Emergency Water Storage Crimes & Incidents, posted by JJames, a resident of the Midtown neighborhood, on May 14, 2008 at 9:34 am
The China earthquake has gotten me fired up to get prepared for an inevitable disaster here. Of course, geologically speaking, inevitable could be in 100 years, but just in case its within the next few, I want to get ready.
I've been collecting ideas on water storage from the internet, but I'm still confused. It seems like 2-liter soda bottles are one of the most durable methods, and from what I understand, that type of plastic is very safe. So, my first question is mostly about treating the water. The Red Cross website says that as long as you rotate the water every 6 months, you don't have to pre-treat the water with bleach (unless your water comes from a questionable water source). That is, here in Palo Alto, we could just store the water right from the tap, but rotate every 6 months. Other websites give various amounts of bleach for treating the water before you store it. Some say 8 drops per 2 liters, others 4, other say to do it until the water smells like chlorine.
Any opinions on this? Also, How much do most people store? 50 soda bottles would yield about a 1 week supply using the 1 gal/person formula (I have a 4 person family). 50 is do-able, but I don't think I could logistically store and rotate 100 bottles. Of course if we have no water for more than 1 week, I would probably be wishing I figured something out sooner.
Since I have to buy all those bottles of soda, could I initially buy something like club soda and use that as my drinking water supply until it expires? I know club soda has a little sodium in it, but is there any reason why it could just be used for emergencies?
Posted by Anonymous, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood, on May 14, 2008 at 5:50 pm
The rule of thumb is 2 gallons of water per person per day. It used to be recommended that you keep a 3 day supply of food and water. That has been changed to 5-7 days based on the Katrina experience. Here is a link to the SF Emergency Rescue Team Training material. You can find the number of drops of unscented bleach you need per gallon in it.
Posted by a, a resident of the Adobe-Meadows neighborhood, on May 14, 2008 at 8:28 pm
There's an army supply store that sells water purification tablets for a little cheaper than EMS. I've also read in wilderness survival books that wiping dew off the morning grass with a sponge can produce a lot of water. You can also order home delivery of those large 5 gallon bottles and store them. I'm also storing wine, juice, chocolate, dry food, a tent, and bunch of other stuff.
You can tell I've been thinking about this natural disaster stuff a lot. Some people have called me chicken little in other threads, but I take this seriously, because it's serious.
I watched a couple of earthquake videos and the USGS say that the water pipes that come to Palo Alto would probably be severed in the case of a large earthquake. So water preparedness is key. The most important thing, however, is to stay calm.
There are four (4) basics to survival. Shelter is most important, second is water, third is food, and fourth is fire - in this order. You can live for three days without water. That would give you enough time to use your sponge to gather morning dew. It's a good thing we live close to a bay because we get the condensation from it.
I'm not too worried about an earthquake per se, because I think I'll survive it. I'm more worried about tsunamis. If a large earthquake happened and a part of California fell into the ocean...but I hope it will not happen. You just never know these days.
Posted by JJames, a resident of the Midtown neighborhood, on May 14, 2008 at 8:32 pm
Thanks, Anonymous. That's a useful document for the water and much more. Its quite sobering - there was a table prepared by FEMA in there that estimates that a 7.4 magnitude earthquake on the Hayward fault at 2pm would result in a staggering 8,000 dead and 30,000 injured. That's nuts and/or bananas. Hopefully a lot of people are getting ready for this event!
Posted by Walter_E_Wallis, a resident of the Midtown neighborhood, on May 15, 2008 at 11:37 am
You never miss the water until the well goes dry, and the corollary is that you never miss the infrastructure until the balloon goes up. Fools who fight needed improvements with trivial objections need to be listed somewhere and put at the back of the line.