Welcome to week #2 in the “72 Hour Kit Ideas: A week by week approach” series.


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Last Week

I hope all of you were able to gather some water you can carry to your 72 hr kit supplies last week.

Week #3: Making Water Safe


If during an evacuation of your area you were able to take your car, it would be very reasonable to take three or more gallons of water per person for your family.  You should have at least this much water ready to throw into your car at a moment’s notice.

But what if you are forced to evacuate your area on foot?  It’s simply not realistic to carry that much water over any real distance.  So, the fact is, you can’t carry enough water for three days in your actual pack.

But, it is highly likely you will come across alternative water sources in one form or another: a lake, pond, backyard pool, stream, river, rainwater, etc.  If you come across other vacant homes, you may be able to use hidden water sources there: ice cubes, hot water tanks, pipes, toilet reserve tanks, etc.

However, since you will be uncertain of the source or cleanliness of these water sources, you will need a way to make them safe to drink. This week, add supplies to your kit that will allow you to make alternative water sources safe to drink.

There are many methods of making water safe to drink.  There are pros and cons to each method. No one method will work well for everyone in all situations. Choose what works best from the following suggestions for your family right now!

Suggestion#1: Bleach

If you choose this method, you will need to keep bleach in your 72 hour kit (find a small container at a dollar store or in the travel section).  Make sure to rotate it every few months!  You may also want to consider adding a drink mix to make treated water more palatable.  Print out the following instructions from FEMA and keep them with the bleach:

Use only regular household liquid bleach that contains 5.25 to 6.0 percent sodium hypochlorite. Do not use scented bleaches, colorsafe bleaches, or bleaches with added cleaners. Because the potency of bleach diminishes with time, use bleach from a newly opened or unopened bottle.  Add 16 drops (1/8 teaspoon) of bleach per gallon of water, stir and let stand for 30 minutes. The water should have a slight bleach odor. If it doesn’t, then repeat the dosage and let stand another 15 minutes. If it still does not smell of bleach, discard it and find another source of water.

Suggestion #2: Boiling and Distillation

If you choose this method, add a large pot with a handled lid (see illustration below), a small cup, string, and a small stove (with fuel) to your 72 hr kit. Print these instructions from FEMA and keep them with your pot:

Distillation involves boiling water and then collecting the vapor that condenses back to water. The condensed vapor will not include salt or most other impurities. To distill, fill a pot halfway with water. Tie a cup to the handle on the pot’s lid so that the cup will hang right-side-up when the lid is upside-down (make sure the cup is not dangling into the water), and boil the water for 20 minutes. The water that drips from the lid into the cup is distilled.  (see illustration)

Suggestion #3: Water Purification Tablets/Treatment Solutions

If you choose this method, make sure that the option you purchase includes directions and be sure to include them in your kit.  If you can’t get some at your grocery store, here are a few options: Aquamira water treatment , purification tablets.  You may also want to consider adding a drink mix to make treated water more palatable.

Suggestion #4: Water Filtration BottleBuild a robust, personalized 72 hour kit one week at a time over 26 weeks

If you choose this method, you can get two different bottles: One for around $20 and one for around $30.  You can also get a Seychelle bottle for just over $30.

Suggestion #5: SteriPen

If you choose this method, purchase one (or more) of the SteriPens and add it to your kit.

Suggestion #6: Water Filters

Build a robust, personalized 72 hour kit one week at a time over 26 weeksIf you choose this method, purchase one (or more) water filters and add it to your kit (here are those available through me at THRIVE Life and a few more that are available through Amazon.


What We Have Done in Our Family

When we first started our 72 hour kits, we used just purification tablets because they were cost effective. I still keep some in our kits. We have since added four filtration bottles: one in each kit. I like the convenience and familiarity the filter bottles provide. Plus, they are light and will allow us to filter 120 gallons of water without changing any filters.

How about You?

Leave me a comment and tell me how you’ve decided to add the ability to purify/filter water to your kit.


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Clean water is essential in an emergency. You can't carry enough, but there are solutions.


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Week #1: Water To Carry Week #3: Plan Your Food Series Into: 72 Hour Kit Series, A Week by week approach