I'm busy with my annual review of our emergency preparations, making sure I know what we've got and where it is, and checking that everything's still in good order.
This morning I opened the tote that contains our water filters and associated supplies. I found bad news inside. Bags of calcium hypochlorite powder (so-called "pool shock") had perished, spilling their contents all over everything. To make matters worse, the hose connections on our family-size water filter had also perished, and what looks like a foam lining beneath the plastic connection covers had spread brown funky-smelling gunk all over everything. (I suspect possible interaction between them and the pool shock.) Whatever caused it, I wasn't prepared to trust the contents any longer, due to contamination.
It's an expensive lesson, but that's what our "rainy day fund" is for, among other things. I got onto Amazon this morning and ordered replacements for all our water filters:
- A Lifestraw Family 1.0 unit for large-scale base-camp-style filtration;
- Two Go Series bottles for filtration on the move;
- Four Sawyer SP124 mini filtration systems for personal use (and to share if need be);
- A Survivor Filter Pro compact filtration system for vehicle camping use, plus a spare filter for it;
- A potable water hose for refilling water containers.
Don't think that "out of sight, out of mind" won't take you by surprise and catch you out when you really, really need something. It took me by surprise today. I'm going to have to do a more detailed check of our emergency supplies every year, and not trust to luck, and a passing visual inspection only, that a sealed package has remained sealed, or that what's in it has not perished. Oh, well . . . lesson learned (again). Murphy's Law is alive and well, and this morning (through my own fault, let it be said) it bit me.
EDITED TO ADD: A number of readers contacted me with questions about this article. I've answered them in a follow-up article; you'll find it here. I hope it helps clarify the situation.