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The water main in our street broke Monday afternoon, water all over, traffic blocked, and no one in the neighborhood has running water (in the house, some have it in the front yard headed into their basement.)

I've been accused of being a "end of the world survivalist" by my neighbors.  But today i've been able to help my neighbors with the lack of water.  We have 50 gallons of water in 1 gallon jugs, a Berkey Water Filter (well two), and a rain catch 55 gallon container.

I showed one neighbor how to draw out two gallons to use to flush the toilet, and gave the elderly lady next door two gallons of filtered water to use to cook and drink with.  The city says we should have water back by tuesday night.

I would recommend that people store some water.  2 litter bottles store well, we have Hawaiian punch gallon jugs that stack nice with a 1 by 6 board between them.  We invested in a Berkey filter (expensive but very good - about $150) that we use all the time to get rid of the stuff in our water from the city.  The rain catch system is really for watering the garden but this in a pinch.

Some of the neighbors are talking about getting a hotel!  more than the cost of preparing for "this end of the world as we know it" event (turn the tap and no water!)

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Comment Preferences

  •  Berkey filters are the best (11+ / 0-)

    I have worked in many countries in which the water was incredibly bad.  In one, the water coming out of the tap was literally the color of coffee with milk; in another, we actually found very small fish swimming in a pot that we had filled for boiling some vegetables.

    I have had an used a Berkey (used to be called British Berksfeld) with the charcoal candles for more than 20 years, and will never live anywhere without one.

    A similar story to yours.  I had a 10Kw generator in my garage which came with a house that I bought to rehab and flip - never had to use it and was thinking of selling it. When we got one of our inevitable ice storms and the power was out for a week, we were able to run leads to every other nearby house so they could have power, particularly to push the fan on their gas furnaces and provide a few lights.

    Got a few cases of beer and a couple of bottles of single malt from the neighbors when the power came back on and we shut down the generator.

    I am a warrior for peace. And not a gentle man... Steve Mason, 1940-2005

    by Wayward Wind on Tue Aug 19, 2014 at 02:21:19 AM PDT

  •  Preppers on DK: (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    CWinebrinner, Villabolo

    It would be good to have a group or regular diaries or whatever, whereby people could share ideas and encourage others.  It's pretty clear we're living in the "shit-hits-fan times," where infrastructure is breaking down, social order is breaking down, local gov is breaking in some places (going rogue = breaking down), etc.

    Oakland CA here, with the dangerous Hayward earthquake fault a short distance away from where I'm sitting at the moment.  

    25 - 50 gallons of water on hand at all times.  A tolerable stash of no-cook food that's good for about a week and should really be supplemented with a stash of MREs (soon).  Landline telephones that keep working during a power outage.  Always at least a half tank of gas in the truck.  First-aid kit with the usual assortment of bandages etc.  Emergency toilet (5-gallon pail with lid, & lots of trash bags).  Geiger counters (I lived through the Reagan era of the Cold War).  Respirator and some spare cartridges (for dealing with nasty dust after earthquakes).  Oldschool utility grade head-mounted flashlight and rechargeable batteries.  Crank-driven radios and flashlights, and some candles (never leave a lit candle unwatched).  Always up to date on my flu shots, need to get tetanus & DPT/whatever boosters.  Need to have a dedicated "bug-out bag" by the door with clothes & supplies packed.  Etc.  

    YMMV based on your local hazards plus whatever "misc./other" you can add for other unforeseeables.  

    GOTV as if your life depends on it, because somebody's life does.

    by G2geek on Tue Aug 19, 2014 at 05:23:01 AM PDT

    •  If you would like to stretch your flashlight (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      DrillSgtK, G2geek

      battery life, get online and buy new LED lightbulb replacements.  My husband bought some for his MagLights, and they are many times brighter, and will last for at least twice as long.  

      He also bought them for his Makita flashlights with rechargeable batteries, and we actually left one running overnight.  What used to be a two hour flashlight will now run over eight hours before needing a recharge.

      To the left, to the left....

      by CWinebrinner on Tue Aug 19, 2014 at 08:03:26 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  The maglights I own are also high intensity (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        CWinebrinner, G2geek

        lights using AA batteries, small enough (6-9 inches depending on whether they're 2 or 3 cells) to easily grasp with your hands. They can be used as a 'candle' by unscrewing the top completely and putting the lit flashlight's bottom inside of it. Then you can stand it up on any flat surface. You can read from a distance of a few feet without having to hold the flashlight.

        One precaution, don't keep the batteries in them for any extended period. I have one where the batteries went inside ok but after several months of storage they corroded and staid stuck inside the flashlight.

        A million Arcosantis.

        by Villabolo on Tue Aug 19, 2014 at 08:29:45 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  i have one of those. (0+ / 0-)

          Approx. 6", which I use for misc. tasks where high visibility is needed.

          Thanks for the "flashlight as candle" trick, that is highly useful.

          Agreed, batteries out of devices until devices are to be used, otherwise batteries will develop corrosion and damage the devices.   Batteries should always be kept on full charge and stored in an area that is out of direct sunlight and is cool and dry.  Exception for devices with built-in rechargeable battery packs, that can stay in the devices, such as a Freeplay hand-cranked LED lantern I have here (that needs a new battery pack one of these days).  

          GOTV as if your life depends on it, because somebody's life does.

          by G2geek on Tue Aug 19, 2014 at 02:40:46 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  yes, i'm looking for an LED bulb for... (0+ / 0-)

        ... the head-wearable flashlight system.  This runs on four D cells and is designed for continuous use by utility workers, so an LED bulb will mean it can probably run for days.

        GOTV as if your life depends on it, because somebody's life does.

        by G2geek on Tue Aug 19, 2014 at 02:42:58 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Speaking of water mains (5+ / 0-)

    A broader question is what is the plan to deal with our aging water mains and underground utilities? Having recently moved to the Peidmont Area of North Carolina, Greensboro had dozens of city wide water main breaks last winter.

    My own little community suffered a water main break in front of the elementary school last winter.  When officials patched the first hole, another one took it's place down line. This repeated itself 3 times.

    We do have this invisible aging utility infrastructure problem. I don't expect any help from the GOP. It's like living in an old house and ignoring the structural problems.

    •  Well, when a leaking water main... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Calamity Jean, Intheknow

      ...flushes the fill under the street into a broken sewer, if the resulting sinkhole opens up under a Republican pol's car, you might see some action. Until then, GOTV for Democrats.

      Float like a manhole cover, sting like a sash weight! Clean Coal Is A Clinker!

      by JeffW on Tue Aug 19, 2014 at 09:28:40 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  My grandparent's house (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JeffW, Calamity Jean

    was on a wonderful high hill in Kansas, with terrible water.  They drilled for water in three different places, and hit water each time, but it was such hard water that it wasn't fit for human consumption (unless you were constipated, of course-then it did wonders).
    They installed rain gutters all around the roof and channelled it to a 500 gallon cistern.  That was their drinking, cooking, and clothes washing water, with the best of the hard water wells used for bathing, hand washing and the toilet.  
    The water heater in the basement was the original one installed over 40 years prior when Grandpa passed away.

    A cousin built a house nearby and tapped into one of the hard water wells for his house.  He had to install the biggest commercial water softener that Kinetico makes to make it useable.  Eventually, he signed onto the Rural Water District and gave up on the well.

    To the left, to the left....

    by CWinebrinner on Tue Aug 19, 2014 at 07:57:52 AM PDT

  •  The water main in my street some time ago (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JeffW, Calamity Jean

    ruptured and created a sinkhole large and deep enough for a car to fall inside.

    Several such incident happened in the city I live in. The infrastructure is crumbling - no meaningful taxes.

    A million Arcosantis.

    by Villabolo on Tue Aug 19, 2014 at 08:35:34 AM PDT

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