How To Survive A Boil Notice

A boil notice is issued when a municipal water provider detects dangerous pathogens and microorganisms in the water that can make us sick.  Other reasons for a boil notice include lead in the water, water main breaks, power outages and flooding.    Your need to be able to survive a boil notice often comes in the aftermath of hurricanes, like in Puerto Rico.

WHAT Is A Boil Notice and How Can You Survive It_

How To  Survive A Boil Notice

Surviving a boil notice takes preparation.  First, you’ll need to know exactly what you can and can’t do with your tap water.  Some boil notices will state that tap water is not to be used for drinking, ice cubes or cooking, but can still be used to do laundry in.

But, you know the s has really htf  when the water restrictions say the water can’t be used in any form or fashion.  This is what Puerto Rico has been dealing with for almost a year now.

BTW, we are less than 3 months away from the start of the next hurricane season.  Are you prepared?

All The Ways We Use Water

Bathing
Brushing Teeth
Washing Dishes
Cooking
Mixing Baby Formula
Washing Fruits and Veggies
Mixing Medications
Humidifiers
Pets

And most important……..DRINKING!

Take a minute and think of all the ways your family uses water in a 24 hour period.  That is going to be the amount of water you would need to boil to keep up the status quo.  Yikes!

How To Boil Water For A Boil Notice

According to the CDC, to make water safe to drink,  you should fill a large pot with water and bring it to an actual boil for at least one minute; and then allow the water to cool and place in a clean container.

If you can’t boil water, you can disinfect it by using 1/8 teaspoon of NON-scented bleach per one gallon of water. Mix it well and wait at least 30 minutes before drinking it. Make sure your containers are clean by sanitizing them with bleach as well. Rinse containers thoroughly before storing water.

When my family lived in Turkey, we often had to rely on using non-scented bleach to disinfect our water.  No doubt about it, this water is going to have a funky taste.  Consider having powdered Kool-Aid or something to help cover that taste.

You will also need to use BOILED or disinfected water in your coffee pot.  Even though that coffee pot heats the water up, it doesn’t boil it safe. 

Pro Tip:  When trying to survive a boil water notice, water filters will NOT be enough to purify your tap water.  You’ll need to either rely on stored water, boil the water, or disinfect it with bleach.

Cutting Down On Daily Water Needs

Let’s face it.  Trying to boil the amount of water you typically go through on a daily basis will be impossible.  You will need to be prepared with items to help cut down on the amount of water you’ll need.

1. Stock up on no-rinse bathing wipes.  These wipes clean well with just a bit of water, but you don’t need to rinse afterwards.  We use these often when my son is in the hospital.

Even if the boil alert says it’s okay to bathe in your tap water, I wouldn’t suggest it if you have any open wounds, or are immuno-compromised.

2. Have a can or two of dry shampoo on hand.

3. Stock disposable plates, napkins, and utensils.

4. Fill empty bottles of laundry detergent with water and mark them as ‘cleaning water’ and store them with your other water supplies.

5. Have hand sanitizer available.

6. Cleaning wipes will come in handy!

PRO TIP:  Use tape to wrap around facets  and handles to disable them.  Put BIG signs reminding people NOT to use tap water.   People are so used to using water from the tap, that it is simply second nature to reach for the faucet.

Survive  A Boil Notice By Storing Water

Do you know how to figure out how much water per family member to store?  Our post on Calculating Drinking Water has done the math for you!

Next, you’ll want to know how to fill soda bottles and larger containers with safe drinking water for storage.   We’ll walk you through it in our Emergency Drinking Water and Storage post.

Think A Boil Notice Can’t Happen To You?

Emergency water boil notices are issued hundreds of times a week all though out the country. Sometimes they only last a day or two. Often they last longer. For Preppers water storage must be a priority in order for your family to survive a boil notice.

Has your family ever lived someplace where the tap water was not safe to drink?  How did you provide clean drinking water for your family?

Activated Charcoal For Stomach Viruses And More

Activated charcoal is a fine, black powder that is odorless, tasteless, and nontoxic.  It works by trapping toxins and chemicals in its millions of tiny pores. The porous surface of this charcoal has a negative electric charge that causes positive charged toxins and gas to bond with it.

While I have used activated charcoal in my family, I’m NOT a doctor.  Always consult YOUR doctor before trying anything new.

Obliterate Stomach Bugs And MORE using Activated Charcoal

Activated Charcoal For Stomach Bugs

As soon as signs of a stomach bug show up or someone near you gets it, take *this post contains affiliate links 2 capsules with a full glass of water as often as every 2 hours, up to 16 capsules in a 24 hour period.  (see specific directions on the package you purchase)

When using activated charcoal internally, it is crucial to make sure to stay extra hydrated.  You’ll need the extra water for the charcoal to flush out the toxins, and to avoid constipation.

Activated charcoal comes in both bags and capsules.  Because I have a great worry of a bag of charcoal somehow finding it’s way all over my house, I choose the capsules.

Pro Tip:  Be aware that if you are on medications,  the activated charcoal can intercept the medication. Consult your doctor!  Also,  activated charcoal will bind to your supplements.

 

 Children

While kids 4 and up can use 1 capsule of  charcoal in a cup of purple grape juice to help prevent stomach viruses from taking their toll, always consult your doctor FIRST.

Stomach Flu Remedy Using Activated Charcoal

 Overdose Or Poisoning

First, call poison control, the local emergency room, or doctor’s office and follow their directions.  But if you are in a situation where you can’t make that call the dosage for acute poisoning is as follows

 Gas And Bloating

Activated charcoal works to bind the gas-causing byproducts in foods that cause discomfort.  Take 500 milligrams one hour prior to a typical gas-producing meal, with a full glass of water. Follow your meal with another glass of  of water immediately to help get the charcoal into your system, where it can bind with gas-producing elements.

Relieve Bites And Bee Stings

Being  such a great all-around detoxifier, applying a paste of activated charcoal and a bit of water and a drop of both Lavender and Copaiba essential oils to a bug bite or bee sting may offer relief. Reapply as needed.  Here’s how to order Young Living Essential Oils.

Pro tip:  Looking for another way to reap the benefits of activated charcoal?  Check our SUPER EASY DIY soap recipes for Lavender Charcoal soap!

How does your family fight off stomach viruses?

**  I am NOT a doctor, NOR do I play one on the internet.  I am simply sharing what has worked for my family.  YOU need to check with your doctor about using activated charcoal before giving it to your family.

Lavender Charcoal Soap DIY Homemade Soap Recipe

Lavender Charcoal Soap is the perfect blend of a few of my favorite things. Charcoal is terrific for oily skin, with the ability to pull both oil and dirt from pores.   Because the charcoal can be drying for some skin types, I’ve chosen to add a bit of shea butter to a goat milk base,  to help balance this bar.

Lavender Charcoal Soap DIY Recipe

Supplies:

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2 1/2 pounds of white Goat Milk Melt & Pour Soap.  I chose goat milk melt and pour soap for it’s extra skin softening abilities.

Activated Charcoal.  I prefer to use the capsules.  I have a fear of an open bag of charcoal being overturned somewhere in my house.  (shiver) But if you rather go with the loose stuff, I like this brand.

Young Living Lavender Essential Oils  I choose to use only Young Living Essential Oils.  You can go here to learn more about my favorite oils! 

Shea Butter (optional)  I chose refine shea butter because unrefined comes with a scent that is hard to cover.

Silicone Soap Mold

Small Spray Bottle of Alcohol

Heat-safe glass measuring cup

Thermometer (optional)

Scale (optional)

Ingredients To Make Lavender Charcoal Soap

Let’s Get Started Making Lavender Charcoal Soap!

Set aside 2 pounds of the goat milk melt and pour soap.

Cut 1/2 pound of the goat milk melt and pour soap into 1/2 inch cubes and place in heat safe glass measuring cup.

Melt the 1/2 pound of melt and pour and  1/4 teaspoon shea butter in the microwave for 30 seconds, stir, and repeat until soap is completely melted.

Allow to cool for a minute and then add 5-10 drops of Lavender Essential Oil.

Make Your Own DIY Lavender Charcoal Soap

Slowly add in 5 capsules of charcoal(opening each capsule and adding the charcoal, and disposing of the actual capsule)  and stir until it is entirely incorporated into the soap.  The soap should be black.  If it isn’t dark enough for your liking, add in another capsule.

Pour this now melted black soap into two of your soap molds in different thicknesses. (You can put it back in the microwave for a few seconds if it’s set up too much.)  Spritz with alcohol to get rid of the bubbles.  Allow to set up and dry.

Lavender Charcoal Soap

Pop out the soap and then cut it into different sizes of rectangles and squares.  You’ll need to make sure that your sizes fit into your molds.

You can use a small kitchen knife to free hand the heart inside of your square, or you can use a fondant cutter in the shape of a heart.

Give Your Black Soap Shapes Time To Dry

I  recommend allowing your shapes to dry for at least a few hours to over night before continuing on with the recipe.  This will help your black shapes not to melt into your melted white base.  However,  if you are in a hurry, we can proceed now.

Creating The Soap Design For Your Lavender Charcoal Soap

Place your black shapes into each mold in the design of your choosing.  Having some shapes placed horizontally  and some shapes  vertically (going UP the sides of your mold)  will give more visual interest to your soap.

Press the shapes in so that no air is between the shape and your mold.

Melt The 2 Pounds Of Melt And Pour Soap You Set Aside

 

Take the 2 pounds of goat milk soap and cut it into half inch cubes.  Add 1 teaspoons of shea butter.   Microwave in 30 second bursts, stir, and repeat until your base is melted.  Allow your soap to cool for a minute and then add in 25 drops of Lavender Essential Oil.

Pay Attention To The Temperature Of Your White Soap

Pouring HOT white soap over your black shapes will melt your black soap pieces.

You’ll need to pour the soap at a temperature that won’t melt your black soap.  That means your white soap needs to be about 125-130 degrees, or liquid enough to pour, but not hot enough to melt.

If your soap is too hot to put your finger in, it’s too hot to pour.  If you soap is lumpy when you go to pour it, it has set too long.

Pour ONLY enough soap to cover the bottom of the mold, but NOT the shapes of your charcoal lavender soap.   Basically, you don’t want to be able to see the bottom of the mold.

Lavender Charcoal Melt and Pour Soap

Then, press down the black pieces to create a seal so that as you continue to pour, the white soap doesn’t flow under you black pieces.

Next, spritz your soap with a bit of alcohol to remove any bubbles, and continue to fill your mold with your white goat milk soap.  Fill it to the top of your mold, because as your soap sets, it will shrink down some.

Allow to completely set up and become hard before popping your Lavender Charcoal Soap out of the mold!

Charcoal Lavender Glycerin Melt and Pour Soap DIY Recipe

Ta-Da!  You’ve Made Lavender Charcoal Soap!

To celebrate your success, why don’t you draw up and warm bath and take your soap for a test drive!

Getting Started With Young Living Essential Oils

If you are looking to get started with essential oils you can purchase a Young Living Premium Starter kit that includes the Lavender Essential Oil I used in making my Lavender Charcoal Soap.   You can learn more about Young Living Essential Oils and my Top Ten Essential Oils for Preppers here.

Young Living Premium Starter Kit

Flu Preparedness Supplies: Are You Ready?

Admittedly, its a little late in the season to be talking about getting together your flu preparedness supplies. However, every time I open my Facebook page I am finding another friend lamenting that the flu has just hit their home. It starts with the littlest one throwing up in the middle night and quickly spreads to all the other kids. Just as mom has the final load of sheets in the washer, bam, the all too familiar wave of nausea hits her and dad. All across America this scene seems to be playing out. If you have been lucky enough to escape it thus far, today is the day to get your flu preparedness supplies! Having sick kids is really hard, but having sick parents trying to take care of sick kids is the worst!

Family Flu Preparedness Supplies Checklist

Storing Your Flu Preparedness  Supplies

I keep my flu preparedness supplies in a separate bucket in the storage room. I do this because my kids are  Gatorade hounds and it isn’t something that I normally keep around. If they get even the smallest hint it is in the house, it will be gone! I can’t tell you how many times I would get the flu and crawl into where I knew I had Gatorade stored to find that one of the boys happily stole it for basketball practice. By having a dedicated flu kit I know I always have what I need put away.

Steps To Prevent Getting The Flu:

First, lets talk about what we can do to NOT get the flu in the first place.  An ounce of prevention and all that.

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  • Try to avoid close contact with sick people.  If it can’t be avoided, consider wearing  a N95 or above  emergency face mask.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water. If soap and water are not available, use hand sanitizer. 

    Get a Flu Shot. Yes, I recognize this can be a controversial topic, but I still recommend it.

  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth. Germs spread this way.
  • Clean and disinfect surfaces and objects that may be contaminated with germs like the flu.

My Flu Preparedness Supplies And Emergency Checklist

As every Prepper and Survivalist knows, sometimes despite our very best efforts, the flu finds us.  It happens.  Be prepared with your flu preparedness supplies at the ready!

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  • Powdered Gatorade (easier to store the powder, lasts longer, and I can mix it as strong or weak as needed)
  • Ramen. I don’t know why but when I turn the corner and start to feel better I crave chicken flavored ramen. Probably the high sodium in a dehydrated body.
  • Ginger tea and manuka honey  Known for it’s amazing health benefits, manuka honey  improves sore throats and boosts immunity.
  • Peppermint tea
  • Hard peppermint candy (helps sooth stomach and get rid of bad tastes in mouth)
  • Ginger Ale
  • Homemade canned broth
  • Jello
  • Crackers
  • Paper plates and cups. More sanitary and just plain easier on a sick parent
  • Otter pops (throw them into the freezer as soon as you open the kit)
  • Freezer meals for people that are not sick in the houseFlu Preparedness Supplies and Survival Kit

 

Medications and Cleaning Supplies for Influenza Emergency Kits

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  • Motrin and Tylenol (don’t take aspirin)
  • Immodium
  • Zofran (ask your doctor for a prescription to keep in the house)
  • Emesis bags for throwing up in.  The plastic ring keeps the bag open, while it locks shut with a quick twist.  MUCH less chance of spilling than bowls or zip lock type bags.
  • Peppermint essential oil
  • Motrin and Tylenol (don’t take aspirin)
  • Zofran (ask your doctor for a prescription to keep in the house)
  • Emetrol
  • Disinfectant wipes that kill flu germs  I also stock a bottle of Steramine Quaternary Sanitizing Tablets for bigger clean up needs.
  • Masks and gloves for containing the spread of germs.
  • Extra laundry detergent
  • Shelf stable probiotics for the mending process. We like the Jarrow brand.

Get Your Pandemic And Flu Preparedness  Supplies NOW

In conclusion, nobody can predict when the flu will hit your family, but being prepared will make it easier to make it through. A little emergency preparedness and planning goes a long way.  What is in YOUR flu kit that I didn’t mention? I’m always looking for new ideas!