Letter Re: Monitor Your Preps!

HJL, When it came time for the 6 month change-out of my emergency water, what a surprise to find how light the jugs felt! Both of my Reliance Products Desert Patrol 6 Gallon Traditional Jeep Style Rigid Water Containers had sprung leaks. Slow leaks, so I didn’t notice in my dry cool basement, but both were half empty. Okay, out they go! Then checking my Reliance Products Aqua-Tainer 7 Gallon Rigid Water Containers, one of them was light too, having sprung a leak some time in the not-too-distant past. One had a leak near the top from having the other …




Letter Re: Sanitation Issues: Understanding Home Septic Systems

Dear SurvivalBlog Readers, Recently SurvivalBlog has presented several articles on sanitation issues. I’d like to add to those. Many homes are equipped with septic tanks to perform as a holding tank for waste allowing waste decomposition to occur. Reduction of solid waste through bacterial action works, but is a slow process and often incomplete; additionally, a large number of chemicals we regularly introduce into our septic tanks, such as common soap, dish washing and clothes detergents, bleach, commercial toilet cleaning solutions, etc., are toxic to the bacteria performing the job of decomposition. Septic tanks are one part of the equation, …




Something in the Water- Part 2, by J.R.

Copper Like iron, copper is an essential element in a person’s diet. Too much copper, however, can cause health problems, as it accumulates primarily in the liver and kidneys. Like the current issue with lead in the water supply in Flint, Michigan, copper in drinking water can come from corrosion of copper pipes. Flushing the tap for 30 to 45 seconds can reduce the copper that has accumulated when the plumbing is not in use. Reverse osmosis or ion exchange are effective at reducing excessive copper from water. Lead The recent events in Flint, Michigan have raised awareness of problems …




Something in the Water- Part 1, by J.R.

After years of dreaming, planning, saving, and sweating, you are finally ready to leave occupied territory and make your move to the American Redoubt. You have poured over maps, studied census data, consulted with real estate professionals, and talked to county planning and assessors offices. You now are down to your short list, but what about the water supply? Water can make or break your new homestead. “It’s no problem,” you say. You checked the well logs, and the general area has good producing wells of reasonable depth, or your selected property already has a well. What is a Well …




Letter Re: Winter Survival

HJL, One point to consider regarding use of water filters in cold weather: Both Sawyer and Lifestraw warn that once their filter have been used, they should not be exposed to freezing temperatures. Ceramic filters are not as susceptible. From the Lifestraw web site: “If your LifeStraw has been used, and is then exposed to freezing temperatures, water inside can freeze and crack the filter. You may not see these cracks, so we recommend never letting it freeze once it’s been used. When camping at high elevations or freezing temperatures, be extra careful not to let it freeze.” From Sawyer …




Letter Re: Water Works

Team, Yet another solution to hot water is to use a solar inverter of an appropriate size to provide 220v power to a regular old hot water heater. I can recommend the Outback Radian 8000W inverter and the Rheem Marathon water heater due to the water heater’s high efficiency and extra insulation. It uses between 3000w and 4500w of power depending on the model, and if you put it on a timer it only runs at night when everyone is asleep and not using the inverter otherwise. I have seen that inverter run our well pump, the hot water heater, …




Water Works- Part 4, by JSP

Other Projects, A Future Project, and “War Game” Potential Problems In this final section addressing survival related water systems, I will outline a few projects we have completed, talk about a future project, and “war game” potential problems that could arise. Our personal outlook is that, when things crash, people who are previously identified will be coming to our place of retreat, and we also have to be open to the fact that the Holy Spirit may direct people to us who we don’t currently know. Our main residence has a standard septic tank and drain field, two bathrooms, and …




Two Letters Re: Water Works, by JSP

Hugh, Reference “Water Works, by JSP”. Back in 1960’s Dad buried a 250-gallon steel fuel oil tank. The oil tank was buried in heavy clay soil. In the 1980’s Dad retired and since he no longer needed the fuel tank, he left the tank empty. After an unusual heavy rain fall, the oil tank had floated out of the ground about one foot. Since the author is burying plastic tanks, I feel it is very important to strap the tanks to a concrete base, if he wants to keep them buried. – R.L. o o o HJL, In reference to …




Water Works- Part 3, by JSP

Hot Water Grid Down or When the Schumer Hits The Fan Let’s all agree that we can survive without hot water. Yet, as some have successfully argued on this blog that when it comes to food “variety is the spice of life”, I would ask why it is important, especially in a survival situation. “Morale” would be my answer. We could all survive on rice and beans, but it would be hard to keep group morale up if after a supper of rice and beans the group only could look forward to a breakfast of rice and beans. My personal …




Water Works- Part 2, by JSP

In part 1, I explained several things we did to take our water preps to the next level, which felt good but was still lacking in some areas. So, let’s start by looking at the potential problems of that system. Problems of Our Water System At This Point First, at this point, the poly tanks are not “plumbed” to anything; they are simply static, stand-alone storage vessels. Make no mistake that is way better than having no water on hand but not ideal either. Secondly, the primary grid down backup plan is a gas generator. Many people would argue that …




Water Works- Part 1, by JSP

Many years ago I became friends with an older gentleman who was a retired farmer. It seemed to me that there wasn’t anything he couldn’t fix or build, whether small engines, regular engines, diesel engines, electrical, electronics, welding, and so on. Not having been raised around people like this gentleman, he was a good role model for me, especially when it came to problem solving. He and his wife had retired, sold their farm, and moved to the “city” of 30,000 people. One day he told me that they were selling their home in the city to move to a …




Letter: Good Idea for BOB Water

Hugh, I thought I’d seen it all. Well, at my age I have seen most of it, but it’s not often I see a prep idea I haven’t seen before AND that makes this much sense. Access to water is one of the very top preps. Many places you will see an outside water faucet (aka hose bib or sillcock). But the owner has removed the handle so only he can use it. It’s a deep hole and very difficult to manipulate without the proper handle or tool, which is by design. Enter the 4-way Sillcock Key. It’s $8.50 from …




An Alternative to Calcium Hypochlorite, by TLS

I have read articles and posts, as well as listened to preppers discuss the use of Calcium Hypochlorite (Cal-Hypo) as a water sanitizer in The-End-Of-The-World-As-We-Know-It (TEOTWAWKI) situations. I owned a swimming pool business for over 20 years, and during that time I used Cal-Hypo, Sodium Dichloro-S-Trianzinetrione (Dichlor), and Sodium Trichloro-S-Trianzinetrione (Trichlor) extensively in both commercial and residential swimming pools. I also installed and maintained many salt-chlorine generator systems. Every time I read about someone planning to use Cal-Hypo for long-term storage to provide water sanitation in TEOTWAWKI, I cringe. Cal-Hypo has many serious shortcomings. The disadvantages are: Cal-Hypo degrades and …




A Project to Produce and Store Heat, Energy, Water, and Food, by T.S.

We all know that we can’t survive very long without water, food, and heat. Because we live in uncertain times, the benefits gained by this project would more than offset the initial cost. In a grid down situation, the extra heat, stored water, energy, and food production would be invaluable. The list of benefits include but are not limited to: Heat production to help heat the house. Water storage plus heat storage. Solar energy production and storage. Food production. Three years ago on a sunny winter day, I went out on our south (well, more like a southwest facing) porch, …




Two Letters Re: The Harsh Truth About Bugging Out of Cities

Hi HJL and JWR, The Harsh Truth About Bugging Out of Cities was an awesome article. Patrice Lewis definitely addresses the knowns, the unknowns, known unknowns, and unknown-unknowns in her article! I totally agree, based on the same data that she and her husband are looking at that most people won’t make it out of the cities alive. As a collapse theorist myself, if we do indeed have a fast crash (as compared to the slow one we’re currently in), I believe that the current societal trends– the suicides, the mass-shootings, overdoses of legal and illegal drugs, et cetera– would …