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Emergencies, Disasters and Scary Times

Under the dire headline, California faces ‘grimmest water situation ever’ The Guardian (UK) includes the quote from a local farmer, “It’s an absolute emergency and anything to get water flowing quickly is needed.”

Emergency. When that word is used in conjunction with water, you know things are getting scary. Before Hurricane Katrina, there were few Americans who could ever conceive of an wide-scale emergency in which they would lack access to adequate drinking water. Then we watched as Louisiana and Mississippi water utilities failed in the face of broken pipes and the lack of electricity to run pumping and treatment facilities. Water everywhere, and not a drop to drink, literally.

What does it take, water-wise, to survive in a disaster? According to www.disasterstuff.com, you’ll need at least 1 gallon of water per person per day for at least 2 weeks, preferably for a month.

The website points out this sobering example: if a moderate to major earthquake hit Los Angeles, California today, and only half of the population lost access to water for two weeks, the governement would need to bring in 25,863,740 gallons of water over the two week period just to provide subsistance water. Twenty-five million gallons of water just to survive. That is 1,847,410 gallons of water a day over roadways that will surely be damaged by the earthquake.

This site (and many others) sell just about everything you could imagine for surviving in a disaster. This includes drinking water in boxes and pouches as well as bags and jugs for transporting water. The 4.2 oz. pouches are $20.16 for a case of 100; 8.5 oz. boxed water is $2.09 for a 3-pack. All have a shelf life of approximately 5 years.

It’s the same idea, really, as bottled water but these sure don’t have the same chic-style branding of their bottled cousins!