What do I need to know about water?

The survival adage is, “Three minutes without air, three days without water, and three weeks without food.”   Without a sure source of pure water, the rest of your emergency plan is dust.  Most developed countries don’t often realize how much we take access to safe water for granted.

Water.org cites that

100 years ago, New York, London and Paris were centers of infectious disease. Child death rates were as high then as they are now in much of Sub-Saharan Africa. It was sweeping reforms in water and sanitation that enabled human progress to leap forward. It should come as no surprise that in 2007, a poll by the British Medical Journal found that clean water and sanitation comprised the most important medical advancement since 1840.

The health and economic impacts of today’s global water crisis are staggering.

  • More than 3.5 million people die each year from water-related disease; 84 percent are children. Nearly all deaths, 98 percent, occur in the developing world.
  • Lack of access to clean water and sanitation kills children at a rate equivalent of a jumbo jet crashing every four hours.
  • Lack of sanitation is the world’s biggest cause of infection.
  • Millions of women and children spend several hours each day collecting water from distant, often polluted sources. This is time not spent working at an income-generating job, caring for family members, or attending school.
  • 443 million school days are lost each year due to water-related illness.

What could this possibly mean to you, considering navigating a disaster?

It means learn now the ways to store and purify water.

As a reminder that our water supply shouldn’t be taken for granted, recall that:

  • Boston area water main breaks, affecting 300 communities and causing the governor to issue a “boil water” alert for the tap water coming out of all faucets for 2 million people
    • http://www.boston.com/news/local/breaking_news/2010/05/catastrophic_le.html
  • Hurricane Katrina caused, according to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), contaminated more than 1,220 drinking water systems and 200 wastewater treatment facilities in Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama.
    • http:// hncseonline.org/nle/crsreports/05oct/RS22285.pdf

In short, know how to make your water safe and be prepared to do it for weeks at a time. See how in Getting & Storing Water.