The Smart Preppers Guide to Water Storage

by Michael

It is common knowledge that having a supply of water in an emergency is a necessity but most often people do not store water unless they hear of an imminent disaster. This is evidenced by the long lines of people buying water at grocery stores in the hours leading up to a hurricane landfall or snowstorm. Just how much water does a person need for an emergency and what is the best method to store it?

Recommended Amount of Emergency Water Storage

The U.S. Government’s Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) recommends that every person should store two weeks worth of emergency supplies including water. Although the average American uses over 69 gallons of water a day indoors, in an emergency situation a person will have to use much less. FEMA recommends that storing a minimum of one gallon per person per day, so each individual would need 14 gallons of water for a two-week period. Half of the recommended water will designated for drinking and food preparation and the other half will be for hand washing, teeth brushing and sanitation. 14 gallons of water is the equivalent of 150 twelve-ounce water bottles, which is not a practical storage solution for most families.

Buying Commercially Bottled Water
Individuals can choose to buy their emergency water from the store in plastic bottles or jugs but you must realize that there is an expiration date on all water bottles. This is due to the fact that the bottles that the water is stored is a permeable plastic that breathes and can become contaminated with time. For this reason, it is important that you carefully store any water bottles a clean environment away from any contaminants.

How to Keep Your Stored Tap Water From Becoming Contaminated

Another method for short-term water storage is to bottle tap water that has been treated by your local municipality in food grade containers. These containers can vary in size from 55-gallon drums to more manageable 5-gallon containers and can be purchased at your local food supply store. It is important to rinse all containers with hot water and soap thoroughly before filling them with water as well as to take precaution not to touch the inside of the container or lid before sealing them. Tap water that has been treated by your local municipality will be good for 6 months if stored in away from heat and light. Be sure to label all containers with the date that they were filled and set a reminder for yourself to clean and refill them every six months.

Remember that you never know when the next disaster could happen so it’s important to always be prepared. Taking simple steps like filling containers with water could be the difference between life and death for you and your family.

{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

Katty November 1, 2012 at 7:10 am

Water is necessary for survival but it is very difficult to store enough for a long term disaster. It’s so heavy and cumbersome that it makes it difficult for those us living in small condos to store.


Eric Dee November 25, 2012 at 3:41 am

Always use small 5-15 gal round containers these are easy to move, if you.can’t carry at least you can roll them around. Also find out through your city website as to what type of fire hydrant system your city uses, most cities use electric pumps that are also coupled to a gravity feed system. The gravity feed in most cities are mandated incase of power failure the fire dept will still have a supply of water. During an emergency, fire hydrants can be used for a water supply. Besides my personal stored supply, I have a water filter and a fire hydrant spanner which is available through grangers industrial supply and is fairly inexpensive. With those two tools, you can provide your family and community with usable drinking water until things get back together. Don’t be afraid of using a hydrant, this may be your only option when your desperate


Eva Cassidy November 1, 2012 at 7:53 am

Water is the first concern in times of impending crisis but most people never think of storing it until a disaster is imminent. There are many in the Northeast in desperate need of it after Hurricane Sandy. Hopefully its a wake up call for everyone to start prepping now.


Bill_B November 29, 2012 at 6:22 am

If a neighbor has a pool, he should have enough to share his water.
Water towers pump the water up into the tower. Thus it will still work for awhile when electricity is out. With no water tower they use backup pumps where they store alot of fuel to run when electricty is out.


J.D. Lantis December 6, 2012 at 10:15 am

I agree with the comments above. Water is the most important item on anyones list.


Ernesto December 16, 2012 at 10:55 am

An “ordinary trash bag” can collect gallons of fresh water for you! (without it raining) So don’t leave it out of your survival kit! You will now become one of the few who know this secret!

Large leafy green trees provide 100’s of gallons of water per day through a process known as ‘transpiration’.We just do not see it because of ‘evaporation’!

How To Collect It: Insert a large (green) leafy tree limb inside of the trash bag.
(Be Sure To Leave The Branch Attatched To The Tree, You Would Be Amazed … )
Then secure the opening of the trash bag tightly to the limb with the leafy branch inside the trash bag. This stops the evaporation process. Now leave it alone throughout the rest of the day and night. (approx.10-14 hrs.) When you remove the trash bag from the limb you will find a tasty treat for your thirst inside!


non-electric water distiller December 23, 2012 at 1:25 am

How do you plan on limiting your water consumption. Stay on top as regularly clean help to avoid repairs and more efficient use
of filter. Instead, shop smart and get a system that removes all the bad stuff while keeping the essential minerals nature intended for us to consume in fresh drinking water.


Frankie Odom February 18, 2013 at 7:43 pm

We live in the country in Florida. We have a well on our property for our home. It is nice to not have a water bill. I found out today we can have a shallow well dug and have a hand pump put on it for about 950 dollars. I am thinking that could solve my water problem if I lose my electricity. Storing up water and rotating it seems like a hassle. I don’t want those chemicals in my body from the plastic containers.


Susan March 19, 2013 at 12:36 pm

The tree thing do you have to be carefull of what leafy tree you use some trees are toxic to even roast a wiener or marshmallow on.


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