We have relied on our food storage before, although it was never in a situation where we were waiting for the Red Cross to get there or our electricity to come back on. It did, however, teach us many lessons about food storage. We have never gone without clean water. I haven't practiced much with purifying water.
I did live in a place, for a short time, with a society without clean water. I lived in Egypt for a month years ago. The water situation was terrible. We were only allowed to drink bottled water. We weren't even allowed to eat fruit or vegetables that could have been washed with the water. It was dangerous. Very contaminated.
BBC reports that, "unsafe water and poor sanitation are blamed for 80% of all sickness globally." The UN reports, 6,000 children die every day because of infections linked to unclean water. According to the BBC half the world's population is living without clean water. We do not really think about our water because we are blessed with clean water daily. There are situations that we could find ourselves in that clean water is no longer available.
Our Church strongly encourages water storage, along with food storage. We are ordering water containers for April and May orders from East Coast Food Storage. So it is a good time to review water storage and purification.
These guidelines are from Provident Living.
Use only food-grade containers. Smaller containers made of PETE plastic or heavier plastic buckets or drums work well.
Clean, sanitize, and thoroughly rinse all containers prior to use. A sanitizing solution can be prepared by adding 1 teaspoon (5 ml) of liquid household chlorine bleach (5 to 6% sodium hypochlorite) to one quart (1 liter) of water. Only household bleach without thickeners, scents, or additives should be used.
Do not use plastic milk jugs, because they do not seal well and tend to become brittle over time.
Do not use containers previously used to store non-food products.
Water from a chlorinated municipal water supply does not need further treatment when stored in clean, food-grade containers.
Non-chlorinated water should be treated with bleach. Add 1/8 of a teaspoon (8 drops) of liquid household chlorine bleach (5 to 6% sodium hypochlorite) for every gallon (4 liters) of water. Only household bleach without thickeners, scents, or additives should be used.
Containers should be emptied and refilled regularly.
Store water only where potential leakage would not damage your home or apartment.
Protect stored water from light and heat. Some containers may also require protection from freezing.
The taste of stored water can be improved by pouring it back and forth between two containers before use.
Water Purification Guidelines
Step 1: Clarify
Cloudy or dirty water must first be made clear. It may be passed through filter paper, fine cloth, or other filter. It may be allowed to settle and the clear water on top carefully drawn. Filtered or clear settled water should always be disinfected before use.
Step 2: Disinfect
Bringing water to a rolling boil for 3 to 5 minutes will kill most water-borne microorganisms. However, prolonged boiling of small quantities of water may concentrate toxic contaminants if present.
Adding 1/8 of a teaspoon (8 drops) of fresh liquid household chlorine bleach (5 to 6% sodium hypochlorite) to every gallon (4 liters) of water will kill most microorganisms. Only household bleach without thickeners, scents, or additives should be used. The use of bleach does not address toxic contamination.
The U. S. Environmental Protection Agency Web site provides additional information about water purification.