I am going to veer off from this month's goals to talk about water. Water is one of the most important storage items, yet for whatever reason it is often neglected. Many water storage barrels take up a lot of room, but many containers may be used for water storage. Store water only in food-grade plastic containers. Some containers like milk jugs will degrade over time, look for the PETE symbol on the bottom of the container. Soda bottles,
Gatorade, Powerade, and laundry detergent bottles (for cleaning) can all be used to store water.
Before storing your water you must sanitize the container. Add 1 teaspoon of bleach (with no additives or scents) to one quart of water. After sanitizing your container fill with water, it is not necessary to treat the tap water that is already chlorinated. Store water in a cool, dark place to inhibit bacteria.
As with all emergency preparation it is a good idea to have a Plan A, Plan B, and a Plan C and have all the necessary supplies and skills that go with those plans. This also applies to water storage and purifying it. If you plan on boiling water you will need fuel, and if you have no fuel you will need a plan B. It is a good idea to double up on the purification options. Better to be safe than sorry!
In an emergency situation you must presume that ALL water is contaminated and NOT SAFE to be consumed! Before purifying the water it is a good idea to strain it through layers of paper towel or coffee filters to remove large particles. There are several ways to purify water.
Boiling is the most common and most recommended way to purify water. Bring water to a rolling boil for 3 minutes. The longer you boil the better chance of eliminating organisms and bacteria. As the water cools, stir it once a minute to mix air into it, which will help any bad taste.
Disinfecting with household bleach kills some, but no all, types of bacteria and organisms. The bleach MUST contain chlorine in order to work. Don't use bleach with additives, or scents, and the chlorine content will evaporate within a year so plan on rotating it yearly.
Add 8 drops of bleach for each gallon of water and stir well. Cover and let stand 3o minutes. Check and if there isn't a chlorine smell, repeat the dosage and let sit 15 more minutes. Double the amount of chlorine if the water is cloudy, colored or if the water is extremely cold.
This is less effective than bleach, but is better than no treatment at all. Add 5 drops of 2% iodine to every quart/liter of clear water. Add 10 drops if the water is cloudy and let the solution stand for at least 30 minutes.
There are two different kids of filters. The gravity-based systems (Aquarian & Berkey) and the water bottle filter. The gravity-based systems are very good at purifying water but are expensive, while the water bottle filter can travel easier and are relatively affordable. (click here to see the filter the Church endorses) It is recommended that 2 drops of chlorine or iodine be used with the water bottles.
I strongly urge everyone to have a water storage in place and have several back-up plans to filter your water. You can only survive about 3 days without water and it is the first thing your family will be asking for in an emergency. Don't let another week go by without storing SOME kind of water. Every Tuesday at Harmons you can purchase 2 24packs of water for $1.99! That is a great stock up price! If you are close to a Harmons store on a Tuesday you have a perfect invitation to purchase bottled water!
Case Lot Sales: This is the month for case lot sales at most grocery stores. It is a great time to stock up on items that you will use all year long. I love to get broth, cream soups, chicken noodle soup, canned fruit, mandarin oranges, honey, paper towel, toilet paper, etc. Smiths stores start on the 8th and Macey's starts at the end of the month on the 29th.
Fruit: The recommended amount of fruit for a one year storage is 185lbs per person. This is a great month to get canned fruit at the case lot sales. Dehydrating fruit is another way to store fruit. Tell your friends and neighbors that you will take their extra bounty off their hands for them. Then you can dehydrate the fruit and store it is mason jars that are vacuum sealed with a Food Saver. Think of things like raisins, canned mandarin oranges, canned pears & peaches, dried apples, etc.
Non-Food Goal: Sewing Supplies-This month you will need to collect thread, scissors, needles, buttons, zippers and extra fabric. We could see a time when we will be wearing and using our clothing items a lot longer than we are used to. Kids grow fast and knowing how to sew and repair clothing will be a necessity.
Enjoy the Journey!
Enjoy the Blessings!
Feel the Peace!