|West Virginia state flag|
I'm sure many of you saw the news out of West Virginia a few weeks ago. The mess is HERE for those who haven't read about it. Long story short, a chemical storage company had a failure of a toxic chemical storage tank which then leaked some horrendous chemical into the water supply of a large part of WV. Residents all around the area were told to stop using water. Not just 'don't drink it', but don't bathe in it, don't wash their hands with it, don't wash dishes, don't brush their teeth, don't even flush toilets.
Basically they were told not to touch it.
Hazardous to your health!?
It's something we all take for granted at times. We turn on the faucet and water comes out, right? But what happens when it doesn't? Or if it makes you sick even if it did come out? It got us to thinking about being prepared.
Now at the farm we are on a well, and it's fairly deep, so the water is relatively safe from above ground contamination. Still, who knows what might happen, even down underground? Though unlikely, it could become contaminated. But certainly the water system in town is VERY susceptible to something like this. Heck, during Hurricane Ike, parts of the city had to boil water for a few days.
So what if that did happen in town...no water?
This is what would happen...
|Water shortage, photo courtesy of WOWK|
This is an actual Kroger store in a city in WV. With more than 300,000 residents having no water, stores were inundated by people within a few hours. In fact, in less than a day, authorities said there was no water to be had anywhere within a one hundred mile radius!
The farm is not only our future retirement place, it is also our "bug out location", our safe place to go if we can't stay in town for any reason. No running water or not having drinking water would definitely be a good reason.
So at the farm, we are keeping fresh water stored. We have our water cooler which of course, holds 5 gallons at any one time. Then we keep two back up, already filled, 5 gallon bottles in the mudroom. This means we have 15 gallons of clean fresh water at any given moment. That's not enough though to live on for any length of time. The general rule of thumb for water storage is 1/2 - 1 gallon per person, per day. If we were frugal, the two of us would have drinking water for 15 days. If it was Summer and hot (which goes without saying here in this part of Texas), we might only have half that much time. Add to that the fact that you would also need water for the other things that stopped in WV like washing, bathing, cleaning, and flushing. Reading all of the stories in West Virginia reminded us that we need to up our own capacity:
- We will add two more 5 gallon bottles of water for a total of 25 gallons.
- We are getting gutters on the house this year and will finally begin the process of harvesting and storing rain water.
- We'll need a purification means to treat that rainwater (or the well water).
- We're looking into the waterBOB emergency storage system as a means to have a bit more water stored, of course when we have notice of a major event such as a Hurricane.
- And lastly, we're going to talk to 2nd Family (whom we share the well with) about alternative means of pumping water, manually and/or with solar.
Water = life, so make sure you have it and have thought about what other options you might have without it. How is your storage going?
Any ideas or suggestions?
Any ideas or suggestions?