1. Importance Of Storing Large Amounts Of Water
In times of disaster or catastrophe, access to clean and safe water becomes even more crucial for survival. The human body can only survive for a matter of days without consuming water, making it essential to plan for basic human needs, including water storage. Without an adequate supply of water, dehydration and other health issues can quickly become life-threatening.
One of the key reasons for storing large amounts of water is to ensure that there is enough for drinking and sanitation purposes. During emergencies, access to clean water sources may be limited or compromised. By having a sufficient water supply stored in advance, individuals and families can mitigate the risk of dehydration and maintain their hygiene.
- Storing water is crucial during disasters or catastrophes.
- Access to clean water may be limited or compromised during emergencies.
- Having a sufficient water supply stored in advance is essential for survival.
“In times of disaster or catastrophe, access to clean and safe water becomes even more crucial for survival.”
2. Determining The Amount Of Water Needed
Determining the amount of water needed for storage is a crucial step in preparedness planning. Several factors should be taken into consideration, including:
- Physical condition
- Physical activity
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends storing at least one gallon of water per person per day for drinking and sanitization purposes. However, it is important to note that this amount may need to be increased for highly active individuals or those living in hot climates, where water needs can double. Additional water may also be required for children, nursing mothers, sick individuals, and medical emergencies.
For a family of four, a minimum of one gallon per person per day would be needed to survive one week. However, to maintain a decent standard of living, it is recommended to have closer to two gallons per person per day. This means that a family of four should ideally have 40 gallons of water stored for one week.
- It is important to consider factors such as age, health, physical condition, physical activity, diet, and climate when determining water needs for storage.
- The CDC recommends a minimum of one gallon of water per person per day for drinking and sanitization purposes.
- This amount may need to be increased for highly active individuals or those living in hot climates.
- Additional water may be required for children, nursing mothers, sick individuals, and medical emergencies.
- For a family of four, one gallon per person per day would be needed to survive one week, but it is recommended to have closer to two gallons per person per day.
- Therefore, a family of four should ideally have 40 gallons of water stored for one week.
3. Choosing The Right Containers For Water Storage
When it comes to storing water, selecting the right containers is crucial to ensure its quality and safety. Food-grade containers such as glass, plastic, and metal are considered the best options for water storage.
A popular choice for storing large amounts of water is a 55-gallon water storage barrel. It is recommended to look for food-grade plastic barrels that are BPA-free, have a tight-closing top, and are made of durable, unbreakable plastic. These barrels are specifically designed for long-term water storage and provide a safe and secure environment for the water.
It is important to note that glass containers, although effective for storage, are easily broken and may not be practical for storing large amounts of water. Stainless steel containers can be used, but they come with their own challenges and may be more suitable for smaller-scale storage.
Containers that have previously held food or beverages can also be repurposed for water storage as long as they are thoroughly cleaned and sanitized prior to use.
- Food-grade containers such as glass, plastic, and metal are recommended for water storage.
- Look for BPA-free and durable plastic barrels with tight-closing tops.
- Avoid using glass containers for storing large amounts of water due to breakage risk.
- Stainless steel containers may be more suitable for smaller-scale storage.
- Thoroughly clean and sanitize containers that have previously held food or beverages before repurposing them for water storage.
4. Purifying And Disinfecting Water For Storage
To ensure the safety and contamination-free status of stored water, it is crucial to know how to properly purify and disinfect it. Tap water or well water is not sterile and may contain harmful microorganisms that can multiply during storage and potentially cause illness.
One effective method of purifying water is boiling. By boiling water for 1 to 3 minutes, most types of microorganisms can be killed, making the water safe for consumption. Improving the taste of boiled water can be achieved by pouring it back and forth between clean containers to restore oxygen.
An alternative approach is to use liquid chlorine bleach (unscented) for long-term water storage. The EPA.gov recommends adding 1/8 teaspoon of bleach to each gallon of water to effectively disinfect it. During storage, the bleach breaks down into oxygen and table salt, rendering the water safe to drink. Labeling the containers with the water source, treatment date, and expiration date (typically six months from the treatment date) is essential for future reference.
Water purification tablets can also be used to disinfect and purify water. These tablets have a storage life of 2 to 5 years when unopened. Remember to check the label for the expiration date.
To summarize, some effective methods for purifying and disinfecting water include:
- Boiling water for 1 to 3 minutes
- Using liquid chlorine bleach (unscented) for long-term storage
- Utilizing water purification tablets, checking their expiration date.
5. Alternative Methods Of Water Purification
Aside from boiling, using bleach, or water purification tablets, there are other methods available for purifying water. These methods are particularly useful in situations where access to heat sources or purification products may be limited.
One recommended option is the Survivor Filter PRO, which is a camping and emergency water filter. It filters water to a remarkable 0.01 Microns and removes viruses, bacteria, parasites, heavy metals, taste, and chemicals. This filter provides a reliable and convenient solution for purifying water during emergencies or outdoor adventures.
The Sawyer Mini Filtration System is another highly recommended personal filtration straw. It has the ability to filter up to 100,000 gallons of water, making it an excellent portable option for individuals on the go. This straw effectively removes bacteria, protozoa, and microplastics while maintaining ease of use.
These alternative methods of water purification provide additional options for ensuring the safety and quality of stored water, particularly in situations where traditional purification methods may not be readily available.
- Survivor Filter PRO:
- Filters water to 0.01 Microns
- Removes viruses, bacteria, parasites, heavy metals, taste, and chemicals
- Reliable and convenient for emergencies or outdoor adventures
- Sawyer Mini Filtration System:
- Filters up to 100,000 gallons of water
- Removes bacteria, protozoa, and microplastics
- Portable and easy to use
6. Proper Maintenance And Rotation Of Water Supply
Proper maintenance and rotation of the water supply is essential to ensure that the stored water remains fresh and safe for consumption. Water containers can break down over time and may leach chemicals into the water, so it is important to regularly inspect and replace them as needed.
Containers used for water storage should be cleaned with warm, soapy water and rinsed thoroughly before each use. Additionally, a mild bleach solution can be used to sanitize the containers, with 1 tablespoon of bleach per gallon of water. After sanitizing, the containers should be air-dried before adding potable water.
It is recommended to use the oldest water first and refill the containers with fresh water to rotate the water supply. This ensures that the stored water remains fresh and helps maintain a continuous supply for future use.
7. Collecting Rainwater For Water Storage
Collecting rainwater is not only an environmentally friendly practice, but it is also a valuable resource during times of water scarcity or drought. Rainwater is free from chemicals typically found in tap water and can serve a variety of purposes such as watering plants, cleaning, and even drinking when properly treated.
To collect rainwater, it is beneficial to have a rain barrel or water tank positioned near a downspout to capture the rainfall. A 55-gallon rain barrel is a good starting point for most individuals as it provides a substantial amount of water for various uses. By attaching a hose to the spout of the rain barrel or water tank, the water can be easily directed into storage containers.
- Rainwater is free from chemicals found in tap water
- Can be used for various purposes such as watering plants, cleaning, and drinking (when treated)
- Position rain barrel or water tank near a downspout for easy collection
- A 55-gallon rain barrel is a good starting point for most individuals
- Attach a hose to the spout for easy water redirection into storage containers
8. Legal Considerations Of Rainwater Collection
While collecting rainwater is generally a beneficial and legal practice, it is important to consider the specific regulations in your area. While there are no federal laws in the United States that specifically prohibit rainwater collection, some states have their own regulations governing its use.
Before implementing a rainwater collection system, it is essential to research and familiarize oneself with the laws and regulations regarding rainwater collection in your local area. When done in compliance with the law, rainwater collection provides a sustainable and cost-effective means of water storage, contributing to a greener and more self-reliant lifestyle.