Hacker News new | past | comments | ask | show | jobs | submit login

Not a prepper either, but recently our water turned brown and I realized how water-dependent we are.

Went out and bought two “life straws.” We have enough food to last a month without infrastructure just by virtue of large pantries, but when the water goes out, it’s gone.

My wife laughed at me, but from my perspective, if infrastructure is down for more than a month, I’m probably toast anyway. ;)

Life straws suck to use as a primary means of getting water...

The USGov has failed in the past at an individual response level, but they're really good at compiling resources to help you and your family be independent. In fact, in San Francisco, the Emergency Response mindset for The Big One has shifted (since loma prieta) from "the government will come help you when it happens" to "do everything you can to survive for weeks without government help, when it happens."

So in your case, do more than buy life straws - store many gallons of water somewhere in your house. This can be done really easily and cheaply - save your used water bottles if need be, or just go buy a big giant plastic drum and drop some purifying tablets in it.

Keep bleach and eyedroppers in your house for when that water runs out and you need to refill with questionable water.

https://www.ready.gov/ has shitloads of easily digestible resources to prepare.

Have a look at Berkey water filters. These are meant for prolonged home use in tough circumstances.

Are they really, though, or are they meant to appeal to folks who want to change the taste of their municipal tap water? This is a good-faith question--I don't get a strong sense of science or testing from their website.

Berkey filters have some degree of water purification from dirty sources, but something like the Katadyn [0] filters seem to be more suited for higher use.

[0]: https://www.katadyn.com/us/us/products/water-filters#/1/filt...

You should get ones that are hand or foot operated. Life straws barely surpass the effort it takes to use them, especially after it has been used already in shit water.

I own a small electric water distiller for such circumstances, although drinking pure water is not supposed to be good, either (needs some minerals or it will leach them out of your system I was told, could be false).

Distilling water takes tremendous amounts of energy.

Filtering with bacterial (or if necessary, viral) grade filters, and additional chemical treatment (chlorine or iodine) is vastly more efficient.

A backpack filter does double-duty (have a few spare filters and can treat a litre or so of water in a couple of minutes without too much effort. Larger filters can be used (foot-pumped) for larger quantities.

Keep in mind that if the water's out, power may well be too.

You can die from drinking distilled water

Guidelines | FAQ | Support | API | Security | Lists | Bookmarklet | Legal | Apply to YC | Contact