Hunkering Down

Here’s a SHTF scenario I hadn’t thought of before:  in-home quarantine because of the corona virus thing.  And not being prepared means this, and this nonsense:

Britons strip shop shelves of canned food and even bottled WATER amid growing fears people will be forced to spend weeks in isolation if coronavirus epidemic hits.

I’m pretty sure that New Wife and I could do three weeks’ isolation in a pinch, although Week 3 would be mighty boring fare (oatmeal, canned foods etc.).  But I think I’ll haul out Ye Olde Grabbe-And-Goe Bagge tomorrow, just to check on emergency supplies like face masks and hand wipes.

Do ye the same, O My Readers.

Afterthought:  while I have quite a lot of bottled water on hand, I also have a swimming pool not ten steps from the apartment.  The problem with pool water, of course, is the chlorine and such.  Does anyone have any ideas on filtering the taste out of it?


  1. Kim,

    You do not want to drink swimming pool water, too many chemicals in it. You can filter it for microbial critters with camping type water purifiers, but they won’t get rid of the chemicals in pool water, and those are more than just chlorine. FEMA says don’t drink pool water, just use for bathing (Japanese style out of a bucket), but not for drinking.

    If you want to be prepared, lay in a couple of 5 gallon cooler-type water bottle from Home Depot or Lowes. Use it just for drinking water/coffee/tea. Mayo Clinic says we should drink about 15.5 cups (3.7 liters) per day for men, 11.5 cups (2.7 liters) per day for women. That’s about 1.7 gallons per day for a married couple, or about 3 days per 5 gallon bottle. Simple math, if you have a garage or basement not hard to lay in a supply of 5 bottles for about a two-week supply, which will take care of Coronavirus quarantine without public water supply.

    For more than that, if you have a bathtub and a stand-up shower in your residence (or more than one tub) get a bathtub water bladder and fill it while the water is working. This is probably a good thing to have on hand “just in case”. Think Hurricanes? Amazon is out of stock, but you can get it directly from the company here:

    If there is a running stream near you that does not go dry for long periods, it might not be a bad idea to lay in a hanging water filtration system, like the Platypus GravityWorks 4.0 Liter Water Filter System. But again, it won’t solve the swimming pool problem.

    Hope this helps.


    Edit: Crap. The supplier is out of stock, also. Keep an eye on this and stock one (if you like the idea) when available, for just general prepping purposes. I don’t know why they are so hard to find right now. Prolly made in China, and we know why THAT’S a problem. :rolleyes:

  2. I determined that it takes about 11 weeks for a flu epidemic to burn out in a locality and have calibrated supplies for that. No clue about how long this will take. Not sure if anyone knows because it is new.

    Water no problem here in flyover country as I am on a well (with a generator and a fairly new pump.)

  3. I don’t want to take this Coronavirus thing too lightly but I think the media and government are selling us a Giant Fearburger. Virtually all of the virus things in the past, SARS, Avian, Swine and other flues were oversold and the actual costs created by the media, transportation and sales,etc, were totally out of proportion to true medical expenses.

    Having said that, we keep a 20 pound unopened bag of rice in the pantry, donate it every two years and replenish, I have a fair amount of pasta, some canned tuna and sardines and lots of frozen meat, chicken and beef which I would use first in a power outage. I think we could stay put for about six weeks, and it about time to replenish my bottled water situation.

    And I guess the safest thing is to wash our hands, don’t pick around on your face and nose if you have been shaking other peoples hands and have some patience when the companies full of Chink stuff start running out, places like Home Depot where they have crappy hardware that looks good but falls apart, Walmart clothing and shoes, Hobby Lobby will have to do with this silk flowers, wiggle eyes and if this goes on much longer all the seasonal Christmas Crud that we maybe don’t really need.

    The best thing for all of us is to stay healthy especially those of us who are old or already dealing with health issues. Meanwhile the stock market is correcting more than I would like to see.

    1. The astounding actions of the Chinese .gov in the Woohan area should tell you that this virus is certainly different than those prior ones were.
      They are building lots of crematories to add a huge increase in capacity. Supposedly the city already had 8, with a total cap of 4800 when run 24/7. New ones have multi-k/24hr capacity. Normal body count was ~120/day.
      Locking people into their apt buildings. Out in the food growing areas, the workers are letting livestock starve, rather than leave their homes to go around in public.
      Basically, the entire country seems to be in the process of shutting down all production.

  4. The Gravity Works filters won’t take the pool chemicals out and the water should still be boiled or chlorinated as the filters won’t remove viruses.

    Berkey filters are rated as water purifiers and remove viruses as well as bacteria and also filter many chemicals out. They’re likewise gravity fed, and the elements can be cleaned. Less portable than Gravity Works, though.

    Keep a couple of gallons of plain old bleach on hand.

  5. Actually, in a quarantine situation, I doubt there’d be problems with the water supply, ditto electricity and gas. It’s the in-home food supply that would be problematic.

    1. The water district workers would probably go to work and there are probably enough backup staff to keep the pumping and filtration plants going if workers gets sick and there will probably be industrial scale amounts of the chemicals available and your water district will probably have a high enough priority to get them and there probably won’t be power cuts that interfere with the water supply.

      This epidemic aside, many parts of the country are at significant risk for earthquakes, flooding or hurricanes that can interrupt water and power.

    1. I was going to say that with all the chemicals that go into pool water, you’d have to distill it in order to make it safe to drink.
      In High School a friend told me that over time pool water loses a lot of the H2O, so it’s not technically water. I don’t know how true that is.

      1. Plus there is a strong possibility of people fluids which cause the chlorine to turn to ammonia which burns your eyes.

        1. I went out for the water polo team in college. I used to lose around five pounds at practice, so I was putting over a gallon per week of sweat into the pool.

      2. As water in a pool evaporates, the remaining concentration of chlorine/whatever will rise, if that’s what your friend meant. In a well maintained pool, that concentration is measured in parts per million, in low single digits (1-3 ppm). If the water level in the pool drops by half due to evaporation alone, the chemical concentration will merely double. That’s PPM in low-middlin’ single digits.

        Chlorine levels up to 4 ppm are “considered safe”. 6 ppm is probably safer than death by dehydration. People drinking out of the pool won’t increase the concentration.

        Long enough term, if you’ve got the pool pretty much to yourself in a hot climate, you might want to think about distillation for when the PPM gets into double digits. If the neighbors drink it all in a month, don’t bother.

        I’ve built a still for liquor at home with a pressure cooker, copper tubing, and a bucket of ice. It’s not a major challenge, except maybe for the ice. Perhaps a big enough bucket of water at ambient temperature, even in Texas, will do to cool the condenser.

        I live in a wet climate with no pool, personally. And our bug-out option is on a lake.

        1. Never mind the still — the boiling point of chlorine (or chloramine) is below room temperature. The stuff wanders off all on its own. So let it sit, then boil it to kill microbes.

          1. Thanks! Good to know. I’m not sure what to do with this information just yet, but it’s always bound to be useful somehow.
            Thanks again.

          2. There aren’t all THAT many chemicals in pool water, and the chlorine compounds that are are unstable and disappear on their own (which is why those chemical have to be replenished on a regular basis. Put the pool water in salvaged plastic bottles, and leave the bottles in the sun. Intense sunlight is an excellent disinfectant, and accelerates the decomposition of “pool chemicls”.

  6. +1 on only using pool water for bathing and washing clothes.

    You might want to look into a system to collect rain water if your situation allows for it. Neighbor directs water from her gutters into a 50 gallon barrel that she uses for watering plants etc. With proper filtration (as described by others here) it could also be a source of drinking water.

    I’ve worked with the local water utility folks in emergency planning and they will do everything they can to keep the system working, but there is also the possibility of “everyday” disasters (water main breaks etc) on top of whatever else is going on.

    We keep at least a 3 day supply of drinking water at all times as once the water system depressurizes from a break, it’s at least 48 hours for the lab tests to come back clearing the water in that part of the system for human consumption.

  7. You can drink the pool water with a little work. It’s not toxic waste, it’s a pool. When the period starts, stop adding chemicals and the sun will bust them out of the water with UV pretty quickly. That’s why you have to KEEP adding chemicals, after all. After a few days or a week, most of the chlorine will be out of the water.

    Filter it like you would a surface source, or if you are really worried about it, you can distill it.

  8. We rode out 9 days without power during hurricane Charlie in 2004 and we had a pool.
    We dipped the water out of the pool and poured it into a Brita water pitcher. No problems.
    Public pool? All bets are off. I’d boil the shit out of it.

  9. Mind that tapwater in many European cities is barely drinkable as is because of the large amounts of added chemicals and the high calcium content. A LOT of people prefer bottled water because of that, me included (though for me it’s mostly because I prefer carbonated water over ‘flat’ water).

    People in situations like this tend to stock up on what they normally buy already, they just buy more of it.
    And as they normally buy bottled water, they buy more of that (heck, I did, I’ve stocked up so I now have a month of supplies or more, including bottles of water, sterilised milk, canned meat and vegetables, etc. etc.).
    I beat the run on the stores as I saw it coming weeks ago and slowly increased my already existing stockpile to the level it should have been at in the first place.

    Now that stores are starting to run low on things, I don’t have to panic and look for leftovers if any.

  10. Hard pass on the pool water. As stated before, too many chemicals/ salt. However, a solar still should distill a lot of that out.

    We’re out in an “Equestrian Community”, i.e.: BFE Florida. Located there deliberately, after casting a weather eye at all the woke Antifa nonsense in the neighboring cities. We drive a bit longer, but I’m blessing the peace and quiet, as well as the 2.5 acres, artesian well, 1/2 acre pond, fences, concrete filled block construction and clear fields of fire.

  11. You are all concerned with water, but as Kim mentions, tap water would probably be perfectly ok. I am more concerned about respiration as this virus is highly contagious. At your local hardware store you’ll find 3M 8210 (N95) particulate masks which I have been using for years. They will protect you adequately, and far better than ordinary surgical or unnumbered “dust masks”. Get ‘em now before they’re gone!

  12. Sawyer makes a good line of filters I have carried with the scouts for years. They work for 100,000 to 300,000 thousand gallons of water. Depend on make. Wally used to have them in the camping aisle. them or life straw are good. Low tech and not pricey.

    Need to pick some stuff up as the wife has been using up our food stores while we have been dealing with her cancer treatments. Stores around here still have some stuff, so I guess better get it before its gone.

  13. I have no idea what you guys are putting in your pools, but mine has water out of the tap, and chlorine, with a little stabilizer (cyanuric acid) which is definitely not toxic. My dogs have been surviving for years with it as their only source. I would trust it in an emergency situation.

    Even salt water pools only have about 1/10 the salt of the ocean. People have survived for long periods of time on water at about half the salt concentration of seawater, so pool water should be fine.

    1. You are correct. Rigorous multiple tests showed our pool water was CLEANER than the water that came out of the faucets via our well, resulting in the installation of a 4 stage whole house filtration system. The Florida summer sun would evaporate almost an inch of water per day and we had a hose bib on the porch close to the pool and every few days the hose would get thrown in the pool to fill it back up. If the water level drops too low the pump will suck air and that’s not good. The pool hose was the same water that came out of the faucets. I too wonder what all the deniers are doing to their pool water to make it unpotable.

  14. While it makes sense to have a reasonable supply of food, ammo etc. on hand for lots of reasons, this is 2020, and if you are quarantining in place because *you’re* exposed, there are places like where you can just order fresh food delivered.

    Just have them drop the packages on the stoop/in the lobby and get them later.

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