Long-Term Water Storage: Tips for Storing Water for Disasters

 

Water Storage

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As a prepper, it’s easy to get tunnel vision, storing food, learning skills, acquiring gear.  I find a tendency to forget about the most basic needs because they are always there in the background.

Do Not Overlook the Importance of Clean Water

The most overlooked resource is water.  For pure survival water is second only to oxygen.  We can only last a few hours to a few days without water.  Few people store it in any quantity.

I know water is heavy.  It can leak.  It can be a pain.  However, you must have some water storage as well as means to purify it once your store runs low.  One of our first videos was on a simple bucket filter made out of a ceramic filter and some food grade buckets.  And that filter has gone on to become a commercial success and is widely available four around $20.00, but where are you going to get the water from to fill it?

Find Water Sources Now!

Go out now and find sources of water in your area, but remember, this is a base need, and a small creek in the back of the subdivision may not supply enough water for EVERYONE in the subdivision that knows about it.

FEMA and the Red Cross have long suggested storing 1 gallon per person in your household per day for three days, but that is not enough.  That small amount is going to be used up quickly in just drinking and cooking.  Have you ever tried to clean yourself with less than a gallon of water?

I am just barely prepared in this area, as I only have a 5 gallon jerry can per day for my wife and me.  Its on “my list” to prepare a rain water barrel, and to store a 55 gallon drum of potable water in my basement, but to be honest, “cooler” projects seem to always win out when I am planning my next project.

In other articles I show you how to make liquid bleach and a simple chlorine generator for water purification, but let’s start simple.

Store Enough Water

Today we are just going to go over how to store a base amount of water in your house to fulfill the ready.gov ideal of 72 hours.

The first thing you’re going to need is something to store your water in.  I use 5 gallon jerry cans (they are less than $10 each, sturdy, and have a handle).  But they can be heavy and awkward to use.  Many people I know use 2 liter soda bottles since they are a lot easier to carry, even if they are not as sturdy.  Do not become tempted and try to use milk jugs, as it is impossible to clean out the milk residue and it becomes a breeding ground for bacteria.  Whatever you use, it needs to be food grade, clean, and able to be closed.

Fill you container with clean water, the purer the better.  Add bleach.  I follow the FEMA guidelines of 1 teaspoon of non-scented bleach per gallon of water.  The bleach and water mix should smell slightly of chlorine.  It’s safe, since the chlorine looses its effectiveness over time and will eventually degrade.  When filling and capping, make sure your don’t recontaminate the container with your hands.

Store your water in a cool dry place, out of direct sunlight to protect the plastic.

This water does have a shelf-life, so twice a year – when I set the clock for daylight savings, and after I change the smoke detector batteries, I dump the water and refill the containers.

 

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