Highlights from the chapter on Water (Ch 8, p. 67) from Nuclear War Survival Skills by Cresson Kearny



Main points:
Your first priority should be water.
Amount of water per person:
Under cool conditions 3 pints per day per person might suffice
4 or 5 pints per day in hot weather (none for washing)
15 gallons per person for a 2 week shelter stay
If you are sweating you should add ¼ TEAspoon (6-8 grams) of salt to food or water to prevent cramping (unless you are eating salty food). (p. 67)

Carrying and Storing water:
Carry the water double bagged in 2 Polyethylene trash bags with a cloth bag or pillowcase on the outside to prevent punctures. Do not use odor control or chemically treated bags.
There is a diagram of how to fold the bag closed.
Fold it like a pillow case in half (4 thickness), and then in quarters (just at the opening) and fold it over and tie it shut. (p. 68)
Store or transport the bags with the opening at the highest point – even if this means tying the opening to an overhead object.
The rope elevating it should not be the only thing keeping it closed. You can use a siphon tube to get the water out later.

There are tips about ways to carry the water long distances.
A pair of trouser legs would work to keep the load in front and behind the shoulder balanced.
Plastic lined pits in the ground can be used to store water also.
There are detailed instructions on digging a pit, and a diagram of how to make one. Be sure surrounding materials falling inwards are not squeezing the water.
(p. 69)
If you can sterilize it you can use a water-tight garbage can or waste basket. You can line them with fabric (to prevent punctures) and then plastic.
Water tanks, flush tanks, and bathtubs are also mentioned.

Siphoning the water out of the bag:
“To start siphoning,' suck on the tube until water reaches your mouth. Next fold over the tube near its end, to keep the tube full. Lower its closed end until it is near its position shown in Fig. 8.6. Then release your hold on the tube, to start siphoning.”
There are detailed instructions and a diagram on siphoning. (p. 70)

Disinfecting Water
You should disinfect all water.

The cleaner should have sodium hypochlorite 5.25% (bleach) as it’s only active ingredient. (p. 71)
“Add 1 scant teaspoonful [of sodium hypochlorite 5.25%] to each 10 gallons of clear water, and stir. Add 2 scant teaspoonfuls if the water is muddy or colored. Wait at least 30 minutes before drinking, to allow enough time for the chlorine to kill all the microorganisms”
or 2 drops of bleach containing 5.25% sodium hypochlorite in each quart of water. If you don’t have an eyedropper put a strip of cloth in a spoon, soak it in bleach and let 2 drops fall off.
If you do not have bleach then 2% tincture of iodine can be used. Add 5 drops of iodine to each quart of clear water, and let stand 30 minutes. See manual for cloudy water. (p. 72)
See page 72 for sources of water in fallout areas. At first glance in order of decreasing safety:
Water from deep wells, covered pits, deep lakes, ponds, and streams.
There is detailed information on well water.

Removing radiation from water:

This document recommends filtering through earth over distillation or charcoal filters. (Please see multiple research sources for clarification).
The reasoning being that distillation may not remove radioactive iodine.
There is a diagram and detailed information about filtering through soil/clay on page 74 and 75.
Settling is a technique of adding clay to water to get the clay to bring most of the fallout particles to the bottom of the water over a 6 hr period.

You should cross reference with NWSS for accuracy

Download NWSS Survival Manual (27 MB), NWSS Ch8 website version, Ch8 download



Kearny, Cresson (1987). Nuclear War Survival Skills. Retrieved from http://www.oism.org/nwss


Please download and print this web page in case the internet is no longer accessible

Audio versions: (Short Film) - (Long Film pt1) - (Long Film pt2)

- (Clean Water Film pt3) - (Shelter Film pt4)

Download NWSS Survival Manual (27 MB) - Download Adobe Reader or skip to the basics


Back to top of page

You are now leaving the nuclear emergency page.

Katrina links:

Missing persons hotlines|Missing persons online sites |Government recovery and missing persons sites |How to help|How to get help|Evacuation routes|Weather forecasts|Counseling|Rape Crisis Information|Earthquake and tsunami west coast


Homepage|Research|Crisis Information|Hotlines




Please select a topic from the menu



Cite this resource

Clear your computer history

Last updated 10/22/14 About.Contact

Find Journal Articles on this subject

Created by

Home|Finding books at the library|Encyclopedias and Dictionaries|Biographies|Books on healing|Statistics|Websites |Films|Journals and articles|Bibliographies|Online Libraries|Victim blame|Theories|Privacy|Grants|Crisis hotlines|Crisis Information |Rape crisis sites|Rape crisis centers|Help rape victims|Message boards|Suicide hotlines|Louisiana|N.C. rape crisis| Victim Assistance|Effects of rape|Health|Therapy|Medical|Lesbian sexual assault|Feminist|Petitions|War and rape|Partners|Male survivors|Created by|More Information|Blog|Communities


hosted by ibiblio

The author is not responsible for any contents linked or referred to from his or her pages - unless s/he has full knowledge of illegal contents and would be able to prevent the visitors of his site from viewing those pages. If any damage occurs by the use of information presented there, only the author of the respective pages might be liable, not the one who has linked to these pages. Furthermore the author is not liable for any postings or messages published by users of discussion boards, guestbooks or mailinglists provided on his or her page. The author is not a psychiatrist or physician / medical doctor or legal attorney of any sort. This website is not intended to replace medical, psychiatric or legal care. Please seek professional attention as needed.The Information provided is not intended to replace obtaining medical evaluations and health care advice from qualified health care providers. This site's owners are providing Information for reference only, and do not intend said Information to be used for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical conditions, or for any other purposes.The owner/author of this site MAKES NO WARRANTIES, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, WITH RESPECT TO THE ACCURACY OR COMPLETENESS OF SAID INFORMATION, OR THE FITNESS OF THE INFORMATION TO BE USED FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE, AND SHALL NOT BE LIABLE FOR ANY CLAIM, LOSS, EXPENSE, OR DAMAGE OF ANY KIND TO USER, OR TO ANY THIRD PARTY, RELATED TO THE USE OF SAID INFORMATION. Persons accessing any Information of the rape crisis information web site, directly or indirectly, assume full responsibility for the use of the Information and understand and agree that the author of rape crisis information is not responsible or liable for any claim, loss, or damage arising from the use of said Information.


pagerank button