Emergency Water Storage
From the February Neighborhood Emergency Preparation Newsletter: Emergency Water Storage
“Rule of Three” applies to Survival
∼3 minutes without air∼3 days without water∼3 weeks without food
ready.gov recommends storing at least one gallon of water per day per person, and storing enough to last two weeks in order to stay sufficiently hydrated after an emergency. For a family of 4, this is 56 gallons.
Don’t forget pets! Just as you wouldn’t take your pet goldfish out of its bowl and expect it to survive, you wouldn’t evacuate with your cat or dog and expect them to do well without water. When we become dehydrated, our body tries to warn us that we need to drink more water by giving us warning signs:
- Dry Skin
Long-term Water Storage
Starting today is important if you want to have water storage available for your family. Use what you already have. Store water inside food-grade plastic containers. (Milk cartons are not the best idea because the proteins can’t be removed effectively enough). Two-liter pop bottles, however, are a great place to start.
Glass can be easily cleaned, reused, and will not leach chemicals into the water like some plastics. If you buy a set of canning jars, they fit neatly in the box they came in. You can also fill jars that are currently sitting around on your shelves empty. However, most glass is subject to extreme temperatures and is of course fragile.
Some glass, like Pyrex and canning jars, are more resistant to temperature and breakage. But for long-term storage, I would recommend using something else. Still, if that is all you have, glass will work.
Use only food-grade quality plastics. Look for a symbol on the container. The most preferred plasstic containers are #2. 1, 4, and 5 are also “food grade” and useable, but #2 is best. Make sure the plastic is BPA free.
Large-capacity Water Storage and Water Filtration
There are many options for large capacity water storage, including 55-gallon drums and 5-gallon stackable receptacles. Water filters may also be a good addition to your emergency storage. Please contact Allison Nelson or Barbara Faust if you are interested in any of these commercially-available options. They can point you to resources and help make recommendations.