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Thursday, April 10, 2014
There is literally no place on Earth that can be guaranteed to be free from disasters. Wherever you live, you will be subject to the possibility of an emergency situation developing – earthquakes on the West Coast, hurricanes on the East and Gulf Coasts, tornadoes in the Midwest, wildfires anywhere it’s been too dry, and blizzards and nor’easters in the northern states all mean that most of us can find ourselves without the usual conveniences of modern life without much notice.

Although emergency crews and rescue squads will be at work to help alleviate the situation as quickly as possible, the sheer magnitude of some disasters will mean that it could be days or even weeks before life returns to normal. All of us are dependent on the infrastructure for our survival – electricity, heat, water; all come to most of us in one way or another – and it’s very easy to revert to a much more primitive state when these services aren’t available.

The Three ‘Vitals’

We don’t think about it much, but there are three things that are absolutely necessary for our everyday survival: shelter, water, and food. We are so used to these being there all the time that when even one is missing, the loss is sharp. When a disaster such as a hurricane and its associated flood occurs, all three may be lost to your family.

Although shelter is considered to be the most important, water is a close second and will take precedence under certain circumstances, such as high temperatures. When a disaster occurs, your home may still be livable, but you and all family members will need water soon. If the electric lines are down or there is a break in the water main, you may have to find some means of providing safe water.

Dehydration is a real problem and although it is more likely to occur during the summer, no one, especially children, can go without water for a very long period of time. The greatest problem here will be the ability to find water that will not make anyone ill. Flooding can often overrun septic systems and seriously contaminate the ground water. Depending on agriculture or industry found in the area in which you live, standing water may be polluted with fertilizers, pesticides, and industrial chemicals.

Safe Drinking Water

The government recommends that every household have an emergency supply of water on hand, enough for 1 gallon per person per day for at least 3 days. What percentage of American households actually has this on hand is probably unknown, but it is doubtful that the number is very high. Most people will have to find water nearby if the emergency lasts for a prolonged period.

For those who have to locate a groundwater source for household use, keep in mind that all groundwater or standing water must be purified before it is consumed. Boiling, of course, is a way to guarantee that all pathogens are completely killed. Boiling the water for 5 minutes or more will kill any bacteria, viruses, cysts, or protozoans that are in the water; however, it will tend to concentrate inorganic pollutants, like pesticides.

Filtering and purifying groundwater is possible in the home for those who have non-electric water filters in their home. Even if you already have purification system in place, lack of electricity could easily have rendered it useless for the duration of the emergency.

Countertop gravity feed water purifiers, which usually come with some kind of ceramic filtering element or ‘candle’ are probably the easiest way to get clean water during a disaster. Depending on the size you choose, you can produce 10 or more gallons of safe drinking water every day. Camp filters are another good option and will allow you to clean standing or ground water for safe use.

Water purifying filters are one of the most convenient ways to avoid illness and provide plenty of clean, pure water during a disaster.

by: Chris Tracey

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Thursday, April 3, 2014
Protecting your family from chlorine is important, and there are a number of very fine filters that will remove chlorine from your drinking and cooking water very effectively. But, you may be unaware that the greatest danger chlorine poses to your family is from your shower water. When chlorine is vented from the shower water, it releases aerosol chlorine, chloroform, and chloramine into the air which is then breathed into the lungs. Chlorine is also harmful to the skin and hair.

Chlorine may be unattractive in many ways, but it is also a necessary additive to municipal water supplies. Water for cities and towns is drawn from reservoirs, lakes, and rivers, and will contain bacteria, viruses, and cysts. These organisms can cause serious illnesses, and prior to nationwide chlorination of water, many people died every year from drinking unsafe water. Chlorine has the unique quality among disinfectants of persisting from the water treatment plant to the tap. This prevents the water from becoming re-infected along the way. So far, a less dangerous substitute has not been found.

Chlorine Dangers when Showering

The dangers of chlorine while taking a shower are fourfold: you and your family will inhale aerosol chlorine and its byproducts, skin will become dry and flakey, hair will become lifeless and brittle, and chlorine and chloroform will be absorbed into the body through the skin.

The health problems that have been tied to chlorine are serious:

  • Cardiovascular disease.
  • Kidney damage.
  • Gastrointestinal problems.
  • Asthma.
  • Autoimmune disease.
  • Cancer.

Chlorine is a very problematic substance, but at this point in time, it is entirely unavoidable to prevent outbreaks of diseases such as typhoid, dysentery, and hepatitis.

Taking a Safe Shower

Fortunately, it’s fairly easy to make sure that your shower water is safe for everyone in the family, from the youngest member to the oldest. A quality shower filter, such as the Pelican PSF-1 Shower Filter With Shower Head or the Pelican Premium PSF-1W Hand-Held Shower Filter are the answer to the problem.

These Pelican shower filters are excellent at providing you with safe water for bathing by the use of their 3 stage filtrations system. A combination of media, including activated charcoal, copper & zinc oxidation matrix, and far-infrared balls will remove nearly 100% of chlorine and its derivatives from your shower water. You will notice a real difference not only in your overall health, but also in the appearance of your skin and hair once you install either of these Pelican shower filters.

The filter cartridge will have to be replaced after approximately 750 showers have been taken, so this is an economical, as well as a healthy, approach to removal of chlorine from shower water.

by: Chris Tracey

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