When things get crazy out in that wide world in which we live – say, an earthquake or a tornado (or both!) come through town – bad things could happen that will disrupt the way you live. The grid could go down, and several water mains could break. It’s not just natural disasters, either. Your local water supply could become contaminated from e.Coli or from a diesel spill, which means you could be without water for at least 48 hours – or longer – until they get the water clean again.
So now there you are, at home, without the running water you’ve come to rely on. Years ago, you wondered if this sort of thing could happen. You were reluctant at first, but eventually you began storing water, just in case something like this happened.
But did you store enough?
The general rule of thumb is to store one gallon of water per person per day, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. They also suggest that, in an emergency situation, you should drink two quarts (half a gallon) of water a day – more if you’re in a hot climate, sick, pregnant, or a child. The other half gallon can then be used for hygiene (thanks in advance).
Of course, you should remember to store extra water for your pets (after all, they’re part of the family, too). An additional gallon of water should be stored per day for each cat and dog. Now you know how much water per person (or animal) per day you need. Now the question is, how many days’ worth of water should you have?
As a minimum, you should have three-day’s worth of water. That means, if you have a family of four, you’ll want at least 12 gallons of water stored up. That should keep you going during minor emergencies where you just have to wait a couple days for the city to fix whatever problem it’s encountered.
Perhaps a safer minimum would be to have enough water to last for at least two weeks. This would enable you to survive much longer should a much more devastating disaster come through. And, going back to your family of four, this would mean you would need at least 56 gallons of water.
This is where you’re beginning to ask, “Where on earth am I supposed to store all this water?” Wonderful question. Allow me to go ahead and answer that.
There are plenty of ways to store water. If you don’t have much storage space, you can begin by getting a case or two of water from the store. Those are easy to keep under your bed and therefore won’t take up any extra space. We also carry cases of boxed water as well as cases of emergency canned water. Empty pop bottles can be filled up to store water in, too, but be sure to thoroughly wash them first. This is also a good option if you’re on a tight budget.
If you have a tad more room, you can add to your cases of water with some 5-gallon water jugs. Those fit nicely in many storage areas and are made of good, clean, water-safe material. In fact, it would be wise to have a couple of those around anyway, as they would make a great grab-and-go option should you have to bug out.
If you need to store a lot of water – and have the space to do so – then consider investing in a water barrel or two (or three, or four…). They can be small, such as the 15-gallon water barrel, or larger like the 55-gallon barrels. Of course, you could always have more water, and if you do have the room, then by all means, go big or go home! This 320-gallon water reserve should keep you going for quite some time. Remember, water is the most important resource you can have, so the more the merrier! If you do want a ton of water but are out of room, you can always commandeer your bathtub. With the AquaPod, you can store 65 gallons in a clean container that fills up your tub. Of course, bathing might be a wee bit difficult with that in there, but in an emergency, I’d rather have drinking water. Fortunately, it can store nicely under a bed or in a closet, so if you know a hurricane or other disaster is coming, bust that thing out and get filling!
One more thing. If you’re filling your own water containers, you’ll want to make sure your water is clean before it sits on a shelf for months on end. If it’s coming straight from your faucet and is treated by your city, then you should be fine. If you’re getting your water from a well or other source, consider treating it with bleach before consuming.
To treat with bleach, add two drops of non-scented liquid household chlorine bleach to the water, and let it sit for 30 minutes before using. If you don’t notice a slight chlorine odor to the water, add two more drops and let the water stand another 15 minutes (these steps can be found at ready.gov). Or, if you prefer a pre-prepared method, get yourself some water treatment solution to drop in your water storage.
If your water hasn’t been commercially treated, you should rotate it every six months.
So there you have it. Now you know how much water you need, and have some different options for storing it long-term. Water is so very important during disasters and survival scenarios, so don’t forget to get your emergency water storage in place.
How have you gone about establishing your emergency water storage? Let us know in the comments below!