DIY Water Filter

Access to clean drinking water is vital to survival. During a crisis, freshwater stores may be limited. Charcoal water filters have been used since the Ancient Egyptians. They work by absorption, negatively charged ion in contaminants are attracted to the positive ions in the charcoal. The contaminants are then trapped in the charcoal thereby cleaning the water.

You can make a water filter at home out of a few household items. By layering dirt and gravel in a plastic bottle you can recreate the layers of the Earth. As water follows through the ground it is naturally filtered and cleaned.


  • Plastic Bottle
  • Gravel
  • Activated Charcol
  • Fine Sand
  • Newspaper
  • Dirt
  • Water
  • Coffee Filter
  • Non-toxic Glue
  • 2 plastic buckets with lids
  • Beverage dispensing faucet
  • Sifter


  1. Push a wadded up piece of newspaper into the neck of the bottle. It should be a tight fit, this will prevent the dirt and gravel from falling out.
  2. Use scissors or a knife to cut the bottom off the of the plastic bottle.
  3. Break up the charcoal into small manageable pieces so they will fit inside the plastic bottle easier.
  4. Fill the bottle with a layer of the activated charcoal in first.
  5. Place a layer of sand on top of the charcoal next.
  6. Mix the dirt and gravel.
  7. Place the dirt and gravel mixture in last. The water should pass through the layers biggest particles to smallest.
  8. The buckets should be about the same height as the plastic bottle. The water should pass through the filter slowly for best results. The buckets will allow you to storage and access fresh water when needed.
  9. Removed the cap from the plastic bottle and set it aside for now.
  10. Cut a hole in the bottom bucket and attach the beverage dispensing faucet. This will allow you to easily access the filtered water.
  11. Cut a hole in the bucket lid to fit the plastic bottle.
  12. Cut a hole in the bottom of the second bucket to hold the plastic bottle in place.
  13. Use non-toxic glue to stack the two buckets on top of each other.
  14.  Push the plastic bottle filter through the hole. It should be a snug fit. Glue in place so it doesn’t move.
  15. Cut a hole for the sifter in the lid of the top bucket. This will catch any large particles as the water passes through it.
  16. Glue the sifter in place. Line it with fabric or a coffee filter to trap fine particles.
  17. Fill the filter with water. The filter will take a while to work.
  18. Open the faucet to access the newly filtered water.

The filter material should be changed regularly to prevent trapped bacteria from growing inside the filter. The charcoal will trap many contaminants, but it is unable to get rid of viruses or bacteria. Boil the filtered water to be safe.


Why is BPA Dangerous in Water Storage?

You’ve probably seen “BPA Free” on many of the plastic bottles at your local grocery store. You might be wondering what is BPA and does it matter if the products you buy are BPA free or not. The research is divided on how harmful BPA is, but researchers do agree that BPA does leach into food and water stored in containers made with BPA.

Bisphenol A better known as BPA is a chemical added to plastics. It is used to make the plastics hard and clear. BPA is used in everything from compact discs to baby bottles. 90% of people have a detectable amount of BPA in their urine. BPA gets into the body through food or water stored in containers made with the chemical.

Animals studies have shown an increased risk for cancer when exposed to BPA. Researchers are looking at a possible link between BPA and heart problems. BPA could have an effect on obesity, diabetes, and ADHD. Though more research is still needed.

BPA seems to affects the endocrine system, the body’s hormone center. BPA disrupts the body’s natural levels. Children are at an increased risk since their bodies are still developing and are less able to eliminate substances from their bodies. Babies whose mothers were exposed to BPA during their pregnancy had BPA present in their system at birth. Pregnant women should avoid products with BPA at all costs. It is still unclear what all the effects of BPA are.

Microwaving increases the amount of BPA that leaches out of the container and into the food or water. Heating up plastic containers should be avoided. Don’t leave water bottles in your car on a hot day. The heat can increase BPA leaching. Water storage containers should be kept in a cool dry place.

Several countries are phasing out BPA. Canada has even banned all products made with BPA. Companies are labeling their products “BPA Free” to help the public identify what is safe and what is not. When in doubt check for the recycle symbol. Most plastic goods will have a number 1-7 in the recycle triangle somewhere, typically on the bottom of the container. This indicates how easy the plastic is to recycle, in other words, what chemicals they might contain. A number 7 usually means BPA is present. Many large water storage containers are number 7 plastic, look for containers that are labeled “BPA Free” to ensure your water supply is safe.



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Keep your 72-hour Kit Up to Date

A 72-hour kit is one of the first things that comes to mind when thinking about emergency preparedness. What do you need in a good 72 hour kit? What’s the best way to adjust for your own family?

72-Hour Kit Supplies 

  • 1 gallon of water per person per day
  • 3 day supply of non-perishable food
  • Hand crank radio
  • Flashlight with extra batteries
  • Whistle to signal for help
  • Can opener (not the electric kind)
  • Dusk mask to help filter contaminated air
  • Cell phone charger, possible a solar charger
  • First-aid kit
  • Duck tape and plastic sheeting to build a shelter
  • Hand Sanitizer
  • Wet wipes/ toilet paper
  • Infant formula and diapers for babies
  • Comfort items for children (favorite snacks or toys)
  • Prescription medications
  • Pet food and water
  • Veterinary records for pets
  • Clean clothes and sturdy shoes
  • Cash
  • Copies of important documents (insurance policies, medical records, etc.)

It is extremely important to keep your 72-hour kit up to date. Expired food and medications won’t be very much help during an emergency. Water should be rotated every six months to a year. Food will need to be replaced as it expires. Batteries will corrode over time and damage the flashlight, be sure to replace the batteries regularly.

My father prepared our family’s 72-hour kit. He packed infant formula and baby clothes for us when were small. As the years went by the formula expired and we quickly outgrew the baby clothes. Thankfully there was never a need to use them. But what if there had been a crisis? Would we have been prepared? Our 72-hour kit sat in the basement gathering dust. We thought we were secure in the knowledge that we had prepared, but that sadly was not the case.

Your 72-hour kit should be tailored to your family’s needs. For instance, emergencies can be especially difficult for small children. A stuffed animal or game can help them stay calm. Infants won’t last very long without a supply of clean diapers and formula. Do you have pets? Plan for their needs as well.

Store your 72-hour kit in a cool dark place. Keep it packed and ready to go at a moments notice. It should somewhere you can access quickly during an evacuation. As your family grows and changes you’ll need to change the items in your 72-hour kit.

Challenge your family to live out of your 72-hour kit for 3 days. Get the whole family involved and pretend you are camping. It can be a fun game. Can you do it? Do you really have enough food and water? Is it food you like? Will the kids actually eat it? What about games or toys for the kids? Maybe you need a tennis ball or chew toy to keep the dog occupied. See what you are lacking and make the necessary adjustments. It is also a good way to rotate your supplies every now and then.


DIY 72-Hour Kit

The first three days after a disaster are the most important. Emergency officials might not be able to reach you for the first few days. A 72-hour kit should contain your go-to emergency supplies.  At a minimum, your 72-hour kit should have enough food and water for at least three days, more if space and budget allow. Take a backpack and fill it with bottles of water, granola bars, trail mix, etc. The food should be high in calories, no low calory diet bars here. Items should be lightweight. Canned goods are great, but carrying a heavy bag be trying after a while. Heavy bags will be difficult for children to carry as well.

Keeping all of your emergency gear in one place will make an evacuation that much easier.  Gathering supplies can get expensive quickly. Start with the basics and upgrade as funds become available. Focus on items that will help you survive until help arrives. Plan ahead so you are prepared when the time comes.

A rain poncho will allow you to stay dry and keep moving. Staying dry will lower your risk of hypothermia. A rain poncho can also be used to make a shelter using some rope. Rope can be used for just about anything from tying bottles of water together or climbing to safety. Matches or a lighter will help you get a fire going to stay warm, single for help, or cook food. A pocket knife is a great tool. A knife could come in handy for self-defense or hunting. Don’t forget about personal hygiene items such as toilet paper.

A first-aid kit is an essential part of a 72-hour kit. Getting injured during a crisis could be disastrous. Hand sanitizer can help clean wounds and prevent illness. An emergency blanket doesn’t take up much room but it will keep you warm and help when treating someone for shock. If you take prescription medications, talk to your doctor about getting a few extras for an emergency situation.

Keep everything in a waterproof bag. You can put your supplies in a wet-dry bag or just line a backpack with a trash bag. The supplies won’t be much use if they are damaged in a flood. Disasters are especially difficult for children, pack their favorite snack or toy. Even just a small stuffed animal can help them cope. Make a plan for your pets as well, your 72-hour kit should have enough food and water for your pets for three days as well. Keep an extra leash with a carabiner for your dog. Attach the carabiner to the leash handle, it can be used as a tie down in an emergency.


    • 3 day supply of water
    • 3 day supply of food
    • Flashlight with extra batteries
    • Rain poncho
    • Rope
    • Lighter or matches
    • First-aid kit
    • Prescription medications
    • Waterproof bag
    • Pocket knife
    • Hand sanitizer
    • Toliet Paper
    • Emergency blanket
  • Comfort items for children
  • Leash for dog
  • Important documents (medical records, birth certificates, etc.)
  • Cash

A 72-hour kit can be customized to meet your family’s needs. The most important thing is that each member of your family has enough food and water to last three days. 

Do You Have Enough Oil for Your Lamp?

The parable of the ten virgins can be found in Matthew chapter 25 in the New Testament of the Bible. It is the story of ten young girls on there way to meet the bridegroom. Unsure of when he would come, they must wait throughout the dark night. Five of the wise ladies prepared in advance by gathering oil for their lamp so that they would last all night long. The other five girls didn’t think to prepare in advance. When the bridegroom finally arrived the five prepared women were able to join the party without any problems. The five foolish unprepared women begged the others to share, but there wasn’t enough for everyone. So they were forced to rush to the shops to try and buy oil for their lamps. Due to the big party, all the shops were sold out and they were unable to purchase any oil to light their lamps. They arrived late to the party and were denied entrance.

You might be wondering why this story of a few silly girls is important. It is important because five of the girls were not silly. They prepared in advance. They didn’t know how long their lamps would need to last so they bought extra oil just in case. As the night dragged on their oil kept their lamps burning bright. The girls who didn’t prepare were left in a state of panic rushing to the store only to discover there was not more oil.

Disasters come in all shapes and sizes. Sometimes it is a Category 5 Hurricane and sometimes it is a trucker’s strike that halts shipments to your local grocery store. The point is you don’t know which one you will be faced with. You might only need food and water for 72-hours, or you might need to replace everything own. Don’t get caught in the dark of night unprepared. 

Failure to prepare is preparing to fail. The five foolish women didn’t plan ahead. They were just as excited about the party as everyone else, but their lack of planning prevented them from joining in the fun. If you don’t have the supplies you need to ensure your family’s survival then you’ll surely regret it.

Why didn’t the girls just share their supplies? They didn’t have enough to share among themselves and the others. You shouldn’t rely on the preparations of others. Governments and charity organizations do a lot to help a lot of people but don’t count on them when things get tough. Your failure to plan shouldn’t create an emergency for someone else. 

Part of your preparation should include self-defense. The unprepared women asked for help, they could have put up much more of a fight. If you have the only food and water on the block be sure someone will come knocking at your door. Share if you can, but there might not be enough supplies to go around. Hungry people are not the most friendly. Be prepared to protect yourself and your supplies. 

DIY First Aid Kit

A well-stocked first-aid kit can be a real lifesaver. An organized kit is the key to fast and effective treatment. Your first-aid kit shouldn’t just be some bandages thrown into a bag. It will be a pain to find what you need during a real emergency. A good first-aid kit should be separated into categories so you can quickly and efficiently find what you are looking for. Minutes matter in a life and death situation.

A simple toiletry bag can be used as a ready-made first-aid kit for around fifty dollars. Look for a compact, water-resistant bag, with lots of compartments for organization. Ideally, the bag should be red in color. Red is the universal color for medical equipment. A compact bag will be easy to carry with you no matter the terrain. A water-resistant bag is a must-have in a wetter climate, but you never know when you might have to cross a river or get stuck in a downpour.

Gloves will prevent the spread of disease from you to the patient and vice versa. Some people are allergic to latex so make sure your gloves are latex-free. You may have to cut clothes off to access the wound, safety sheers will make this quick and easy. Iodine wipes are a quick and easy way to disinfect a wound and help keep the area you are working on clean. Liquid iodine can also be used to clean wounds. A variety of different sized bandages and cotton pads will allow you to treat different injuries effectively.

Tweezers are great for removing splinters or other small debris that may become lodged in the body. Every dog owner should carry tweezers. Foxtails are especially bad this year and they can easily get stuck in Fido’s ears or nose. Tweezers will allow you to remove them quickly before they become a major health hazard.

It is a good idea to keep a few anti-inflammatory medications on hand. Allergic reactions are dangerous and can happen at any time, better to be safe than sorry. Simple over the counter painkillers such as Tylenol and Ibuprofen will take the edge off and allow you get out of harm’s way if necessary. Saline eye drops can be used to rinse eyes if injured.

For more serious injuries a tourniquet could save your life. Massive blood loss is deadly, end of story. Colting agents such as Celox can be applied to a wound to quickly colt blood and stop bleeding fast. Wrap the wound with a pressure bandage to prevent it from bleeding again. Use a tourniquet if necessary. Be sure to remember the tourniquet was applied so you can inform emergency personnel.

Essentials Items  

  • Toiletry bag
  • Latex-free gloves
  • Painkillers
  • Anti-inflammatory medication
  • Bandages of different sizes
  • Tweezers
  • Iodine wipes
  • Blood clotting agents
  • Compress bandage
  • Tourniquet
  • Safety Sheers
  • Gauze
  • Large cotton pads
  • Medical tape
  • Small cotton pads
  • Triple antibiotic ointment
  • Saline eye drops
  • Liquid iodine

Water Storage–How Much Do You Need?

The human body is 65 percent water. Water is essential to life as we know it. Water carries nutrients and hormone through the body, regulates body temperature, lubricates our eyes, and cushions joints. After 1 to 2 day without water, the brain literally starts to shrink. Researchers found that the same task will take a dehydrated person twice as long to complete as a hydrated person. After 3 to 5 days without water, organs and brain functions will shut down.

Water storage should be a part of everyone’s emergency preparation. During a disaster, water lines easily can be interrupted or damaged. You might not have access to clean drinking water for several days. Authorities recommend having enough water for at least 72 hours. However, some areas remain out of water for 4 to 5 days, and others even longer.

As a general rule of thumb store 1 gallon per person per day. For example, a family of four would need 120 gallons for one month. Keep in mind children or nursing mother might require more water. More water will be necessary for warmer climates. Water needs can double in extreme heat.

Don’t forget your fur family when stockpiling water for a disaster. A healthy dog should drink about 1 ounce per pound of body weight. My 42 lbs Border Collie mix would need about 1/2 of a gallon per day. Cats, on the other hand, get most of their water through their food, but they still need 2-3 ounces of water per day. My family of 5, plus two dogs and cat would need about 21 gallons of clean water for 72 hours.

Daily Water Use 

  • 1 Gallon per person
  • 1 Ounce per pound of dog
  • 2-3 Ounces per cat

Store water in various sized containers. It will be extremely difficult to move a large  55-gallon drum during an evacuation. Bottled water is easy to carry. You will need 8 16.9 oz water bottles per person per day. My family would need about 56 bottles of water per day.

3 Day Water Supply Containers 

  • 4.6 water bottle cases (36 16.9 oz water bottles per case)
  • 21-gallon jugs
  • 12 2.5-gallon rectangular jugs

Water Tips 

  • Don’t ration water unless told to by authorities. Drink what you need. Limit your water needs by reducing activity and staying cool.
  • Don’t drink soda, coffee, or alcohol. Caffeine and carbonation will increase your water needs.
  • Avoid cloudy or questionable water. Drink the water you know is clean first. Treat the questionable water if possible. Don’t become dehydrated, drink the questionable water if there are no other options.




Do You Believe in Miracles?

I had a really motivational and inspiring experience at the gym recently.  Yes, this is one of my New Year’s goals (kind of the same ones I set every year) – to get in better shape and lose weight.  Now I know there are those who know me will stop me right here and say, “Wait, did you say you were at the gym?  I never would have guessed!”  The truth hurts but I’m not giving up on my dream of someday, someone saying to me, “Dude, do you like live at the gym?  You look awesome!”  I can dream, can’t I?

Anyway, back to my story.  As I climbed on my favorite treadmill (I like this one because the display is small enough that my upper torso covers the display while I work out so people around me can’t easily see my stats – super self-conscious, I know), I glanced to my left and saw an old friend who was assisting his son on the rowing machine.  I see his son at the gym often; he has such a kind smile but is faced with an unimaginable trial.  Over 20 years ago, my friend’s son was in a terrible motorcycle accident and was hanging on to life by a thread as the ambulance rushed him to the hospital.  In spite of the best efforts of the emergency room physicians, my friend’s son passed away.  His 23 year old son was pronounced dead.

I can’t even begin to imagine the overwhelming grief my friend and his wife must have felt.  Then a marvelous miracle occurred.   A young doctor, refusing to give up on this young man, tried one more last ditch effort to revive him – and it worked!  He was brought back to life after several minutes of being clinically dead.  Little did my friend know that in spite of this great miracle, there would be countless days and nights of pain, desperation and fatigue that the entire family would experience.  You see, there had been severe brain damage that occurred and his 23 year old son had reverted to an infant in mental capacity.  Now at the age of 45, he can talk in a very limited, broken fashion.  He can move all of his appendages, but he still can’t walk and has no balance.

When my friend saw me, he left his son and walked over to my treadmill and brought me up to speed as to his son’s progress.  Up till about six months ago, his son still had to use a wheelchair but had now graduated to using a walker with some assistance.  He had never let go of the absolute goal of someday being able to walk unaided again.  As my friend and I were talking, I kept looking over his shoulder at his son and watching him pull with a strong back the handle on the rowing machine.  Then all of a sudden, he fell over with his feet still strapped in the machine.  We rushed over to his aid and unstrapped his feet and we both lifted him back up to sit sideways on the machine.  When I reached under his arm to help lift, I was shocked at the massive muscles I could feel under his shirt.  It felt like I was lifting Hulk Hogan or some other WWF wrestler.

His dad explained that his son would often spend six to eight hours a day at the gym and could bench 350 lbs. and squat 900 lbs.  Wow!  I was so impressed!  But then I thought, this didn’t happen by just casually frequenting the gym when he felt like it.  He was absolutely dedicated to the goal of walking again and was willing to do whatever it took.  It’s been over 20 years now, and he still hasn’t given up and he never will.  He is totally focused on his goal and regardless of how long it may take, he WILL NOT GIVE UP!

Now you may be asking yourself, what on earth does this have to do with emergency preparedness – well I’m glad you asked.  Preparing for difficult times ahead is not necessarily an easy task, it will require time, effort and dedication.  This type of dedication is unfortunately rare today but is a trait I hope we all would like to develop to a much greater extent.  Making and keeping goals is certainly not a new idea for any of us but having the courage to never stop trying is indeed rare.

I took my wife to the movie “Darkest Hour” about Winston Churchill the other evening – really liked the movie.  I honestly had no idea how much opposition Churchill had during WWII from his own party as well as the balance of Parliament.  Churchill was adamantly opposed to giving in to Hitler and negotiating some type of treaty.  I loved seeing the movie “Dunkirk” as well that showed these extraordinary times from another very unique perspective.  I would highly recommend you watch both movies.

So after being motivated by these great movies, I came across a quote from Churchill that I really liked. “Success is walking from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm.”  Even though at first blush it comes across a little negative, I really liked the message so I decided to text it to my daughter.  This was her reply, “Thanks Dad but that’s the most depressing horrible quote ever.”  I guess she needed to see the movies first.  I decided I better call her to explain why I really liked the quote and why I believe it’s critical that each of us keep a strong, positive outlook on our life, never giving up on our goals and aspirations, regardless of what happens, never ceasing to strive.

Interestingly enough, there are many out there who really feel strongly about providing emergency food storage for their families but just keep hitting some kind of wall that keeps them from following through.  Some may struggle with chronic procrastination, others with the lack of understanding of knowing how to begin.  There are those who don’t feel they have the space or are distracted with other important projects.  And there are those who may be struggling with just putting food on the table right now and the thought of putting 3, 6 or 12 months of food away for a rainy day is totally beyond their financial reach.

My simple plea for each of you that may fall into one of these categories is to set your preparedness goal and never give up trying to accomplish it!  I truly believe miracles will happen.  Some miracles just happen, like my friend’s son being brought back to life but most miracles happen only after a trial of our faith and commitment.  There will be set-backs and challenges; this life is full of them.  But if you keep your eye on the preparedness ball, always keeping in the back of your mind your goal and desire to prepare and provide for your family, miracles will happen that will allow you to accomplish your preparedness goals.  Please don’t allow the fact that you may be struggling keep you from striving – allow these miracles to happen in your life.

DIY Can Food Storage Rotation

A good rotating food storage system is one of the best ways to save time, money, and possibly help you in an emergency situation. Think about how much waste happens when your storage room is disorganized. Food gets pushed to the back of shelving, sometimes expiring before you get to it again. You don’t know what food you have or where you put it.  There are so many benefits to having your food storage organized. Even better, building a system is not difficult at all.

Save Money
Did you know that according to the Food and Agricultural Organization,  Americans waste $160 billion in waste every year?(1)  Most of that waste is perishable food, but expired canned food plays into that staggering number. If you have a good storage system, you know exactly what food you have and how much of it you have.  Because food doesn’t expire before you get to it, you save money by rotating your food and using it regularly.

Having an organized pantry and storage room means you know exactly what you have on hand and what you need to replenish. You’ll never run out of your kitchen staples if you know what you have.  You can use your system as rotating food storage, using your food daily and replenishing when you need it.

Stay Prepared
You have your food storage because you want to be prepared, right? But how prepared are you if you don’t know what food you’ve stored? An efficient storage system helps you be prepared for you emergencies because you know exactly what resources you have.

Even a small storage room can benefit from a good storage system. While there are many options,  sloped shelves are an excellent way to store canned goods to ensure they are rotated properly. Sloped shelves let gravity do the work.  If you’re tight on space, slope just a few shelves and leave the rest flat for other food or water storage. The shelves can be as large or as small as your space allows. Remember not all cans are created equal so make sure to measure the size of cans you want to store and build your sloped shelves accordingly.

DIY Rolling Can Shelves 


  •  2x4s
  • Plywood (2′ wide)
  • 8′ corner bead strips
  • Deck screws
  • Stud finder
  • Stapler
  • Level


  1. Build the outer frame and make sure it is square.
  2. Place the rails on the frame at a slope. It should be sloped at about 6 inches from the top of the rail to the bottom. This will help the cans rolls smoothly.
  3. Measure the cans and space the rails accordingly.
  4. Place the frame on the wall.
  5. Trace the rails.
  6. Use the stud finder to find the wall studs.
  7. Screw the second set of rails into the studs. This will form the back wall of the shelving unit.
  8. Measure the height of the cans. Place the corner bead strips along the plywood with enough space for the cans to roll smoothly. You can use CD cases as spacers.
  9. Staple the corner bead strips to the plywood. The cans will roll between the corner bead down the length of the shelf.
  10. Lay the shelves in the frame starting from the bottom and screw them in place.
  11. Screw a piece of wood to the end of each shelve. This will prevent the cans from rolling onto the floor.

DIY Rainwater Collection System

Rainwater harvesting has been used since Ancient Rome. Water one of the most valuable resources we have. It is estimated that the average person wastes about 30 gallons of water each day. A rainwater collection system could reduce your household water use by a third simply by collecting rain from the roof. A rain collection system could supply your home with an extra 4500 gallons of water in the Utah Desert, and even more in wetter climates.

Collecting rainwater is good for the environment as well. Storm rains pick up trash, nutrients, and other pollutants. The rain moves through drains and into local bodies of water such as rivers and lakes impairing water quality. Rainwater collection will lessen the initial flush of stormwater runoff and reduce the amount of pollution that reaches local watersheds. Rain barrels can reduce stormwater runoff by 12 percent. Harvesting rainwater will reduce water withdrawal from lakes and rivers. It will provide water for gardens and landscaping. It will allow you to conserve water and save money.

DIY Rainwater Collection System 


  • 55-gallon drum with lid
  • Paint Strainer
  • 5-gallon bucket
  • Gutter strainer
  • Downspout fittings
  • Cinder blocks
  • 3/4″ spigot with turn ball valve
  •  Permanent marker
  • Drill with 7/8″ spade bit
  • Jigsaw
  • Half-round file
  • Utility knife
  • 1 1/4″ galvanized wood screws


  1. Drill a starter hole into the side of the 5-gallon bucket.
  2. Use the jigsaw to cut the top off of the 5-gallon bucket.
  3. Trace the outline of the 5-gallon bucket the 55-gallon drum lid.
  4. Drill a starter hole in the drum lid.
  5. Cut out the outline using the jigsaw. The top of the 5-gallon bucket should fit tight.
  6. Drill a hole at the bottom of the 55-gallon drum. Use the file to slowly widen the hole until the spigot fits snugly.
  7. Place the 55-gallon drum on top of the 3 cinder blocks.
  8. Attach the downspout fitting to your existing rain gutter. The new downspout should run directly into the top of the 5-gallon bucket.
  9. Make sure the new downspout is secure. Use brackets to attach it to the house if necessary.
  10. Cut a hole in the lid of the of the 5-gallon bucket to allow the end of the downspout through.
  11. Attach a paint strainer to the 5-gallon bucket. This will prevent large objects and bugs from getting into the water supply.  Make sure the paint strainer doesn’t hang too far into the rain barrel.
  12. Place a gutter strainer in the open gutter on the roof. This will stop large items from falling into the rain gutter and clogging it.
  13. Attach a hose to the spigot to water the garden easily.
  14. Link several rain barrels together with PVC pipes to collect even more water.

Be sure to follow local regulations for rainwater harvesting. 

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