3 Steps to Drought Survival – How to Prepare Today…
All across America, the ground is cracking and grass is crunching under our feet…
The corn crop is about a bust and we’re all starting to get a little worried. All because of water. Or rather, a lack of it.
Water. It makes up 70% of our bodies. It covers ¾ of the planet, though only 3/10ths of it is fresh, useable water. So if the earth is a closed system, where – like a terrarium- the amount of water is always, eternally the same, what about drought?
Where is All that Water?
What do we do when it doesn’t rain, our crops fail and the livestock can’t graze? Because our bodies are such a large percentage of water, we cannot exist for more than a few days without it.
Where Will We Get It?
We can sit back and just figure that it’s going to rain soon, because it always does….or will this be one of those acts of God, where it simply doesn’t rain in a significant way again for a very long time?
We read about drought in other countries and see people reduced to starvation and death because of it.
And… if we’re all honest, we’re thinking…
“Come On… Can a Serious Drought Really Happen in America?”
Well it already has, many times. I remember reading about the “Dust Bowl” of the 1930s in high school history class. I lived through a four year drought in the 1960s and remember the “Corn Belt” drought of 1980 and 1983. Do you remember the wild fires in California not long ago? And now we have the devastating wildfires in Colorado…
Did you know that about half the world’s hospital beds are occupied by someone with a water-related illnesses? Do we believe it could ever happen to us in America?? Ask the people of Texas.
The Results of Drought are Many…
Obviously we lose our sources for fresh water for drinking and watering our animals. We have to change our lifestyles because just flushing a toilet takes anywhere from 2-7 gallons and running a dishwasher through one cycle -12+ gallons – WOW! Between laundry and showers the average household use tons of water – literally. It’s crazy to think that 75% of household water goes down the drain in the bathroom.
Practical Preparations YOU Can Make Today…
If the drought America is experiencing this summer continues as projected, what can we do to be prepared?
#1 – Conserve
First, start now to conserve and make the water you do enjoy last longer.
Here are a few simple things you can do:
- Prioritize your water usage – drinking, food preparation and bathing are more important than watering your lawn.
- Bath in a little water instead of lounging in a long shower – I’m guilty of this one.
- Add a water-saving shower head.
- Fill up a water jug and refrigerate it instead of letting water run out of your faucet until it gets cold – every time you need a drink.
- Replace toilets with compost units. Or just add a self-contained compost toilet.
- Add a brick to your toilet tank to reduce water usage per flush.
- Flush less often.
- Turn off the faucet while brushing your teeth.
- In a drought – any gray water (dish water, bath water etc.) can be used to flush toilets. More on this in the future.
- Wear cloths until they are actually dirty before throwing them in the laundry.
Check out this site for 100 ideas to conserve water.
#2 – Collect
We run a dehumidifier in our basement during the summer season. Guess what it collects? Usable water! We use it to water plants.
Install a rainwater collection system for when the rains do come. Most are very affordable, and hook right up to a downspout. This is also a great way to collect utility water.
Dig deep – There’s Water Down There
If your water comes from a well and you can afford it, dig a deeper well now and equip it with a hand pump. There’s lots of water in underground aquifers!
#3 – Prepare
The long term effects of a summer drought may hit us in many ways – from electric prices rising as hydroelectric power is harder to produce, to grocery bills soaring as the crops fail and grazing fields dry up forcing farmers to truck expensive grain in to feed their herds.
Store Some Water – For a Not-So-Rainy Day
Regardless of whether we are in a drought or not, it’s a “Survival 101” priority to store some water around the house.
A person needs around 3 quarts of drinking water a day to stay adequately hydrated. So at the minimum, we recommend that you keep at least a week’s worth of water tucked away. This converts into about 5 gallons for each person, in your home, per week.
The easy way to store water in bulk is to go online and purchase one 5-7 gallon plastic water container for each family member to use per week.
You can also use plastic gallon-sized milk jugs – just clean ’em out real good… and add a drop or two of bleach to each. This will the water keep longer.
Of course, while supplies last, you can also pick up water in bulk at the grocery store.
How About that Garden?
It’s always a good idea to grow as much of your own food as possible to keep your reliance on store-bought foods to a minimum. Best of all you can grow a garden just about anywhere – country or city. I personally think square foot gardens on city rooftops, porches or just out the kitchen door are pretty inspiring!
Think Ahead Before Prices Skyrocket – Even More
Watch for sales on things like meat and stuff made out of grains. And grab a few extra necessities every time you go to the grocery store so that can stock up, and buffer potential price increases. No need to hoard, just be wise and do what you can to stretch your dollars and have a little extra in the pantry.
Another Survival 101 “must have” is a basic, prepackaged, survival food cache. For a few hundred bucks you can have a month’s worth of emergency food for your family – ready to go – just in case. And most survival food packs are sealed for many years of storage.
So, Back to My Initial Thought…
If water is somewhere when there is a drought – how can we get to it?
The water cycle has 5 phases: evaporation, condensation, precipitation, infiltration and surface run-off.
Every day the sun evaporates a trillion tons of water: a tree gives off 70 gallons in evaporation while an acre of corn will give off 4000 gallons of water in evaporation per day!
The Solution to ALL of Our Water Problems
If you are like me and find this information incredulous and are thinking, “How can we collect the water that these plants are releasing into the air?” Simple, we just need a gigantic dehumidifier!
So you innovators, get to it and let us know when you get that machine built! I won’t hold my breath… haa, haa.
Start Today – A Little Preparation Goes a Long Way
So, until some sci fi, technological breakthrough solves the world’s water problems, you can take a few of these simple, practical and affordable steps today, to be better prepared for potential food shortages and price hikes in the days to come.