Yesterday I talked about having enough food for at least a month, today I want to talk about water. If the electricity is out, you will not have access to the necessary amount of water you need and if there is a blizzard then there will be no way to go out and get it. If the roads are affected in any way then there will be no service to your area to replenish the water either. So what do you do? We have a swimming pool and a food grade water tank for emergencies, we also have a gravity fed water filter to filter that water so we don't get sick...very important!
Water: This is your Most Critical Need. Storing water is essential to every emergency plan; you cannot survive more than 3 days without it.
If you are on a well for your water, consider an alternative power source for your pump (solar, hand, etc.)
If you are on city water, then stock up!
There are several guidelines to how much water you should have available to your family, the best (most common) guideline is one gallon per person, per day, for drinking at a minimum.
For example, a family of five for 14 days, you would need 70 gallons, just for drinking.
During an emergency you will also need water for the basic needs - washing your hands, brushing teeth, washing dishes, preparing food, and sanitation needs. The guideline here is a multiplier of 1.5, or an additional 105 gallons needed.
It may seem like a lot, but it is very conservative, and life sustaining.
NOTE: this would not include additional “heavy use needs” for water - like for flushing a toilet.
You can accumulate water several ways:
- Least expensive: wash out containers like soda bottles and other jugs (not milk) and fill with filtered water and drop them into a “deep freeze” freezer – this will keep indefinitely.
Note: This method requires you to filter water & sanitize the bottles. The two liter bottle is most common, a 2l = .528 of a gallon, so figure 2 large soda bottles per person per day. Collect them from your friends.
- Cheap: buy bottled water from the store in quantity, utilize recommended shelf life. Gallons jugs are least expense option over smaller sizes.
- Most expensive – buying emergency water, this is water processed for long term storage.
- Buy a good gravity water filter, with extra elements. If needed, you can always filter water from rain, a pool, a pond, etc.
- If you know of a threat like an ice storm is coming, immediately fill all your bath tubs – instant storage!