The most important aspect about emergency preparedness is water. During an emergency, you may lose the water supply to your house by having it cut off or become contaminated. Having a water supply is probably the most important part of your preparations. DON’T PROCRASTINATE this important item. Many different diseases such as dysentery, diarrhea, hepatitis, typhoid fever, and irretractable vomiting are often associated with unsafe water.
So how do you start? Let’s do the math first. The minimum requirement for drinking water is 6 quarts per person for 72 hours. This water amount roughly weighs 12 pounds. Other water needs such as brushing teeth, preparing food, and more require an additional 2 quarts per day. I would like to think that 1 gallon per day per person is an easy number to remember. With this in mind let’s think about space and possible transportation needs.
First, there are five-gallon containers. This 5 gallon container is easy to carry and very transportable. It has a handle and provides a spigot. Cost is about $9, but it is not a long term water storage device.
This second type of portable water container is more durable and can fit in the house in small places, such as under a bed. It is a 7 gallon water container with a hidden spigot. It costs about $40 because it is a bit sturdier and can be used for long term storage.
For long term storage the 55 gallon drum is a much better option. The container has two tops that open to fill and drain the water. It is recommended to change out your water every year (unless you add some special additives, which will be included in the next blog). The cost of this container is about $75.00. This may seem a bit expensive, but it is worth it when you think about your true water needs. You will also need a siphon to get the water out of the barrel, and a barrel wrench will help you to seal the water barrel once it is filled.
If every person in your family will need 1 gallon per day, you will need at least one 7-gallon jug for a family of two for two days. If you have a family of four and want water for six months, you will need at least 14, 55-gallon drum. Do the math for your family and your needs. If you only want a 3-day water storage, you will need much less than if you are going to get a six-month water storage, and you will need much more water for a family of four than you would just for yourself. For long-term storage, you will need to keep it in a cool, dark place.
Next blog will cover water container options, purification of water (additives and chemicals)