Emergency Water Filter

An emergency water filter can save your life; it’s that simple. In any major disaster, emergency crews are strained to their maximum capacity, which means that some victims do not get immediate relief and will have to fend for themselves until help arrives.

Including some sort of water purification system in your emergency supply kit can help keep you and your family safe in the event that the water supply becomes contaminated and help can’t get to you right away.

When a major flood happens, it can contaminate all available water for many miles. Sewage, mud and other pollutants find their way into rivers, wells and other water sources. Sterilizing water with bleach or water purification tablets can kill bacteria, but won’t do anything to remove mud and other sediment.

In some cases, an emergency water filter can do more than just remove sediment. Some types of filters are capable of removing bacteria as well. Charcoal filters will vastly improve water quality, but won’t guarantee you protection from microscopic organisms. Ceramic filters filter out nearly all impurities, but some viruses still may get through.

Reverse osmosis is one of the most effective methods of water purification. It can even remove viruses. It works by forcing water through a membrane through which only the water is able to pass. Filtered water bottles designed for extreme conditions can make virtually any water safe to drink, and they are compact and easy to use.

If you find yourself without a filtration device in the event of an emergency, you can make an emergency water filter out of almost any container. A large plastic beverage container filled with sand and gravel works well. Cut the bottom out of the bottle and set it upside down with the cap removed. Fill the bottle with filtration materials, starting with a layer of cloth or coffee filters inside covering the neck of the bottle. This prevents the sand from pouring out along with your clean water. Put a layer of gravel or small pebbles on top of the cloth to hold it in place, then fill the bottle with sand until it is about ¾ full. Suspend the bottle over another container and pour water through it.

The sand will filter most sediment and impurities out of the water, but will not kill bacteria and viruses. You will need to sterilize the water using water purification tablets, household bleach or iodine found in many first aid kits or medicine cabinets.

You can improve the filtration by putting a thinner layer of charcoal in the middle of the sand. You can get charcoal by crushing charcoal BBQ briquettes, as long as they do not have lighter fluid added, or you can make charcoal by lighting a fire and burning some wood that is free from paints and chemicals.

The best way to ensure that you have safe drinking water in the event of an emergency is to be prepared. Keeping some sort of emergency water filter on hand will make your life much easier if you find yourself in a life-threatening situation.

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