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How to get clean drinking water in an emergency?


Most of us are solely dependent on our plumbing systems to deliver the water we need to our homes for our survival. But consider scenarios where that may not be a possibility such as…

  • The water tower no longer has electrical power to provide water pressure to send water to your home.
  • The water supply has become contaminated due to a sewage line break, chemical runoff from a nearby manufacturing plant, or terrorist activity.
  • Or a breakdown of infrastructure.


Where would you go for water??? Your local grocery will quickly be out of bottled water within hours, and you can only survive a couple of days without clean drinking water.


How To Clean Your Water?

The majority of water sources are polluted whether it is from nasty stagnant water that has sat and accumulated different viruses, bugs, and bacteria, or if it is tap water that has had a large dose of chlorine, lye, and other chemicals that are harmful to you over time.

To get clean drinking water you need to both, filter and purify your water.

What is the difference between filtration and purification?



Filtering uses a filter to sift larger particles away from water. Filtering your water will do the main work needed. Via proper filtration things like sediment, bacteria, protozoa, and chemicals are taken out of the water.

However, very few filters are fine enough to remove viruses from water. Thus the need to purify your water.



Purification of water is when a physical or chemical process neutralizes the bacteria, viruses, parasites…etc. that are in your water.

This can be done by boiling water or by using ozone, UV light, Iodine, or some other chemical.

Thus purification of water is essential for neutralizing deadly viruses that a filter may fail to remove from the water. The more filthy the water sources are the greater the need for purification.

Access to a nearby water resource

If you have access to a nearby water resource then make sure you have purchased a portable water filtration device. You can get a decent one for around $100 dollars that is capable of filtering out 99.999% of all bacteria, parasites, protozoa…etc.

These are often sold to backpackers that hike for several days and are designed to easily screw onto water bottles. You toss the filter’s hose into a nearby stream and hand pump filtered water into your bottles.

I would purchase some 5-gallon collapsible water bladders as well so you wouldn’t have to make several trips back and forth to a water source.

For further information on recommendations on devices Habitat For Survival (insert link is a great resource.

Now the one drawback to this type of filter is it isn’t capable of removing viruses, so a portable filter used by a backpacker is only good for a nearby stream that has some fast-flowing water.

Water further downstream or water sitting in a stagnant pool you wouldn’t want to risk solely using this type of filtration device. You’d need to purify your water as well.

You can get a portable military-grade filter that is capable of removing viruses but those are expensive and difficult to find on the market.

You can purify your water by boiling, but that is time-consuming and in a survival scenario time and energy are things you want to conserve. Luckily, there are some ingenious devices on the market that are compact and portable that will allow you to purify water very quickly.

Devices such as UV pens or Ozone pens. There are pros and cons to each type of device. Habitat For Survival (Insert link ) is a great resource explaining how these devices work and where you can get one.

I grew up in the Mid-West, Iowa to be exact. There were often a lot of nearby water sources such as ponds and small streams but nothing I would consider a clean water source that was virus-free, that is why one of these devices is paramount to your emergency plans.



Having a portable device for filtering water as well as a portable compact device for purifying water is the first thing I would get in order to prepare for obtaining clean drinking water in an emergency situation.

There are many preparations for obtaining clean drinking water for yourself and your family. You could collect rainwater from your roof. You could set a large fed gravity filter that could support several people in an area.

People seem to need much less convincing these days that the world is headed towards the crapper. Planning your survival for hard times requires thinking a different way, thinking of multiple scenarios, and establishing a long term survival plan. Habitat For Survival (insert link ) is geared towards helping you think this way.

Most people don’t plan to fail, they fail to plan, so plan ahead.



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