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Take The Water Challenge

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posted on Oct, 6 2008 @ 06:46 PM
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 forgot. NEVERmind.

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, shiny head?

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 stored filters/cannisters.

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 system/device.

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 more.

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

posted on Oct, 6 2008 @ 08:13 PM
The points confused the hell out of me, so I have no idea how I scored. But to play along.

Lights go out. I grab the working flashlight from my dresser top. With that I go outside and grab my BOB from my truck. I go back inside and fire up my hand crank radio to see whats going on. Oh no!!!!! A giant mutant bug is eating all of the roads and communications systems. Looks like I'll be here awhile.

I decide not to fire up my generator, as I really dont need electricity, so I go about the place firing up my kerosene lamps and some candles. Yay, light. I haul in a few more armloads of firewood and assess what I need to do. Sleep is on my list, but that lousy bug could show up anytime, dont want that. I fire up a coleman propane stove to heat some water on, which I just pulled from storage. Then I add some mountain house. Cant kill mutant bugs on an empty stomach.

Should I be stuck here awhile, I have my water stored, if it runs out, its about 1/4 mile to my creek, and there is now snow and ice everywhere. Water isnt a concern now. Have an ample supply of water enhancers, from powdered milk to kool aid to powdered gatorade. Better have some of this home brew, all the talk of giant bugs is making me jittery.

Next day. No bug, maybe he shows up tonight. For the time being, I conserve my gas in my generator, I can use that in my chain saw. To save on propane, I have my woodstove as well as my kelly kettle to heat water and prepare food.

Going to need to conserve more kerosene as well, better start working with the beeswax I acquired this summer, never have too many candles.

Now, just need to apply some of my sugar from storage to that birch tree there, sit back with my 12 gauge and wait for mr bug. I'm sure Ill hold out longer than him.

posted on Oct, 6 2008 @ 08:19 PM
reply to post by salchanra

Wonderful! I didn't dare hope that somebody would actually enhance the doomsday scenario. Thanks much salchanra..... good one with the killer bugs -- I errantly neglected to add that to the list of possible power outage sources.

Now, to be serious for a moment.... your creek... You DO have filtration equipment, yes? Depending upon where you are, giardia could be a possible nasty consequence of slurping that water, as well as other biological/chemical contaminants. Of course, you could always boil it for a few minutes, pour it back and forth between contains to re-entrain some air.

The points are gratuitous. I admit I'm overfond of my own wit. I just sometimes think that a little bit of necessary information goes down better with some wacky humor.

p.s. I hope you plan on roasting Mr. Bug, once vanquished. I'd hate for all that good gooey yellow/brown protein to go to waste.

[edit on 6-10-2008 by argentus]

posted on Oct, 6 2008 @ 08:25 PM
For starters, Ive had the water tested, its about as clean as one can get. However, to be safe, I do have a filtration system. Its not hooked up, as I dont need it, but should the need arise, yes.

Also, I have a hand driven well also, can run on electricity and hand pump. Water is a big deal to me, I can do most things, but I cant make it rain. I take clean water and having lots of it very seriously, as we all should. Im fortunate that I have an area where water is readily available, that is relatively clean and accessible. However, for those in drier places, stocking 50-100 gallons should not be out of the norm and being able to find water from "alternative" sources should be high on everyones to do list.

posted on Oct, 6 2008 @ 08:31 PM
reply to post by salchanra

Thanks Salcanra, I couldn't have said it better. I myself have a high water demand, and so I'm conscious of it. That, plus the necessity to water the food-producing plants. We have a well, and I draw water with a 12-V pump, powered by a deep cycle battery which is charged by a 5W PV trickle charger. We have two concrete cisterns, which are filled by rainwater from our roof, total 4000 gallons, as well as a couple of blue 55-gallon plastic drums.

Obviously, folks in city centers might well have a harder time stocking water, but I'd think at the very least several collapsible water containers and some unscented bleach would be an inexpensive and prudent bet.

Thanks for your response

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