What If Your Apartment has Ebola?

What if Your Apartment has Ebola

There are still a lot of worries about the Ebola virus right now, with the latest one being the doctor in NYC who tested positive for the virus after having returned from treating patients in Guinea.  Before being diagnosed, he visited a coffee stand, a restaurant, took three subway lines, ran in a park and went to a bowling alley.   Officials are saying these places have been cleared and are safe.

It was mentioned in the news his apartment units had to be locked down.  Similarly, the other patients in Dallas also lived in apartments and their units were disinfected by teams in hazmat suits.  I can only imagine what the neighbors must have felt as they witnessed the heavily suited teams, or getting a phone call such as the one described in “Hello. Your Neighbor Has Ebola.”  The neighbors received flyers providing information about Ebola and risks of contracting it.   Assurances were given that their neighborhoods are safe.

I am seeing a lot of nervous comments on social media, and see a lot of people searching for what to do if about Ebola comes to their towns.  Since I write about apartment prepper issues, I would be remiss if I didn’t at least discuss the possibility.

What if your apartment has an Ebola victim?

First of all you need to be observant and aware of what’s going on in your immediate vicinity.  If an area is cordoned off, don’t jump to conclusions that it’s Ebola.  It could be just a normal activity such as a spill or repairs being done.  However, if you see hazmat suited individuals, you will know something is going on.  Read information left on your doorstep – a lot of people throw them away without even reading.

We’ve all heard the way to contract the disease is through contact with bodily fluids, and how the virus is not airborne.  I am not telling anyone to panic – that would be counterproductive.   But if you just have a twinge of concern that what you are touching may have germs, then keep reading.

Common areas

Be careful what you touch in all common areas such as the gym, business office, club rooms, vending machine room, coffee room.

  • If you must visit these areas, avoid coming into contact with surfaces where germs may live.  If you are extra worried, wear disposable gloves when touching any surfaces such as doorknobs, elevator buttons, light switches, gym equipment etc.  If you find yourself without gloves, use a thick paper towel or several paper towels when flushing the toilet, turning on faucets, lights or opening doors.
  • Do not touch your eyes, face, mouth or nose with you gloved hands, or even with your own hands unless you have thoroughly washed or disinfected your hands.
  • When removing disposable gloves remove them without your skin coming into contact with the outside of the gloves.
  • After removing the gloves, wash your hands with soap and water as soon as possible.

These are reasonable steps that don’t go overboard – at the very least you will also protect yourself from germs such as the common cold, flu etc.

Can you catch Ebola from using the swimming pool?  Chlorine bleach is used to sanitize surfaces in hospitals, and chlorine is present in pools.  According to a pool website, as long as your pool has chlorine bromine levels in the 1.5ppm-3ppm level there would be no way to ever catch Ebola from being in a pool.  Of course your pool would need to be well-maintained at the proper levels to be certain it is within this guideline.

However, viruses can live for a long time on hard surfaces such as pool chairs, shower handles etc.  According to the CDC website, “Ebola dried on surfaces such as doorknobs and counter tops can survive for several hours; however, virus in body fluids (such as blood) can survive up to several days at room temperature.”

I would suggest avoid sitting down on the pool deck, patio chairs and using outside barbecue facilities until you know everything has been disinfected.  You should bring your own folding chair if you wanted to sit by the pool.

And I can’t stress it enough:  Always wash your hands thoroughly  with soap and water and use disinfecting solutions.

What if someone vomits outside?

The most simple thing to do is avoid the area of the vomit.  Do not let your kids play near there, and do not walk your dog in that area.  Vomit from an Ebola patient is highly contagious and contact with any fluids must be avoided.  If someone else stepped on it, they would track the germs with them.

A good way to avoid bringing germs inside is to take your shoes off before entering your home.  Wear sandals or flip flops that are strictly for inside your home.  When I lived in Hawaii many years ago, I noticed that most households practiced leaving shoes out in the porch.  I thought it is a good way to keep your home clean.

What about the dumpster?

Every apartment has a dumpster area where all the tenants throw out their trash.

If using the dumpster, wear disposable gloves and don’t forget to throw out the gloves after one use.  Do not reuse these gloves or and remember not to touch anything else especially your own face, nose, eyes, mouth or skin.

Disinfecting

Here is a good article regarding disinfection with bleach:

Ebola Virus Disinfection with Bleach

Don’t panic
At this point in time, both of the nurses from Dallas have recovered.   The lab worker who self-quarantined in the cruise ship turned out to be negative for the virus.  So there have been some good news.  There is one patient in NYC, and we are keeping our fingers crossed no one else gets infected.  As I mentioned in What would do if Ebola were to spread in your city you will need to decide for yourself and your family at what point you would go on lockdown or leave for a few days.
Read this good article on Ebola from The Survival Doctor:
This e-book also gives some straightforward information:  Ebola:  Understanding and Preparing for an Outbreak by Alex Smith
Stay informed about any developments and be discerning about whom to believe.  We pray this passes soon and no other new cases pop up.
© Apartment Prepper 2014

Book Feature: Liberators and Interview with James Wesley Rawles

Liberators

This post is by Bernie Carr, apartmentprepper.com

Today we are featuring James Wesley Rawles’s latest book, Liberators.  As you know Mr. Rawles is the author of several books, and is the founder of SurvivalBlog, one of the first survival and emergency websites.

What is Liberators about?

America has experienced a socio-economic collapse that spreads throughout the world.  Looting and rioting affect all major cities.  The book follows Afghanistan War vet Ray McGregor as he makes his way from Michigan’s Upper Peninsula to his parents’ ranch in Bella Coola, British Columbia, in remote western Canada. His old friend Phil Adams, a Defense Intelligence Agency counterintelligence case officer joins him in his journey.

Lightly populated Bella Coola, the home of Ray’s parents is not devastated by the chaos but is taken over by a foreign occupation.  Ray and Phil become key members of the resistance in a war that will have far reaching effects.

From Amazon:  Liberators depicts a world that is all too conceivable and terrifyingly familiar. Fastpaced and packed with authentic information on outdoor survival, self-sufficiency, and small-unit tactics, James Wesley, Rawles’s latest thriller will resonate with his dedicated fanbase and encourage new readers to prepare for anything from lesser disasters to the dreaded worst-case scenario.

 Interview with James Wesley Rawles

1. Do you feel the UN has designs on the U.S. in terms of taking control?

Yes, the globalist camp that rules the UN clearly has domination of the US in their long-term-plans. They simply cannot allow a bastion of liberty to survive if they have any hope of instituting global; government.

2. In your book there was a fictional invasion of Western Canada by China. China has been flexing its muscles of late – do you think China would end up owning us, or invading us?

That threat was accelerated in the novel for the sake of drama. Presently, since they lack blue water navy and the requisite transport, the PLA cannot project force across the Pacific. But in another 15 or 20 years, that threat could indeed be manifested.

3. In the story, one of the pseudo governments took over Fort Knox. In our current economy – gold has been dropping in price, “financial experts” say it’s not coming back up anytime soon, however the affluent are buying up large amounts. What is your take on gold right now?

I believe that gold and silver are both undervalued. My preference is for silver. At less than $18 per Troy ounce it is presently a bargain. Buy it cheap and stack it deep!

4. The oil boom in Wyoming, North Dakota etc. has attracted a lot of newcomers to these areas – has your opinion changed on which states are still good for bugging out or establishing a homestead?

My advice is essentially unchanged. The Bakken oil shale development simply represents further diversification of the economy for Montana. However, I would avoid living in the immediate vicinity, because of the many “camp follower” vices that are inevitable in boom towns.

5. The ebola virus is a concern for many, and at lot of advice point to the possibility of having to hunker down in your home and stay in isolation. However this may be difficult for apartment dwellers living in the city. What would be the best approach for apartment dwellers?

I would say extremely difficult, because of sanitation issues that would be created by backed-up toilets (in the event of a power grid collapse and subsequent failure of civic water supplies), or simply hazard one or more bodies in your apartment building that are not removed promptly-or removed without full attention to contaminating body fluids.

6. Most of my readers are city dwellers who are not able to relocate to a small town or rural area due to their circumstances – what are some options if they had to bug out?

Because you may only have ONE trip out of Dodge, you need to pre-position the vast majority of your food and gear at your intended bug out location. Without those supplies, you will just be another hungry person to feed, for the locals. Be part of the solution—not part of the problem.

7. I understand your next book will be a non fiction book. Can you give us an idea what it will be and when is the expected publishing date?

It is titled Tools for Survival. It is a comprehensive book that covers everything from guns to sewing machines. That book will be released by Penguin in December.

Our thanks to James Wesley Rawles for the interview.  Liberators has just been released and is now available in Amazon and other bookstores.  Like his other books, you’ll get involved in the story, and learn some survival techniques at the same time.

 

© Apartment Prepper 2014

 

Reader question: How Do you Protect your Emergency Supplies from Pests?

protect your emergency supplies from pests1

Photo provided by reader “S,” used with permission

This post is by Bernie Carr, apartmentprepper.com

I get a lot of emails on Apartment Prepper, and I always respond to readers’ questions.  Here is an excerpt from a recent email from reader “S.”  (I have removed any personal references.)  “S” provided actual photos.

protect your emergency supplies from pests2

Emergency bag, eaten through by mice. Photo provided by reader “S,” used with permission

I had some bad luck recently. My car broke down coming home from work.  As a result I had to leave the car at a mechanic for a week to fix a now bigger problem & figured it was wise to move my earthquake emergency bags from my trunk to my living room floor while the car was being fixed so that no one would be tempted to “borrow” from my supplies while fixing the car.

While that was happening, a restaurant next door started to be remodeled & I had to go out of town with a relative for several days. Since that relative had their own earthquake bags in their trunk I left mine at home over the trip so we’d have room for the suitcases.

I came home to my apartment & discovered something had eaten through the bags to get at the trail mix inside & had even ripped open a bag of store self tuna but decided it didn’t like it so the house smelt of rotten fish!! I had never had anything other than ants, spiders & crickets in the apartment before for years so this was a completely new experience for me!

So my question is, how do you keep your supplies safe from pests?

Reader “S” described a common problem among apartment dwellers.

She mentioned there was some remodeling going on next door.  Pests do travel from one unit to another.   I have noticed whenever someone moves out nearby and the unit is fumigated, there is an uptick in pests trying to come into our area.  That’s because the pests are driven out of one unit and they try to invade nearby units if you let them.

Preventive measure:  If you see movers, spray insecticide along entrances as well as corners of shared walls.  This should help prevent them from trying to come to you.  However this works on insects, but not mice.  We have discussed insects in a previous post, but today we are looking at rodents.

How do you protect your emergency supplies from pests such as mice?

To protect your emergency food, store them in food grade 5-gallon food buckets.  Mice or rats cannot chew through the plastic of the 5 gallon bucket.   Reader “S” has ready to eat items such as trail mix, granola bars and packaged tuna – these could all go in the 5-gallon bucket.  Place the sealed bucket in your closet.  Make sure the lid is super secure.  Hang your bug out bag (with non food items) in your closet.  In the event of an emergency and you had to leave, take the food from the bucket and transfer them to your bug out bag – this should only take 5 minutes before you run out the door.

If you are storing bulk food such salt, sugar, flour etc. for long term storage, here is a link to simple instructions: Repackaging salt for long term storage

Sometimes you can get food grade 5 gallon buckets for free.
How to Get Free Food Grade Buckets for Long Term Storage

Natural repellants for mice:

Thoroughly clean and sweep your areas, and remove any food.  Cover all trash cans so they don’t try to go in.  If you are already using 5 gallon buckets for your emergency food, make sure you are protecting your every day food as well – do not leave anything edible on counters.

There are commercial repellants available such as Rodent Defense  Spray in the areas frequented by rodents to keep them away.

Other natural repellants I have heard about but have not tried:

  • Peppermint Oil: Saturate cotton balls with peppermint oil and leave them around the areas you where have found droppings.  This is said to repel mice, sending them elsewhere.
  • Apple Cider Vinegar:  Clean floors, the insides of cabinets and countertops with 50% apple cider vinegar (does not have to be organic) and 50% water.  Mice will avoid the area and leave.
 © Apartment Prepper 2014

Sun Oven Giveaway

Win An All American Sun Oven in this Giveaway!

The folks at the All American Sun Oven company have teamed up with a large group of bloggers and we are giving away a deluxe Sun Oven! The retail price of this set is $399! But that is only the start of the reasons why you should enter to try and win this oven.

Sun Oven Giveaway

Using a sun oven can help you be more frugal by cutting your utility bills. Wouldn’t it be great to have that bill lowered. Cooking in a sun oven is just as easy as using a conventional oven and really only takes a few minutes longer in the cooking cycle. Prepare your recipe using a little less liquid in casseroles, soups and stews. For baked goods use the same amounts of liquids as the recipe calls for. Find the optimal direction of the sun and get cooking. Of course, using a sun oven does require the sun to be available. However, it is possible to obtain good results even on a partly cloudy day.

The All American Sun Oven is manufactured right here in the USA. The company stands behind their product. Globally, Sun Oven has worked to bring this off grid cooking solution to many undeveloped parts of the world, allowing people to eat healthier, cooked foods. I am happy to work with a company that has a giving mission.

With all the benefits of lower utility bills, being prepared to cook without fuel or electricity, and supporting a wonderful company, who wouldn’t want to own a Sun Oven! So lets get to the giveaway.

The Terms

(otherwise known as the small print)

The All American Sun Oven Giveaway is open to any resident who is 18 years of age or older who lives in one of the 48 US Contiguous States. This giveaway starts on Monday, Oct. 20th at 5:00 am (MDT) and ends on Sunday, Oct. 26th at 5:00 pm (MDT). The winner will be notified by email and will have 24 hours to respond. If we do not hear back from said winner in the designated time period of 24 hours we will choose another winner and they will have 24 hours to respond from the time the notification email is sent. Please check your SPAM email folders. Good luck to everyone! Let’s be prepared for the unexpected!

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Review of LUCI Solar Lantern

Review of Luci Solar LanternThis post is by Bernie Carr, apartmentprepper.com

Having very little space,  I am always interested in checking out products that are lightweight, space saving, and energy efficient.  I wanted to see if the LUCI solar lantern would deliver these potential benefits.

Here is my review of Luci Solar Lantern with photos:

The LUCI Lantern came in a very small mailing envelope.  It came intact and well packaged.  Here’s what it looked like right out of the mailing package.

Review of Luci Solar Lantern1

I opened up the cardboard packaging and found the instructions.  The lantern itself is very light and flat.  All the instructions were illustrated, The pictures are simple enough to follow, but being the anal person that I am, I had to go look them up.

Review of Luci Solar Lantern2

I also had some unanswered questions regarding the LUCI Lantern I thought it best to go to the source:  The package indicated the User Manual can be found here.  https://www.mpowerd.com/luci-user-manual

Review of Luci Solar Lantern5

I used a carbiner to hang the Luci on a small branch of a dwarf orange tree I keep in the enclosed patio.

Directions:

  1. Turn the LUCI with the valve facing up.
  2. Open the valve and pinch the bottom while pulling up.  You can then blow into it to inflate it.
  3. Close the valve and push down.
  4. I used a carabiner as a way to hang the LUCI on a nail with the solar panels facing up.  Later in the day, as the sun moved, I hung the LUCI on a tree branch.
  5. According to the User’s Manual, eight hours of exposure would give it a full charge.
  6. After the eight hours were up, I took it back inside.  Now it’s ready to test.
  7. A button in between the solar panels turns it on.  One push gives a normal light, 2nd push gives it a bright light, 3rd push makes it a pulsing light and the 4th one turns it off.

How long does it last?

According to the User’s Manual, when Luci is set on lowest light setting it will provide light for up to 12 hours after a full charge.

What if you store it away after the first charge?

Luci holds a full charge for about three months when unused. After that,
it retains up to 50% of its charge for two years.
How long can it be expected to last?
Again according to the manual, it should last for two full years with constant everyday use, meaning you charge it daily and use it every night.
For an emergency light, I can see it will last for many years, as long as you don’t puncture it or place it near a fire.

What I thought of the Luci Solar Lantern

I think it is a nifty product.

  • I like that it is lightweight, so you can take it backpacking,
  • It uses very little space, since it deflates and flattens when not in use.
  • I also like that it runs on solar power, so no batteries are needed.

Review of Luci Solar Lantern3The only part that I think can be improved is the plastic strip handle across the top – I would have preferred it to be smaller strap that you can hook into.  However this is just a minor point that does not take away from the overall usefulness and efficiency of the product.  As you can see from the photo below, the light output is nice and bright, even at the normal setting.

Review of Luci Solar Lantern6

The Luci Solar Lantern at normal setting in a dark hallway

Overall I think it is a great product and would come in handy for either recreational or emergency use.  It is flat and lightweight enough I can take it backpacking.  And, it is reasonably priced for $14.99.  I think the Luci is worth a spot in the emergency kit.  It would also make a great gift, even for both prepper or non-prepper recipients.

 

 

Treats and Snacks in Your Food Storage

Treats and Snacks in Your Food StorageIn the movie Zombieland, one of the goals of Woody Harrelson’s character had was to find a store that had Twinkies.  He was obsessed with getting a hold of a Twinkie stash he wouldn’t let anything, including a bunch of zombies get in his way.  It might have been just some product placement but they still had a valid point – a disaster does not make you stop craving for treats.

At the worst of Hurricane Ike, which sent me on my path to preparedness, I really wanted cheese and crackers.  When the stores finally opened, there was no dairy to be found, including any kind of cheese whatsoever, even Cheez Weez was gone.  After that, I made sure I have cheese on hand, including cheese spread  – I know it’s fake, but it’ll do.  I admit I happen to like artificial cheese flavor – Doritos and Cheetos Cheese Puffs.

Adding snacks and treats to your food storage

What Snacks and Treats should you Include?

The answer really depends on you – the items you really crave, as well the amount of space you have.  Some ideas:

  • Chocolate   A lot of people crave chocolate; I do enjoy a good bar of plain Hershey’s on occasion, as well as my all time favorite, Heath Bars.  You can even rationalize that it is good for you, especially dark chocolate.  You do need to make sure you buy it well ahead of expiration dates, and the packaging must not be broken.  When I first started working, I had the misfortune of opening up a bar of Rocky Road Marshmallow Chocolate (these used to be my favorite) and it was full of maggots *shudder*  I bought it from a convenience store in my office building at the time and it must not have been stored properly.
  • Crackers and cookies   Cookies and crackers can be satisfying treats, and not just for the kids.  Again, pay attention to the packaging and dates.  You already know what you and your family like, just pick up a couple of boxes and save them.
  • Nuts and seeds   Nuts and seeds are both satisfying and healthy – pick up a few cans or jars of peanuts, cashews, macadamia, almonds etc.
  • Dried fruit   Again, they are both tasty and good for you.  Pick up raisins,  dehydrated strawberries, blueberries etc.  Or better yet, pick up a food dehydrator and dry them yourself.  (one of my “to-do’s”)
  • Chips   Okay, these are not so healthy but I like them.  Between salty and sweet, I am partial to salty snacks.  Go on, pick your favorites and have a few bags on hand, just in case.
  • Bacon   The only person I know who hates bacon is a vegetarian, everyone else loves it.  Bacon comes in a can, so you have options.
  • Soda   I am not a soda drinker, but I do like carbonated water.  Some people swear by 7-Up to relieve stomach aches so who am I to judge.  Keep a liter or two in your pantry, you can always use the plastic bottle for water storage.  Or, learn to make your own soda at home.

Tips:

  • Make sure the items you keep are shelf stable, that is, no refrigeration needed.
  • Buy items that have long expiration dates.
  • Pick up items while on sale and stock up.  Halloween is coming up in a few weeks – now is a good time to stock up on chocolate and candy.  You can even freeze them for later use and use them for making other desserts.
  • Follow the same tips to avoid food storage mistakes, as you do other foods.

As an added benefit, your non-prepping teen or spouse will feel a little more receptive to preparing if you include their wish list to your storage.  In an emergency, having favorite snacks would boost family morale.  And, if nothing happens, then you still have your favorite treats on hand for cravings.

 

 

 



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Monday Musings 10/13/2014

Monday Musings 0132014This post is by Bernie Carr, apartmentprepper.com
Welcome to another Monday Musings, where we share interesting links about all things preparedness, as well as updates on the blog.

First the blog updates…

As I write this, we are hearing about a nurse who tested positive for ebola in Dallas.  The articles state she was wearing protective gear during the time she had contact with Mr. Duncan the first ebola patient who has died, however there was a breach in protocols.  Seeing a lot of searches on the blog about this; I urge you not to panic but stay informed and read all you can about it.  If you haven’t already, read previous articles I’ve written here and here.  I am sure we will be discussing this more in the coming weeks.

Lot’s of giveaways!  Don’t forget to enter the Cox’s Honey Giveaway that’s going on right now.

We’re doing two more this month, so please check back.  Today’s Monday Musings is likely to be the last one for October, as we will be announcing those giveaways the next two Mondays.  I’ll still be posting my regular articles as usual.

Good deal on non GMO seeds.  We also have the great discount offer from Seeds of the Month Club for Apartment Prepper readers – 25% off their regular price if you sign up through our Link below:

Seeds of the Month ClubBook Tour at Survivor Jane’s  Check out the Book Tour over at Survivor Jane’s site.  I’ve already done one review, and plan to do another one soon!

Now for the links…

How to be a Prepper…But Not One of Those Crazy Ones

Practically Free Egg Carton Dryer Lint Firestarters

Hands-Only CPR and When to Add the Breathing

5 Lessons on Self-Reliance at The Pathfinder School

I want Christmas to be debt-free

21 Survival Uses For Dental Floss

The boiling bag

Take care and have a great week everyone!

© Apartment Prepper 2014

Discount Offer for Non GMO Seeds

Seeds of the Month ClubI’ve always recommended using non-GMO seeds for any planting that you do, whether you are starting an herb garden in your balcony, of planting seasonal vegetables.  Now’s your chance to get non-GMO seeds at a great discount from Seeds of the Month Club.  They are offering Apartment Prepper readers a 25% discount by joining through this link or our banner ad.

Seeds of the Month Club

What are non GMO seeds?

Non GMO means these seeds are NOT genetically modified seeds.  They do not modify their seeds and do not obtain seeds from suppliers that sell genetically modified seeds.  These seeds are open-pollinated, heirloom varieties.

The seeds obtained from plants grown during the season can be used in subsequent seasons.

How does Seeds of the Month Club work?

When you join Seeds of the Month Club, you pay a set amount according to the set amount of time your choose.  Each month you will receive a packet of non GMO seeds.

The first month, you get eight packets of seeds; then every month thereafter, you get four packets while you are a member.

In addition, members get free shipping and 25% off any gardening products in their online store.

These seeds would also make a nice Christmas gift for the gardener in your gift list.

Now is a great time to start your collection of non GMO seeds at a great discount.

Now go check out the Seeds of the Month Club!

 

A Sweet Giveaway from Cox’s Honey

Coxs Honey-Shelley Idaho Giveaway

Coxs Honey-Shelley Idaho-Giveaway-raw, unfiltered, pure honey | via.www.foodstoragemoms.com
Are you a fan of using honey in your nightly tea, in baking or in cooking?

If so, you don’t want to miss today’s post. We’re giving away an incredible amount of honey to one lucky reader! We’re not just giving away any honey – Cox’s Honey is pure, unfiltered, raw honey; so rest assured, you will be receiving a premium product of the highest quality.

Cox’s Honey has graciously offered to sponsor this group giveaway. If you missed the opportunity to enter our last Cox’s Honey giveaway, be sure to enter for your chance to win a total of 30 lbs. of honey: 15 lbs. of liquid honey, and 15 lbs. of creamed honey-perfect for the family that wants the best of both worlds.

You will want to check out Cox’s Honey Website Premium Honey!

This Cox’s Honey Giveaway is open to any resident who is 18 years of age or older who lives in one of the 48 US Contiguous States. This giveaway starts on Saturday, Oct. 11th at 5:00 am (MDT) and ends on Saturday, Oct. 18th at 5:00 pm (MDT). The winner will be notified by email and will have 24 hours to respond. If we do not hear back from said winner in the designated time period of 24 hours we will choose another winner and they will have 24 hours to respond from the time the notification email is sent. Please check your SPAM email folders. Good luck to everyone! Let’s be prepared for the unexpected!
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Eight Deadly Survival Myths About Water

Eight Deadly Survival Myths About Water By “Just In Case” Jack

When things go wrong, the first item your average Joe citizen is going to stock up on is water.

It’s easy for Joe American to buy a five-gallon jug of water and assume the proverbial storm will pass within a day or two.

As preppers, we know better.

We know all too well the very real danger of complacency and, more, we know how easy it is for the water supply to become contaminated. Whether by act of God, foreign bodies, domestic terror or otherwise, the water supply is an easy target for The Worst Case Scenario.

Worse still, there are those unfortunate individuals who buy into the insidious rumors circulating around about what it means to purify your own water.

If there’s one thing worse than complacency, it’s the propagation of dangerous misinformation.

While the average Joe knows the myths, ultimately it’s the survivors who know better.

Here are eight of those dangerous urban survival myths that you would be wise to unlearn.

Myth 1: Boiled Water Is Boiled Water

One of the first things most everyone knows to do when he needs water is to boil it. After all, he reasons, boiling water will fully eradicate most, if not all, dangerous germs and microbes lurking just below that crystal-clear surface.

Not only is this categorically wrong, it could cost you and your loved ones everything.

While it’s true that boiling water is a simple and effective way to cleanse your water, it’s important to understand that the hotter the water gets the cleaner it will be. It’s all too easy to get that pot steaming and assume that the water is ready to consume.

The most important thing to remember when boiling water is that it is less about the duration of boiling and more about temperature.

Water fully boils at 212 degrees Fahrenheit, which is hot enough to instantly cleanse your water of just about any common microorganisms. If bringing your water to a full boil is out of the question for whatever reason and you have a thermometer handy, you can alternatively heat it to 160 degrees for 30 minutes or 185 for three minutes.

Myth 2: All Boiled Water Is Not Always Created Equal

Another dangerous myth about water purification is that boiling is a cure all. Something you need to consider is how dirty the water actually is. While boiling will effectively cleanse standing water or rain water, it won’t do you any good to boil chemically contaminated water.

Simply put, you aren’t going to boil that pesky depleted uranium residue out of your water.

The same principal applies to dirty water.

If the water you are attempting to purify is visibly dirty or murky, you should filter the water before attempting to cleanse it. It’s all the better if you are in a situation where there are commercial filters available but, if not, you have options.

One easy way to get the muck out of your water is to filter it through a clean shirt or a towel. If a filter isn’t available, you can additionally just let the water sit until the sediment sinks to the bottom of the container and pour the clean water off of the top.

Myth 3: Eating Clean, White Snow Is Always Safe

So, say the world went to hell while you were up in the mountains surrounded by pristine, fresh snow. There’s a common misconception that fresh snow is ready for you to consume.

As an informed survivor, you know that nothing is that easy.

While it’s true that snow makes for a great source of hydration in those dire, icy scenarios, it’s as important as ever to boil your water.

While it’s always a good idea to purify the water you consume, snow presents a different set of problems for the intrepid survivor other than simple contamination.

Paradoxically, eating snow can actually lead to further dehydration and, given the climate you’ve likely found yourself in, hypothermia.

Even though the snow itself might not necessarily be dirty, the energy your body spends melting the snow while simultaneously dealing with your plummeting internal temperature is simply not worth the risk.

Your best bet is to collect the snow and melt it down as it will warm the water as well as kill any germs it may have picked up off the ground.

Myth 4: You Need To Drink 8 Glasses Of Water Daily

A classic piece of mom-advice is that we all need to drink 8 glasses of water every day. While someone in a life-or-death, survival situation will likely be aware of conservations necessity, it’s important to know that your body can operate just fine on less water.

While it’s massively important for your well-being to stay hydrated, don’t blow your stockpile because you grew up thinking you needed 8 glasses every day. Cutting back on salt, soda, sweets and many other perishable goods while upping your intake of fruits and vegetables is a great way of keeping yourself hydrated.

The other side of this myth is that it implies drinking 8 glasses is purely about intake. On the contrary, one of the most important aspects of hydration is output.

Hydration is as much about flushing toxins out of your system as it is about satiating your body’s need for liquid. Since the objective is to rid your body of toxins, diet, exercise and vitamins are just as important as gulping down your valuable stash of clean water.

Myth 5: Only Standing Water Is Dangerous

Another popular myth is that as long as your water source isn’t stagnant, it’s safe to consume. The ill-informed survivor will look at a stream gurgling through the woods and over rocks and assume that it’s naturally clean.

As with all water consumption, the name of the game is purification.

As is the case with any water, even moving water has a source and you can’t know what’s stewing around in that source. Unless you want to risk a run-in with giardia or any number of other water-born sicknesses, you need to make sure your water is safe first.

Myth 6: Drinking Small Amounts Of Salt Water Is OK

Salt water, even in minute doses will actually speed up the dehydration process.

It’s the idea of reverse osmosis that comes into play.

The salinity of the water you would drink from the sea is much greater than the natural salinity of the water in your cells. So as you drink the salt laden water, the water in your cells will move through your cell wall membrane to try and dilute the recently ingested sea water. This means your cells and body will lose water by drinking a glass of ocean.

However, it can be used to cool you down as long as you don’t swallow any.

Myth 7: All Cacti Are A Source Of Water

While it’s true that there is water in many types of Cacti, its typically not as abundant as most are lead to believe. Plus, the water tends to be acidic and bitter, which can lead to unpleasant side effects such as diarrhea and vomiting (both of which accelerate the dehydrating processes).

Myth 8: You Can Always Count On Urine In A Pinch

Yes and No.

In a very extreme situation you can drink urine once, possibly twice but it’s really not a long term solution. Urine is waste for a reason, and even though it does have some amount of water in it, if you continue to recycle it more than once then it’s going to become more and more toxic.

You’ll quickly realize this is happening when the color of your urine continues to get darker and darker as you get more and more dehydrated.

In the end, drinking urine follows the laws of diminishing returns. The more you drink the harder your body has to work to process the toxins, making you even more dehydrated, which then negatively accelerates your already limited survival time.

Potential Life Savers: Your Water Survival Tools

Now that we have covered some of the most deadly survival water myths, it’s worth a quick mention about some helpful solutions.

There are two primary survival tools that I keep with me at all times. A portable water filter and a bunch of water purification tablets. While these two tools won’t make sea water drinkable or make urine pure, they will open up a much wider array of water options, when options are limited.

While a portable water filter can’t locate water for you, it will greatly increase your chances of survival. A portable survival water filter protects you from most dehydration enhancing sicknesses caused by drinking bacteria laden water.

So don’t leave home, travel, backpack, bug out or stay home without one.

-“Just In Case” Jack

About the author:
Jack’s an expert survivalist and prepper with an engineering and military background. He’s a dedicated family man and a proud American. Jack wants to help you to be prepared for anything. Trust me, when TSHTF you’ll be happy you met Jack. Sign up now to win a free Life Straw at SkilledSurvival.com



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