Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Get Prepared : Water Storage

When preparing for the upcoming Hurricane season the first crucial step for us is water storage.
We live on well water and even in a Tropical Depression where we lose power we would be without
water since it needs electric. Even a few hours makes things uncomfortable for us to operate. We can't flush toilets, brush teeth, wash up...you get the picture. So water storage is vital for us. 
Storing enough water and safely is important part of surviving any disaster. We can go without food longer than
we can go without water. More so if you have infants, elderly or those who have special medical needs.
If you are at the beginning steps of preparing your home, I always suggest you start with water.

How much?
FEMA suggests 1 gallon per person for 3 days. 
I would consider this the bare bones minimum. It is borderline just surviving. A better starting 
point would be 2 gallons per person for 5 days. Again, a starting point. Our family personally
aims to store 3 gallons per person for 14 days. 

What to store it in?
What you will store your water in will depend heavily on how many is in your family and any medical concerns. Once you access your amount you will need to store then the possibilities are endless. You can store in 2 liter bottles all the way up to 55 gallon water barrels to #10 cans of canned water with 30 year shelf life. We personally use the 5 gallon water jugs that are easily found at big chain discount stores that are intended for water dispensers. Because we have 2 able body adults this not an issue for us. 
If picking up heavy objects is something that is a struggle for your family, consider smaller containers. Above all, make sure the seal is tight and secure. You don't want water leaking out and you certainly don't want the environment creeping into your water supply and ruining your hard work.

Where to store it?
Water and it's storage containers are susceptible to extreme heat and cold, so there are some issues to 
take into account for when your storing your water. We live in a high heat area so we store our containers in a dark cool environment in our home. To help combat this it would be ideal to store in an opaque container, which we are working on.

How long?
Your water storage should be rotated every 6 months. Unless you treat your water before hand.
Don't simply just throw it out! Water your garden, flower pots, use it to flush toilets, purify and use for drinking or cooking. Get creative! Before filling up your container again, sterilize it and inspect it for signs that it is breaking down and needs to be replaced. If this is overwhelming to you, please know you can buy 
canned water that is more expensive but has a shelf life of 30 years. There is also water pouches that 
have a shelf life of 5 years. We plan to use those pouches for our Bug Out Bags.

We have no room!

This is a common thing I hear, people simply do not have the space to store water safely. If this is the case for your family I would strongly suggest you locate the nearest body of water (lake, pond, stream etc.) and 
purchase the highest quality water purifier that you can afford. Our family is saving for a Berky. But you 
can readily find travel size ones if price and size is a concern. Research them thoroughly to make sure your water will be clean and safe for your family.


The Accidental Housewife said...

An interesting post!

We don't store water, but we do keep both a milbank filter and puritabs in our emergency kits. They are the lightest possible solution, and can be stored for years without ongoing maintenance. Our plan is, if we need water quickly and the mains are down, to tap into the hot water heater. It's huge!

Chele said...

Great point! Most Hot water heaters contain about 50 gallons of water, sometimes more or less depending on the size of your household. And then of course, hopefully it was full if the power goes out (we are on a well!).
We are looking for on the go filters and tabs for our 72 hour kit, I will check into the ones you listed. :)
Thanks for stopping by!

Sarah @ Natures Nurture said...

Very helpful info, Chele! I'm pinning this to my off-grid board on Pinterest. Thanks for sharing at Tiny Tip Tuesday!

Chele said...

Thank you so much for hosting Tiny Tip! I always find so much information there and on your blog. :)

Richelle Loughney said...

I cannot stress strongly enough the importance of water storage, especially during emergency situations. I particularly like the tip that you should rotate your water storage every six months. If you have a water tank at home, you can benefit greatly from this tip because many fail to regularly check their tanks for signs of contamination.

Richelle Loughney