How to Store Water Safely

We’ve talked about Emergency Prep before; about needing a water supply, bug out bags, and stocking up on enough food that you can eat with minimal preparation in the event you have to relocate quickly or are without power for an extended period of time. One critical thing you need to know: How to store water.

how to store water
 While wildfires rage on in different areas of the world and people are dealing with those toxic fumes, there are so many other things we need to consider: 
  • Tornadoes
  • Blizzards
  • Ice Storms
  • Earth Quakes
  • Black Outs
  • The list could go on!

What is the FIRST thing to do?

It can be easy to be flustered and overwhelmed when you start doing emergency prep research.

Get stocked up on water

We can live almost 30 days without food, but only a few days without water!

You will need MORE water than you think you do…and need two different kinds: drinking water and washing/cleaning water.

I am not usually a fan of bottled water – but this is an excellent reason to have some on hand. When you get a good deal on it, grab a few extras for your emergency prep area. FEMA says 72-hour supplies of things for emergencies, but if it is a bad situation, it could take 3-4 WEEKS to get any help. Sadly we have seen this repeatedly through different situations over the last few years.

When you can’t get to a store, the stores are all closed or empty; you can’t turn on a faucet. Bottled water will be your friend.

There are other things you can do instead of buying bottled water –

  • Water filter pitchers. Most of them filter out sediment-type elements and won’t eliminate harmful bacteria from water.
  • Water purification tablets. They often have a slightly funky chlorinated taste when used, so try them first before stocking upon them.
  • Boiling all water for 30 minutes, so it is drinkable. Let’s face it, that can be a hassle when you are in the middle of an event.

Let’s talk about cleaning water

For washing up, doing dishes, helping to flush the toilet — you will need water too!

  • A simple way to stock up on cleaning water is to fill milk jugs after you empty them. (Rinse them out first).
  • You can also use the jugs that laundry detergent comes in, or white vinegar, etc. Do NOT rinse them out as that water can have those residual remnants in there and be more useful when needed.
  • Install a rain barrel or two. These work great for the garden as well as cleaning tasks.

You can even stock those in the garage if you want – just make sure they are not FULL if your garage freezes in the winter as mine does. Leave about 2 cups of water out, and you have plenty of “headroom” for the water expansion.

It’s critical to understand the importance of hydration and how to stay safe if the regular water supply is interrupted. People can go longer without food but not water. Cells start to deteriorate and die when deprived of water, soon after which organs quickly shut down, and the damage can be irreparable. At least 64 ounces of water is needed every day.

Dehydration danger signs

Here are some symptoms of dehydration:

  1. Swollen tongue
  2. Weakness
  3. Dizziness
  4. Heart palpitations
  5. Confusion
  6. Sluggishness
  7. Fainting
  8. Inability to sweat

Water storage is crucial to any prepper supplies. You can only live 3 days without it and we use it in almost everything we do. Making sure that your water preps will last is another must-do task when it comes to your prepping. Learning how to properly store water will help you do just that.

How to Store Water Properly

To start, you need to know how much water you need for your family in the event that something would go wrong and you needed to rely on it. This means figuring out exactly how long you want to prepare for. You must know this before you go any further.

How much water do you need?

Once you’ve got a time frame in mind, you will need to do some light math. You need to prepare, at the very minimum, 1 gallon of water, per person in your family, per day that you want to prepare for.

For instance, if you have a family of 3 and you want a 3 month supply, you would need 3 gallons per day, 21 gallons per week, 84 gallons per month, and 252 gallons for the 3 month period.

How to store water for your pets

Be sure not to forget your pets too. You should count on 1oz of water per pound of each pet per day. Your 16lb would need roughly 16oz of water per day. These are bare minimum amounts. Ideally, you would want to store at least one and one-half times the minimum to account for things like excessive heat, cleaning, bathing, and so on.

What to store water in

Water needs to be stored in something obviously. The best thing to use is something that is made for doing just that. You can pick up 5-gallon jugs at Wal-mart for around $15.00 each that will keep your storage safe, but if you are planning on storing a lot of water, you might want to consider food-safe barrels.

On the flip side, if you don’t have the money in your budget to buy containers, rinse out 2L soda bottles or empty juice containers and use those. Just be sure to rinse them well so that there is no sugar content left behind.

Keep it safe to drink

If your water is chlorinated, you won’t need to do anything to store it. It will store safely for well over a year. If it’s not chlorinated, however, you will need to give it some help. To each one-gallon bottle, add 1 small cap full of bleach. This will keep anything yucky from growing within your bottles so that your water is still safe to use and drink.

If you don’t like the idea of bleach, water purification tablets are always an option – we like the Potable Aqua Water Purification Tablets With PA Plus.

It is a revolutionary two-stage process that makes water bacteriologically safe to drink and taste good. After treating water with Potable Aqua, simply drop 1-2 tablets of the neutralizer into the water and wait 3-5 minutes for clear, great-tasting water.

It greatly reduces the iodine taste and the discoloration caused by the iodine. Packaged in a 50 count bottle along with a 50 count bottle of Potable Aqua on a blister card.

You can get the Potable Aqua system HERE.

Once you’ve got your water storage started, congratulate yourself! You’re one step ahead of a lot of other people now!

Do you have any great ideas to share about how you store water?

Check out these other posts you may find useful now that you know how to store water: