Where to Find Water When SHTF!


Water is the most valuable resource on earth. From drinking to cleaning, even manufacturing, without water the world as we know it would cease to be. Emergency situations are the worst for survival as many people find themselves in urban settings, far away from naturally occurring water sources such as rivers or lakes.

Even if there are sources nearby, they tend to have contaminants. A good example can be the Hudson River found in New York City, as between the 1947-1977, many different companies would throw their toxic chemicals such as polychlorinated biphenyls or PBC’s that would cause mass mutation and death of fish population in the area.

While this period of dumping might have passed, there are still left-over components found in the sediment and general area of the Hudson River.

Knowing this, you can imagine that having a much better source of clean water can be incredibly important. If any SHTF scenario occurs finding water is among your highest priorities.  According to the World Health Organization, an individual in an area of above-average temperature needs to have at minimum about 2 gallons per day.

But in a crisis, one would need approximately 5 gallons to fulfill the basic requirements for food preparation and hygiene. For most localized disasters, it takes around 3 days for emergency teams to come to a crisis zone to help in the relief and assistance of survivors. Thus, everyone in your household needs between 6 and 15 gallons each to meet the most basic water needs.

It is especially possible to find yourself in a situation in which there may be water, but it is contaminated, for that you must be able to purify in some way or another.

So as soon as the immediate threat is resolved, begin to identify alternative ways of supplementing the food and water supplies. This can be the differences between life or death. Never wait for the supplies to dry up before identifying an alternative. Start looking as soon as possible.

What are The Most Possible “SHTF” Scenarios?

In the past 50 years, there has been a multitude of end of the world events, from 2012’s possibility of a solar flare to the Y2K computer bug, or the dangers of nukes during the 1950-1990’s Cold War.

Many people hoped for the best but prepared for the worst. Surprisingly, this, “End is Near” sentiment has not changed, but instead has become even more of a global phenomenon than before. But what will come next? Whatever the case, water will be a commodity, it might help to know what to prepare for.

Super Volcano

A supervolcano eruption might be one of the worst scenarios you will ever find yourself in, as everything will get worse and much, much darker. The supervolcano located in Yellow Stone National Park might be the largest one on Earth. If Yellowstone were to erupt, there would be 2,000 million tons of sulfur in the air.

The Earth would be covered with sulfuric aerosols in 2-3 weeks Most places would drop 10 degrees Celsius (50 Farehnhieght) and in the northern hemisphere there would be a drop of at least 12 Celsius (53. 6 Farehnhieght). This would mean most parts of the world would either be in below freezing temperatures or just above it.

Obviously, the repercussions of this situation would be disastrous for humans. The sun would be blocked out which would inhibit the growth of plant life, drive many types of animals to extinction and leave the world either partially or completely frozen.

Water would be incredibly important to have, as most of the water circulating the Earth during this time would become contaminated by sulfur, making it incredibly stinky, and would wreak havoc on electrical systems containing copper or silver as sulfuric water would tarnish them.  These effects could last for a long time, up to 10 years.

I would suggest stockpiling all the water you can handle, with upwards of 20,000 liters per person at your permanent place of living, if not see where you can have access to a cistern, well, or aquifer.

Super Virus/Bacteria Epidemic

Like any other worldwide epidemic from the world’s past; The Black Plague, The Spanish Flu, Chicken Pocks, etc… The world is hit hard, and fast. Most times people do not understand what is happening until it becomes too late, but those that are prepared usually tend to be better off. A virus takes over healthy cells, creating more copies of itself to spread the disease.

There is no way to acclimate yourself to a virus save for a vaccine, as it will introduce your T cells (the cells that fight against foreign cells) to the virus and be prepared to deal with a said virus in the future.

Bacterial infections tend to make their home wherever they can, and the human body usually becomes permanently affected. The only way to combat this is to take antibiotics.

If either way to combat these infections fails, you are stuck either surviving through it or dying. Which is why a superbug that reproduces quickly or is incredibly resilient to antibiotics is so dangerous.

If the mother of all epidemics occurred it would become waterborne before too long, meaning any open water source can be contaminated. The best way to combat this type of situation is to wait it out; having enough water stored away is ideal.

At least 10,000 liters to ensure enough for 6 months, per person. You might need to deal with little to no water for washing or cleaning as the chance of contamination is great. If possible be sure to stock up with UV light water cleaner, as it is amazingly effective against viruses and bacterias.

Electromagnetic Pulse

An electromagnetic pulse is a pulse of highly energized particles, usually seen as electrons. The amount of energy generated acts as an electrical surge to electrical systems. Almost like a centralized lightning bolt to anything that uses electricity. The only ways these particles can be generated are by man-made objects such as a nuke exploding in the upper atmosphere or naturally such as a solar flare hitting Earth.

Since everything on Earth (and orbiting it) is interconnected with some sort of electrical system, if an E.M.P were to ever reach a global scale, chaos would ensue. Everything from the main power grid to telecommunications would go down, manufacturing would stop slowly and services such as water or the internet would go down.

Looting would ensue and people around the world would begin to scavenge and kill to survive. Water will be one of the biggest, if not the most important commodities to have access to. Depending on where you are, be sure to stockpile at least 10,000 liters of water at a home base. Also be sure to have survival water straws that can clean water if necessary. Since there will be no replenishing your supply of iodine tablets, life straws, chlorine, or otherwise, your best bet will be to begin stockpiling natural filters and rain tarps.

The Most Common Place You Can Find Water in Your House

1.Your Toilet Tank

Yes, your toilet tank has drinkable water, but if you put a disinfectant agent in there you will not be able to drink no matter how much you may try to purify it.

However, if there is no disinfectant agent you can easily boil and strain the water through a coffee filter for an alternative source of water. Or you can use it for washing clothes or other objects with ease.

2. The Hot Water Heater

Your water heater is perfect for storing water. It is built to be perfectly insulated from the outside. The chance of bacteria or contamination is little to none. Keep in mind that there are other things to look out for,

3. Bathtubs

You might want to fill up your bathtub as quickly as you can, most bathtubs can fill with 40-120 liters of water at any given time. You might want to cover it with a plastic tarp to ensure nothing finds its way atop the water.

You can technically drink out of this without issue, although depending on the last time you cleaned your tub you might want to boil the water just in case.

4. Canned foods

Canned foods always come packaged with something you can drink. Canned fruit has its juice, canned soups are ready to drink and eat out of the can, even canned tuna comes with water.

Unless you can is pierced or past its expiration date, you should stay far away from it as no amount of filtering will allow you to eat or drink your food.

Whichever source you have available, you can use the following portable water filter that will clean up to 1000 gallons.

Places Outside of Your House Where You Can Find Water

There are other water sources that are available out in the wild. Although they may provide limited amounts, in a survival situation, it is better than the alternative.

1. Swimming Pools

Although pool water tends to have many chemicals in it, it can be rendered as either a safe source of drinking water or for hygienic uses.  The best way to make this water source drinkable is to use a high-quality water filter.

Highly recommended are the Berkey or Propur water filtration systems. These filters can be purchased online on popular retail websites like Amazon. If not, be sure to avoid any and all contact with this type of filtration system

2. Rivers/Streams

Rivers and streams usually originate from mountains, and as they are constantly moving water, which is perfect for freshwater fish such as Carp or Striped Bass. The water may not be entirely clean as River and Streams tend to be the place where animals dispose of their waste or where they clean themselves. With that in mind, be sure to boil any water you find from these water sources, as bacteria and viruses are numerous in moving freshwater.

3. Wells/Aquafers/Cisterns

The water found in these areas is not hygienic enough to drink without boiling; wells are open air, aquifers once exposed to air in any way can begin to have microbes, and cisterns tend to be stagnant water.

How to Purify Water

There are several ways of purifying water. While some are more effective than others, the only thing you might have to be careful of

1. You Can Boil It– Boiling water has been known since the dawn of time as the go-to for disinfecting any water that might be suspected to hold bacteria or viruses.

Although this method takes more time and resources, you need to build a fire, wait for the water to boil, etc. There is also an issue that in an emergency having a fire out in the woods or in the city might attract attention to you, which could cause many issues in the immediate future.

2. Add Chlorine Bleach to It– Chlorine Bleach is dangerous to drink, however it can be used to disinfect water if used sparingly. According to the EPA or the United States Environmental Protection Agency, “The mixture will produce a chlorine solution of approximately 500 milligrams per liter. To disinfect water, add one part of the chlorine solution to every 100 parts of water you are treating. This is about the same as adding 1 pint (16 ounces) of the chlorine solution to 12.5 gallons of water.”

3. Iodine Tablets– Iodine tablets act as a general disinfectant for all foreign contaminants, and they are small enough to fit in the palm of your hand. These tablets are not as useful if the water has led or heavy metals, as there is no tangible way for this tablet to absorb or filter the metals found in the water.

4. UV Treatment– UV rays are perfect for killing all types of bacteria or viral contaminants within 5 minutes of use. The only drawback with this type of treatment is that there is no way for this type of disinfectant to absorb or take care of imbalances in the water such as chlorine or heavy metals.

There is a portable and lightweight device that effectively cleans up to 1000 gallons. Click here to get the latest pricing on Amazon.

How to Filter with Items Around the House

For those also wondering if storing water from your house’s filtration system, it is advised to avoid doing that. Water that is contaminated by natural disasters such as hurricanes or floods has extra particles that may clog your filtering system.

Trying to use the option of your home filtering system is not advised as they are designed to treat somewhat clean water.

Although you can still subsist off your house’s water, by making your own filter. Just make sure to either have these items on hand or know where to find them!

  • Craft knife
  • Hammer and nail
  • Coffee filter
  • Large cup or mug (Either one works)
  • Activated charcoal
  • Sand
  • Gravel
  • Container to catch the water

By cutting a plastic bottle about 2.54 centimeters from its base, poking a hole through the top of the bottle cap, and putting it atop of the container, you will have begun the making of your drip down filter. To complete the filter, you need to add the activated charcoal, fine sand second, coarse sand third, and finally gravel.

By allowing water to fall through the filter, you will be eliminating about 80% of foreign contaminants. You will need to boil the water for about 3 minutes to ensure that the bacteria and viruses are killed off.

Final Thoughts

So if a disaster should befall you and your loved ones, having multiple ways to find and have drinkable water is extremely valuable.  Best is, you now have time to search and locate all the viable options available and then to practice getting it.

Therefore, if you are missing some piece of equipment or tools to help you get to the water source, buying them right now and safely storing them for later use when and if the time comes, can potentially save the lives of you and your loved ones.  Click here to find out about one of the best portable filters you want to have on hand that can be used by the whole family that cleans up to 1000 gallons.

Related Questions

Are There Ways to Use Trees as a Filter for Water?

Yes, you can! According to a study done by the Massachusetts  Insitute of Technology, Pine trees are perfect filters; “Sapwood may offer a low-cost, small-scale alternative. The wood is comprised of xylem, porous tissue that conducts sap from a tree’s roots to its crown through a system of vessels and pores.

Each vessel wall is pockmarked with tiny pores called pit membranes, through which sap can essentially hopscotch, flowing from one vessel to another as it feeds structures along a tree’s length. The pores also limit cavitation, a process by which air bubbles can grow and spread in xylem, eventually killing a tree. The xylem’s tiny pores can trap bubbles, preventing them from spreading in the wood.”

A test was conducted and MIT and reported their finding of the effectiveness of the filter, “E. coli-contaminated water through the wood filter. When they examined the xylem under a fluorescent microscope, they saw that bacteria had accumulated around pit membranes in the first few millimeters of the wood. Counting the bacterial cells in the filtered water, the researchers found that the sapwood was able to filter out more than 99 percent of E. coli from water.”

Is Saltwater Drinkable?

No, salt water is not drinkable, since there is not enough water to mitigate the build-up of salt, your kidneys will try to rid itself of the excess salt and in the process will cause you to essential pee yourself to death. 

There is however a portable filter that will filter salt out of seawater. It is both lightweight and compact. Though it is pricey, it may be worth your while. Click here to get it from Amazon.




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