18 Ways Water Heals and Prevents

Water is a key component of survival. Water security falls under more than one section of the Full Spectrum Preparedness doctrine. This article highlights how water is integral in the Health & Medical Preparedness function of the FSP doctrine. Based off the ideas in the manual “Where There Is No Doctor” by David Werner, Jane Maxwell, and Carol Thurman (free download) or purchase as paperback, it details: 

18 Ways Water Heals and Prevents

1) Prevent diarrhea, worms, gut infections – Filtering and boiling water before using it for drinking, or hygiene, will help kill germs and bacteria that can cause diarrhea, worms, and gut infections. In third world countries, and in areas hit by disaster these are the leading causes of sickness, and death, especially among children.
2) Prevent Skin Infections – By bathing often, in clean, treated water, you can help prevent skin infections like impetigo, ring worm and folliculitis; among others. These highly infectious infections can run rampant through a population that doesn’t bath properly, and often, as part of their hygiene practices.
3) Prevent wounds from becoming infected – The danger of a wound becoming infected is greatly reduced if it is washed thoroughly with clean water and soap, as soon as possible. Infected wounds can lead to other problems, all the way through death, if not treated properly.
4) Treat Diarrhea and dehydration – Diarrhea is one of the largest cause of death throughout the world. The diarrhea itself does not kill the patient. It is the associated dehydration that ultimately kills them. When struck with a bout of diarrhea, drink plenty of water/liquids.
5) Treat Illness With Fever – The high temperatures associated with fevers can lead to complications that staying hydrated might prevent. By maintaining proper hydration, you can circumvent situation that can lead to more dangerous condition as well as reducing discomfort and symptoms.
6) Treat A High Fever – Along with the dangers of dehydration, a high fever can also pose a threat from the temperature itself. If a fever goes over 103 degrees F, brain damage and organ failure can result. Soaking a patient with a wet, cool compress can help reduce a dangerously high temperature and increase comfort. In extreme cases, submerging the patient in a cool bath, or ice may mean the difference between life and death.
7) Treat Minor Urinary Infections – This common ailment can strike men and women of any age. They can be very painful, and lead to life threatening complications. Mixing 1 cup of water with 1 tsp of baking soda then drinking can help alleviate some of the discomfort. While it may not be the most appetizing of combinations, the mixture may be able to help lessen the intensity of a urinary tract infection or UTI.
8) Treat Coughs, Asthma, Bronchitis and Pneumonia – Again, maintaining proper hydration is key to good health and healing. When you have a cough, asthma, bronchitis, or pneumonia drink plenty of water. You can also help loosen mucus by inhaling hot water vapors
9) Treat Sores, Impetigo, Ringworm, Cradle cap, A Pimple – If infected by one of the aforementioned ailments, the best solution is to washing with soap and water. using a wash cloth, lightly scrub the area. This will help remove dead and infected tissue, and promote faster healing.
10) Treat Infected Wounds, Abscesses And Boils – Once an infection gets deep enough, more than simple washing may be called for. Soaking in a hot tub, or using a hot compress can help alleviate discomfort, as well as draw out infection from wounds, abscesses and boils. If done early enough, lancing, or excising the infected area may not be necessary.
11) Treat Stiff/Sore Muscles And Joints – Taking a hot soak, or using hot compresses will relieve pain from muscles and joint made stiff by over use and stress. The increased blood flow they generate will also help quicken the healing process.
12) Treat Strains And Sprains – By alternating cold and hot soaks, you can hasten recover from strains ans sprains. The cold soak will lessen swelling, improving comfort, and the hot soaks will increase blood flow, which helps with recovery.
13) Treat Itching, Burning, Or Weeping Skin Irritations – The pain and irritation from rashes caused by things like poison ivy and poison oak can be lessened with a cold compress.
14) Treat Minor Burns – After receiving a minor burn, immediately hold the effected area under cold water. This will help numb the area, and reduce any swelling that may occur.
15) Treat sore throats or tonsillitis – The most common home remedy for treating a sore throat, or infected tonsils, is to gargle with a warm salt water solution. Mix 1 teaspoon of salt per glass of water, and gargle. Ensure you get the solution to the very back of your throat.
16) Acid, Dirt or Irritating Substance In Eye – If you get a foreign substance, or chemical in your eye, thoroughly flush the eye with cold water at once. Continue to do so for 30 minutes.
17) Treat Constipation Or Hard Stools – Drinks lots of water can help hydrate your dietary tract. This will help treat, and prevent, constipation and hard stools.
18) Treat Cold Sores Or Fever Blisters – At the first sign of a cold sore, or fever blister, hold an ice-cube on the inflamed area for several minutes. This will help keep the swelling down, as well as numbing the associated pain.

Where There Is No Doctor18 Ways Water Heals and Prevents – Conclusion

While water can help prevent and heal, as this list highlights, hydration is the common thread in recovery. Proper hydration is only attainable if you have a clean, safe source of water. To learn more about water preparedness, click on the Prepography links below:

Integral Passive Solar Water Heaters – A Primer

Integral Passive Solar Water Heaters – Intro

Before we discuss integral passive solar water heaters (IPSWH), let us talk a bit about solar systems. Increasing energy costs have focused attention on energy efficiency and alternative sources. Renewable sources of energy appeal to the preparedness minded. It helps Preppers disconnect from an energy delivery system that is vulnerable to failure when necessary. It also allows Preppers to be in control of their own energy instead of relying on some distant corporation or government bureaucracy. Solar energy plays an important role on many homesteads, bug out locations and is especially important with many cultures overseas because it is readily available and free. It can also be used for cooling as well as heating. As long as the sun is shining the Prepper can collect, store and use its energy.

Solar water heating systems fall in to two categories; active and passive. Active systems are more expensive and technical. Simply explained, they rely on auxiliary power to run fans and pumps. Passive solar systems are typically more simple and cost less. The only moving part in the most simple systems is the sun. Talk about reliability. There are two class of passive solar water heaters. In one systems heat is collected and stored are separate. These are called thermosiphon flat-plate systems. The the other class collection and storage are combined. IPSWH fall in to this latter class, and hold some advantages over the former. They tend to be more simple, more economical to build and maintain, and more resistant to freezing.

Integral Passive Solar Water Heaters – Principles of Operations

Integral passive solar water heaters (IPSWH) centered around some sort of tank, or series of tanks. A common, and inexpensive source for these tanks are discarded water heaters. The tank is painted black, in order to maximize the amount of heat from the sun that is collected, which then heats up water stored within. In order to increase efficiency, a collection/storage tank is placed on a south-facing wall, or roof top, and is insulated to reduce heat loss. Cold water is brought in via an inlet on one end of the tank , it is heated up, and then moved to a back to a back heater. This is usually a gas, or electric-powered conventional water heater. Waterline pressure is used to move the water, so no external pumps are needed for the system.

In sunny locales, or during summer months, the conventional water heater can be turned off or bypassed entirely. The IPSWH can provide all your hot water needs. In colder climates, and during winter the auxiliary heater is used to augment the IPSWH. To protect against freezing, should the need arise, the system can be drained, and the conventional heater can provide household hot water.

Integral Passive Solar Water Heaters – The 6 Commandments

The design, installation, use and maintenance of integral passive solar water heaters are governed by certain principles. If you follow the 6 commandments when you design and install your IPSWH it will work efficiently and provide your household with inexpensive hot water.

1. Locate your heater for maximum sunlight.
Place your IPSWH on a sunny southern exposure. It is preferable that be close to your back-up heater, to reduce heat loss during water transfer.
2. Make the collector as efficient as possible.
Tanks come in a variety of sizes. Most of them are usable. Long thin tanks have the highest surface area to water ratios. Used water heater tanks tend to be the cheapest. Make sure your tank is in good condition, so it will last longer. Next, make sure your tank is in a good location for exposure, as well as maintenance. Finally, use reflectors to concentrate sunlight on your collector tank.
3. Make sure your tank(s) will retain heat.
Use a good quality glazing to enclose your tanks in the their frame. Caulk and seal your panes tightly. Inlet and outlet pipes should be insulated, as well as your back up heater, to reduce heat loss.
4. Make sure your heater is properly sized.
You should allow about 30 gallons of water person in the household.
Proper water per square foot of glazing ratios will maximize heating, with 2.5 gallons per foot being recommended as optimal. that works out to 12 foot of glazing per person. Smaller ratios will speed up heating. Even an undersized system will provide preheated water, reducing water heating costs.
5. Make an efficient connection to the back-up heater.
Minimize the amount of piping needed to connect to your back-up heater. Insulate all piping. Heat taping exposed pipes in cold climates is a must.
6. Build your system to last.
Even if you are budget, use the best materials you can afford, or scrounge. Good materials and construction will ensure your system will last a long time, and be safer in the process.

Integral Passive Solar Water Heaters – 5 Basic Types

  • Single Tank IPSWH – This type uses a single tank to provide solar heated water. Household units run from a simple setup of a used water heater tank enclosed in an insulated plywood box to more elaborate setups placed on roofs with internal shutters and tilted frames.
  • Photo Courtesy Integral Passive Solar Water Heater Book by David A. Bainbrid

    Photo Courtesy Integral Passive Solar Water Heater Book by David A. Bainbrid

    A Greenhouse IPSWH – best used in cold climates, this model provides protection against freezing. The IPSWH is enclosed in a protected sunlit space. Ideally, an attached heated green house is the best choice, hence the name.

  • An Inverted IPSWH – Another cold weather setup, an inverted IPSWH protects against cold weather and night-time heat loss by turning the IPSWH system upside down. The insulated part of the housing is facing the sky, and sunlight is sent to the collector via a series of reflectors.
  • A Low-cost IPSWH – This simple system is nothing more than a cheap solar collector hung in the sun to heat the water inside which is gravity fed through the shower head. This type of unit provides the best BTU/ dollar heating but is best used at campsites, RVs, and summer homes that are not used full-time.  One example of this type of system is the Solar Camp Shower.

Integral Passive Solar Water Heaters – Building Your Own, A Simple Rundown

Glazing & Tank relationship.  Photo Courtesy Integral Passive Solar Water Heater Book by David A. Bainbrid

Glazing & Tank relationship. Photo Courtesy Integral Passive Solar Water Heater Book by David A. Bainbrid

Here is a simple run-down of the steps used to build your own itegral passive solar water heater:

1. Select your location – Remember Commandment 1
2.Design – Design your own, find plans in books, on the internet or buy commercially avaiable plans.
3. Construction – Build the frame, Fit the tank(s), cover the outside, insulate, cover the inside, plumb, test and glaze.
4. Maintain – Proper maintenance of the tank(s) and plumbing will ensure efficiency, safety, durability and longevity.

Intergral Passive Solar Water Heaters – Conclusion

Using an itegral passive solar water heater is the most efficient and economical method for providing hot water for a homesteader or those on a budget. Economy and efficiency while preparing and living a more self sufficient life-style are corner-stones in the FSP philosophy. IPSWH’s touch on several areas of the FSP doctrine. If you are interested in learning more about integral passive solar water heaters, you can read “Integral Passive Solar Water Heater Book” by David A. Bainbrid for a more comprehensive and in depth look at the subject.

Water Storage Infographic

Today we’re pleased to present an infographic from Food Insurance on water storage.  This water storage infographic will show you what types of containers are safe to store water in, where you can safely store those water containers and how to treat questionable water sources to improve its safety. (more…)

Got Water?

Caught this in the news over the weekend.  Would your water preps be in order if the following happened to you today?

Hundreds of thousands of people in West Virginia were still without clean tap water for a third day Saturday following a chemical spill, with an official at a water company saying that it could still be days before drinkable water returns to homes.The company told residents in nine counties to not drink their tap water or use it to bathe or wash dishes or clothes after a foaming agent used in coal processing escaped from a Freedom Industries plant in Charleston and seeped into the Elk River. The only allowed use of the water was for flushing toilets. The order applies to about 300,000 people.

via Tap water may be out for days after W.Va. chemical spill | Fox News (more…)

Water In Survival Situations

Andrew’s Note:  Today’s survival lesson is an extract from Chapter VII, Water of FM 21-76-1, the U.S. Army manual on Survival, Evasion & Recovery June 1999, Approved for public release; distribution is unlimited.  This extract provides information on requirements, procurement, preparation and storage of water in survival situations.   

Water Requirements

Drink extra water. Minimum 2 quarts per day to maintain fluid level. Exertion, heat, injury, or an illness increases water loss.

Note: Pale [clear] yellow urine indicates adequate hydration. 

Water Procurement (more…)

Top 10 Preparedness Uses of Garbage Bags

Today Prepography is pleased to present garbage… garbage bags that is…as in the top 10 preparedness uses of garbage bags.  Garbage bags can be used by preppers for dozens of purposes besides rubbish disposal.  I like the heavy duty, Contractor Grade Garbage Bags because they’re larger and more durable than the typical kitchen variety.  In the Jackson household often buy our heavy duty garbage bags through school fundraisers but they’re also available from the big box and local hardware stores as well as online.

Top 10 Preparedness Uses of Trash Bags: (more…)

The Worth of Water – Today’s Quote

We never know the worth of water till the well is dry.

English Proverb

Water or WARter – Today’s Quote

Water is the essence of life.  But drinkable, fresh water is at a premium.  Rising populations, poor water use and shortages in key areas are all major factors.

NATO Review Magazine via Water or WARter Video?

Cold Weather Canteen Tips – Top 10

Keeping hydrated in cold weather is just as important as keeping hydrated in hot weather but presents the additional challenge of making sure your water source stays liquid.  Here are the Top 10 Cold Weather Canteen Tips

  1. The only place better to store water than inside your canteen is inside your body…drink plenty of water as staying hydrated helps your body regulate temperature better.
  2. If possible, select a canteen that allows for some expansion when freezing without breaking.
  3. When freezing can’t be avoided leave room for expansion by filling your canteen about 2/3 full.
  4. Carry your canteen as close to your body as possible to keep it from freezing.  Canteen can be carried inside your jacket or between your layers of clothing.
  5. (more…)

Building a Bug Out Bag – Part III, Water

In Building a Bug Out Bag Part I we discussed why building a Bug Out Bag is important and what type of bag to select.  In Part II we discussed the Transportation Items to consider for your Bug Out Bag.  Today we’ll discuss Water preparedness and Water items to consider including when building a Bug Out Bag.  Remember, this is your last ditch, carry on your back, walk away from trouble Bug Out Bag…not what you hope you can get to your bug out location if your car, SUV, or semi-submersible speedboat makes it.


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