Water Storage - How to Store & Purify Water
In many emergencies, public water supplies may either be disrupted
or become contaminated and unsuitable for use. This makes having a
supply of stored water, and the ability to get and purify more water, a
very important part of preparedness.
How Much Water To Store
Most guidelines recommend storing one gallon per person per day for
survival, but two gallons per person per day is probably a more
realistic supply. The average person needs at least half a gallon of
water a day just for drinking, and that leaves the other half gallon for
washing, sanitation, and food preparation. In a situation where you are
relying upon dehydrated survival food, the extra water will ensure that
you have enough to rehydrate and prepare the food.
While FEMA recommends a bare minimum of a three day supply of water for
each family or household member, most survival experts recommend at
least a one- to two-week supply of stored water. Keep in mind that water
needs will vary depending upon a personís age, size, activity, physical
condition, and the climate; very hot temperatures can double the amount
of water needed. Also remember that children, nursing mothers, and the
elderly typically need more water, and that a medical emergency or
simple illness can require more water because of dehydration and
additional hygiene and sanitation needs. Take a look at our Water Storage Tanks.
How To Store Water
The simplest way to store water is to buy bottled water and keep it
stored sealed in the original container. If you can, buy the gallon jugs
by the case and leave them in the cardboard boxes to make them easier
to stack. Most commercially-bottled water has a sell-by or expiration
date 2 years after it is bottled, but all water should be rotated to
keep it fresh and tasting its best.
If you bottle your own water, use only clean, food-grade containers.
Soda bottles or other containers made of PETE (or PET) plastic work
well, as do heavier plastics buckets or drums, if they can be sealed
reliability. Do not use milk jugs, because they break down, do not seal
well, and because it is almost impossible to remove the milk residue. Do
not use any container used for non-food items. Prepare containers by
cleaning them well with dish-washing soap and rinsing, sanitizing by
swishing them with one teaspoon plain chlorine bleach to one liter of
water, then rinsing with clean water.
Some sources say that chlorinated tap water stores fine with no
additives, but other water should be treated by adding 1/8 of a teaspoon
of liquid chlorine bleach to each gallon of water, or 1 teaspoon per
every 10 gallons if stored in larger containers. Store the water away
from heat & light, in an area where leakage will not damage your
home. Rotate water regularly to keep it fresh Ė every 2 years for
commercially sealed bottled water and every 6 months for containers you
refill yourself. To extend the shelf life of your water up to 5 years, try our Oxy Stabile.
How to Purify Water
Sometimes, you may have to rely on water from a stream or other outside
source, or on well or tap water that may be contaminated. In this case,
you will need to purify it before drinking. First, clarify the water by
either running it through a filter or allowing it to settle and
siphoning off the clear water on top, leaving the cloudy or dirty water
below. Then, purify the water by heating to a rolling boil for 3-5
minutes or by adding 1/8 of a teaspoon of plain chlorine bleach per
gallon. Commercial water filters, such as the Katadyn water filter and Aquamira,
are also available and do a great job at filtering and purifying water