Water is one of the most needed items in any emergency situation.

Whether the power has been cut, there is a national emergency, hurricane, earthquake or tornado. Or you are faced for an indefinite quarantine period.

With about two liters per day your body will be able circulate blood, process food, regulate body temperature (which prevents hypo- and hyperthermia), think clearly, and successfully carry out a host of other internal processes.

With just a little bit of know-how, water can be found relatively easy in almost any environment on the planet, but always make sure you flter and purify any water you do find (see the next article in this series).

Find Water Where Water Is

Start with the most obvious places. Rivers, streams, lakes, water tanks (both metal and dirt tanks), the National Guard water station, etc.

Free-flowing streams are purer, but any natural containment reservoirs will do.

If in the hills, watch animal movements, tracks and swarms of insects. Pay special attention in the early morning and evening. Water runs downhill, so check out canyons and low lying areas. If you find damp sand or mud, dig a hole and see if you can get a small pool started. Think of the locale you are in right now and see if you can think of the most likely place that water will be if you need it.

Collect Water

With some plastic, containers and some absorbent rags, you can really go to town on your collection efforts.

If you can’t find any, then begin a collection system. Put out barrels, containers, tarps, etc to collect any rain or weather that may occur.

Tie some cotton or other absorbent rags around your ankles and go on an early morning walk to collect the dew. Ring it out into wide containers to get a little bit of water.

Use a rag to collect water from tree nooks and rock crevices if they are shallow.

In the morning, tie plastic bags around large plant leaves and weigh them down with a rock inside to collect the transpiration that occurs during the day. Remove the bags that evening to harvest your efforts.

Vegetation helps supply you with water as well. Fruits, coconuts, cacti, vines, palm trees and bamboo can be good sources of liquid sustenance. Bend the top of a green bamboo tree down about a foot off the ground and tie it off. Cut a few inches off the tip, put a container underneath and leave it overnight. The next day, you should have a nice amount of clear, drinkable water.

Make an underground or solar still by digging a pit with a container at the bottom and some plastic on top. This will product condensation during the day that will collect in your container. Dig as many as you have to. Instructions On How To Dig An Underground Still.

Melt ice or snow, if you are that lucky. It is best to melt it and let it reach room temperature before you drink it so you don’t become dehydrated.

Avoid Any Water Substitutions

Make sure you don’t drink any alcohol, urine, sea water, car radiator water, blood or other substitutes, It will only make you sick, not quench your thirst and is mainly a waste of time in the long run. Urine may be effective in the last stages, but it will only keep you alive for another day or so.