I’m not sure where I read it, but the average household has 4-7 days worth of food in their pantry. It may not be the most tasty or satisfying food, but it will keep you alive. Something that most people don’t keep on hand is clean fresh water for drinking and cooking.
I’m going to be creating a 3 post series on emergency water preparedness. The first post is going to focus on short term solutions for getting at least 5-7 days worth of stored clean water in your home.
This is just me, but my personal rule of thumb is two gallons per person, per day. One gallon for drinking and cooking with, and another gallon for hygiene, waste elimination and odds and ends. You may want to raise this number if you have pets living in the home with you as well.
Keep in mind that your average gallon of water is roughly 8 pounds, so storing water that you can keep mobile in a bug-out situation is another problem altogether.
Here are some simple steps, with an example using a two person family with a mid-sized dog and two cats for a week. Once again, we’re going to be looking to store two gallons per person and one gallon per large pet.
Person 1 14 Gallons
Person 2 14 Gallons
Cat 1&2 2
This family needs 37 gallons of water. That will roughly weigh 336lbs! The chances of you storing all of this water in the same place will probably not work. One of my favorite ways to store water is to freeze it. Take two or four 2 liter bottles, fill them with water, and place them in the bottom of your freezer. Not only have you started to store water, but you are also building a way to keep your freezer cold in a short term power loss situation. If you have a stand up freezer, you can store many more 2 liter bottles.
You can also run to any bulk buying store like Sam’s Club or Costco and pick of cases of water bottles to store in different location of your dwelling. The big downside to this is it will create large amounts of clutter once you start using the bottles.
The method I have employed the most is going to my local camping supply store and getting 5 to 10 gallon square water containers. They’re not too heavy and they stack well. They’re also easy to hide under beds and in the bottoms of closets.
I personally am not a fan of adding chlorine or bleach to the water before storage. I would rather treat or re-filter my water during an emergency than have to worry about if the chemicals I added to preserve will be eating away at the material I have chosen to store it in.