7 Day Challenge: DAY 2 (THURSDAY)

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Welcome to the 7 Day Challenge. For 7 days, we are testing our Emergency Preparedness and Food Storage Plans. Each day will bring a NEW mock emergency or situation that will test at least one of the reasons “WHY” we strive to be prepared! REMEMBER: No going to a store, gas station, or spending any money for the entire 7 days (unless we say otherwise)! And please feel free to adapt the scenarios to fit your own family and situation.


Your state has undergone a complete financial meltdown. For now, electricity is still running but public water services have been shut down temporarily until a resolution can be determined. It may take a few days before a stop-gap measure can be put into place to restore service.
Goal: Practice living with no running water

Today’s Tasks:

  • Go and shut off your main water line in case it is not purified when services are restored (review this post if you don’t know how)
  • If you have any empty water containers … you have ONE HOUR from the time you read this to go and fill them all up, then you can use them as a resource for today
  • Prepare all your meals without running water
  • Clean all of your dishes using only stored water (practice water conservation tricks)
  • You must find a way for you (and your family if applicable) to bathe or shower today
  • Find the nearest source of fresh water to your home, bring some home and purify it to conserve some of the water you have stored
  • Do a load of laundry … without running water!
  • Calculate how much water you used today, how long can you live on what you have stored?
  • FILL OUT YOUR MASTER WORKSHEET TODAY – This will be important later this week!

fbSHARING TIME: Visit today’s Facebook thread and share your experiences on what you think was the hardest task for you.

Today’s Limitations:

  • For this day, and ALL days of the challenge: no spending money, no going to stores, and no restaurants.
  • Do not use running water at all, make sure to do task #1 to keep from accidentally turning it on.
  • You can’t flush toilets unless you use up your precious stored water.

Advanced Tasks:

  • Sewage plants have been shut down as well, no flushing toilets even if you use stored water
  • Assume services have been off for a while, you have used up all of the stored water in your home
  • Your car is in the shop and you must go collect water without a vehicle

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Screen shot 2014-09-16 at 8.51.13 PMWe put together a master worksheet for you to fill out each day of the challenge. There is a separate page to list the things you need to buy, do, and learn after each day of the challenge. Include a due date of when you’d like to accomplish the task and check it off when you do it! Fill it out at the end of each day while your memory is fresh.

Check your email first thing in the morning!

  • CherBear

    Today was my first day ever trying to live off my water storage. I actually had to think how to take a shower/bath using as little water as possible. I got the job done with a little less then a gallon of water. I’m excited to try the dish washing and laundry. My shopping list is going to be so big by the end of the 7 day challenge. I am so much more great full for running water then I was before. Glad to be getting more prepared one step at time. As a side note this is a little harder challenge with a toddler running around. My husband shut the water off and shortly after my little boy goes and flushes the toilet for fun. One less flush we will get today. Loving this and telling my co-worker about it.

  • Kim

    Got this covered. Already have almost 100 gallons stored on a regular basis. With notification I can add another 200 gallons. There is no local body of water unless it rained. But I have rain water systems. And a really good water filter. I would filter water and refill containers as I empty them. And honestly, as soon as I filled what’s in the house I’d take the garden cart down to the local grocery and stock up on more liquids. Juices and teas would do for drinking and then their containers can be refilled with filtered water.
    The bathroom would automatically go to “if it’s brown, flush it down. If it’s yellow, let it mellow.” If sewer services were also blocked we have bucket toilets we can use.
    For short term, spit baths or using baby wipes. Longer term – a camp shower hung in the bathroom window to warm.
    Dishes are done in buckets. Water is actually flowing b/c I use a 5 gallon water jug with a siphon pump. I’ve had to do that before.
    Laundry is in a tub or the bathtub. We call it the bathtub stomp. Not really needed for short term water outage but would be how it would be done for longer term stuff. That or soaping and hanging on the line during a rain storm.

  • Karen in Id.

    We have a 1500 gal spring fed cistern and our own septic system. Solar power. We have a 12k diesel generator. so we never know when public utilities go out. We also have built a still for purifying contaminated water and also use that for all of our canning. We have lived off grid for 24yrs. Yesterdays challenge was interesting and looking forward to tomorrow. Hope everyone is doing well.

  • Karen in WA

    We are lucky with this one. We are on a private well, we store some water for the animals, and we have a seasonal pond on the property. We also have propane and a generator so even if the electric goes out on the well pump, we can power it with the gene. Also every sink has a couple gallons of water stored underneath it and before the end of the month we will have finished installing a 14 ft exercise pool for my elderly mom who lives with us. It will have salt water and would be a great emergency back up. We have a Berkey as a back up to our home filtering system.

  • Paul

    We actually lived like this for 6 months while we built our house here in the mountains. Water was supplied from a 450 gallon tank in the back of my truck. Buckets for everything and solar shower. You get into real conservation mode when you have to live like this. We could make 450 gallons last about 2-4 weeks depending. Mixing concrete takes water too 🙂 Shovel with roll of tp on the handle was the “out house”. Today we live on a private well and septic system. Two underground cisterns with 3500 gallon stored capacity. If the utilities shut off the water and sewer we would not even know. Hope to have our 6kw solar system completed here by year end so even if the power went off, happens all the time, we wouldn’t even know.

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