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Once you and your family are in a safe location, your first priority in any disaster is water. You might be able to go a couple weeks without food, but you’ll only survive a few days without water.

You can start storing water, but the problem with that is it’s going to take up more space than most of us have. A month’s supply for a typical family would be 150 gallons! If you do have the room, by all means, start now! Check out my post, Water Storage – Where to Begin? But those of us who live in small houses or apartments will have to purify whatever water we can find, whether it’s rainwater, pond water, or contaminated water from our faucets (assuming there’s any water pressure). There are a few options for purifying your water.

1. The best option for most people is to boil it. Simply put the water in a non-flammable container, start a fire, and hang the container of water over it. The water needs to be at a rapid boil for at least a minute before it’s safe to drink.

2. Another option is to use purifying tablets. These tablets contain iodine which will kill bacteria, viruses and most microorganisms. It’s a good idea to also get some of the taste neutralizing tablets so you don’t get that iodine aftertaste. You can get both bottles for about 10 bucks. While this is arguably the easiest way to purify water, it should only be used for emergencies as long term usage can be hazardous to your health.

Potable Aqua Tablets

3. The easiest way to purify your water, in my opinion, is to use a portable water filter. I’ve already mentioned the Katadyn pocket water filter in other posts because it’s what I use. They’re small, light, easy to use, and will filter about 13,000 gallons before the filter needs to be replaced. However, they are a bit expensive so boiling water might still be your best option. Just make sure you have plenty of fuel and firewood.

Katadyn Pocket Water Filter

One Year Urban Survival Plan


  • John

    Katadyn is expensive and with a large family you’ll be sat there all day processing water. A good quality gravity ceramic and activated carbon filter system is not cheap BUT all you do is pour in the top and open the tap at the bottom. (Doulton filters)
    Common Household bleach is my secondary method of sterilization as one of us has an intolerance to iodine.
    Good info site, thanks a lot.

  • Mark

    You actually don’t have to boil the water for 10 minutes. The CDC recommends only 1 minute of boil. By the time the water temp reaches the boiling point, 212 degrees F, almost all the organism are already dead. They die at 160-180 degrees F.

  • Anonymous

    You’re right. Post has been updated.

One Year Urban Survival Plan