Survive and thrive!
These words may seem strange in an article for the self-employed, work-at-home individual but just as there are fire drills and emergency evacuation plans in larger companies, the home office should also be prepared. In this article we treat the most essential of preparations: WATER.
“How long can you live without water? A person can survive only three to five days without water, in some cases people have survived for an average of one week. It is not recommended that anyone try this at home. Once the body is deprived of fluids the cells and organs in the body begin to deteriorate. The presence of water in the body could mean the difference between life and death.”
Technology has been good to us and we can generally count upon some advance notice of impending disasters such as hurricane, tornadoes, floods, etc. Earthquakes can be sneaky as well as gas line explosions and the like but all-in-all we have a bit of time to prepare for potential emergency situations.
Once you receive a warning of a disaster, fill every possible spare container , bath tub, storage container, etc. with water. If you are fortunate and have family members available, enlist their aid and set this as a priority.
Sterile containers are ideal but you can store water in non-sterile containers if it is filtered or purified before drinking.
Your concern is quantity. You can purify the water as it is needed.
Sources of water often overlooked in the house are the toilet backs, water pipes and water heaters. Before you start complaining that this is unsanitary, remember that regardless of the source you are going to purify the water before drinking.
The toilet backs hold several gallons of water depending upon the model.
Familiarize yourself with the water supply shutoff valve coming into your house so you can capture all of the clean water that is in the pipes. Alternately, go to the water meter near the street and turn off the valve on the house side of the water line.
When turning your attention to the water heater you should first look for instructions on how to drain. Several models have them printed near the valves.
Since you are dealing with combustible fuel in gas or propane tanks and electricity in others, unless you are very familiar with the process I recommend that you have a licensed plumber explain the process the first time around. Coordinate this with their visit to flush the sediment out of the tank.
- That being said, it is a process of turning the heater off. On gas heaters, the setting must be set to “pilot”. Electric heaters must be shut off at the breaker box.
- Double check to ensure that the power supply is off before draining the tank to avoid permanently damaging the heater elements.
- Screw backup shutoff valve onto drain valve.
- open pressure relief valve to relieve pressure.
- Open drain valve.
- Use pressure relief valve to control water flow.
- Close drain valve (or backup valve) when done.
The goal of these articles is to equip you with the information you will need to not only strive and thrive yourself but also to provide for your loved ones. During times of disaster, we can rise to meet challenges if we are prepared and have information. With the proper preparation we can be not only an asset to ourselves but also to our neighborhood and to the community at large.
To your continued success!