Don't drink your own urine! You've seen it on survival shows before, but this is not what you should have in mind if you find yourself seeking alternate resources for water. If you are in an emergency situation where the available water sources have dried up (so to speak), you need to seek other ways to get water. Why? Your body needs water.
It does not need urine.
The human body is made up of 60% water. When you are 2 percent dehydrated, you get thirsty; at 5 percent, you are hot and tired. When you are 10 percent dehydrated, delirium and blurred vision occurs. Finally, at just 20 percent dehydration, you will die. If you are in your home as the water ceases to flow, there are a few simple things you can do:
- Clear the pipes of current water pressure by filling up anything that can hold water.
- Melt your ice cubes.
- Empty the hot water heater. This can last up to 20 days.
- Check canned foods for water.
These are initial resources to help keep you and your family hydrated. But should the crisis progress, there are a few other ways in which to fulfill your hydration needs. Check the news for sources for fresh water. If you don't have any power, use an emergency crank radio for updates.
Seek Moving Water
Moving water is normally much cleaner than the water in a stagnant pool. Moving water has been washing over rocks and other natural forms of water purifiers. You will still have to boil it, though, especially after a rain. When it rains, all the animal waste is pushed through the ground into moving streams. The good news is that after a rain, you should be able to find more sources of water as the groundwater seeks lower elevations.
Rainwater Harvesting: Solar Stills
This simple technique has been used since tarps were invented. Simply dig a hole and place a container at the bottom of it. Place a plastic cover over the hole and put a rock in the center, making the plastic hover just over the container. Make sure you place rocks or mud around the edges of the plastic to make sure the cover doesn t slip. This allows for more stability. When rainwater falls, the container will fill and the plastic acts as a natural filter and purifier. You can also put a drinking tube into the container and run it up so you can drink as the water falls.
If digging a hole uses up more energy than you have to spare, all you need to get some water is a plastic bag. In the morning, tie the bag around a leafy tree branch or shrub. Weight the inside of it with a rock to create a low point. During the day, the plant will transpire and produce moisture that will collect at the low point. The water will taste like whatever plant you choose, but it will be clean and it's better than nothing.
Water may not be readily available to you during an emergency or natural disaster, but there are many different ways to get the water your body needs. Finding alternative sources of water won't be a convenience in your life, but you will survive.