According to the CDC, drinking contaminated water can cause health problems such as neurological disorders and gastrointestinal illnesses. Unfortunately, you may have no other choice in the event of a storm. A natural disaster can disable or contaminate public utilities.
No matter where you live, it’s important that you keep emergency drinking water nearby. But how much should you store? And do you know how to store emergency water?
Don’t go thirsty during an emergency. Read on and discover how to create a safe emergency water supply for you and your family.
1. How Much Water Should I Store?
Utilities such as water and electricity may be contaminated during a tropical storm, earthquake, or other disasters. An emergency water supply is an essential addition to any home emergency kit.
But how much water should you store? Every day, the average person or pet will require a gallon of water. Keep these guidelines in mind as you amass your emergency water supply.
A family of three with two pets will consume five gallons of water daily. Once you know your daily intake, you’ll have to decide how many days you want to prepare for.
Of course, there’s no way of knowing how long a storm may prevent access to clean water. For minor emergencies, three days of emergency water storage is more than enough.
But not every emergency is minor. For additional safety, it’s advisable to have at least a week’s worth of water. In this case, a family of five will want to store 35 gallons of water.
If you live in an area that experiences frequent storms and flooding, you may want to save water for a two-week period. Due to perspiration, save extra if you live in a warm climate.
2. Emergency Water Storage Options
Countless options are available for a small supply of water. The easiest and most convenient choice is buying a pack of store-bought water. It’s easy to pick up a pack of at least 24 bottles.
Eight of these bottles is equal to a gallon of water, or your daily water supply. So a typical pack of water bottles will last the average person three days. If it seems like a lot, keep in mind that a portion of this supply is meant to cover your hygiene needs.
But what about larger storage options? Portable water jugs are a great choice, though they can become unwieldy past the eight-gallon mark. Purchase a variety of these jugs and keep them in a dark and cool location.
If you’re planning for larger emergencies, turn to a water barrel. You can find drums that hold up to 60 gallons of water. Choose one that’s BPA-free and food-safe, otherwise, you’ll contaminate your supply.
There are some amazing in-home solutions if this seems like too much of a hassle. You can install an in-line tank in your own home, so you’re conveniently prepared in case of an emergency. These tanks don’t require any storage considerations.
Find out more about the best in-home water tanks.
3. How to Store Emergency Water
Small, store-bought water solutions don’t require much fuss. Find a cool place to store them in your home and forget about them. You’ll have a more complicated time of things if you purchase drums, barrels, or jugs.
Why? Because you may have to keep these large containers outside on the cement. Water may leech chemicals and flavors from the cement over time. For that reason, most preppers suggest keeping containers off the floor with a pallet or cardboard boxes.
There’s one more thing. If you’ve filled a drum or jug with your own water, you may want to treat it first. Tap water is fine since it already contains chlorine.
When your water source is missing this antimicrobial agent, be sure to add some yourself before sealing the container.
4. Maintaining an Emergency Water Supply
Water doesn’t expire. However, it can certainly become contaminated or pick up unpalatable tastes during storage. For that reason, it’s important to rotate your water.
The Department of Homeland Security suggests swapping the water out every six months. Many preppers suggest doing so once a year. And some even say that, under the right conditions, you don’t have to rotate water at all.
The choice is ultimately up to you. But if the water looks, smells, or tastes contaminated, that’s certainly a good sign to replace it.
5. Alternative Water Treatment Options
If you’re not using an in-home tank, you should consider having water treatment alternatives on hand. After a storm, your water could become inaccessible or contaminated. That’s why it’s better to have a backup plan prepared.
Although you can boil water to kill most pathogens, this won’t be an option. Your gas and electricity should be disabled during a storm. You may be able to boil if you have a small, portable stove that doesn’t need home utilities.
Otherwise, you can rely on purification tablets. These are either iodine or chlorine. You’ll want to rotate purification tablets as these can expire after several years.
Get Prepared Before an Emergency
You know how to store emergency water, so you should start right away. Even if you don’t need it, the peace of mind is well worth the cost.
Don’t wait for an impending storm to strike nearby. You can’t be warned of every natural disaster in advance. Instead, prepare an emergency water supply as soon as possible, as well as a disaster kit.
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