Do you have enough water stored in some form for your survival preparation? There are mixed opinion on how much to store. Most people try and store about 31 days supply of water. Learn about how to purify and store water in this awesome article over at The Busy B Home Maker.
Have you ever heard of the Rule of 3s? According to scientists, the average human can survive for 3 minutes without air, 3 hours without shelter (in extreme weather), 3 days without water, and 3 weeks without food. These four areas of preparedness are where I focus 90% of my preps. Today is my day to post for our 30 days of Preparedness, and we’re going to be discussing Water Storage & Purification. Since water is one of those 4 most important areas of preparedness (In my humble opinion), it is something I am constantly working on and trying to improve.
How much Water do you really need?
Most people will tell you that you need to store 1 gallon of water per person, per day. However, if you take into account that the average Joe should be consuming about 3 Liters of water per day on a regular basis, that already leaves a shortage because we haven’t taken into account bathing, dishes, laundry, or cooking. Pregnant women, persons with medical conditions, or those who are under stress or working outside (AKA sweating a lot) will need to drink even more water!
Also, don’t forget about your Pets!
Our goal is to have 31 days worth of water stored in our home, plus multiple ways to purify or filter water after that 31 day supply has run out. That means we need 232.5 Gallons of water stored for the humans, plus about 7.5 more gallons for our dog. I’m ALMOST there! And once I reach that goal, I might even bump it up to 3 or 6 months.
Where and How should I store my water?
There are practically hundreds of ways to store water in your home. I’ll talk about several different types of containers you can use in a little while, but first, let’s talk about storage conditions. There are 6 common enemies of food storage: Temperature, Moisture, Oxygen, Light, Pests, and Time. Not all of these apply to water storage, but some of them are very important to consider! (Temperature and light are particularly not good for water) You want to store your water in a cool, dry, dark place if at all possible. This will help keep your stored water from growing algae or other contaminates that would make it un-drinkable. With that being said, 240 Gallons is a LOT of water! And if you have a bigger family you’ll need even more water, which means more space! Store it wherever you can find a spot. Our water is currently stored in our garage. It’s not the ideal place, and I hope to move it to a better location soon, but for now it works! Again, I would much rather have hot water (and a way to purify it should I need to) than not have water at all.
Another note: Water doesn’t ever really “Go Bad.” You’ll notice that water bottles and water pouches have an expiration date on them. This is mostly because the FDA requires products have an expiration date of some kind. It doesn’t mean that after 2 years your water is suddenly unfit to drink. The main problem people have with “old” water is that it starts to taste stale. You can quickly and easily remedy this by pouring the water from one cup to another repeatedly. This adds more oxygen to the water particles and “freshens” it back up.
Types of water storage containers:
Sooo…. I’ll leave this decision up to you. I do have a few cases of bottled water in my garage for ease of use. We rotate through them every so often.
PETA Bottles- PETA (or PET) is a type of plastic that is used to make 2 Liter soda bottles, juice bottles, and the like.
Water Pouches- These are what I have in my Car Emergency Kit and my husband’s Get Home Bag.
What you SHOULDN’T use:
Gallon water jugs or empty milk cartons
Thin plastic containers- Like the water jugs or milk cartons, you want to make sure the containers you’re storing your water in will last.
Transparent containers- As I mentioned when I talked about water barrels, you want to choose opaque containers as often as possible.
Rotating Your Water Storage
Rotating your water storage periodically is necessary for a few reasons. You want to make sure the water you have stored is still drinkable (no bacteria growth, bugs, or other contaminates), and you want to check your containers for any leaks or defects. Again, water doesn’t just “go bad” at some magical point in time, but it can become undrinkable. You can pour your containers out (using the water for your garden, the kiddie pool, washing your car, grey water, etc), re-clean the containers, and fill with fresh water. I try to do this about once a year for each container, rotating as I go so they are each in different stages. Some experts will tell you every 6 months is more appropriate while others say you don’t need to do anything for 3 years. This timeline is completely up to you.
Being able to purify clean drinking water is almost as important as having the water available. 99% of the time, if you use a clean container and keep it out of the heat and light, with an airtight seal (so no bugs can get in) you won’t have any issues; however, in an emergency situation it would be very upsetting to open up a 55 Gallon drum only to discover that it was dirty and undrinkable. Having some methods to clean that water just in case it gets contaminated is not a bad idea.
Types of Water Purification and Filtration
Boiling water- The easiest and most common way to purify your water. It’s pretty fool-proof. Technically your water only has to reach a temperature of 185°F for 3 minutes for it to be purified. You’re told to boil it because most people don’t have a thermometer handy to measure. Since water boils at 212°F, it’s a great visual indicator that you’ve reached that goal. Once your water boils it is immediately safe to drink (you might want to let it cool back down again though.)
Whole Home water filtration systems- These are pricey systems, but if you don’t have a good city water filtration system, it might be completely worth it.
What About You?
Your challenge is to make a plan: How many people do you need to store water for? How many gallons per person per day would you like to have stored, and how long is your water storage supposed to last for your family? Calculate those numbers! Then, decide what kind of water storage and/or purification systems you would like to have. Once you have a plan, put it into action! Fill up those empty coke bottles or purchase some water storage containers, and GET THEM FILLED!
Click through to read the original article on the important of storing water for emergencies and disaster over at The Busy B Home Maker.
Photo Credit: Storing Water For Emergency