Home Prepper How to Properly Store Water for Emergencies

How to Properly Store Water for Emergencies

by Anthony
beginners guide water storage

Many people make the mistake of focusing on food when they put together their emergency storage. They assume water will be plentiful or food is more important to sustaining life. They would be mistaken.

Preparing to survive the aftermath of a major disaster or other event that leaves the world in an apocalyptic state has become very popular as of late. Too many examples of people suffering after some disaster or other event has opened the eyes of the population all around the world.

Nothing in this world is guaranteed and it is increasingly likely that we will see some kind of event that will leave our entire world disrupted. It may be a global economic collapse, act of terrorism, civil unrest or a natural disaster. We just don’t know, but we can do some things today that will help us prepare for anything.

You need to start focusing some attention on storing clean drinking water for your family. In many cases, it isn’t so much about storing safe water as it is water in general with a means to make it safe for drinking.

Keep in mind, a human can only survive 3 days without water.

Every human needs about a gallon of water per day to stay hydrated, clean and to prepare food. Cleanliness is just as important in a survival situation as it is any other day of the week. You don’t want to risk being infected by dirty hands. You don’t want to wash your hands or face with water that is laden with bacteria and viruses. Washing dishes must also be done with safe drinking water to avoid contaminating your dishes with germs that can make you sick.

Water Storage Options

There are plenty of ways you can store water. It will depend a great deal on the available space you have. Make water a priority and don’t focus so heavily on tools, food and other items. Water can be stored outside, which should open up some possibilities.

  • Bottled Water – This is what many people rely on. This is an excellent option if you have the means and the space. Bottled water is great for packing out on hunting trips, but having a hundred bottles lying around can be a little much. Consider buying bottled water in 1, 3, and 5 gallon containers to save space.
  • IBC Totes – An intermediate bulk container (IBC) or IBC tote or pallet tank, is a reusable industrial container designed for the transport and storage of bulk liquid and granulate substances. They can be purchased quite inexpensively from Craigslist. Make sure they are food grade. They usually hold about 275 gallons of water.
  • Water Bed – Are you low on space? How about using a water bed to store water. Don’t forget you will also need non-potable water for showers, washing clothes etc. A water bed may be the solution you are looking for.
  • Rain Barrels-Catching the rain that falls from the roof of your home is an excellent way to utilize free water while creating a refillable option. The water will need to be purified. Set up as many barrels as you can and when filled, store them in a shady spot or in the back of a shed or garage.
  • Cisterns – These are giant vessels that can hold thousands of gallons of water. They are fairly large and do take some time to fill, but they are an ideal option if you will be sheltering in place. You can set up rain catchment systems to fill the cisterns each time it rains.
  • Swimming Pools/Hot Tubs – Technically, you can drink the water you have in your pool or hot tub. You will need to purify it first. Do not drink the pool or hot tub water the first week following a power outage. You need to give the chlorine in the time some time to evaporate.

Purifying Water

All water is considered unsafe to drink except that which you buy from a store. Any water you find or have stored in barrels and cisterns needs to be purified before drinking. While rainwater is technically considered safe to drink, you have to worry about the barrel the water is in and the risk of contaminants and impurities getting into the water as it flows down the gutter. It is always better to be safe than sorry. Drinking contaminated water can be life threatening and cause a whole list of nasty side effects including diarrhea and vomiting that can lead to dehydration.

These are some ways you can purify the water you have stored or collected from a local body of water.

  • Boiling – Boiling water is probably one of the most common ways of purifying the water. You only need to bring the water to the boiling point to make it safe to drink. Boiling purifies the water, but it does not filter it. If you have water that has some floaties in it, run it through a cotton t-shirt before boiling it.
  • Water Purification Tablets – This is a quick and easy way to purify water using chlorine tablets. These are a good idea to keep on hand if you will be bugging out. There are typically about 30 tablets per jar and you will need 4 tablets per gallon of water. Store a lot if you plan on relying on these to clean your water.
  • Filtering – Filtering is not purifying! Filtering will not remove all of the harmful viruses that can be found in water you collect from the wild. Ideally, you will want to purify the water after you have filtered it. If filtering is your only option, choose a filter with the smallest pores that will catch the majority of bacteria and viruses.
  • Household Bleach – This is a quick, cheap and effective method to purify water. A few drops in a gallon of water is all that is needed. The problem with this method is the fact household bleach only has a shelf life of about 6 months. It is important to keep a fresh gallon on hand at all times. Learn more How To Purify Water With Bleach
  • Iodine – This is often thrown around in survival circles, but it just isn’t feasible. You must use a lot of iodine to clean a single gallon of water. Anybody who is allergic to shellfish will likely be allergic to iodine. It just isn’t worth the effort when there are other options that are less expensive and just as effective.

If you have been putting off storing water, don’t wait another day. Start investing in containers and storage methods that will keep your family alive. Food is important, but water is a much bigger necessity. You can’t afford to put it off another day.

beginners guide water storage

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