Collecting Rain Water Urban Survival Tip

In an urban survival situation, safe drinking water might be a little difficult to come by. If your family does not live by a canal, creek, stream, river or lake, or have your own private well, how are you supposed to get fresh water?

If your house as rain gutters, you could put some buckets under the down spouts, but that is just common sense stuff. Lets talk about stuff that people might overlook.

To collect a good bit of rain water, your going to need a tarp.

If you have a play set for the kids in the backyard, string the trap up so it creates a funnel going to a bucket.

A kiddie pool can be used to collect rain water.

If you have a truck, spread the tarp across the bed. The bed and the tarp will act like a bucket.

If you have a boat – make sure to take the cover off of it and put a bucket under the drain plug. I keep an 8 foot by 20 foot tarp over my boat. After a recent rain, the rain water had pushed the tarp down between the seats of the boat, which probably collected 30 gallons of water. So not only is a boat something that floats in the water, its also a rain water collection device.

Once you have the rain water, it should be collected and sealed in something. Sealing the water helps prevent 2 things – evaporation and breeding of mosquitoes.

Whats the use of collecting rain water if your just going to leave it exposed to the sun and evaporate? Pour that water into any container you have and get it out of the sunlight. During the summer months, and day time temps get into the upper 90s, its not uncommon for swimming pools to lose about 1 inch of water daily through evaporation. If you collect 3 or 4 inches of water in a bucket, that amount of water could be lost to evaporation in a matter of days.

The Asian Tiger Mosquito loves to lay its eggs in non-moving water. This also includes the water you just collected. Left untreated and exposed, standing water could quickly become a mosquito breeding ground. And the thing about the Asian Tiger Mosquito, they are aggressive feeders that will come out during the day light hours.

Mosquitoes also help spread certain diseases.

If you have some 5 gallon buckets, maybe put the water in the buckets and store them in the garage or storage building? Somewhere out of the sunlight (which promotes evaporation), and away from the reach of mosquitoes.

Even though people might consider rain water “clean” water – it probably needs to run through a filter first. If you collect the rain water in a bucket, you never know what kind of bacteria is living in that bucket. So play it safe and filter all of your water.  Everyone that takes survival seriously should have some kind of home based water filter, like a Berkey, or something like it.