Imagine you have just experienced a hurricane. The power is out. Gas lines are broken. The water supply is shut down. You have enough water to last a couple of days, but it will take far longer for the grid to be functional again.
The area is flooded and that flood water is a soup of filth, contaminated with oil, sewage, various chemicals and industrial waste, insect larvae and decaying matter.
A person in good condition can survive about a week without water. A person injured in a natural disaster may not have quite as long. Add in excessive heat, and your odds decrease even more.
What do you do when you are surrounded by water that you cannot drink? You purify it
First, filter out the large debris by pouring water through a cloth. Then purify it with water purification tablets.
Water purification tablets work by releasing diatomic iodine and HIO into contaminated water and disinfecting it. About 30 minutes after dissolving two tablets into a quart of water, it is safe to drink.
Water purification tablets are affordable and portable. They are a must have item for every disaster and emergency kit. Stored in a cool, dry location, tablets are good for as long as four years. Once opened, the bottle should be used within a year.
If you aren’t sure about the safety or effectiveness of water purification tablets, consider this: they were developed by the U.S. Military during WWII and they are still in use today. If the military feels confident enough to use them, you should feel safe about using them, too.
It is a good idea to filter contaminated water first, before using the tablets. They are effective against bacteria, viruses, and many cysts such as giardia lamblia, but not effective against cryptosporidium cysts. Cryptosporidium can be removed through other filtration tools.