I admit I worry about the preparedness status of others far too much. However, if there was one aspect that I worry about the most, it would be the lack of proper Water Preparedness. As I review all of the questions that I’m asked via e-mail and my classes, the theme of Water Preparedness seems to be the most rife with fallacies and underestimated planning. So for starters allow me to be unmistakable on this principle: There will come a day in which you will be very grateful that you have 365 gallons of COVERED drinking water per person in your family. Yes, I know that’s a lot—but compared to what? Having 40 pairs of shoes is a lot too, but for some reason it’s a bit more acceptable in our society today, even enviable, than having water. That kind of acceptance and prioritization is a little out of whack, don’t you think, considering that water is literally lifesaving on several different levels—shoes, uh, not so much. Yes, I realize that 365 gallons of water per person isn’t exactly an aesthetically pleasing improvement to your land, it’s a lot easier to tolerate than dead bodies. While it’s not an activity that you take care of overnight necessarily, it should certainly be your initial goal in this particular principle of preparedness and here are some of the reason why it’s so vital to the well-being of you, your family AND your community. One: The brain simply cannot function without it. Your brain is the most water-ladened part of your body. The distribution of messages and signals to the rest of your body relies primarily on the amount on oxygen and water that your brain has to work with. (Think of your brain as the car in a courier service—it’s not going anywhere without the fuel.) In a time of great stress, you will need every physical asset you can possibly muster, thus having water for the brain is an invaluable investment of your time and space. Here’s an interesting tip. The next time you have to endure a grueling mental or physical exercise, instead of grabbing your can of caffeinated beverage to “get you through”, give water a try. You’ll actually find that you are able to endure the distance of the task far better than you have in the past with your other chemicals of choice, and you’ll find that you’ll recover from the endurance test a lot faster as well. Two: Water for the proper function of the entire body will prevent permanent physical damage to internal organs. You may have heard the too-often told myth that claims a person will die if they don’t have water for longer than 72 hours. This is indeed a myth though, as was proven during the Haiti earthquake of last year. A man was found among the rubble, very much alive, 11 days after the earthquake hit. No, he didn’t have any water during that time. While he was still very much alive, the fact of the matter is that your body will suffer physiological damage if without water for more than 72 hours. So sure, he was alive and able to join some of his family members, but I assure you, that lucky survivor also has permanent kidney or liver damage to show for it. Your heart will pump smoother, your skin will look smoother and softer, your eyesight improve, and your metabolism will work harder in a well hydrated body. So if the thought of potential gloom and doom motivation doesn't get you on the water bandwagon, at least permit some vain motivation to play a role. *grin* By the way, the word is WATER, not beverage. A soda pop or Kool-aid drink does not replace water in any way, shape or form. It requires so much more energy from your body to extract any beneficial water from such beverages to the point that you’re in a negative nutrition position. And yes, if you continue in this pattern then physiological damage will take place. The brain has first shot at all of the water you provide the body. The reason being is because the cells of the brain must be hydrated in order to function. If they dry out, then they die, period, and cannot be replaced. What’s gone is gone. Caffeine, alcohol, and nicotine are drying agents in your body. They consume copious amounts of water in order to be shuttled to the proper areas of the body. In other words, they rob your body of water. This is why when a person has drunk alcohol heavily the night before they will wake up with the proverbial hangover. That hangover is your head screaming for water. So the last thing you should be feeding your body to take the edge off is caffeine or nicotine . All you’ll end up doing is increasing the glycogen levels in your body and then you’re off to a completely different set of complications. Three: Our bodies expire two quarts of water per day via urination, perspiration, and breathing. You’re losing the necessary water content of your body at the rate of two whole quarts per day. If you’re not at least replacing those two quarts then your body will suffer physiological damage as well and if such habits persist, then such damage will be permanent. A lot of my research on water over this past year has even indicated that many mental illnesses can be helped dramatically with the constant consumption of water and that many of such illnesses are simply the consequences of a poorly hydrated body. In fact, there’s one well-known author by the name of Dr. F. Batmanghelidj, MD, who has successfully studied the impact of water consumption as a remedy for chronic depression and even cancer. If we practice diligently hydrating our bodies now, then even when a serious crisis comes our way in the future, we’ll be able to endure it far better if we’re not starting out with a water deficit in our body. At the very least everyone age 12 and up should be drinking at least two quarts of pure and simple water per day, just to stay on top of the needs of our bodies. Anything less is like running that same quart of oil through the engine again and again and again. Why BE a filter when you can make it so much easier on yourself and drink your water? Four: Water is vital to hormone balance. Depression, diabetes, ovulation, thyroid issues—all are complicated when the hormones are out of balance. Without water, it’s absolutely impossible for our hormones to regain their proper balance. For example, if the brain doesn’t get sufficient amount of water, it will instead demand glycogen and spike the sugar levels of our blood. Insulin is a hormone and it’s a very influential hormone. It hasn’t a chance at working properly in a dehydrated body. There’s not a day in your life in which you couldn’t benefit from a more healthy hormonal function. During a crisis is definitely not the time I would suggest experimenting with that fact. Five: Water is critical to proper digestion. While there are many who believe food may be more important than water, such persons will re-think that strategy once they find themselves in gripping abdominal pain as the result of their sudden change in lifestyle full of fiber-rich meals. There are many of you who are planning on indulging in more hearty fiber and freeze-dried and dehydrated foods when things get really bad. That’s great, except you’re going to need to hydrate your body even more than just the 2 quarts a day to compensate for that change unless you want to literally die as a result of that change in diet. Nothing moves in your body without water. Not the food, not your blood, not even air. You might as well try to live a life without love as to try and make a body work without it--and lots of it! Six: Having sufficient COVERED drinking water on hand is the only way to prepare against potential biological exposure which threatens to harm all open water sources; and depending on the intensity thereof, even the in-ground water sources. Preparing to meet ones needs with an open water source really isn’t preparing; it’s hedging and hoping. These are just a few of the reason to have plenty of water on hand for each person in your household. If you’re only storing one gallon of water per person per day, keep in mind that just to break even in our physiological functions we need to consume two quarts daily; so you can see how 1 gallon per person, per day, is barely a “drop in the bucket” of the potential needs. In addition to this gallon of drinking water (which may also meet the majority of your cooking needs), there is also the water necessary for sanitation. I won't get into the gruesome details, but regardless of how "hard core macho" you think you are, it's imperative that you bathe regularly and you wash your clothes regularly--not to mention the handling of the waste. When your body perspires, it's doing so by shooting toxins out of your pores. So basking in those toxins for weeks at a time isn't exactly going to make you suitable to be on the cover of Fit Magazine. One person practicing poor sanitation has the potential to wipe out an entire community within a 50 mile radius in less than 30 days. Again, those blue 55 gallon barrels may not look like much, but they are a heck of a lot easier to tolerate than piles of dead bodies. Additionally, I realize that paying $40-$100 for such containers may not sound like a good investment, but by comparison did you ever consider the price of a medical procedure that promised to make the pain go away, help the body function better or preserve a person’s life? I didn’t think so. Yeah, tally the difference between a life without water and the financial demands of having plenty on hand. I think you'll easily see that it's a no-brainer. So how about we get our necessary water, practice proper storage methods, AND faithfully use it now in our daily lives and keep it in its proper perspective and start giving it the attention it deserves. Obviously, there are myriads of other ways to store water such as in buried tanks in the back yard, one 2-liter bottle at a time, etc. etc. I only beg you to be wise about such methods. Be sure that you can stake your life on the WAY that your store your water and the AMOUNT of the water you store, because I assure you, someday that’s exactly what will be at stake.
Reference: Ten Principles of Preparedness
- Ten Principles of Preparedness Part 1: Spiritual Preparedness
- Ten Principles of Preparedness Part 2: Mental Preparedness
- Ten Principles of Preparedness Part 3: Physical Preparedness
- Ten Principles of Preparedness Part 4: Medical Preparedness
- Ten Principles of Preparedness Part 5: Clothing and Shelter
- Ten Principles of Preparedness Part 6: Fuel
- Ten Principles of Preparedness Part 7: Water
- Ten Principles of Preparedness Part 8: Food
- Ten Principles of Preparedness Part 9: Financial
- Ten Principles of Preparedness Part 10: Communication
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