Well, since I have land and I have a creek on said land, I invested in water filters. They came in handy once or twice already. I had an MSR mini that I used for drinking water out of the creek. I still boiled it because of viruses you know, but it worked fine when we had no water for a week. (Long story, but essentially a water pump went out and we were waiting on a paycheck to buy one)
I also have the aquarain we use when boil alerts are on. Again, we still boil. Since I have such a large family, I thought storing water is almost pointless…at least in gallon or five gallon jugs.
Anyway, filters cost a pretty penny, so I figured that I should probably learn how to filter it “good enough” without our filter. Also, boiling costs a penny too and it is still required after filtering from a raw source.
So my free prep is learning how to filter using a homemade charcoal filter. I took an old water PVC pipe, some sand, gravel, and charcoal from our fire. You can sterilize the sand and gravel on your stove top ahead of time to make sure your mediums are sterile. Meanwhile closed one end of the pvc and drilled very little holes in the closed end. Packed it in as gravel, sand, charcoal, sand, gravel. Poured water through…creek water which is pretty clear. It came out the other side okay I guess. It got out the mud and stuff, which was nice.
The main problem though is making sure it sterile. Even if I sterilized the medium, pouring through unclean water dirties it, so it has to be repacked from time to time. Also, that is the slowest I have ever gotten water back.
Also, there is still the boiling issue. There are a couple ways to pasteurize water. I’m a huge fan of the water bottle method. You take a common water bottle (plastic) and leave it in the sun, half full. The UV is supposed to kill any bacteria. Another way is to let it in the solar oven. I have one of those now, but you can build one for almost free using a pizza box. You just cook it in the solar oven to 140 degree F. This takes a while, so you should probably have several pizza box solar ovens to have enough water everyday after filtering.
Most free preps are just reading and recycling junk. Like my husband took tin cans and wire and then punched designs in them. At first it was to make a pretty lantern for decorations with those little tea lights in them. In the end they actually helped us get around when the flash lights went out and we were outside.
There’s a ton of things you can do.
When was the last time you went without electricity, running water, food, and had babies screaming for food...now you know why I prep. These are the things a mother's nightmares are made of.