From Chapter 10: He had to keep an eye on the upside-down umbrella, to make sure that not too much ash was getting into his rain-water. Slaughter County Sheriff Sergeant Charles Foxglove Reeves, 40, was thirsty. Thirst. It takes a man about three days of true thirst to become dangerous. Charlie remembered learning that in—Psych 101, maybe?—in college. He was jerry-rigging something to augment the office’s supply of water. End Excerpt.
The time to think about fresh water is NOT after an earthquake. In the Austin Chamber’s household, both bathrooms have a plastic-pool with a cheap hand-pump staged under the sink. Not a “kiddy-pool”, but a flexible device built in the dimensions of a standard bath-tub, these “Water-Bobs” have a fill-spout and can hold about a hundred gallons. As long as nobody is dying, everyone knows that the first thing they need to do is get one of those filling with water.
These should not be your only plan, but are invaluable when compared to the time needed to dig-out your other supplies, and—in the case of rain-catchment—have to filter before using.