Saturday, August 3, 2019

A Prepper’s Solution to Dirty Water Supply

by Angela


Are you a prepper who wants to ensure that you will have access to safe and clean
drinking water during camping, emergency, or survival situations? Then know that
there are solutions to disinfect and purify dirty water. It is even possible to make your
do-it-yourself water filter, provided you are resourceful enough to gather all the things
needed for it.

Note that certain emergencies, disasters, and other survival situations, like hurricanes,
water pipe breakage, or flood, might interrupt regular water service. During those
situations, expect the local authorities to recommend the use of only boiled, bottled, and
disinfected water until you can already access the source of safe drinking water in your
area.

If you want to prepare for such situations, then try learning a couple of techniques to
transform contaminated water into a safe and clean one – that is, water guaranteed to
be safe for consumption. Here are just some of the solutions and techniques that you
can apply to transform dirty water supply into a clean and safer one:

Boil water

One way for you to purify and clean dirty water supply is to boil it. This is a reliable
method of killing bacteria, parasites, and any other pathogens present in water. Note
that while you can’t expect boiling to evaporate all kinds of chemical pollution, many
still consider it the most reliable and the safest disinfection technique.

It does not take a lot of time to disinfect water through boiling. It only requires around
five minutes to kill most types of organisms. However, it would be much safer to do it
for up to ten minutes. You can boil water over a stove or campfire in a glass, ceramic, or
metal container.

In case your situation does not give you access to a fireproof container, then a wise tip is
to heat rocks for around thirty minutes then put it into the place where you stored
water. This could be a wooden bowl, rock depression or folded bark container. Avoid
using quartz or river rocks since they might explode once you heat them.

Use household bleach as a disinfectant

You can also use some items in your home to serve as water disinfectants. Note that you
will never run out of choices as far as disinfecting water is concerned as you can use
several solutions. There are even those who recommend using calcium hypochlorite to
disinfect water, which is a popular active ingredient in household bleach.

The use of household bleach is a great choice if boiling water is not possible for your
present situation. It is advisable to pick unscented chlorine bleach that is safe to use for
sanitization and disinfection purposes. You can see whether it is safe for that purpose by
checking its label.

Avoid using those that fall under the categories of color-safe, scented, and with
additional cleaners. In case you will be disinfecting cloudy water, allow it to settle first
then use a coffee filter, paper towel, or cloth as a means of filtering it. After that,
perform the following steps:

● Prepare a clean dropper and liquid chlorine bleach. Add some bleach into the
water using the dropper. Each gallon of water should be mixed with eight drops
of six percent bleach. Consider doubling the number of drops in case you have
cloudy, cold, or colored water.

● Stir the water then leave the mixture for around thirty minutes. It should result in
a liquid with a bit of chlorine smell. Repeat the dose in case it does not have that
kind of smell. Leave it for fifteen minutes more before use.

● Taste the water. If you noticed that the taste of chlorine is too strong then
consider pouring more water into the mixture. Leave it for several hours before
the actual use.

Take advantage of sand filtration

It is also possible for you to filter dirty water through sand filtration. One benefit of this
water purification and filtration method is that it is easy to do. It is also cost-effective
since it only involves the use of readily available materials. Sand filtration is also
beneficial as it can eliminate all forms of contaminants present in water, including
debris. Furthermore, it can filter a huge quantity of water all at once.

To do this technique, get a bottle then cut its base evenly. Your goal is to form a cone
from cutting the base. Use cotton or pebbles as the filter material that you should put on
the neck portion of the bottle. The filter material should be around three inches thick.
The next step is adding gravel into your chosen filter material to ensure that the sand
does not penetrate the water once you start filtering.

You should then fill the bottle shaped like a cone with sand. Pour the water you wish to
filter into the bottle. You will instantly know if the sand filtration method you applied
works if you notice that clear water starts coming out. Do not worry in case the water
that comes out is not clear yet. You just have to pour it again to the bottle and let it pass
through the filter to make it clear.

Conclusion

Contaminated drinking water can cause harm to a lot of people during and after a
disaster. It can lead to serious diseases, like cholera, dengue fever, hepatitis, typhoid,
and gastroenteritis, among many others. As a prepper, therefore, you have to learn a
thing or two about purifying and disinfecting water. Having enough safe and clean
drinking water is the key to your survival.

Sunday, August 12, 2018

My Left Thumb, or How I Learned To Start Worrying And Love My Body

By Forest Puha

Note: the following article has graphic medical pictures. Viewer discretion advised.

A month and a half ago, I was cutting wood with a circular saw and then I cut open my thumb.

Yeah. I make that seem low-key, but it's actually more painful, time-consuming and life-altering than it sounds.

It was fun to drop everything, including my tools, and yell in pain. It was fun to run inside and watch my family try not to faint. It was fun to rush to the nearest clinic, freaking out the staff, getting injected with whatever painkillers they had and arguing about whether or not antibiotics are covered under insurance while I was mildly stoned. Fun times all around.

Partly as a record to remind myself of what NOT to do in an emergency, and partly as a teaching opportunity to everyone else, this article will go over what happened and how you can prevent the same thing from happening to you. I learned a lot, including that ignoring common sense will only result in bad things for myself and everyone around.

Here's what happened using re-created photographs of the incident.



The equipment I was using at the time. As follows: 3M-brand eye wear protection, 3M brand silicone earplugs, a Master Mechanic brand handheld electric circular saw, and cheap generic black elastic gloves with yellow leather finger protection.

Note that the gloves are neither full leather or employ knuckle protection. This is Mistake #1.



I was sawing wood for a project, using my wooden table as a cutting platform. Note that I failed to secure the wood to the table surface with a clamp. This is Mistake #2.

I operated the saw with one hand, while holding onto the piece of wood with another. This is Mistake #3. Never, never, NEVER hold a handheld power tool with only one hand, ESPECIALLY a saw.



When operating a power saw, sometimes the wood will shift while cutting. Because the saw blade can only move in one direction at a time (forwards) any subtle movement will gather more wood than the saw's engine can handle, which forces the blade to suddenly stop. The momentum generated by the blade will be transferred into the saw, and as a result, the saw kicked back on me while I was holding onto it. It's not a problem with two hands...



...but I was only holding onto the saw with my right hand, and holding onto the wood with my left hand. The kickback of a power saw is like the recoil of a full-size rifle or shotgun. I had no control and I paid the price. I felt the saw and it really hurt more than normal. I looked down, saw drips of blood and very gently pulled the glove away. It was a gashing, gaping wound. The saw had hit the spot of the glove that wasn't covered with leather or any protection, but simple black fabric. Which happened to be right on my Metacarpophalangeal, the middle thumb joint.

 


Photos taken two hours after stitches were removed.

I calmly rushed inside, while my family freaked out over my accident.

Mistake #4: I washed the wound with cold water. Don't do that. The wound has particles of dead skin, leather, plastic, fabric, oil, wood and heaven knows what else inside; it needs to be properly disinfected with sterile solution found at the neighborhood clinic. The clinic promptly informed me I was very lucky; my wound didn't completely expose the tendons in my knuckle, so I wouldn't have to be airlifted to the nearest emergency room for surgery. They could simply put in stitches where I was at.

Then they gave me a shot of something to numb the pain while they stitched up my hand. It took a couple of weeks to be able to grab things and use a computer's keyboard, and a month to where I could bend my fingers around and not be in constant pain.

I learned a great deal from this incident. Mostly, I learned that overconfidence is a slow and insidious killer, and that even when I thought I had the required safety gear, I didn't have the RIGHT safety gear. I nearly paid for it with my thumb. It could have been my hand, or my life.

I'm in the market for a new pair of gloves. These Youngstown Utility Kevlar-lined gloves seem like a good start, roughly $30 on Amazon. Supposedly the entire glove is lined with Kevlar, even the fingers. I think they're cheaper than surgery and I'll have to review a pair.


From top to bottom: a carpentry wood clamp, a cast iron C-clamp, and a spring clamp. These are three kinds of clamps I have on hand, cheaply found in any hardware store, and I recommend everyone not only buy them for their tool box, but also USE them whenever you need to hold something down. I neglected to do so and paid the price for my stupidity.



Step 1: slide clamp over object and surface. Step 2: tighten until they don't move. Step 3: you're done. They're so much better than using your hands.
And the clamps allow me to use both hands when operating my power tools now. I have more control over the tool now! It's amazing!


It could have been so much worse.