Human Water and Salt Requirements

We take water for granted.  Most of us drink two pints a day which is enough for us to feel comfortable.  Ideally we should be drinking eight  eight ounce glasses a day to stay healthy. In an emergency water may be scarce and this may not be possible.


If the weather is cool a person can survive on three pints of water per day for many weeks and feel alright as long as the food consumed is also low in protein. However in a nuclear disaster or a disaster with fires then you may need a lot more water.


So how do you calculate how much water you need?  According to a test done by the U.S. Navy about 15 gallons of water PER person should be stowed away for a two week stay in a shelter.


If you are sweating heavily and not eating salty food then you need to take salt or you could develop cramps. You need to eat about ½ tablespoon of salt a day in order to stay well. If there is no food available at all and you are just drinking water then you should add this daily salt ration to water at one point.


If it is an emergency you can carry water in doubled green garbage bags inside pillow cases or other bags.  Over ten gallons of water can be carried in a burlap bag if necessary.  Even a pair of jeans or trousers can be used to carry water if the legs are tied securely shut.


Inside your shelter or basement there should be a cylindrical water-storage pit inset into the ground. This helps keep the water cool and may protect it from radiation. Simply dig a pit and then line it with plywood and plastic.  You then cover this pit with more plywood and plastic so that it does not evaporate and so that it is protected from fall out.


Some survivalists recommend that the water pits be rectangular in shape. This prevents any water bags from slopping over each other in the pit.


The best way to remove water from a bag filled with it is with a flexible tube. The water should be siphoned into a waiting vessel. If you open the bag it is too easy to spill it. If you dip some kind of ladle into the water you risk contamination.  When not using the siphon fold the tube over and secure it with an elastic band or paper clip.


Never underestimate the importance of salt and water supplies during a disaster. They are the very stuff that life is made is made of.