Although we are lucky enough to live in an area that allows us to take our water supply for granted, there are instances such as floods, water main breaks, and severe winter storms that will prohibit our municipalities from serving us. It is important to be prepared in these times of emergency or disaster, and having an emergency supply of water is a key component of planning ahead. Follow these tips, and you will be well on your way to staying healthy and hydrated during the event of an emergency.
- Determine the amount you will need. Our recommended emergency water supply per person is one gallon per person per day.
- Choose a length of time that you would like to prepare for. We suggest storing enough water for at least three days. Storing enough for two weeks is optimal.
- Purchase commercially bottled distilled water. Using professionally packaged water for emergency preparedness assures that it is clean, well-sealed, and bottled in food-grade plastic bottles.
- Pick a water storage area that is cool, dry, and dark. Avoid placing your emergency water supply directly on concrete and do not stack the bottles or cases directly on top of each other as they can crush over time.
- Mark your calendar to rotate your water bottles on a yearly basis.
How To Protect Against Contamination When Storing Water
The greatest concern with the storage of water for emergency situations is contamination. In addition to using commercially prepared water bottles, you should be sure not open them prior to use. You may be tempted to save a few dollars by filling your own bottles or barrels. This simply is not worth the risk; the water and the bottles may contain microorganisms that can make you ill. Using chlorine or boiling the water are not guaranteed to solve this problem, either. This is why distillation is a far wiser choice in an emergency situation. Distilled water is processed at high heat until it becomes a vapor. It is then cooled and returns to its original liquid state without any contaminants.
Emergency Water Supply Container Sizes
There are a variety of sizes to choose from for your emergency water needs including 16.9-ounce bottles, 1 gallon, 2.5- gallon, and 5-gallon containers. It may be best to store a variety of sizes in order to accommodate any situation, however, 5-gallon water bottles placed on a storage rack will provide the best bang for your buck in terms of utilization of space as well as price.