Water Storage

Water Storage

Water is life. Without it you will die. Humans can live without water for a very short period of time. The general guidance is you can survive without water for about three days. This is assuming you don’t lose any water through sweating, diarrhea, crying, excessively breathing through your mouth and wasting energy looking for more water.

Realistically a human can only function without water about a day and half. After a day and a half without taking in water your body starts to shut down, your mental awareness is shortened and your fine motor skills are almost non-existent, making harder and harder to find water when you really need it. Having a safe supply of water is crucial to your survival. You must either have a stored amount of safe drinking water or the ability to find water and purify it before consumption.  The World Health Organization has an entire website dedicated to answering your questions about healthy drinking water, check it out.

The average person needs about two quarts of water per day to survive. If you live in a hot climate or at high altitude (above 3000 feet) you may need to double your water consumption to a full gallon per day. Children, the sick, the pregnant, and those scouting or hunting for food or resources will require even more water. Preparing food and keeping yourself clean will use additional water. A good rule of thumb is to store one gallon of water, per person in your household, for each day. That’s just a start.

In an emergency situation you should use water in the following order: 1. Consumption/Hydration. 2. Cooking/Preparing Food. 3. Cleaning Your Environment. 4. Personal Hygiene.

If you are not sure about how much water your family uses per day here are some estimated calculations:

1. Brushing your teeth (water running) = ~ one gallon.

2. Taking a five minute shower = ~ 12 gallons.

3. Washing one load of clothes = ~ 10 gallons.

4. Shaving your face = ~ one gallon.

5. Running the dishwasher = ~ 20 gallons.

6. Washing the dishes by hand = ~ 5 gallons.

7. Flushing the toilet (each time) = ~1.5 gallons.

As you can see having a clean water source (coming right out of the tap) is way up there on things we take for granted. Try an exercise with your family and shut of the water to the house for the weekend. Have everyone try and survive off a limited supply of water. The results will be amazing.

There are many ways to go about storing water, and here at Prepare Strong we like to do things in phases. There are few schools of thought on being prepared; the hard core thought is if you’re not prepared for an emergency right this second, then you are not prepared. Another school of thought is to prepare slow, making sure you can get the very best equipment for your planned situation. Here at Prepare Strong we land somewhere in the middle. Prepare in stages and you should be just fine. Any preparing you do today puts you in a better position to survive tomorrow.

Phase One – Build up a seven day supply of water, per person living in your household.

Each trip to the grocery store should include the purchase of two gallons of water, more if you can afford it. Each gallon of water costs about a dollar and has a shelf life about a year or two out. Be sure to check the expiration date before you buy. Your goal is to have seven gallons of water per person living in your household. Water is life and will be your most sought-after commodity if you don’t have a supply.

Phase Two – Depending on the size of your family, you may need purchase a larger water cache system. If we continue with our estimates of one gallon of water per person per day, we end up with 120 gallons of water for a family of four for a month. That’s a lot of one gallons jugs in the basement or garage. Now you need to start thinking about making a purchase of a few 55 gallon drums. Prepare Strong has several options to choose from. Make sure you include a pump for each drum. Each drum cost about $80 and can be delivered to your home in a few days. Water can be stored for about six months if untreated and about a year treated with unscented chlorine bleach. One Gallon water is disinfected by 8-16 drops of regular household bleach (visually about 1/4 of a teaspoon) – double that for cloudy water. Shake and let stand 30 minutes. One teaspoon will disinfect 5 gallons. Immediately after treating, water must initially have a slight smell of chlorine. If it does not – repeat the process.

The second step in phase two is to purchase a water filtration system. This doesn’t have to be an elaborate system for your home, it could be a simple backpacker’s water filtration pump. Check our inventory for options.

Phase Three – You must identify a second and third water source. It is just not feasible to have all your emergency water stored in your home. Your first source of water is obviously the tap. Let’s hope that the emergency you encounter is mild enough that you continue to have safe, clean drinking water from the tap. But as my old boss used to say “Hope is a poor planning tool.” You can hope for the best, but you better prepare for the worst. That’s why you are storing water in phases one and two. A second source of water could be a well. Be sure to treat any water from a well by boiling and filtering, even if your primary water source is the well. You don’t know if your water is contaminated or not in an emergency situation. Rain water may be an available option depending on the type of roofing material you have. Do not drink water that comes from your roof, it may contain containments from nearby industrial plants (pollutants) or bird feces. However, untreated roof water may be safe to use to flush toilets. A third source of water may be a nearby river or stream. Again treat any water from these sources before consumption or use.

Use the following guidelines when storing water:

1. Store drinking water in carefully cleaned, non-corrosive, tightly covered containers.

2. Store containers in a cool dark place. Do not store water in direct sunlight. Most containers are somewhat permeable to hydrocarbon vapors. Keep away from stored gasoline, kerosene, pesticides, or similar substances. Do not reuse prepackaged milk bottles; you’ll never get them clean enough to reuse.

3. Stored tap water should be rotated every 6 months. Prepackaged bottled water should be rotated once a year. Check the pull date on the container. Be sure it didn’t sit on the store’s shelf for a year before you purchased it. Self-Serve Bottled Water should be rotated once a year, as long as the water treatment process includes ozonation.

4. Rotate your stored water with the water you use on a regular basis. This practice helps insure you don’t have water stored longer than one year.

Prepare Strong. Prepare. Survive. Live.


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