Emergency Preparedness: Water

Close up of commercial water containers
photo: ready.gov

Water is one of the most important things you can work on in your emergency preparedness plan this year.

You will need water for drinking, sanitation, and cooking.
I recommend storing as much as you can. I store a combination of store bought bottled water as well as prepaparing my own water from my tap using 2 liter soda bottles.
My plan is to use the home prepared water mainly for sanitation (such as bathing, dishes, and flushing the toilet) and cooking. It is already clean and safe to drink so there really is no need for the extra commercially prepared water, but I prefer a combination of resources.
I also have water purification tablets, bleach as well as some portable drinking bottles that have very good filters in them for filtering out even some viruses and such that may end up in water.
How Much Water To Store
You should store at least one gallon of water per person for three days.  This is for drinking and sanitation needs and does not account for cooking.
To determine your water needs, take the following into account:
  • One gallon of water per person per day, for drinking and sanitation.
  • Children, nursing mothers and sick people may need more water.
  • A medical emergency might require additional water.
  • If you live in a warm weather climate more water may be necessary. In very hot temperatures, water needs can double.
  • Keep at least a three-day supply of water per person.
Ready.Gov shares the following information:
How To Store Water:
It is recommended you purchase commercially bottled water, in order to prepare the safest and most reliable emergency water supply. Keep bottled water in its original container and do not open until you need to use it. Observe the expiration or “use by” date. Store in cool, dark place.
If you want to use your own containers:              
It is recommended you purchase food grade water storage containers from surplus or camping supplies stores to use for water storage.
Before filling with water, thoroughly clean the containers with dishwashing soap and water and rinse completely so there is no residual soap.
If you chose to use your own storage containers, choose two-liter plastic soft drink bottles – not plastic jugs or cardboard containers that have had milk or fruit juice in them. Milk protein and fruit sugars cannot be adequately removed from these containers and provide an environment for bacterial growth when water is stored in them. Cardboard containers also leak easily and are not designed for long-term storage of liquids. Also, do not use glass containers, because they can break and are heavy.

Using 2 liter Plastic Soda Bottles:

Follow these steps for storing water in plastic soda bottles.
Thoroughly clean the bottles with dishwashing soap and water, and rinse completely so there is no residual soap.
Sanitize the bottles by adding a solution of 1 teaspoon of non-scented liquid household chlorine bleach to a quart of water. Mix the sanitizing solution in the bottle so that it touches all surfaces. After sanitizing the bottle, thoroughly rinse out the sanitizing solution with clean water.
Fill the bottle to the top with regular tap water. If the tap water has been commercially treated from a water utility with chlorine, you do not need to add anything else to the water to keep it clean. If the water you are using comes from a well or water source that is not treated with chlorine, add two drops of non-scented liquid household chlorine bleach to the water. Let the water stand for 30 minutes before using.
A slight chlorine odor should be noticeable in the water, if not, add another dose of bleach and allow the water to stand another 15 minutes.
Tightly close the container using the original cap. Be careful not to contaminate the cap by touching the inside of it with your finger. Place a date on the outside of the container so you can know when you filled it. Store in cool, dark place.
Water can also be treated with water purification tablets that can be purchased at most sporting goods stores.
Water that has not been commercially bottled should be replaced every six months.

How to purify water with bleach:
Clear Water: 1/8 teaspoon of unscented bleach per 1 gallon of water.
Cloudy Water: 1/4 teaspoon of unscented bleach per 1 gallon of water 
Mix together and shake well. 
wait at least 30 minutes before drinking or cooking with it.
Where to Store: 

Besides how and how much, Where to store water is the next big question. I store water in lots of nooks and crannies in the house. I have water under every bed in the house. the nice thing is that it is out of the way, still easy to access, and the kids cant shove their clean laundry under there! I also have water hidden in the corners of closets, etc.
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