Water. It is the most important resource on the planet, and in an emergency situation is crucial for your family’s well-being. When you are building your emergency supply, it is absolutely vital that you have an adequate store of water in addition to food and other necessities.
In an emergency, you should have at least one gallon of water available per person per day. You should plan to drink at least two quarts of water every day. In hotter climates, or if you are sick, you may need three to four quarts of water per day. Obviously the amount of water you will need to store will depend on how many people are in your home, but at the very least you should store enough water to last 3 days (at least three gallons of water per family member).
It is clearly better to have more clean drinking water on hand should an extended emergency situation arise in which clean drinking water is not available. There are a variety of containers that you can use to store water in your home. Some stores sell bottled water in bulk quantities, and there are also merchants who sell 5-gallon jugs of drinking water. Another option is to rinse out and sanitize 2-liter soda bottles (do not use plastic milk jugs) and then fill those with clean water. These containers should be stored in a cooler area that is kept out of direct sunlight and away from chemical products, and the water stored in these containers should probably be replaced every six months or so.
There are also larger water-storage options available. WaterBrick containers hold 3.5 gallons of water and can conveniently stack thanks to interlocking components. You can also purchase a few at a time, making storing water more affordable.
Larger plastic water barrels are also available, and generally hold between 30 and 55 gallons of water. These containers can easily be stored in a garage or basement.
There are a few other options for safe drinking water within your own home if your tap water is safe to drink. These options could be necessary in a situation where there is not adequate pressure to get water from the tap. While not the most appealing, water from your toilet bowl tank or hot water heater would be safe to drink. Be sure to turn off the electricity or gas before trying to get water out of your hot water heater. However, be aware that if the local water supply becomes contaminated, this water will no longer be a safe drinking option.
It is also important to be aware of how to filter water to make it safe for consumption if your supply of drinking water runs out. The simplest method is to bring water to a rolling boil for a full minute before letting it cool to kill the bacteria that could be in the water. Water filters, iodine tincture, and purification tablets are other effective filtration options that can be used if boiling water is not an option.
Should an emergency situation require you to find water outside of your home, do everything you can to filter it before you drink. Drinking water from lakes, rivers, or natural springs is a better option than dehydration, but do all you can to purify it first to avoid the possibility of disease.
Preparing an emergency water supply and knowing how to get clean water can make all the difference when disaster strikes. Make sure your family is ready with the water they need.