Thursday, October 19, 2017

eBook Review: “Water Storage for Survival”

I've been interested in what other prepper sources are publishing, so I decided to check a few of them out. I'm working long hours at the moment, but I do have time to read a bit here and there. The Kindle app on my phone tends to deplete the battery faster than any other app I have, but it's convenient to have a couple dozen books on hand.

I did a simple search for “prepper” and browsed through the results. Since we've written several articles about water, I picked one titled Water Storage for Survival by Ronald Williams. What I found was a mixed bag of common-sense information that is readily available on the internet on a dozen different sites. The chapters were broken down like this (with my commentary):

1) Why You Need to Store Water
He covers the basics of how your body uses water and the importance of avoiding dehydration. I did find it odd that he states, “...traveling back and forth between your home and a natural source of water is simply not practical.” Without a specific scenario, I fail to see how he can make such a blanket statement since people have been traveling to central wells for centuries and it seems to still be working. 

2) How Much Water Do You Need?
The basic “one gallon per person per day” formula. His example of a family of four, for a month, equaling 120 gallons (which he states is “simply not practical” to store) is a normal starting point. Erin covered a simple, cheap way to store 100 gallons of water here, so it's not that difficult to store water. One gallon jugs of drinking water come six to a case, so 20 cases would last a family of four a month and would fit along a wall quite easily. Stack them four wide and five high or fit them under a set of stairs, they don't take up that much room.

He also covers how to store water in this section instead of giving it a section of its own. Good, common-sense storage information.

3) Making a Rain Catchment System
This is how to modify your gutter system to catch rain water. Some of the steps aren't very clear, and he specifies food grade materials for some things but not all. We had a guest post that covered the process in detail with pictures back in 2014.

4) How to Purify Water
Boiling: He gets some things right and some wrong. Boiling water for 15 minutes is not needed, and simply boiling it will not necessarily render it safe to drink since it will concentrate any chemicals that aren't destroyed by the heat.

Bleach: A standard which I have covered in detail in several articles. His instructions are basic but workable.

Distilling: “Guaranteed to eliminate even the most deadly and resistant of chemicals, heavy metals, and microorganisms” according to Mr. Williams. Not always true; just ask anyone who has tried to distill alcohol.

As an afterthought, Williams covers filtration and purification tablets in a somewhat dismissive fashion. There is no mention of reverse osmosis, unless that's what he meant by “pump action water filters”.

5) Collecting Water From the Wilderness
These are simple methods of finding water, like going to the lowest point of the terrain to find the wettest area. Collecting dew on rags tied to your ankles may sound good, but unless you're living in a rain forest you're not going to gather much water.

6) Collecting Water From an Urban Environment
These are mostly sources of trapped water, something I covered in detail in my water purification series.

7) Myths About Storing Water
I'm not a fan of myths, so I'd never heard of most of these. 

Conclusion: Do Not Buy This eBook
Having read through the entire book, I must mention how much work our editrix does behind the scenes. This author needs to find someone to at least proof-read his work before he publishes it, just to point out the spelling and grammar errors. I read a lot and I expect a certain minimum level of competence from someone who want to trade me words for money.

All in all, this is pretty high on my list of the worst waste of $2.99 that I can think of. Since it was a digital book, I guess the best I can do is coin a new term for an e-book that's not worth buying: digital toilet paper.

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