How To Make Water Safe in an Emergency

Water is essential for life as we know it. You may not realize it but the average human is 60% water and it is present in every cell in your body. Water aids the flow of nutrients into cells and toxins out of cells.

Water is so important that you will survive approximately three days without it. Of course, most of the time you can turn on your water and get water that has been treated by the local water board. It’s considered safe to drink although you may want to look at the effects of drinking chlorine and fluoride.

But, what happens when a disaster shuts the water off, it becomes contaminated via a local land issue, or you find yourself lost in the wilderness? The good news is that there are always sources of water near you. It’s possible you can find a stream, river, lake, or simply collect condensation. You may even have bottled water with you. But, how do you ensure the water you’ve found is safe to drink?

Use A Filter

You may already have a water filter fitted to your home water supply. The most common options are reverse osmosis filtered water and aerated carbon. In an emergency, it’s possible you can remove the filter from your plumbing and pour water through it manually.

However, you’ll also find that you can purchase straws with filters built into them. These are as easy to use as any other straw and will filter the water as you drink it.

You can also make your own water filter. You’ll need a container such as an old plastic bottle. Cut it in half and place some charcoal, fine stones, and sand into it. You pour the water in the top and it moves through the layers. This removes bacteria and debris.


Another viable option at home is to use bleach. It’s worth noting that drinking too much bleach can kill you. But, placing a teaspoon of bleach in a gallon of water will kill any bacteria in it without harming your health.

Make sure you stir it well before using it.

Boil It

Boiling water effectively kills bacteria. Boiling will not remove the debris or even the dead bacteria, you would need to boil it and then filter it to achieve this!

But, boiling is a good solution in an emergency. It is important that the water is boiled for at least a minute, more if you’re at a high altitude.

Distill It

If you have a little more time then you can get the purest water of all by distilling it. The process involves boiling the water so that it turns to steam. As the steam rises it will need to hit a cool clean surface. This will change the steam back into water. You’ll need to direct this new water to a collection container.

Because the water has been turned to steam it’s evaporated before the contaminants in the water, leaving them behind and giving you top quality water!