Monday, January 7, 2013

Storing Clean Water for Emergencies

After oxygen and shelter, clean drinking water is the next essential component to our survival. FEMA recommends each household have at least 3 gallons of water stored for each resident. This is roughly a 3 day supply of clean water. I prefer to be extra prepared and have a few extra weeks beyond those first 3 days. Here is how I store my water:

My water storing supplies

Used soda and juice containers are perfect for storing emergency water. The steps I follow are:
  1. After the original beverage is empty I wash the container and lid very well with some dish liquid soap. Rinsing is extremely important because you do not want any soap residue giving you diarrhea in an emergency situation. 
  2. After the containers are washed, I add a few drops of bleach (5%) to each container. Next, I fill each container 1/3 full with water and tightly screw the cap back on. I shake each bottle making sure the bleach solution touches all parts of the container. This allows my containers to get all sparkly clean and germ-free. I allow the solutions to sit in the bottles for at least a half an hour, then empty and rinse. 
  3. I like my containers to air-dry for a day or two and then they are ready to be filled with tap water. NOTE: Because my city supplied water is already treated, I do not add any bleach to my stored water. Your situation may be different than mine so you may need to add a few drops of bleach to each container. Typically, if you are filling a 2-liter bottle, 5 drops of 5% bleach solution is enough.
  4. My containers of water are stored in trash-bag lined milk carton type containers. The trash bag protects everything from water damage if a bottle fails and leaks water. 
  5. I attempt to rotate my bottles every 6-12 months and re-sanitize everything before refilling with fresh water.
Storing clean water is essential to your survival post-catastrophe. If you do not have at least 3 gallons of water stored for each member of your family, this is the moment to get off of your butt. 

Don't forget water filters just in case the help takes longer than expected. Water filters can be a game changer for those who do not store enough water or do not have the room for storage. The Katadyn filter and Lifestraw are highly recommended by all.

Amazon has the best prices for the Katadyn Pocket Water Microfilter and  LifeStraw Personal Water Filter


  1. I like how you prepare for an emergency by thinking of storing the most important resource first – water. The storage of water was once a fairly common concept in the 1950s after the Second World War. Then, people collected rain water or any other water they could salvage for use when the water level becomes low. Today, people take clean running water for granted and only care for its existence when an emergency strikes. Disasters do strike and a natural one like a tsunami or an earthquake would remind people of the importance of storing cleaning potable water.

    1. Thank you for the comment Edward. It really is amazing how few people actually have the recommended 3 day supply of clean drinking water when it is absolutely necessary for our survival in a disaster. Sadly, we are so dependent on the government nowadays, most people figure they will be there to help in an emergency. Most likely they will, but I like the option of staying safe, away from the hungry masses looking for handouts. Thanks for visiting