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W A T E R
It's a fact that humans can live a week or so without food, but that is not likely the case with water. Depending upon the situation and climate that you are in, humans can go anywhere from several hours to several days without water. Water is a priority for your preparedness kit. Let us assist you in finding out how easy it can be to store water.

How much water you will need. The emergency management officials are now saying that we will need up to a 2 week supply of water before rescue supplies will be available. TWO WEEKS! Well, that's enough to send us all into a tail spin! So, try not to panic and let that adrenaline rush drive you to be proactive by starting small. Having some water stored, even if it's two days worth, is better than nothing!

Recommended:

  • 1 gallon per person, per day (includes water for sanitation, cooking and hydration)
  • 2 weeks supply, if not more

How to prepare and store water
The links below can show you what to do! They will give you guidance on how much water to store, what kind of containers to store water in, how to sanitize the containers and what steps to take to purify and filter your water to make it safe to drink. The Regional Water Providers Consortium will tell you what seismic upgrades are being made to make the water systems in the region more resilient.

Here's a helpful pdf (in English and Spanish) called Making Water Safe from Center for Disease Control to keep in your kit.


Personal water filtration systems
Filters are also a good option if you are unsure of the water source that you might want to use. You can find personal water filtration devises at most camping stores, camping sections within a grocery store/outdoor store and, of course, on line. Be sure to get one that you are going to feel comfortable using and try it out once you get one.

On a tight budget or just want to keep it simple? These tools are often used by backpackers, travelers, or outdoor sportsman and women. Be sure to read up about what bacteria they eliminate and abide by ALL instructions and advisories.

  • The Life Straw is light, compact and portable. It can filter up to 4000 liters of contaminated water ($18 and up).
  • Potable Aqua Iodine and Taste-Neutralizer Tablets will kill bacteria in 25 quarts of water (REI for $11.95).
  • We do not recommend using bleach to disinfect your drinking water. It can be used but there are way too many variables that could go terribly wrong. Bleach has a shelf life, making gauging the proper amount to use less clear and can potentially cause severe organ damage and death. In addition, any additives such as scents and softeners can be very dangerous to our bodies.

Water storage opportunities
Most people understand the need and concept of storing water, but where to store it can often become a stumbling block that prevents positive action. The cost of storage containers can also be a reality for most people. Have no fear, we have ideas for you!

Smaller spaces. Think apartments, condos, smaller AUD's, camper vans.

Potential existing water sources – these sources would need to be purified and filtered before consuming:

  • toilet tank (do not use the water in the bowl) – 3.6 in older toilets to 1.6 gallons in newer toilets

Find places where water can be stored without it interfering with your living space. Here are some storage ideas:

  • in closets (lower location)
  • behind/under a couch/chair
  • under the sink
  • keep a camelback filled
  • fridge

Small space container ideas:

  • Store bought water (keep in cool, dark locations,)
  • 1-3 gallon w/ molded handle to carry if you need to evacuate, stackable
  • BPA free, food grade #2 HDPE (strongest and most durable)
  • don't recommend container having a spout, they often leak and can get knocked off...and there goes your water. : (

Larger spaces. Think houses, ADU's, split houses, larger apartments.

Potential existing water sources – these sources would need to be purified and filtered before consuming:

  • toilet tank (do not use the water in the bowl) – 3.6 in older toilets to 1.6 gallons in newer toilets
  • water heater tank, typically 50 gallon (if your is in the basement, it might be tricky to access if your house becomes unstable)

Place water storage inside and outside the house. Storage ideas:

  • mud rooms or perimeter rooms/closets inside
  • under deck, under outdoor benches, porch/deck storage chests
  • garage
  • outdoor shed
  • car, bike carriage

Container ideas:

  • 3-5 gallon w/ molded handle to carry if you need to evacuate, stackable
  • dedicated 55 gallon drums

Here are some Dos and Don'ts of water storage that we've collected:

DO store water:
- in a UV-resistant, food-grade container, this protects it form bacteria and algae growth (typically blue is used for drinking water)
- in polyethylene-based plastic containers – look for number's 1, 2 or 4 on the bottom of the container
- in a cool dark place
- in soda and Gatorade bottles
- on store containers on wood or cardboard

Don't store water:
- in milk jugs, they will break down over time and any live cultures that remain in the jug could make you sick
- in disposable water bottles, they are thin and will also break down
- in containers that have previously held chemicals (liquid or powder) or fuel
- sitting directly on concrete or near harsh fumes or chemicals, they will absorb these chemicals (example: storing your 55 gallon drum in the garage, directly on the cement floor)