February 25 Meeting Administrative Business: Meetings will be held every second Sunday at 10 am and every fourth Thursday at 7 pm. These will be for approximately one hour. Please be on time. We’ll roughly go by the following outline: 10 minute recap (from the last meeting) 20 minute presentation Product review Q & A/discussion Action item!!! We’ve all agreed that the group is where we get things done, so we will not be leaving until we have committed to accomplish something to further prepare ourselves! Water Storage: Under normal conditions, we need an average of 2 quarts per day. But often emergencies are not normal conditions! Children, nursing mothers, people with illnesses, and those undergoing physical exertion need more water. Most experts suggest having 1-1 ½ gallons of water. Our goal: one gallon/person/day. While many different people have different ideas about how much to store, ranging from 3 to thirty days worth of water, 2 weeks gives good leeway for drinking, cooking, and hygiene. This is particularly important as we do not want to ration if water supplies are low. We should not ration, but drink the normal amount of water and try not to exert ourselves so as to not need extra water (over the normal amount). Containers: You can pretty much store water in any clean container with a tight cover. Common choices are old milk, water, or 2 liter soda bottles (although anything that has ever held food or beverage is safe). Hardware, sports stores, and water outlets also sell 1, 3, and 5 gallon bottles (that are generally sturdier and tend to leak less). For ease of purchasing, and for sturdier bottles and longer rotation periods, buying bottled is easiest! If using old food/beverage containers: These containers are often semi-permeable, so store away from chemicals (like gasoline), as they can leak through. You’ll also need to check these for (water) leakage more often as well. Before use, wash container out with hot, soapy water. Rinse in a bleach mixture (1 tablespoon bleach in 1 gallon of water). Let sit for two minutes before rinsing with hot tap water. Fill with water and treat with 5-7 drops of bleach for every gallon. (2 liters is about ½ gallon.) If using stainless steel containers (which we don’t recommend) – do not use chlorine bleach to sanitize. Boil the container for 10 minutes. Storage: Place containers in a cool, dark place with no direct sunlight. In order to further this effect, you can place several bottles together in a black garbage bag (although this must be out of sun – if you put it in the sun the black plastic can amplify the heat). It’s best to store your water in more than one location, in case you can’t get to one of these locations after the emergency. (Even if you can only store a small amount elsewhere, your
ability to get to water immediately can save your life – or at least make things more comfortable!) If you have space, you may wish to store some water in the freezer. Not only will this make the water last longer (less rotation needed) and give you cool water (which will help if it’s hot!), this also serves to keep your freezer cool and keep your food frozen in the case of power outages. Rotation: Rotation is mainly precautionary (your water isn’t likely to grow things, but could leak, have chemicals leach into it, or start to taste funny!). You should be checking consistently for leakage. Check your water at least every three to six months. Tap water should be rotated every six months, prepackaged every year. (Prepackaged water contains expiration dates, although these apply more to taste than to “growth.”) If you get water from a self-serve water shop, water treated by ozonation is good for a year. To make rotation easier on yourself, when filling up the bottles label the containers as drinking water and date it. If you find the flavor of your drinking water has deteriorated over time, you can reoxygenate by pouring the water back and forth between bottles. Emergency stores (or the MacGyver method): In case of an emergency, shut off the water in order to protect it from contaminants. To get water from the pipes, turn on the faucet in the highest part of the house (to let air in) and retrieve water from the lowest faucet of the house. You can also get water from your water heater. Shut off power (and leave it off!) and wait until water is no longer hot. Close the water intake valve at the top and open the drain valve at the bottom. Let a few gallons drain off (to get rid of silt), and then you have 30-50 gallons of water at your use. You’ll need to purify (tune in next meeting!) if you want to drink, but you can easily use this water for hygiene. If you want to keep your water heater clean (and not waste those few gallons when you really need them!), every six months you can drain the water until water runs clear. Products: Costco is best for bottled water, and it stacks well for easy storage. Smith and Edwards sell larger bottles. (Add your ideas to the FB group!) Our initiative: Have seven gallons (7 days worth) of water stored by next week. Notes from the desk of Rachel: Anyone who uses Facebook – please sign up for the group! (You can FB search Em Prep Posse – I have tried this and we come up!) We’ve set this up in order for us to contact the most people with the least amount of effort. (You caught me. I’m lazy. Or, you know, a busy graduate student. Take your pick.) While we will send things out through GoogleDocs and make announcements through the ward, I’ll post updates, send invitations and reminders, and make general announcements
through the FB group. The group is also designed so we get all of you talking. The admin committee is no more experts than anyone else – and the more ideas we have, the better. We (the admin committee) have bitten the bullet for the first few meetings, but the group is designed so we all share our expertise. We’re focusing (for the moment) on food and water storage. If you feel you have any expertise and/or interest on either of these subjects, we’d love to hear from you. While we are not the preparedness police, we all agreed (and by we I mean the big group, not the admins making sweeping decisions) that our purpose was to get things done. I’m not going to be personally calling each of you to make sure you’re getting the action items done. However, while knowledge is power, you’re not going to be very powerful unless you use that knowledge. We want to move forward and be prepared on multiple fronts, and we can only do this if the group, as a whole, takes what we learn and applies it. We’re trying to make action items realistic for our lifestyle. If you feel that they are unreasonable, a) speak up while we’re talking about them, and b) post reasonable alternatives on the FB page. We want you to be prepared, so please be doing the action items. Please feel free to ask questions, give responses, and in general have fun. I said this in meeting, and I’ll say it again as often as I need to: this is your group. The admins have two responsibilities: 1) streamline things so we have a format where we can get things done, and 2) to get information out to you so you can get things done.
We look forward to seeing you all in two weeks and hearing your great ideas about water storage! (Okay, so I won’t police, but I will guilt trip! )