CLEAN WATER I S SCARCE.
Even if sewage and waterdelivery systems are down, there’s often plenty of water available. Look in buildings’ plumbing systems. Potable water will be trapped in the pipes, so see if you can locate the release valve. If you can’t find safe water, Hobel suggests making the following simple filter:
1 Burn a fire. When the ashes are cool, grind down the resulting charcoal until it’s a powder. The grains should feel like confectioners’ sugar. (Don’t use charcoal from someone else’s fire. You don’t know if they burned a poisonous plant. They also might have peed on it to put it out.)
2 Find some sort of receptacle. An old plastic water bottle will do. Cut off the bottom of the bottle, then use a nail to poke a hole in the cap and screw the cap on the top of the bottle. Turn the bottle upside down. Add about 7 cm of powdered charcoal to the bottle, then add water.
3 The water will slowly filter through the charcoal and drip out of the cap. Put a bandanna or another cloth over the hole to filter out any bits of charcoal. (If you’re experiencing intestinal distress – and you very well might be, since your body goes into different kinds of shock in these situations – eat a little bit of the charcoal. It’ll help bind you back up.)