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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Each month I have focused on an area and this month is water. I know water should have been first, but it was very intimidating.


I live in GA so thankfully we get an adequate amount of rain each year and except for droughts we almost always get a nice shower each 5-10 days. I also live about 1/2 a mile from 3 private lakes (I would never just take water, but I would barter if need be), stone's throw from a public pond (very small and somewhat nasty), and a mile from a swamp. (with 3 teenage boys)

Here is my plan for water. Please poke holes in it (pun intended). I tried to be as diverse as possible. I need water for 6 adults (15,18, 20, 23, 40, 57) and 10 cats.

I would like to have enough drinking water for 30 days.

1. 24 cases of bottled water: 14 days (drinking only)
(this is for hunker down time and I am alloted 1 and a half cases per day)
2. 24 gallons of water in jugs - 3 days
3. Water BOB for the bathtub - 4-5 days if we can fill it.
(this is a nice thing to have but cannot rely on it as it depends on the SHTF event and if anyone has time to fill it up before the water supply goes dry)
4. Hot Water Heater - 45 gallons
5. Mylar Wine - 60 gallons - 7 days
(I purchased the maylar empty wine bags from someone on this site.)
6. 36 - 5 gallon buckets from Home Depot - 30 days
(this will be stored outside in a bin I am building as I was a Project Manager and have construction skills and yes I am women...hear me roar with my toolbelt on..lol... I am going with the 5 gallon buckets after much debate about a 55 gallon drum vs the buckets. Both have their pros and cons but the buckets serve my needs better).
7. Just ordered my Berkey Water System and plan on ordering more filters.
8. Plan on ordering a backup filter....prob a cheap $50 or so do it yourself bucket system.
9. 6 new tarps to catch rain
10. 6 cheap kiddie pools to catch rain.
11. Hacksaws and extra blades to cut downspouts to size as needed to create roof-water catch-all. Empty buckets for this also. We have gutter guards which help filter out big debris.
12. Numerous coffee filters to help strain out any debris to help ensure the life of my filters for the Berkey.
13. 12 gallons of bleach.
14. considering purchasing Berkey to go bottles for everyone's BOB (we are bugging in unless we just have to leave)
15. Plan on purchasing a wagon or two (hoping to snag them at yardsales) to pull 5 gallon buckets of water in if we have to use the lake.
16. Purchased 6 soft case 5 gallon water jugs.
17. Plan to purchase 2x hard case 5 gallon jugs from wallie-world.

So what am I missing?

thanks!
 

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Sounds like your doing good. Why don't you find somekind of large container to collect the roof water with ? Thats what we are doing. 55 gal barrels do well for this as long as they are food grade
 

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I don't think you're missing anything--though your bleach is perishable and not considered LTS.

To remedy that, purchase some calcium hypochlorite, aka pool shock. It's a form of powdered bleach, and can be mixed up and used as needed.

I bought six pounds of it from enyopools. Each is enough to provide bleach to treat approx. 10,000 gallons. Has a very long shelf life.

It's also potentially a good barter item. I have a bunch of old prescription bottles put away for just this possibility.

But other than that--you're in good shape for the 30 days you want to prep for.
 
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks for that tip!!! I did not know bleach went bad..yikes..do you know the shelf life? I do not use bleach as it effects my asthma. When bleach is needed around her, my husband has to use it.

Pool shock would work alot better for me!!!

Also considering purchasing a 40 or 60 pack of the water purification pills for out BOB's.
 

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Thanks for that tip!!! I did not know bleach went bad..yikes..do you know the shelf life? I do not use bleach as it effects my asthma. When bleach is needed around her, my husband has to use it.

Pool shock would work alot better for me!!!

Also considering purchasing a 40 or 60 pack of the water purification pills for out BOB's.
Bleach degrades over time; you probably aren't getting much more than 12 months of shelf life before significant degradation.

The pool shock came in 1# bags; they just barely fit in a 1-qt. canning jar, which I then seal up with lid and ring. These things outgas chlorine a bit, which will corrode metal it comes in contact with. That's why the canning jars. They build up a bit of pressure, so I release that too from time to time (once a year).

I have them all stored in a cardboard box on the floor, cushioned by crumpled up paper, lid on top.

It is, for me, a hugely important prep for water.
 

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Looks like you have a decent plan, which is better than many.

The only thing I might add is a portable water filter, and make sure you have some way of carrying water around with you like a canteen with a belt attachment or a Camelbak or something. Just in case you are forced to leave or are out and about.

In addition to those collapsible water jugs, I have a couple solar shower bags. You can use them for carrying and storing water, they're collapsible and easily stowed when empty, but you can also use them to heat water with nothing but sunshine.

Az
 

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Sounds like your doing good. Why don't you find somekind of large container to collect the roof water with ? Thats what we are doing. 55 gal barrels do well for this as long as they are food grade
why does food grade matter? the water will need to be treated before being consumed regardless. if a roof isn't built specifically for it, the runoff will be highly contaminated, especially asphalt roofs.
 

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I would possibly suggest learning how to skin cats. 10? Are you planning on keeping them for when shtf?

On a more serious note, I think you have a good grasp of the water prep.
 

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water is not just for drinking and cooking, but cleaning, bathing, and irrigation for plants, unless these aren't a concern for you. are you just looking to stock up on consumable water?
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
One of my roofs is metal and one is shingles. Drinking/consumable water will come off the metal roof and bathing, washing, garden water etc will come off the shingled roof. Also, have extra tarp(black) to cover the shingles if need be to reduce the amount of chemicals in the water.

Thankfully cats drink very little water:>

At this point, I am trying to get a grasp on consumable water. And due to our rainfall, the other needs (except cooking) can be taken care with the rain water.

I am adding canteens and solar water bags to the list too! Great ideas!
 

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The bleach is one weak spot. It has a surprisingly short shelf life. Calcium hypochlorite (pool shock) is a better choice. It's dirt cheap, easy to find, and stores for years. If you search this site, you'll find some really good threads about it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Our family takes in rescue cats. Most have been terribly abused, starved and beaten. They are very special to us as our family has truly saved them It is "our" family thing..lol...I am planning/prepping to continue to take care of them. It is a morale issue also for my kids. If it comes down to my kids or cats, of course I will chose my kids but it will be a huge morale killer if I had to do something to them.

Part of living is living for something...being a part of something bigger than yourself. Having people/pets depending on you is a huge incentive to tote 5 gallons of water 1 mile if need be or to do what needs to be done.

Having the 10 cats is an issue on one hand but also a huge morale booster on the other:>
 

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why does food grade matter? the water will need to be treated before being consumed regardless. if a roof isn't built specifically for it, the runoff will be highly contaminated, especially asphalt roofs.
Actually the buckets can leach far more hazardous chemicals then you'd get from a shingled roof.(unless the roof is absolutely new.) There have been studies on this and no adverse chemicals were found from rainwater collected off a shingled roof, unless it was a brand new roof. After a couple rains there wasn't any significant chemicals found from water collected off of them.

So those Home Depot buckets shouldn't be the orange ones, but white.

Few water filters will remove the harmful chemicals from water. Carbon filters help, some, but they don't catch everything.

Biggest thing with roof runoff is keeping that water from getting stagnant and collecting mosquitoes, or turning green from algae, which can occur from stuff in the air.

Bleach starts degrading from the moment it's made. In a climate controlled area it can last maybe a year, but it could be half the strength. Out in a shed, in Georgia, you'd be lucky for it to be half strength in 3-6 months.

Get calcium hypochlorite, pool shock. It's far more stable and can be stored for a decade easily without lots of degradation.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Stephod thank you! Had not thouht about the orange buckets being unsafe. I have not purchased my buckets for water storage yet. Plan on doing more research now and make certain I get the food grade buckets.

I do plan on processing ( filtering/straining...adding a little chock and sealing off buckets as I get them filled to prevent futher issues:>
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Also has been wondering if I should spend an extra $1 a bucket and use 5 gallon mylar bags for the long term buckets. The mylar would still have air in it since you cannot add an oxy obsorber to it but it may protect it from chemicals leeching from the bucket.
 

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Also has been wondering if I should spend an extra $1 a bucket and use 5 gallon mylar bags for the long term buckets. The mylar would still have air in it since you cannot add an oxy obsorber to it but it may protect it from chemicals leeching from the bucket.
As long as the food is in Mylar the orange buckets won't hurt. I do use the 'Homer' buckets this way. They were far cheaper then the white ones. Originally, before Mylar bags became available, this wasn't an option. Food was placed directly inside the food grade buckets. But what folks learned was the buckets don't make for a good vapor barrier and the food still oxidized.

Here's a video from Lowdown3. He had a business selling packed buckets of food and in this video he shows what happens over time. He also has a few other video's that were instrumental in many of us learning how to pack food properly, using Mylar and O2 absorbers.


Watch all his videos on how to pack food with Mylar and O2 absorbers and you'll be doing it as well as the bug companies.
 
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