured or homeless may delay rescuers by days or weeks. Finding a source of clean water is a key to survival.

Areas of High Risk

Surviving a plane crash in the wilderness of Alaska could drop someone into an emergency situation without the opportunity to plan for disaster. Living in an area where hurricanes, floods, or earthquakes are common should mean that a person has a survival plan. Residents of coastal Florida and the eastern seaboard know that hurricanes can and do happen with regularity. Living next to an active volcano or on an earthquake fault zone should cause residents to plan for appropriate escape and survival measures. Having the ability to obtain clean water should be part of these plans.

Do You Know the Basics?

Knowing how to purify water could mean the difference between life and severe illness or death. If a natural disaster destroys your home and everything in it and around it, the bottled water stored in your closet will not be a solution. Water in the ocean, lakes, rivers or creeks might be available but unsafe to drink. Everyone should know what to do with the water that is available, and that includes purifying it if need be. Contaminated water can be purified with a variety of methods and everyone should know the basics of these methods.

Water Purification Methods

Water can be purified by several different methods. Filtering, boiling, chlorinating, distilling, or exposure to ultra violet light are some of them. Depending on the situation and the resources at hand, some of these methods would be impractical or impossible. If there is no fuel or source of power the simple job of boiling the water may be a method that is out of reach. If there are no containers to hold the water none of the methods would be a solution. Known methods of water purification along with ingenuity is a good combination.

Unwelcome emergencies can disrupt our lives, but the knowledge to survive them is a valuable tool. Water is a necessary resource and knowing how to get it with emergency water purification methods after a natural disaster could save your life.
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