Tag Archives: drinking water

Storing Water

Some European countries are advising people to stockpile a minimum amount of water and food in case of emergencies. This certainly makes good sense in a rural area like Somerset. Our civil contingency plans recommend looking at two weeks’ supplies before normal services can be resumed, in a general worst case scenario.

We’ve had the mains water cut off before. If you’ve got enough bottled water to last a whole fortnight, it’d be easy to cope for a day or so. Where could you keep it? Any dark place will do – under the stairs, in the loft, out in a shed. Be careful in a loft as the floor is not safe to walk on, nor strong enough to hold full water containers. You’ll have to put planks across the rafters.

The five litre (gallon) bottles are the best ones to keep. The empty containers will be useful if the authorities bring a bowser or outside tap. Ideally you should have two litres of drinking water per person per day. For a fortnight, seven of these large bottles each will do.

This is quite a lot of storage for a family of four! If you simply haven’t the space for a full supply, keep a couple of the 25 litres (5 gallon) plastic water containers as well, such as people use on caravan holidays. Store them dry and empty; keep a bit of hose and a funnel with them as they’re hard to fill up from a sink tap. You’ll probably get some warning if the mains supply is going to fail, so you can get these full before it does.

a selection of water containers for an emergency

Make sure your bath plug fits and fill this up too. Extra water for washing would be nice! Remember full baths can be dangerous for small children. Add a couple of buckets and a large jug to your list and you have an excellent emergency kit to cope with quite a long interruption of mains water supplies.

For more information about emergency planning and community resilience, read ‘The Resilience Handbook – How to survive in the 21st century’

Festival Camping!

Camping at an event is a good challenge for your resilience!

At Glastonbury and other large festivals, it often begins with the marathon dash from a remote car park to secure a good camping spot. It’s worth looking for maps and tips online to plan your route. The best fields may be already full; have a few options ready. You’ll need to be carrying your tent, some drinking water and enough equipment to last the night. Give yourself the option of going back for the rest next day.

If you’re coming as a group, plan how to share equipment, organise cooking and hot water together. You’ll need to get water for your camp from one of the standpipes. Think how you’ll manage this.

Remember that candles, tea lights and incense are fires and need careful attention. Never leave them lit anywhere if you go out. Don’t use a candle to light up a small tent. Use battery powered LED lights instead.

NEVER BRING A BARBECUE OR CHARCOAL BURNER INDOORS. The carbon monoxide can kill you. If you’re cold at night, hot water bottles are much safer.

Put your tent up at home before you leave to find out if it is still all there, not with rips and bits missing. Small tears can be fixed with gaffer tape, but make sure the fabric is dry first. Bring extra tent pegs and remember something to hammer them in with. Keep guy ropes as short as possible on site or people may trip over them.

Facing your tents inwards if you’re camping in a group is more friendly, but have a dressing gown, there’s bound to be something you need in the middle of the night when people are still sitting around. You could put a windbreak around the front of your tent for an extra porch and private washing space if you’re camping alone.

Please keep your camp site tidy. Bring a few carrier bags with you and empty them regularly. Pay particular attention to making your rubbish ‘wildlife safe’.

festival camping

Near the top of every event ‘how to camp’ page is a warning not to bring valuables. Don’t bring valuables. Even if an event has a very low crime rate there are other hazards. If something fell out of your bag in the long grass or in a dimly lit venue area it may be gone for good.

A slim line money belt is handy, light weight combat style trousers or pocket belt are all useful. You can expect uneven ground, so bring sturdy shoes. Wearing high heels in a field is an art, which should be practised before trying it in public! Bring a day bag to carry supplies and shopping while you’re out and about, preferably one you can wear like a rucksack. It’s only too easy to put it down and forget it. You could write your mobile number, name and postcode inside the flap just in case.

Conserve your phone battery by turning all the settings down. There are often long queues at the charging stations. Nylon tents aren’t soundproof; late at night when all is quiet, be aware that quite a few people will be able hear your personal conversations! Use an earpiece to listen to music in your tent.

It’s always worth doing a bit of research into an event you’re planning to camp at. Read the terms and conditions – if you are relying on using a camping gas cooker, you should check whether the gate staff will confiscate it! Talk to someone who’s been there or have a look at forum posts.

You’ll have more fun if you look after yourself and plan to live comfortably while partying!