Portable Water Filtration Systems Disaster Relief

According to FEMA, water is one of the most important resources after a disaster. But what happens if you don’t have clean water stored away in an emergency, and there’s no power or help to come to your home, What are the best types of portable water filtration systems for disaster relief?

Water Filters that:

Run by Gravity
Uses Distillation
Needs No Power or Plumbing
Portable Microfilter/UF/Carbon
Can use Solar Power
Gravity & Reverse Osmosis (RO) 
Able to Filter 0.01-0.02 Microns needed to take out microbes, viruses, radionuclides, and organic & inorganic chemicals.

These types of Portable Gravity Water Filters are able to clean raw water sources like rivers and streams that are contaminated and polluted. Be prepared in case of an emergency, that may or may not come your way.

 Water Purification Methods at Home


It is vital that all household members know what to do in an emergency when it happens. Make a list of things to do in the home before an emergency. That emergency can happen in your home in a car or lost in the mountains.

Experts used to say that you should store 1 gallon of water per/day for each person living in the household. That requirement might be more depending on the temperature or season and the location in the country you live in. Common sense will dictate how much more you may need.

If you are storing larger amounts, then it is recommended that the container is a food-grade water storage container that is sold at camping supply stores.

You can sanitize the container with a teaspoon of household bleach to a gallon of water and rinse the container out thoroughly. Fill containers with Tap Water.  Add this Water to your Emergency Preparedness Kit.


Different Types of Water Purification Methods


The three main treatment processes in the event of an Emergency are.

  • Boiling
  • Chlorinating
  • Distillation

Boiling is the safest method of cleaning water for 1 minute boil the water to a full boil. Pour the water back and forth between two containers to cool and add oxygen to improve the taste.

Chlorinating with household unscented bleach can be used to kill microorganisms. Add 1/8 of a teaspoon of bleach to one gallon of questionable water. The water should have a slight bleach odor. If it doesn’t repeat the process. Let it sit for 15 minutes. If the water still doesn’t have a slight bleach odor-throw it out.

Bleach needs to contain a 5.25-6.0 % sodium hypochlorite solution as the only active ingredient. Other chemicals are not recommended.

Distillation-While Chlorinating and Boiling will kill most microorganisms that are in the water, Distillation will remove any that escaped and will also remove metals, salts, and other chemicals. Water is our most precious global resource.

Clean and safe drinking water is critical to sustaining human life. Without it, waterborne illness would be a serious problem. Often water’s vital role is most apparent during a disaster or in an emergency.

These days the Best Choice for Water Preparedness is a Quality Water Filter employing Microfilters, Reverse Osmosis, and/or Ultrafiltration that has a 0.1 to 0.2 size pours on a ceramic with a Carbon Block built-in.


Contaminated Drinking Water


The Federal government through EPA determines what is considered clean safe drinking water. These standards are used by municipal water distributors and suppliers throughout the country. The standards are called the National Primary Drinking Water Regulation. They set the list of contaminants that are a threat to the consumers of water in our country.

They determine what limits exposure to these contaminants and whether are people still safe to drink them protecting public health. The contaminants are broken down into 6 classifications.

  1. Microorganisms
  2. Disinfectants
  3. Disinfection By-Products
  4. Inorganic Chemicals
  5. Organic Chemicals
  6. Radionuclides


like Cryptosporidium and Giardia which are found in water that contains human and animal fecal waste. Ingesting causes Gastrointestinal illness, diarrhea, and vomiting. Coliforms can contain fecal coliforms that are only found in human and animal waste. Turbidity is found in soil runoff and Viruses are also found in Human and Animal Fecal waste.

Disinfection By-Products

Some of these have adverse effects on humans and have been found to cause cancer, These are the Byproducts of Chlorine disinfection.

Inorganic Chemicals      

Inorganic chemistry is concerned with the properties and behavior of inorganic compounds, which include metals, minerals, and organic metallic compounds.

Inorganic Compounds are used as catalysts, pigments and coatings, medicines, fuels, and more. They often have a high melting point and many inorganic chemicals are used in the industry. Examples of inorganic compounds are minerals and plastics.

Organic Chemicals

An organic chemical also referred to as an organic compound, is defined as being constructed of molecules that possess carbon-based atoms. Specifically, it is composed of carbon atoms attached to hydrogen atoms, together with a variety of other elements from functional groups, such as oxygen, nitrogen, sulfur, etc. An organic chemical is covalently bonded, meaning that electrons are shared between atoms.

This characteristic is why organic chemicals can be structured in a variety of long chains and rings and form bonds with great stability. Today Organic compounds are classified as being natural or synthetic. Natural organic compounds are derived from living organisms like plants and animals. They include vitamins carbohydrates and amino acids.                            


A radionuclide is an atom that has excess nuclear energy making it very unstable. This excess energy can emit or even create radiation from the nucleus. It emits high-speed particles or rays. This is called ionizing radiation because it replaces ions by displacing electrons in the body, disrupting the function of atoms. Now that That’s over with-Lets talk about Water Filters and what they are capable of removing Contaminants.

Types of Water Filtration Systems



There are different types of water filtration products today that are designed to clean drinking water based on known parameters that are set by the EPA and The National Primary Drinking Act.

These are the known contaminants that we are aware of.  There are different applications to fit the need of the consumer for the problems that are likely facing with their own situation. A water filter that is plumbed into your home may not be the best filtration that you need for an untypical situation.

During hurricanes or earthquakes, Municipal Authorities will shut down utilities like Gas, water, and sewer until the emergency is deemed safe and the situation comes back to normal.

During Hurricane Sandy in 2012, I witness some things that I never have seen before. I was involved in a State of Emergency where all utilities were shut down and there was no power, water sewer, or gas for many days. In fact, it was for many weeks. The first time I went to the store, outside of the area where the damage was worse, was to buy water. We needed water not just to drink but also for cleaning up.

We had almost 4 feet of ocean and mud in our home. I found a convenience store about 5 miles away with some cases of bottled water that had been priced at 4 or 5 times what the normal price was.

The price of eggs and sugar didn’t seem to change but the water became a very important commodity that was, unfortunately, what all of us involved in the storm needed the most.

This taught me a valuable lesson that I should have already had none. Water is the number one resource needed in an emergency situation. It is also the number one resource in a survival situation.

Since 2012 and Hurricane Sandy, or I should say “Tropical Storm Sandy” there have been wonderful products developed for emergencies that prepare us for these occurrences that seem to be happening more and more every year.

When you are in survival mode whether it be outdoors, lost in the mountains, or a victim of a flood or any natural disaster the most important resource you’ll need is clean drinking water. In most cases, if you ever become involved in a disaster or survival life and death emergency situation, there are some common elements to it.

  • You don’t have electric power
  • You don’t have a clean source of drinking water
  • You can’t carry around enough quantities of bottled water for surviving for long periods of time.
  •  Even stored water containers may not be enough or could be breached in a Natural Disaster.
  • It is important to own a Portable Water Filter. Keep it in your Emergency  Preparedness Kit.


The best water filter to have for these reasons is a Gravity Water Filter that needs no plumbing or water pressure and no power to operate. That means your faucet filter won’t matter or your whole house or countertop water filter you paid so much for won’t matter at all.

It’s just common sense. You need a Portable Gravity Water Filter that can process enough water to get you through this bad situation.

If You Situation is a plane crash, lost in the outdoors, or you find yourself a victim of a natural disaster, you need a portable filter that will go beyond what normal water filtration units do.

There could be chemicals besides microbes in the water that need to be removed to be considered safe from the contaminants that are listed here.

The Best Water Filter will provide you and your family members, especially in an emergency situation peace of mind and assurance that you won’t get sick or worse from the water you consume. You can use it every day or pack it away with other Emergency Preparedness Kits for home and family.


Portable Water Filtration Systems Disaster Relief


In the event of an emergency and or a survival situation, you need a Portable Water Filter that can remove the primary contaminants that are close to what the EPA and the National Primary Drinking Water Regulations deem as dangerous. Because of your situation, you might have to settle for a little less but not much less. Pick out the best filtering system now before anything happens, because like my old man used to say ” it always does”

The first filter we will look at is:

Katadyn KFT Expedition Filter


This filter has been gaining popularity for some time now. The water filter is a handheld Portable Pump filter that delivers a gallon a minute, which will be enough drinking water for a whole family or group that is in survival mode.

It is small and fairly lightweight at 12.5 lbs. The filtering system can process up to 26,000 gallons of the source water. This is the filter that is used by Relief Organizations around the world. It has a ceramic filter and is capable of filtering contaminants as small as .02 microns. Ceramic filters have been used for years by the military and missionaries around the world. 

The filter is made in Switzerland and is considered one of the best water filtration tools in the world. It also is made of steel construction making it more durable than most filters and is built to last for years.

This filter although expensive can be used to source water from streams and rivers that have a questionable character for consumption. Product reviews are superior and customers that purchased it are very happy with it. Because of the silver-impregnated filter and the delivery rate. This filter stands out for groups of people worried about microorganisms in the source water.




The Renogy Tactical Microfilter


Because of the much lower price and the smaller 0.01-micron size filtering Membrane, the Renogy Tactical Microfilter for me was the better product and comes closer to what I need in a Portable UF Water Filter. It’s somewhere between $60 and 70.00 dollars. A great value and bang for your Buck! I have used mine out fishing and drank right from the lake.

If you can sacrifice some volume and a Sediment Filter that doesn’t come with Cheaper Renogy for smaller pores in the Membrane that will guarantee more removal of contaminates. That really the reason I bought a Microfilter in the first place.

The Renogy tops the list for a Portable Microfilter. The only thing it lacks is a separate Sediment Filter. It processes about 800 gallons and can be easily flushed right out in the field.

The Renogy Tactical Microfilter can deliver processed water at a typical rate of 600 ml/per minute in temperatures of 32- 113 degrees. It weighs about a half-pound and stands around 8 inches tall.

It’s made from Military grade Aluminum PCTG is BPA-free and comes with silica gel to use as a lubricant for the piston on the filter. Here is the Best part. The Renogy Tactical Water Microfilter can filter down to 0.1 Micron size which is the highest level that is recommended by the EPA and even surpasses critical levels for portable water filtration. Replacement filters are only $10.00 

You can drink water directly from the source on the move or fill bottles and containers for later supplies. If you hiking or cycling the Renogy is a light-practical tool that can be stored away in your backpack easily. For emergencies, preparedness can be stored away or packed in your luggage for world travel as needed insurance against unseen enemies that are invisible.

In today’s world, nothing made more sense than to protect you and your family from new and older types of organic and inorganic contaminants that can harm you. This is a small price of money and inconvenience for you to pay that can save you from trouble before it can happen. This Portable is a well-built durable Microfilter that will go with you anywhere in extreme temperatures.




The Big Berkey System

I bought this filter and have no regrets.  Big Berkey can filter up to 30 gallons of processed drinking water per/day and can hold 2.25 gallons of filtered water. It is big and powerful and designed for a family-size need for clean water for drinking and cooking.

It will remove contaminants from raw sources of water from lakes, ponds, and streams. The construction is stainless steel and the filter is made to go off-grid or camping. It is useful during a natural disaster when the lights and power go off this filter is meant for continued service delivering potable water that is ultra-clean and reliable.

The Big Berkey system removes pathogenic bacteria, cysts, and parasites and reduces harmful chemicals such as herbicides, pesticides, and VOCs without removing the beneficial minerals your body needs. Constructed of highly polished 304 stainless steel, the system comes complete with four 9″ x 2.75″ Imperial ceramic elements. It also includes 4 PF-4 Fluoride filters.

The PF-4 filters screw onto the ceramic filters and work in conjunction to remove or reduce fluoride, lead, MTBE, arsenic, and other contaminants. The powerful Black Berkey purification elements also remove or reduce pathogenic cysts, parasites, harmful or unwanted chemicals such as herbicides and pesticides, VOCs, detergents, organic solvents, trihalomethanes, cloudiness, silt, sediment, nitrates, nitrites, heavy metals, foul tastes, and odors, yet they leave in the healthful and beneficial minerals that your body needs.


Best Emergency Water Filters


 The portable water treatment business is coming of age with new and better technologies that surpass what was used and considered the Best last year but now taking a back seat this year.

Personal portable water filters like the Straws that hikers use and the Filter Water Bottles are important to recognize because they are making strides and are reliable tools for the outdoorsman But are they good enough?

I picked these a few water filters because of their filtering capability, size, and the amount of drinking water they can process before a filter needs to be changed or cleaned. We use it every day because of the ease of operation. I have a small Microfilter called a Renogy Tactical stored with my camping and fishing gear.  If there is some kind of event or an Emergency I’m prepared. 

Distillers and Desalination water treatments are also another important phase and type of system that are practical in emergency situations, especially on or near the sea. There are some on the market but few that can be used with the time constraint and simplicity as the products I listed here. The 3 Filters I listed Only Process Fresh Water. Distiller and Declinators are other subjects for another day.

The most important feature I have seen of the Katadyn Expedition KFT Water Filter System is a great and proven ceramic depth filter that has a long-lasting life of approximately 26,000 gallons before it needs to be replaced, and it can be cleaned multiple times before replacement. That’s a huge plus and its filter will stop known microorganisms and waterborne pathogens that are prevalent in polluted water sources. Pricey-yes but worth the price. 


The Survivor ProSurvivor Filter PRO 

This Portable Water Filter is a very small filter but really powerful with 3 stages of filtration.  It’s cleanable and at a filter size micron level of 0.01, this thing is the real deal. Don’t let the inexpensive price fool you.

It can remove heavy metals and 99.99 % of the bacteria like crypto, Giardia, and E. Coli. Pathogens, Cysts all the nasties that are in the stream where we camp. Because of its small size, it can easily be packed away with camping gear, where you can break it out if you need it.

It also can be packed away in your luggage for trips overseas. The one drawback is you may need some pre-filtering if you are using exceptionally dirty water. Because of its size, It may clog during filtering but it’s made for backwashing which is a great option for a small filter with the huge job that it does. I like it for its size. It’s very practical for the space that it doesn’t take up and the price is small too. 


What is the best way to Filter Well Water? 

Use a Whole House Water Filtration system that contains:

  • Pre-Filter Sediment Removal
  • Water Softener
  • Carbon Filter (kills Bacteria)
  • Pre-micro-sediment
  • Reverse Osmosis-(Dissolved Contaminants to .01 microns in size)
  • Polishing-Coconut Fiber-UV treatment (kills Virus & Cyst)
  • Minerals-added that were stripped .…………………………………………………………………… Read more


The new pollutants are invisible ones like prescription drugs and illegal drugs that are flushed back into the system and sourced back into the Drinking water. What could be in the river is something new than contaminants from years gone by.

The Environmentalist and  Water treatment plants don’t test for everything, that would be an enormous task, even if they could. If you think that you don’t have to worry about any emergencies that you’ll be safe, that “it won’t happen to me” think again.

I went Through Superstorm Sandy in New Jersey in 2012.  We had no water for 2 weeks. When we finally got it everyone was warned not to drink it!  Be Prepared for what can happen even if it never does.

I would recommend these two Water Filter the Big Berkey for a go-to Water Filter today using the (RO) Technology and the Renogy Tactical Microfilters using the (UF) Ultrafiltration. If the Emergency is outside or inside the home.  Keep them as part of an Emergency Preparedness plan whether you use them or not.


What are the Best RV Water Filters and Water Filter Systems?

According to EPA, look for a reputable filter with a pore size of 0.2 microns or less. This size removes microbes & bacteria that are larger.
Filters are broken into 2 classifications:
Absolute 1- remove microns that are Giardia & Cryptosporidium microbes.
Absolute 2 type removes part of the microbe.


JimGalloway Author/Editor


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