Survival School – Emergency Water Treatments

© Photographer: David Coleman | Agency:

Whether zombies are knocking on your door, or a natural disaster forces you to evacuate, there are a few vital skills everyone should know in order to keep your family safe.

Water, in any disaster or even while camping, is a precious commodity. Honestly, the best method to ensure you have enough is to keep store-bought gallons of water on-hand just in case. Store a three-day supply of water—one gallon of water per person per day. That does not include water for washing dishes—which must also be purified—washing your face, brushing teeth, and tending to any possible medical emergencies. At the very least, a three-day supply will give you guaranteed clean water long enough to allow you to find a safe water source to pull and purify.

In a pinch, FEMA and the Red Cross recommends the following methods for cleaning and purifying water for drinking.

Option 1: Boiling

Boiling water kills water-born pathogens that can make one ill. Boil a pot of water at 160*F (a rolling boil, not a simmer) for at least 1 minute (you may boil longer if you wish). While, yes, it will kill anything in the water, it will not filter out any debris or make the water taste better. Pack some cheesecloth in your go bag and pour the water through of few layers of that before boiling to filter out debris.

Option 2: Chlorine Treatment

Using an eyedropper, add 8-10 drops of non-scented, regular liquid chlorine bleach per gallon of water to purify (up to 16 drops if the water is cloudy). Stir and let the water stand for 30 minutes.

Tip: The water should smell a little like bleach (or tap water in a large city). If it does not, repeat the process and let stand for 15 minutes. If after the second dose of bleach, it doesn’t smell like chlorine, the water is too dirty to purify.

Option 3: Distillation

Distillation will not only kill most microbes that will make you ill, it will also make sure you do not drink heavy metals, salt, and other chemicals (such as those used in other purification methods). This is the ideal method to use if you have children, infants, or anyone with serious health conditions in camp. Remember, though, it is a slow process to clean enough water for an adult’s recommended intake of half a gallon of water per day.

Find a large, clean pot with a lid. You will also need a cup and string/twine. Fill the pot half way with water. Tie the cup onto the handle of the pot lid and put the lid onto the pot upside down, so the cup hangs inside the pot. Make sure the cup is not touching the water. Bring the pot of water to a boil for 20 minutes. The water vapors will condense on the pot lid and drip into the cup. The water in the cup is distilled and ready for drinking.

There are two more methods available for water treatment.

Option 4: Iodine Treatment

Use 5 drops of liquid iodine for every quart of water (up to 12 drops if the water is cloudy). Make sure the iodine contains 5.25% hypochlorite as the only active ingredient. The Red Cross or FEMA does not recommend anything else as suitable for water treatments. Iodine treatments are also available in crystal and tablet form. Follow the directions on the bottles for those.

Note: Iodine water treatment is not recommended for pregnant or breast-feeding women, anyone over 50, or anyone with thyroid problems. If after the first treatment, the water does not smell like iodine, it is too dirty to purify. Iodine treatment is not recommended for long-term survival use (over a week or two).

Option 5: Filter systems

There is a range of water filters available at camping supply stores. Some of them are downright expensive. If you live in an area with frequent flooding, hurricanes, or any natural disaster that would remove you from your home(aside from the pending Zombiepocalypse), we’d suggest maybe looking into a filter system. As far as stocking your go bag, use one of the above options and save your money for the essentials–toilet paper and coffee.


For all of the above water treatment options, ensure that the container you collect/purify the water in is CLEAN—washed with soap or rinsed with diluted bleach.

Be sure to collect clear-looking water from a moving source. Ponds and other stagnant bodies of water will have far more bacteria than large, flowing bodies of water. The cleaner the water is when you start the purification process, the easier it will be to clean.

Always boil water you intend to cook with BEFORE adding food—at least 2 minutes of a hard, rolling boil before cooking to prevent bacteria from hiding in the food.


It is recommended that you utilize commercially bought, food-safe water containers to store water in case of an emergency. Wash the containers with soap and water and rinse thoroughly before filling.

If you do not have the resources to buy a container, use a two-liter soda bottle. Not plastic jugs from milk, or juice (the sugar and protein do not wash out and the water will spoil). Wash the two-liter bottles and lids with soap and water and rinse thoroughly.

Fill the bottles with water from the tap at home (Add two drops of bleach per gallon if your house draws from a well. Public water sources are already treated). Or, use the clean bottles to store your boiled/treated water after it is cool/clean. Water stored in this manner will last for about six months.

The Zombie-proof House

Yes, this is really real and I can’t believe we found it! A zombie-proof house. Oh, yeah!

Let’s check this place out because holy crap, we have pictures!

This house is called “The Safe House,” designed by KWK Promes. After the CDC released their zombie apocalypse post Preparedness 101, I’d say we really need to take a look at this.

There’s a fortified fence around this incredible home. All the better to keep zombies off your property, unless we’re dealing with those zombies from Resident Evil: Afterlife, and man, would that ever suck. But look at how locked up tight that baby is!

I’d say the fence should be a bit higher, but this house is pretty close to the fortress type house I spoke of in my Yellow Brigade post. I do not, however, see a moat.

This must be remedied. Also, it is paramount that fresh water be available and I certainly don’t see anything pertaining to it, but perhaps that’s just not showing up in the photos. If it had it’s own underground spring, that’d be awesome. I know of a place like that in Arizona, and you betcha, that’s where I’ll be heading first when all hell breaks loose.

Take a 360 look at this most awesome zombie-proof house. If you click on the photos, they should enlarge. Then just hit your browser’s ‘back’ button to get back to the post.

That’s right, that is absolutely a drawbridge that you see in the fourth photo and it’s the only way to get inside the house once it’s locked down. THE ONLY WAY. Now let’s take a look inside, shall we?

And a few more shots of the outside, but all opened up.


Nice, huh?

Indoor swimming pool too? *gasps* Alright, so who has the land where we can build this baby?


Real Zombie Events

Dispatcher: Juliette Terzieff

Priority: HIGH

For the second time in a week Zombie Survival Crew has become embroiled in news of the zombie invasion nature. While the immediate threat levels remains, in ZSC Command’s informed assessment, low –the events in questions have made one thing perfectly clear: Now is the time to get prepared.

Last Saturday, Zombie Survival Crew cadres sprung into action after one of our own – Kim in TX – put out the word that “Sudden Zombie Attack” was trending. While our collective response was impressive even though the event was later determined not to be a zombie infestation, we identified some areas for improvement.

Then Wednesday news broke across the Internet of an official Center for Disease Control warning on preparation for a zombie pandemic*. (*note: the site takes a while to load, so please be patient. There are just that many people looking at it.)

The CDC’s preparation guide event tells ZSC Command two things:

1 – We have been right to suspect the UGA is not being completely honest with us, and may actually be working against us as we prepare to meet the onset of a cataclysmic event. After the CDC guide went viral the link stopped working. Government spokespeople blamed increased site traffic –our sources implicated the UGA’s hand. A few lucky souls were still able to access the CDC’s preparedness post. Feel free to keep trying here.

2 –There are those still within the government structures who agree with me and ZSC Command.

Zombie pandemic preparedness is serious business. The Zombiepocalypse may not unfold tomorrow, but an earthquake, war or other natural disaster could. Having a “go bag” and a pre-agreed escape plan is just plain smart.

Over the next several weeks ZSC Command will be rolling out official, brigade specific “go bag” packing lists in the Members Only area. Make sure to check in and see when your brigade goes up.

We’re also working on revamping our member skills/capabilities lists and escape routes to better accommodate our growing numbers.

And we need to move fast…zombie events are simply becoming too common to be a coincidence.