Finding Sources of Water, Post-Disaster

Water SourcesWhen disaster strikes, it’s really important to have a ready source of water. This is why the number one item people prepare for in any kind of disaster, and should have available in their shelter, is bottled water. This is non-negotiable. Unfortunately, not everybody can plan. Disaster, after all, strikes unexpectedly. If you find yourself in a situation where your store of water is destroyed, or you did not get around to storing water, it’s really important to know enough about finding natural sources of water.

The first step is to be familiar with your local terrain. You see, water naturally occurs whenever there’s rainfall, and all land naturally either stores water or transmits flowing water underground. In most areas of the world, if you drill deep enough, you will find water. That’s how ubiquitous water is. Unfortunately, in the case of deserts or mountain terrains, you have to drill really deep to access water. In a lot of cases, water is totally unavailable. So it’s a good idea to be familiar with your local terrain so you can see where local streams and seeps are.

What’s the difference between a stream and a seep? A stream has enough flowing water so that water continuously flows. A seep, on the other hand, is a land feature where water accumulates but doesn’t accumulate to such a degree that it flows. It’s a good idea to start with these features when looking to source water. Also, pay attention to man-made structures. If you look at buildings with pipes or water heaters, chances are, they would contain water.

If you have a shelter ready, it’s a good idea to prepare as many containers to capture rainfall. This is fairly easy to do if you live in the part of the United States where there is regular rainfall. You only need to split soda bottles and place the open side upwards to capture water.

Finally, it’s always a good idea to be familiar about your local botany. By recognizing the different types of plant life in your area, you can zero in on plants that can typically hold a lot of water. Look for succulent plants like cactuses if you’re in a dry area. If you are in an area that gets quite a bit of rainfall, look for plants that physically capture water due to the shape of their leaves and stems.

More about various water sources during disaster can be found here.