12 Hurricane Preparedness Projects Answered
I read some of the 12 projects. I did one myself since I live in Puerto Rico, went through Hurricane Irma this past Wednesday (Sept 6th) ,have been though several hurricane sin the past (since 1964), and will go through a new one (Hurricane Jose) this weekend. In most occasions, we lost power and water for days. I lost only power for 30 hours after Hurricane Irma.
My own project was a two part installation for when I lacked water (I have a generator set for power):
1. Install a 50 gallon cistern on my roof to store potable water for cleaning and bathing needs
2. Install a pressurized 20 gallon tank for showering
The 50 gallon cistern was actually a large trash barrel with a removable cover ($40), which I added two 1/2 inch plastic faucet valves, one near the base as a gravity fed output, and one on the cover as a water inlet. After cleaning the barrel, and attaching the valves, I fixed the barrel (now a "cistern") on my roof (over a beam for weight distribution) with two wire guides. I attached a plain water hose from an external faucet to the top valve to fill the cistern. Then I attached a new hose to the bottom valve and ended that with a regular sprayer. I fitted this into the bathroom over the toilet tank and near the sink, so it can be used for face and hand washing, and for filling the toilet tank after each flush.
The pressurized water tank is a unused water heater that can hold up to 120 PSI. I replaced the cold water inlet with a cap and a auto tire valve by drilling into the cap and pulling the tire vale through (same as for a wheel hub).. I installed a 1/2 inch faucet on the hot water outlet and a short (pressure resistant) water hose, and finished it with a water sprinkler. Then I installed a.new 1/2 inch valve on the drain.for the lower water inlet.
I attached the hose from the cistern to the lower valve, opened the valves on the cistern output and tank input, and removed the inner stem from the tire vale. When the tank was full, some water will spurt out from the open tire valve. Then I close both valves, remove the cistern hose, reinstall the tire valve stem, and use an electric air pump to apply pressure up to 50 PSI.
Now if I open the water sprinkler, i have a hand held shower! After one use (about five minutes) the pressure can drop but if I have electrical power, I can reapply air pressure again. After several showers, I release the remaining air pressure at the tire valve, refill the tank from the cistern, and apply air pressure again. This has worked for years, and I keep everything ready for the next storm of when I have no water supply.