1st of the Month: Test the Preps (Water)

May 1st, 2013
The start to a new month. With the first of the month comes the usual safety checks that most homeowners and renters go through. One checks their smoke alarms to make sure they are all sounding correctly, checks the yard and property for any major infestations of insects and/or rodents, checks the financial status of one’s bills, accounts, and investments, and also checks all areas of preparations for a major event that could take place. The ladder isn’t a popular one amongst the individuals who work the typical 40+ hour a week job who spend their nights and weekends glued to the TV or a computer screen. Yet having a plan of action for when something goes a little off or the SHTF is something that needs to be created, maintained and adjusted accordingly and regularly.

Here is a story of how simple inconveniences could cause a major impact, and how to avoid issues:

Just the other day I got home from school to find that the city was going to be doing some maintenance on the water lines beneath the street in front of my house. The note informed me, along with each house on the block, that in 48 hours (between the hours of 8am and 2pm) the water could be interrupted or shut off and that they were going to hope to have it restored by that night.

Well this was something that got me thinking. First I had to inform my renters that they would need to shower early, if not the night before, and have all their cloths washed the day before. I also realized that it was going to be in the 90s that day and that I was going to need to water all my vegetables early enough to beat the construction work and heat.
Next I was thinking about having water to drink throughout the day. At half your body weight in ounces to stay hydrated, I was going to need to filter a few gallons of water for everyone in the house. Of course I have plenty of bottled water and a ceramic water filtration system (with back up filters) as part of my emergency plans, I still didn’t see this eight hour inconvenience as an event that would cause me to break into my water storage preps.
Well with water storage and preps in my mind I started to think about the event that someone working out there made a mistake (we all know humans don’t make mistakes) that caused the water to be bad or shut down for an extended period of time. Well then my mind was racing with ‘what ifs’. I had never thought of that before, at least not in a non climactic event.
Well fearing for the lives of all my baby vegetables I realized that I wanted some security. Above just a little over watering in the early AM I also was going to secure some fresh water to use for a few days as back up. Luckily I had bought some cheep used 50gal pickle barrels from the hardware store over winter in hopes to have built a rainwater catchment system, yet had never got around to it. In hindsight, I realize that if I had just done what I had planed over winter I would have already had watering redundancies in place to ease any concern. With a mind determined to provide safety and protection to my life and property I set out to make amens to my garden. The night before the construction I took the barrel to the highest point in my yard and dragged the garden hose to it. After filling it to the top I spun the lid down tight and thought more about the excessive amount of water I had just secured above my garden and how easy it was to do.
The next morning while I stood outside at 7:55am watering what was left of my front lawn and looking out over my front yard garden at the fellow HOA members who all had yellowing lawns and SUVs I saw the city trucks pull up and start setting down cones in preparation to start digging. I’m sure I overreacted to the potential threat of this standard operation done by the city’s water department, yet I knew everything would be fine from the start of my quest to be secure.

Please understand that living in California along the West Coast, my county experiences a seasonal drought of 4-6 months every year, which many residents here don’t know about or consider.
Outcome:
-Fortunately, they never even shut off my water throughout the entire day.
-I now have a water reservoir storing 50gals of water above my garden.
-Helpful hints and logic to share with friends and neighbors for future water security.

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