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Emergency Drinking Water: What You Need to Know

We live next to one of the largest fresh water supplies in the world. With Lake Erie in our backyard is easy to take our water supply for granted. But storms and water main breaks can prohibit our municipalities from serving us. During disasters like these, it’s essential to have emergency drinking water on hand. 

What is Emergency Drinking Water?

It is important to stay healthy and hydrated during a crisis. To ensure you will have drinking water – you need a stockpile. You should keep enough on hand to supply everyone in your home or business. Your emergency water supply should remain dedicated to use only in the event of a disaster. Keep in mind, this may range in levels of severity. For those of us with wells, a simple power outage will leave us without water. Hopefully, none of us have to face anything more severe like a tornado. 

Planning an Emergency Drinking Water Supply

Don’t know where to start? Follow these tips to plan an emergency drinking water supply for your home or business.

  1. Determine the amount you need. We recommend a minimum of one gallon per person per day. 
  2. Choose a timeframe. We suggest storing enough water for at least three days but two weeks is optimal.
  3. Purchase commercially bottled distilled water. Only use professionally packaged water to ensure that it is clean, well-sealed, and the bottle is made from food-grade plastic.
  4. Safely store your drinking water for emergency use. Choose a cool, dark location. Avoid placing your water supply directly on concrete. Do not stack the bottles or cases directly on top of each other as they can crush over time.
  5. Keep track of your water supply. Mark your calendar to rotate your water bottles on a yearly basis.
Distillata delivery driver removing 5-gallon water bottle from rack in Aurora, Oh

How Much Water to Store for Emergency

As mentioned above, to determine how much drinking water you need in an emergency you need to know how many people will use the supply and for how long. We suggest at least one gallon per person per day for at least three days. This means, a family of four would need 4 gallons per day for three days or 12 gallons. Try this emergency water calculator to see how much you need.

An emergency water supply for nursing homes and hospitals can get large and complicated. We offer emergency water agreements to local healthcare facilities. Most are required to have an agreement on hand. Yet, it is still not a guarantee since we may be affected by the same catastrophe. Planning is pivotal in these situations, the CDC guide listed below will help. 

How to Protect Against Contamination

Contamination is a concern with water storage. There are two non-negotiable rules. First, always use commercially prepared and packaged water bottles. Second, do not open them before use. You may be tempted to save a few dollars by filling your own bottles or barrels. We recommend against doing this. The water and bottles may contain microorganisms that can make you ill.

Chlorine or boiling the water is not guaranteed to solve this problem. Distillation is a far wiser choice in an emergency situation. Professionally distilled water is processed at high heat until it becomes a vapor. It is then cooled and returns to its original liquid state without contaminants.

distillata deliver person placing 5-gallon water bottle on a front porch in Aurora, Oh

How Often to Change Emergency Drinking Water

Although emergency drinking water does not expire, there is a best-by date. Usually, it is within two years of the production date. You can keep your emergency water that long if stored flawlessly. But, to avoid the chance of contamination, replace your water supply once a year. Also, distilled water is good to keep for emergencies as it can last the longest. Use this chart as a guide on how to store water for emergencies:

infographic that explains how to store bottled water

Emergency Water Supply Container Sizes

There are a variety of sizes to choose from for your emergency water needs:

Use Distillata for Potable Emergency Drinking Water Delivery

At Distillata, we understand how important it is to be prepared. We provide high-quality water that keeps you and your family hydrated day-in and day-out, especially when emergency strikes.

Watch this video to see how our delivery service works:

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