In the event of a natural disaster or emergency, access to clean drinking water can become a critical concern. Having a sufficient supply of water stored for emergencies is essential for staying hydrated, maintaining hygiene, and preparing food. Let's discuss the importance of emergency water storage and here we'll help provide practical tips to help you establish a safe and reliable water supply.
- Determine the Amount of Water to Store
As a general guideline, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) recommends storing at least one gallon of water per person per day, for a minimum of three days. This amount includes water for drinking, cooking, and personal hygiene. Keep in mind that individual needs may vary, and factors such as climate, age, and medical conditions should be considered when determining the amount of water to store.
- Choose Appropriate Water Storage Containers
Select containers specifically designed for water storage, made from food-grade, BPA-free materials. These containers should be sturdy, opaque, and resistant to sunlight, which can encourage algae and bacteria growth. Common options include:
- Food-grade plastic water storage containers, available in various sizes
- Glass containers with tight-fitting lids, such as Mason jars or large bottles
- Stainless steel containers designed for water storage
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Avoid using containers that previously held chemicals, milk, or fruit juice, as they may contaminate the stored water.
- Treat and Store Water Properly
Before storing tap water, ensure it's treated by a local water utility and safe for consumption. If you're unsure about the water quality, treat it with a water purification method, such as boiling, adding household bleach, or using water purification tablets. Follow the instructions provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for proper water treatment.
Store your filled containers in a cool, dark place, away from direct sunlight and heat sources. Basements, closets, and crawl spaces are suitable options. Keep water storage containers off the ground and away from potential contaminants, such as gasoline, pesticides, or cleaning products.
- Rotate Your Water Supply
Water stored for long periods may develop an unpleasant taste or odor, though it's generally still safe to drink. To ensure the best quality, rotate your stored water supply every six months. When rotating, use the old water for non-drinking purposes, such as watering plants or flushing toilets, and replace it with fresh, treated water.
- Consider Alternative Water Sources
In addition to your stored water supply, consider alternative sources of water in an emergency. These may include:
- Melted ice cubes or snow (ensure the snow is clean and free of contaminants)
- Water from the hot water heater (only use if the heater hasn't been damaged)
- Water from canned fruits and vegetables
Avoid using water from swimming pools, toilet tanks, or waterbeds for drinking, as these sources may contain harmful chemicals.
- Invest in Water Purification Methods
Having water purification methods on hand can be useful in emergencies when your stored water supply runs low or becomes contaminated. Options include:
- Water purification tablets or drops
- Portable water filters, such as straw-style or pump filters
- UV water purifiers
Familiarize yourself with the proper use of these purification methods and include them in your emergency kit.
Emergency water storage is a crucial aspect of disaster preparedness, ensuring a safe and reliable supply of water for you and your family. By following these tips and regularly maintaining your water storage, you can be better prepared for emergencies and natural disasters. Invest in your safety and well-being by establishing a robust emergency water storage plan today.
I am an independent safety and survival expert and consultant. I have over 15+ years of experience working with corporations and individuals to help identify, remediate and prepare for threats and and disasters. I help clients understand risks and blog about my thoughts and techniques at DisasterShelters.net
Last update on 2023-04-12 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API