The Role of Water in Survival: How to Find, Purify, and Store Water in a Crisis

Water is one of the most essential elements for survival, yet it can be scarce in times of crisis. In an emergency situation, access to safe drinking water could mean the difference between life and death.

Therefore, knowing how to locate a source of clean water and how to purify it is absolutely critical when disaster strikes or you are out on an extended backpacking trip. But that’s not all – storing your supply of water correctly will ensure that you have enough for hydrating yourself as well as using for cooking if needed!

In this article we’ll discuss the role of water in a survival situation and talk about some simple steps you can take to find, purify, and store enough potable water so that you can survive any tough situation. So strap in — let’s dive into all things H2O!


Water is an essential resource for human survival, but in a crisis situation, it can be hard to come by. This article explores the role of water in survival and how to find, purify, and store water when faced with an emergency. We will discuss the importance of finding clean drinking water and provide tips on how to ensure your supply is uncontaminated. Finally, we’ll cover some helpful tips on storing water so that you can make the most out of your resources in times of need.

1. The Importance of Water in Survival

Water is one of the most essential elements for survival. Humans can only survive a few days without water, especially in extreme climates. It’s also important to note that our bodies are composed of around 60% water – so staying hydrated and staying healthy go hand-in-hand.

Water isn’t just for drinking either; it’s used to cook food, clean wounds, wash dishes and clothes, and even help you stay cool in hot weather. Therefore, having access to clean water is absolutely critical in any survival situation.

This is why it’s important to know how to find water sources when SHTF (shit hits the fan). Additionally, if you have access to natural sources such as streams or lakes, you’ll need to know how to purify the water before using it for drinking or cooking. Finally, knowing how to store your collected/purified water is key if you’re looking for long term solutions or more permanent living arrangements.

2. How to Find Water in a Crisis

Water is a key resource in any survival situation, so it’s important to know how to find and gather water. Fortunately, there are plenty of ways to do this.

Above Ground Sources: There are many sources of natural water above ground that can be used for drinking or cooking in an emergency. These include rivers, streams, lakes, ponds, and rainwater collected from tarps or other surfaces. It’s also possible to collect dew from plants using towels or clothes.

Below Ground Sources: In some instances, you may need to look below the surface for your source of fresh water. You can dig shallow wells near natural springs or low-lying areas where groundwater accumulates during the rainy season. It’s also possible to use a hollow reed (or similar object) as a straw; plunge it into mud holes or depressions where groundwater collects and suck out the water with your mouth.

It’s important to note that all natural sources of drinking water should be purified before consuming them otherwise they might contain harmful contaminants like bacteria and viruses which could lead to illnesses if consumed without proper treatment beforehand.

Above Ground Sources

In the event of an emergency, finding water can be hard but it is possible. There are a few sources of above-ground water that you should keep in mind when looking for a reliable source during a crisis. These include:

  • Streams and rivers: While these may not always be available or accessible, they are still an excellent source of clean and safe drinking water and can supply large amounts quickly.
  • Ponds and lakes: Larger bodies of water such as ponds and lakes provide an abundant source of drinking water in many areas. They are also often free from chemical contamination since they tend to have less runoff than streams or rivers.
  • Rainwater: If you have access to rain barrels or other containers, collecting rainwater can be a great way to store up enough fresh drinking water for your family over time.
  • Plants: Certain plants like cacti, coconuts, bamboo stalks, etc., contain drinkable liquid that could sustain your hydration needs until you find another safe source of potable (drinkable) water.

Below Ground Sources

When you find yourself in a survival situation, the task of finding water can be daunting. Fortunately, there are multiple sources to look for if you know where to search.

Below ground sources like rivers and streams are often reliable sources of drinkable water, as long as they aren’t near an industrialized area or other source of contamination. Wells and springs may also be potential sources, but it’s important to inspect these carefully before taking any water from them. You should also be aware that some areas may have limited access to below-ground water due to drought or other climate change effects.

It is also possible to find underground reservoirs that were created by natural processes such as seepage or flooding over time. These reservoirs usually contain water with a higher concentration of minerals than surface-level waters, so you should not rely solely on these types of reservoirs for drinking water in the event of an emergency situation.

3. How to Purify Water

When it comes to water pur, there are three main methods – boiling, filtration, and chemical treatment. Each of these methods has its own advantages and disadvantages depending on the situation.

Boiling is one of the simplest ways to make sure that your water is safe to drink as it kills off any bacteria or other organisms living in the water. To do this, bring the water to a rolling boil for at least 3 minutes before consuming it. This method works best when you have access to fuel such as wood or charcoal so that you can heat up the water quickly and efficiently.

Filtration is another way of removing impurities from your drinking water and making sure that it’s safe for consumption. There are many different types of filters available on the market today, ranging from basic cloth filters all the way up to sophisticated carbon filters which can remove almost all impurities from your drinking water.

Finally, chemical treatments involve adding chemicals such as chlorine or iodine into your drinking water in order to kill off any bacteria or other microorganisms present in it before they have a chance to cause harm. These treatments usually come in pre-measured packages which are easy to use even without access to clean running water or electricity. However, they should be used with caution since some chemicals may be harmful if not used correctly (e.g., too much chlorine).


Boiling is an effective way to purify water as it kills bacteria and other pathogens. It requires you to bring the water to a rolling boil for at least one minute before it can be considered safe for drinking. Once boiled, the water needs to cool down before you can drink it or store it, so consider this extra time when boiling large quantities of water.

You should also keep in mind that boiling alone won’t get rid of chemical pollutants such as heavy metals or agricultural runoff, so if you’re unsure about the quality of the source water, use a filter like those mentioned below in addition to boiling. This will ensure that your purified drinking water is free from both biological and chemical contaminants.


If you’re looking to purify your water, filtration is a great option. Filtration systems are designed to remove sediment, bacteria, protozoa, and other contaminants from the water. This can be done with a variety of methods including charcoal filters, ceramic filters, paper or cloth filters and even using natural materials such as grass or leaves.

Filtration systems come in many shapes and sizes; so if you’re out in the wild trying to find clean drinking water it’s important to have the right tools on hand. A simple hand-pump filter is an ideal choice for backpackers because they are lightweight and don’t require any power source or chemicals for operation.

However, if you have access to electricity then you may want to consider using an electric filter system that uses UV light technology to kill pathogens in your water supply.

It’s also important to keep your filter clean; this means replacing cartridges regularly depending on how much sediment has been picked up by the filter material over time. Keep track of when it needs changing so you know that your filtered water will always be safe to drink!

Chemical Treatment

Chemical treatment is an effective way to purify water in a crisis. It involves adding a few drops of chlorine or other chemicals like iodine, chloramine, and calcium hypochlorite to the contaminated water. This process is usually fast and does not require any extra effort or expensive equipment.

Chemical treatment methods are especially useful for treating large quantities of water at once as they are typically easy to administer and can be done quickly without sacrificing quality or safety. However, it’s important to note that these chemicals may leave behind a taste or smell after being added, so make sure you use them according to the instructions on the container if possible.

It’s also important to remember that chemical treatments do not remove suspended particles from the water so it’s still necessary to filter out debris before drinking the treated water. Furthermore, some chemicals like bleach may be dangerous in high doses so always follow usage instructions carefully when using them for purifying purposes.

4. How to Store Water

Water is one of the most important elements in a survival situation, so it’s essential to know how to store it safely. There are a few different methods for storing water in an emergency, and it’s important that you choose the right one based on your individual needs and circumstances.

The most common way to store water is in plastic bottles or containers. Plastic bottles are lightweight, easily transportable, and can be sealed tightly to prevent evaporation. Containers come in various sizes and can be stored inside or outside depending on your storage needs.

Above ground tanks are another option for storing large amounts of water onsite. These tanks come in a variety of sizes and materials like metal or fiberglass reinforced plastic (FRP). They provide easy access to large quantities of water and may require additional treatments before use due to potential contamination from dirt or algae buildup over time.

It’s also important to keep safety tips in mind when storing water during an emergency: always use clean containers that have been properly washed with non-toxic soap; keep them away from sunlight which can lead to bacteria growth; keep them away from areas where contamination could occur; and store them in cool, dark places such as caves or basements if possible.

Plastic Bottles

Plastic bottles are a great option for storing water in a crisis, as they are lightweight, durable, and can be easily transported. It’s best to use plastic bottles that have been specifically designed for water storage – these will usually be free of BPA or other harmful chemicals.

When using plastic bottles for water storage, make sure to clean them thoroughly before filling with water. This can be done by rinsing the bottles with boiling hot water or soaking them in warm soapy water for several minutes prior to filling with your purified drinking source.

Once the bottle is cleaned and filled, it should be tightly sealed and stored away from direct sunlight or any sources of contamination. It’s also important to label each bottle clearly as “drinking only” so that no one accidentally downs dirty water during an emergency situation!


There are many types of containers that can be used to store water in a crisis. Plastic bottles and jugs are an excellent option as they’re lightweight, compact, and relatively inexpensive. You should always use clean containers to avoid contamination, and make sure that the opening is wide enough for you to fill with water without spilling it.

Metal water cans or canteens are also great for storing water as they’re durable and long-lasting. They’re available in various sizes so you’ll be able to find one that fits your needs. However, these types of containers tend to be heavier than plastic ones, which may not be ideal if you need to transport them over longer distances.

If you have the space and resources, large storage tanks or barrels are also an ideal option for storing large amounts of water quickly in a crisis situation. This type of storage container can hold up to 55 gallons (208 liters) but keep in mind that they’re quite heavy when full, so it can be hard to transport them from one place to another.

Above Ground Tanks

Above ground tanks are a great option for storing water in a crisis. They allow you to store large amounts of water that can be accessed easily and quickly. Most above ground tanks come with the necessary fittings, including taps, filters, valves and pumps.

When selecting an above ground tank for water storage, make sure it is made from food grade material such as stainless steel or polyethylene plastic so you can be sure that your stored water will remain safe for drinking. Additionally, make sure to check the seal at the top of the tank regularly to ensure no contamination has entered from outside sources.

It’s also important to clean your tank regularly – about once a month – using either chlorine bleach or hydrogen peroxide if available. This will help keep mold and bacteria growth under control and help keep your stored water safe for consumption in an emergency situation.

5. Tips for Storing Water in a Crisis

When it comes to storing water in a crisis, it’s important to make sure that the containers used are clean and free from contamination. This will help ensure that you have safe drinking water later on when you need it. Here are some tips for storing water in a crisis:

  • Use Clean Containers: It’s important to use clean containers that don’t contain any harmful bacteria or contaminants. The best option is food-grade plastic bottles or containers, as they are designed specifically for storing liquids like water without introducing any unwanted elements into the mix.
  • Keep Away from Sunlight: It’s also important to keep your stored water away from direct sunlight as exposure to UV rays can lead to bacterial growth and other issues down the line. Storing your containers of water in a cool, dark place is ideal for preserving its freshness and preventing contamination.
  • Keep Away from Contamination: If possible, try and store your containers away from potential sources of contamination such as chemical storage tanks or industrial sites where toxins may be present in the air or ground.
  • Store in Cool & Dark Place: Finally, always store your containers of water in a cool place with minimal light exposure. Storing them inside an insulated container or cooler bag can help keep them at optimal temperatures so they remain safe for consumption even after long periods of time

Use Clean Containers

When storing water in a container, it’s important to make sure that the container is clean and free of contaminants. This includes any bacteria or viruses that may be present in the water prior to storage.

You should also avoid using containers or bottles that have been used for other beverages or chemicals as they may contain residual materials that could taint your stored water. For best results, use only food grade plastic containers designed specifically for storing drinking water.

Be sure to wash these containers thoroughly with warm soapy water before filling them with freshly purified water. It’s also a good idea to rinse out the container once more after you’ve added the purified water, just to make sure everything is clean and ready for use when needed.

Keep Away from Sunlight

Sunlight is a major contributor to water contamination, making it important to store your water in a place that won’t be exposed to sunlight. This is because the UV radiation can cause bacteria and other microorganisms to grow in the water.

In addition, constant exposure of water containers to sunlight can cause them to degrade, increasing the chances of contaminants entering your stored supply. Therefore, try and find a cool dark area for storing your supplies where they will not be exposed directly or indirectly to sunlight. If this isn’t possible, consider using an opaque container such as a plastic bottle or box that blocks out light.

Keep Away from Contamination

When storing water in a crisis, it is important to make sure that the water is not contaminated. Contamination can occur due to various sources, such as animals or humans who have come into contact with the water source.

To avoid contamination of water stored in containers, you should make sure that only clean containers are used for storage purposes and the lids are secured tightly on all containers. The containers should also be washed with soap and hot water after each use to ensure any contaminants on them are removed.

Be careful when handling any outdoor sources of water; if possible, wear gloves when filling up your container as there may be disease-causing organisms present in these wild sources that could cause harm if ingested. Additionally, check the area around the source for signs of pollution before collecting drinking-grade water from it. Pollutants such as dead animals or chemical runoff could lead to contaminated drinking-water.

Store in Cool, Dark Place

Storing water in a cool, dark place is an important part of the survival process. The temperature and light exposure can significantly reduce the effectiveness of certain purification methods, such as boiling or chemical treatments. By keeping water stored away from direct sunlight and other sources of heat, you can help preserve its quality over time.

When storing water containers outdoors, avoid areas that may be prone to flooding or contamination because this could further reduce the quality of your stored water. You should also regularly inspect any unopened containers for signs of leaking or deterioration before using them in case they were damaged during storage. Lastly, if possible store extra clean containers so you’ll have backups handy in case any go bad while being stored.


Water is a crucial resource in any survival situation, and the ability to find, purify, and store water can mean the difference between life and death. Knowing how to locate water sources, purify contaminated water, and store clean drinking water will be essential for your survival.

When it comes to finding water in a crisis situation, look for above ground sources such as rivers or streams; underground sources like wells or springs; or even human-made structures such as dams. Once you’ve located an appropriate source of water, it’s important that you treat it before consuming by boiling, filtering through a cloth or container lid, or adding chemical treatments like chlorine tablets. To ensure that the clean drinking water you have collected remains safe for consumption over time, make sure you store it in plastic bottles (or other containers) away from contamination sources like sunlight and chemicals. Additionally keep your storage containers away from direct heat which can cause evaporation thereby decreasing its effective shelf life.

By keeping these tips in mind when looking for reliable sources of safe drinking water during a survival situation is key to having access to this important resource safely and securely no matter what circumstances you may find yourself facing!

How to Find, Purify, and Store Water in a Crisis


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