Coronavirus - Prepping Lessons - Water Preps

Early Prepping Lessons From The Coronavirus – Part One: Water Preps

  • Post category:Food & Water / Prepping
  • Post last modified:July 15, 2023
  • Post comments:2 Comments
  • Reading time:11 mins read
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In this post, I’ll address the shortcomings I’ve found in my own preps up to this point. This will be a multi-part article, and for part one, I will talk about water prep. Specifically, water prep failures on my part.

What I want to address in part one of the lessons I’ve learned early in the coronavirus pandemic are shortcomings I’ve found in my own water preps up to this point.

While I do hope that the Coronavirus becomes a wake-up call for those living by the seat of their pants, it can also be a teaching moment for preppers regarding potential holes in their preparedness plans.

The Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) is a serious matter, and right now, in the middle of March 2020, we are just in the beginning stages of the crisis.

How bad the Coronavirus gets here in the US, how long it lasts, and how many people it harms is still a guess at this point.

Overall, I feel good about the items and the quantities we’ve stocked up on over the years. I feel good about our water preps as well, but there are always lessons to be learned, and I’ve found several so far.

Water Preps

We have hundreds of gallons of water for a major emergency.

I have a couple of 55-gallon rainwater drums in the garage earmarked for bathing and flushing toilets. We also have a couple of drums outside that I use for the garden, but those are empty right now so the water wouldn’t freeze in our Michigan winter and crack the plastic drums. This water can be consumed using my filters if the situation worsens.

We also have bleach tablets (for swimming pools), water purification tablets, and several varieties of water filters.

Instagram post.

That seems adequate, right? The Coronavirus has taught me that not every severe emergency will happen overnight with us bunkered in at home or bugging out within a few days of an emergency.

This is probably the biggest problem we as preppers face; exaggerating a crisis. While the Coronavirus may be the type of SHTF event we all prep for, the idea of it going from zero to sixty overnight isn’t always going to be the case. We still need to live our lives as the event continues to ramp up. Digging into preps too early could prove to be a huge mistake.

I’ve been saying for years,

“Any threat we face will pale in comparison to the public panic it causes”.

~ Brian D. Hawkins

We’re seeing that scenario with the Coronavirus before it comes close to peaking. People are the biggest threat in more ways than one, but that’s for another discussion.

The store shelves are empty of water. We can point fingers all day at things like the media causing panic, the disaster profiteers, and our just-in-time system, but the fact remains, bottled water has become so scarce that it is nearly impossible to purchase right now. Filters are disappearing as well.

Bottled Water

Bottled Water Preps

The Coronavirus is a slow-moving threat in terms of public panic, increasing in severity each day. I realized early on, as bottled water became harder to find, that we may need more bottled water than usual for “normal” use.

I bought a dozen cases early, and we, a family of seven in this house at the moment, have been using that water for two weeks now.

I’m glad I bought the bottled water so we’re not going into what I consider “emergency preps” as we wait for a possible emergency in the form of quarantine.

Bottled water is not what I would consider “long-term” storage, so I had all but ignored water in those cheap, flimsy bottles, keeping perhaps four cases on hand at any given moment. That is about two weeks’ worth in this house. Not enough.

This shortage is temporary and will improve as the crisis passes, but everyone should take stock in the lessons we’re learning right now. It WILL happen again.

We have city water that is piped in from Detroit over twenty miles away in pipes that are, on average, eighty years old. That does not instill my confidence in “the system.”


Even if you trust your city or well water and it comes out as the best water nature has to offer, we don’t know that the next SHTF event will leave that valuable resource untouched. Without going into doomsday mode, I can think of several situations that could take that option off the table.

Lesson: From this point forward, we will maintain a supply of no less than a dozen cases of bottled water for daily use and rotate it as we do with our prepper pantry.

Bottled water is heavy. It is bulky. It is a pain in the rear to buy. No matter, it is necessary when you don’t trust what comes from your tap and you haven’t taken the appropriate measures to filter and treat that water.

PLEASE, before anyone jumps onto their high horse and slings ridiculing statistics, I understand the tests on bottled water and the issues regarding that entire scandalous industry.

We’re working with what we already have and what we can manage at this moment. For now, I trust that most bottled water is still a better option than the deteriorating lines that bring water in from Detriot to our home.

Water Filtration

Eventually, I plan to purchase a Berkey® water system. I wish I had made that investment years ago.

We do have two HydroBlu universal flow water filter systems. These particular water filters look like they have been discontinued. We also have an AlexaPure Pitcher Water Filtration System, which was out of stock at the time of this post.

I have also purchased and tested many different portable/hiking water filters. These are in every pack, survival kit, and vehicle. We also have a few for other family members in case needed.

Lesson: I should have placed the best household water filtration system available higher on our priority list. For me, that means a Berkey is next on our list of major purchases. BTW, those Berkey filters, at least on Amazon, are already sold out for most models.

Water Preps Bottom Line

Priority: Water preps are one of the most important parts of prepping. Without clean and drinkable water, there’s no point in prepping for anything else.

Planning: The illusion that every SHTF event will go from enjoying a Sunday drive in the country to barricading and arming ourselves against invaders that afternoon is best left to the post-apocalyptic fiction writers. Real-life generally takes on a different tone.

Learning and Improving: While I was fortunate enough to be prepared and correct one of my water preparation shortcomings, I am still learning.

Options: In this particular event, which is a global pandemic at this point, public and well water is still available. If it came down to no choice, we would certainly place a glass under the sink without hesitation. I prefer having a choice.

Your Thoughts? Your Preps?

What lessons have the coronavirus pandemic taught you? What are your water preps?

Other posts in the Early Prepping Lessons From The Coronavirus Series:

Be safe. Be prepared.
~Hawkins Out

Brian Hawkins

Father, grandfather, Veteran, animal lover, law-abiding taxpayer, homeowner, trucker, and a United States Citizen. Oh, and I'm also a prepper, survivalist, responsible gun owner, and hiker.

This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. Mel

    What about a Still? Have been considering obtaining one. It is not legal to own if you plan to make alcohol, but in most states, you can purchase one for distilling water.

    1. Brian Hawkins

      Hi Mel, it doesn’t sound like a bad idea. With so many ways to collect and filter water, I’m not sure how necessary a still would be but it does sound like fun and a good skill to have.

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