Emergency Water Storage
When a major-scale disaster does happen, your personal emergency water storage could save your life. For those that are not prepared with water, it will be pure chaos.
Emergency water filters and a good supply of drinking water in storage containers,
or water tanks, is an absolute necessity.
It is possible to survive weeks without food but only days without water.
Your focus on water survival and emergency preparedness should begin
with the following two steps:
1. Learning how to store enough water for your needs.
2. Knowing the different
ways to purify water.
Why It's Important To Store Safe Water
- When a disaster has been forcasted, or does occur, people will be rushing frantically to prepare. What happens when you discover there isn't one bottle of water left at any market or convenience store? You and many others will be in a real panic.
- After a natural disaster, people can become subject to water-borne illnesses when their water supply becomes polluted. If unprepared, they can be forced to find and drink water that is unsafe to consume.
It takes so little time to prepare ahead for the unexpected and unimaginable.
Take the Time Now... and Just Do It!
How Much Water?
- Short term emergencies:
- Be sure to remember your pets in your water storage amounts.
Where Do I Get It?
Choose from the following choices to prepare your emergency water storage:
- Purchase in advance, store-bought bottled water, or factory sealed emergency water.
- Purchase Water Storage Containers
There are many types of containers available for safe water storage.
- Fill the containers with filtered water (best).
- Fill water containers with your household water supply (if safe for drinking).
The Emergency Water Filters Page explains why filters are an essential part of preparedness.
- Re-using plastic containers: If water, soda, or juice comes in a good recyclable bottle, it can be refilled with safe water (same as step 2) to meet emergency water storage needs.
There are basically two grades of plastic containers: edible (used for soda, water, juice) and non-edible grades (liquid laundry soap bottles, etc), be sure you refill edible grade only.
Re-used edible grade bottles are a free, recycled resource, and therefore fit into everyone's budget. Re-using them keeps them OUT of the landfills.
use gallon milk jugs for storage or drinking. They are designed to break down and biodegrade. Within six months they can start leaking in your storage area, and no matter how well you wash them, you can't get out all of the milk fats, which will leach back into your water. The same goes for cooking oil bottles. Toss them out.
DO NOT use old bleach bottles for drinking water. They are a non-edible grade plastic. If not thoroughly rinsed, too much bleach can become toxic to the system.
Important: All storage containers must be thoroughly washed, sanitized, and rinsed before filling for storage:
- Wash containers with dish washing soap and rinse with water,
- Sanitize by swishing a solution of 1 teaspoon of liquid household chlorine bleach to a quart of water on all interior surfaces of the container,
- Rinse thoroughly with clean water before use.
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How To Store Emergency Water
Alternate Emergency Water Sources
If a disaster does catch you without a stored supply of clean water, you can use water from the following common household sources:
- Your hot-water tank
- Pipes and faucets
- Ice cubes
If your tap water is safe to drink, then the water in your pipes and hot-water tank should be also, even if the idea seems unappealing. If you don't drink the water from these sources, it can still be used for sanitation purposes.
Tip: You can safely drink water from all these sources, if filtered through a water purifying devise.
If you need to find survival water outside your home, try:
- Streams, rivers, and other moving bodies of water
- Ponds and lakes
- Natural springs
You should not drink flood water.
Take one of the following appropriate steps to treat water from any of the above sources to make it safe before drinking it:
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Emergency Water Storage Tips
Many uses of 2-liter bottles:
- Fill 2-liter bottles with water and freeze them. (Leave a two-inch airspace at the top so that they don't burst.)
- Use them in an ice chest they keep things cold longer (and drier) than ice.
- Keep a couple in the freezer to help food last longer when the power goes off. If you have a large freezer keep several bottles frozen to put in your refrigerator in a power outage.
- Store several bottles of water in each room, in case you are trapped and can't get to your emergency water storage supply.
- Use them for water storage in each vehicle. They're great for people, pets, radiators and quick clean-ups.
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