September 6 It’s National Emergency Preparedness Month! Let’s consider some very inexpensive items to store this month. This week let's revisit Mylar blankets. If you search online, you can find blankets for 75 cents or less if you buy in bulk. A few months ago, we talked about forming a posse, a tribe, a group with similar preparedness goals. Get together and purchase at wholesale and in bulk. We have talked about Mylar blankets in the past, but this summer has made their importance even more evident. Consider the excessive heat this summer not just in the United States but in most of the northern hemisphere. Mylar blankets placed in windows will dramatically reduce the heat in your home. They may not be stylish but if you can reduce the heat by 10 degrees you can also run the air conditioner less resulting in significant savings. The blankets are large enough to cover sliding glass doors. Consider Hawaii and Florida right now, some without power and some without homes. Many, many people are without power. Imagine how mylar blankets could help them in the heat. If you are evacuated and in a tent or trailer place a Mylar blanket over the top to reduce the heat. What about those sleeping and living in their cars? A Mylar blanket over the windows and the heat is reduced and you have privacy, you can look out but others can’t look in. Check out: Survival in Your Pocket-The Amazing Mylar Blanket on our Totally Ready blog. Or in your Totally Ready Binder. Did you know water can be purified using the sun and a Mylar blanket? During almost every disaster whether in summer or winter, the water is contaminated. Purifying using the sun is called SODIS.
SODIS is a simple and inexpensive method of purifying water using solar light. SODIS water disinfection needs only clear plastic bottles, a reflective surface, and sunlight, making this a task you can even delegate to children.
SODIS method steps:
1. Clean clear PET bottles. Get into the practice of storing some of your water in clear plastic juice bottles and you have this covered. Even individual commercial water bottles can be reused for this purpose so do not discard them during an emergency once they are empty. 2. Filter water through a clean cloth or cheesecloth to remove any foreign material, insects, debris, etc. 3. Fill bottles with filtered water and tighten the cap. 4. Place bottles in direct sunlight for at least 6-8 hours if sunny or two days in cloudy situations. To increase efficiency and water safety place bottles on a reflective, metal surface. A mylar survival blanket works well for this purpose. (another use for mylar blankets) 5. Store water in these bottles and drink from the bottle or pour it into a clean cup. Simple. Be sure you leave the bottle in the sun the entire time as there is never a guarantee that all organisms have been killed. Err on the side of too much sun. Benefits of SODIS are: Proven reduction of viruses, bacteria, and protozoa in water Proven reduction of diarrheal disease incidence in users Simplicity of use No cost Water tastes good The drawbacks of SODIS are: The need for pretreatment, filtering water. Length of time required to treat water. Only small amounts can be purified at one time. Need to prepare ahead and have bottles and a reflective surface on hand. Not 100% effective if every step is not completed. SODIS will not remove chemicals from water so never use this method if you suspect there are any chemicals in your water source. More information about SODIS is available in your Totally Ready Binder.