Store Water Long Term: Essential Tips and Techniques

1. Water Storage Guidelines: One Gallon Per Person Per Day

Storing an adequate supply of water is a crucial aspect of emergency preparedness. The general rule is to have one gallon of water per person per day, with half of it used for drinking and the other half for hygiene purposes. This ensures that individuals have enough water to meet their basic needs during an emergency situation.

For example, a family of four should have a minimum of 56 gallons of water stocked up for a two-week period.

Some key points to consider when storing water for emergencies:

  • Aim for one gallon of water per person per day.
  • Divide the water between drinking and hygiene purposes.
  • Calculate the total amount of water needed based on the number of people and the desired duration of emergency preparedness.
  • Store water in clean, food-grade containers that are tightly sealed to prevent contamination.
  • Rotate the stored water every six months to ensure freshness.

As the saying goes, it’s better to be safe than sorry. Be prepared by having an adequate supply of water readily available in case of emergencies.

2. FEMA Recommendations: Three-Day Water Supply

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) recommends having enough water to last for three days during emergency situations. However, it’s crucial to acknowledge that in some cases, like natural disasters or infrastructure failures, access to clean drinking water may be restricted for a longer period. Consequently, it’s prudent to establish a more comprehensive water storage plan.

Some key points to consider for an extended water storage plan include:

  • Calculate the water needs based on the number of individuals and pets in your household.
  • Store water in clean, food-grade containers that are specifically designed for long-term water storage.
  • Rotate the water supply regularly to ensure freshness and prevent bacterial growth.
  • Consider alternative water sources such as rainwater collection or water filtration systems.
  • Educate yourself and your family on water purification methods in case you need to treat water from questionable sources.

As FEMA emphasizes, being prepared with an ample water supply is essential for ensuring your survival and well-being during emergencies.

“In certain situations, such as natural disasters or infrastructure failures, access to clean drinking water might be limited for a longer period.” – FEMA


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3. Prepper Advice: Aim For Two Weeks Of Water

Prepper blogs and forums frequently emphasize the significance of having at least two weeks’ worth of water on hand, going beyond FEMA’s three-day recommendation. This longer-term water supply enables individuals and families to better withstand emergencies and provides peace of mind during extended periods of disruption. For a single person, this equates to 14 gallons of water, whereas a family of four would require 56 gallons.

4. Space And Cost Challenges: Storing Water Long-Term

One challenge individuals face when it comes to storing water for longer periods is finding sufficient space. Water storage containers can take up a significant amount of room, especially when planning for weeks or months of supply. Additionally, the upfront costs of acquiring large water storage solutions can be expensive, deterring some from building up their water reserves. However, the importance of having a reliable water supply during emergencies cannot be overstated.

5. Gradual Storage Build-Up: Start With Two Weeks And Add Over Time

Considering the space and cost challenges associated with long-term water storage, it is advisable to start by building a two-week supply of water and then progressively increase the amount over time. By taking this gradual approach, individuals can manage the costs and logistics of expanding their water storage capacity. It allows for a strategic and sustainable water storage plan that can be adjusted as needed.

6. Container Options: Plastic And Glass For Different Storage Durations

When it comes to storing water, it is essential to choose the right containers. Food-grade plastic or glass bottles are the recommended options for safe water storage. Different container options are available based on the desired storage duration.

For a two-week water storage period, store-bought bottled water, empty soda/water/Gatorade bottles, or 5-7-gallon water jugs can be used. However, for longer-term storage of one month or more, alternative options such as the waterBOB, which can hold up to 100 gallons and fit in a bathtub, or water barrels become a more suitable choice.

It is crucial to ensure that containers used for water storage are food-grade and sealable to prevent contamination.

7. 55-Gallon Water Barrels: Cost, Capacity, And Considerations

One popular option for longer-term water storage is the 55-gallon water barrel made from food-grade plastic. These barrels, costing around $90 each, provide a significant storage capacity for water.

  • Two barrels can supply a family of four with water for approximately 27 days, assuming the recommended one gallon per person per day guideline.

  • These barrels require a pump and a specialty drinking water hose to fill them up, and they can weigh up to 440 lbs when full, making them less portable compared to other storage options.

8. Alternative Water Storage: Rain Barrels, Cistern Systems, And Backups

In addition to traditional containers, there are alternative options for water storage. Rain barrels can be used to collect rainwater, but it is crucial to filter and sanitize the water before drinking. It is worth noting that rainwater collection is subject to regulations in some states and may require permits. Water cistern systems, on the other hand, provide larger holding capacities of up to 12,000 gallons but require water treatment before consumption as they are not food-friendly. Backup water solutions, such as water filters, chemicals, and boiling, can also provide clean drinking water when access to a reliable water source is compromised.

Ensuring a reliable water supply during emergencies is a top priority for survivalists and preppers alike. Following the general guideline of storing one gallon of water per person per day, with half for drinking and half for hygiene, is essential. While FEMA recommends a three-day supply, preppers suggest aiming for at least two weeks of water storage. Gradually building up water storage, focusing on suitable container options, such as plastic or glass, and considering alternative storage systems like rain barrels or cisterns, can help individuals and families become self-sufficient in terms of water supply. Remember, water is a fundamental resource for survival, and having a well-thought-out water storage plan is crucial for preparedness.

  • Storing one gallon of water per person per day
  • Half for drinking, half for hygiene
  • FEMA recommends a three-day supply, but preppers suggest two weeks
  • Gradually build up water storage
  • Consider suitable container options like plastic or glass
  • Explore alternative storage systems like rain barrels or cisterns

How do you store water for years?

To store water for years, it is crucial to follow proper procedures to ensure its long-term preservation. Clean plastic or glass containers are ideal for storing water, but prior to storing, it is important to chemically disinfect the water. This can be done by adding 4 to 5 drops of unscented liquid chlorine bleach, containing 4% to 6% sodium hypochlorite, per gallon of water. For larger quantities, such as 5 gallons, one teaspoon of bleach is sufficient for effective disinfection. By following these guidelines, water can be safely stored for years, ensuring a reliable and accessible water supply during emergencies or unforeseen circumstances.

How long can water be safely stored?

While properly stored public-supply water can have an indefinite shelf life, it is recommended to replace it every 6 to 12 months for optimal taste. However, if you are storing water from a private well, spring, or another untested source, it is crucial to purify it before storage to eliminate any potential pathogens. By following these guidelines and ensuring regular replacement or purification, water can be safely stored for an extended period, providing a valuable resource in times of need.

How can you preserve water for 10 years?

One way to preserve water for 10 years is to use food-grade plastic containers that are specifically designed for long-term water storage. These containers are made of durable and safe materials that can withstand the test of time. It is important to ensure that these plastic containers are thoroughly cleaned and sanitized before filling them with water to prevent any bacterial growth or contamination.

Another option for long-term water storage is using glass bottles that have not been used to store non-food items. Glass bottles can provide a stable and non-permeable environment to keep the water fresh and safe for an extended period. However, it is essential to handle glass bottles with care to prevent breakage and store them in a cool and dark place to avoid potential damage from sunlight.

Can you store water for 20 years?

As a survivalist, you understand the importance of long-term water storage. While store-bought bottled water has an indefinite shelf life, it is crucial to regularly replace self-bottled water every six months to ensure freshness and safety. Keeping the plastic containers in optimal condition is equally essential, as cloudiness, discoloration, scratches, or scuffs may compromise the integrity of the container and eventually affect the water quality. By adhering to these guidelines, you can maintain a reliable water supply for up to two decades, safeguarding your survival needs in the long run.