The following is not a finite study of water needs, just a ditty I created some time ago to try to get us all to really examine our water needs and
resources. Have fun.
Hypothetical situation. Are you ready? Comfy? Pillow? Okay.
You are at home, at night, posting on ATS. The power goes out. [why is the power out?] I don't know. It doesn't matter, and really, your first
response is probably not going to be to determine the reason. It's probably not a hurricane, or you wouldn't be posting, WOULD you? Oh, right, I
First things first. At this moment, can you find a working flashlight or other source of illumination besides your cheerful smile and, in my case,
Okay, so you have things to work on already, perhaps. Yeah, it's hurricane season for some of us, but there are a myriad of things that could cause
your power outage. [How long is it going to be out?] Well, that will depend upon the source of the outage, but we really don't know, do we? It could
be ice, storm, ice storm, switching station snafu, earthquake, terrorist action, tornado, transformer malfunction, meteorite, auto accident, fire,
electrical fire, something local to your own dwelling, LHC, alien invasion, volcano or a whole bunch of other things that are statistically less
likely. So how'd you do so far? Got your flashlight? Was it working? Give yourself one point for a handy, working flashlight. (note: having your cell
phone with a light within reach counts. That's a gimme, by the way.) BTW, if you own a Van De Graaff generator, give yourself 5 points, just for
being a wingnut. Nevermind.
So lets say there is no information as to the cause nor duration of the power outage. It's just out everywhere. Your blackberry, cell phone and other
communication devices yield no additional info.
Can you cook tonight, or have ready-to-eat foods? Give yourself one point for having a working, accessible cooking device, and another if you
additionally have ready-to-eat foods on hand. Even if this doesn't involve cans, give yourself an additional point for a handy can opener. Deduct a
point from your tally if you wimp out and choose to go out to dinner. What're you crazy? It's DARK out there!! Who knows what has happened? Spam is
NOT food, but it can act like food for short periods.
Give yourself three points if you have a working generator AND fuel and an additional two points if it kicks on automatically.
Okay, onward. So, the night progresses. How's your water supply? Can't go down to the store, what you have is what you have. Hey, this is my game,
I'll run it how I choose.
Give yourself a point for each gallon of treated or bottled water you have on hand at this moment. You can include the volume in your water heater,
but only if you have an acceptable filtration/purification system to make it potable AND know how to safely release the water and capture it. Divide
the total number of water points by the number of family members in the house. Each dog counts as one family member, as do 4 cats, unless you have a
constant supply of running water outside. If you have a good supply, such as a well or creek, lake, etc., you only get water points if you have an
acceptable filtration system. If that is the case, your total water points are limited to the capacity or life of the filtration system and addition
There are water shortages everywhere, I mean worldwide, and not just lesser developed nations. If you live in Colorado, you are not allowed to
legally capture rainwater for your own use.
How're you doing so far? The night ends, and it's the next day. Okay, by now, you've gone against your basic instincts and have gone out and about
to find the reason for the power outage. Let's suppose that the best estimated time of restoration of power by somebody who is supposed to know is
"unknown". That's pretty bad. If you haven't already garnered at least 50 points, you're probably in deep puckey, like at least knee-deep. Now,
it's possible that your water supply to your home will still have pressure, but again, you've got to have the ol' filtration/purification
Give yourself 10 points for reading this far. Go ahead.
So now, days have passed. That food sure hit the spot. Good thing you were able to protect your goods, huh? You folks in the city centers especially.
You didn't need nearly as much food as you thought to survive, but without boucoup amounts of water, you're toast.
Give yourself 10 points for having at least 50 gallons of water in portable containers. Oh, BTW, beer counts as full credit, as you can probably trade
it for water, plus it's nearly water. If you ONLY have beer and no water, well, you're not going to be having a good time, and no water credit for
you. No credit for wine or other alcohol. The jury is still out on mead, so we'll forego it for now. You don't drink mead anyway, do you?
How'd you do?
Okay, this is kinda tongue-in-cheek and silly maybe, but it could be real, and it could be soon, and as I talked about earlier in this wandering rant,
there are few, if any places that are 100% safe from this or a similar situation. I could live off my own body fat for at least a week, if not
WHAT HUMP? I'd begin to crash after 2-3 days without water. So would you, most likely. Time and time again, when I see the harrowing things that
befall us humans, invariably the one thing that is usually underplanned is water. This becomes a greater issue for you country folk with livestock and
such, and the liklihood is that you have provisions for them. Also, you country folk are probably more adept at protecting yourselves and your
resources, and adapt easier in general, to off-grid living.
So, if you're still with me, give yourself another 5 points. Total them up.
500 = Other than your obsession about watching every little quirky news item that comes down the pike, you're pretty well settled. You have little
fear of the future, because you've done all you can to mitigate potential event impacts. You probably won't need THAT many backpacks of hand tools,
but what's the harm? Don't let your neighbors know you have gas masks and rad detectors, they'll only think you're a whackamole, but good on you
for the case of duct tape and the 1000 feet of climbing rope. You'll be a big help once your own family is safe and secured.
Thanks for playing. Just wanted to provoke a little thought process. Obviously, the rating scale and points have little bearing on a real-life
response, but the necessity to change our paradigms about governments helping in times of need might just be more real that any of us care to think
about. YOYO= you're on your own, and the time to plan for YOYO is BEFORE the event. How'd I do? Well, the game is rigged in my favor ;o)
BTW, this little exercise is not meant in any way to be a list of things needed to augment your survival, especially in these terse times. Please
check the Survival forums for additional preps.
All best, be safe, live and be happy nananana