Storage as is Practical to Store.
Water is cheap when there’s plenty of it to go around — beat the rush and prepare your emergency water storage now.
Here in the suburbs we’re lucky to have dependable public utilities. It’s easy to take clean water for granted. Day after day it’s always there; but there are many ways your water supply can be interrupted. Without emergency water storage, life could get pretty tough for your family during a water outage. A water service interruption could last a few hours, several days, or even weeks. It’s relatively simple to store as much water as you want, but many of us will get caught without emergency water storage.
A healthy reserve of emergency water will keep you out of the fray!
Having enough emergency water storage is critical to your family’s survival. If you fail to provide for emergency water storage and an interruption of your water service continues more than a few days, things could get pretty grim. You’d be forced to seek out water wherever you could find it…so would many others. Water would be as good as gold! How civil would your peaceful city be with much of the population competing for the same water sources? Imagine what could happen to our lawful society. If you hadn’t prepared, how far would you go to get the water your family needs? I’d rather not have to decide that. I’d rather be as self-sufficient as I could by having emergency water storage to fall back on.
How much emergency water storage should you have?
The government suggests that basic human survival requires one quart of water per person per day. Hot weather and high humidity increase that. Children, nursing women and the sick need more than the minimum too. Store at least one gallon of water per person per day. That’s about one 55 gallon drum of water for a family of four for two weeks; and that’s mostly for drinking. If you’ll be using water for cleaning, emergency sanitation, or hygiene, you’ll want to store more.
I recommend you have an emergency water storage as large as you can manage…the amount will vary with each family’s environment and need. A couple of FDA approved, high-density, polyethylene, 55 gallon drums wouldn’t be too difficult to deal with if you own a house. If you live in an apartment, especially upstairs, you’ll need to stick with smaller water storage containers.
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security recommends storing a three-day water supply with your 72-hour emergency kit. If you follow their advice, you’ll be betting our local, state, and federal governments can fix the water supply for EVERYONE within a 7
2-hour window. That will depend upon the affected population being relatively small. How lucky do you feel? Should you plan for the minimum and bank on your family being rescued by the government or would you rather hedge your bet and stockpile a larger emergency water supply? There’s no way to tell how much you might need so I suggest aiming a little higher.
Emergency water containers and emergency water purification…
Of course you need a way to store the significant amount of emergency water you require. You may want to learn about emergency water purification methods as well, some of which are used to enhance long-term water storage. There are a variety of ways to store and purify water for short-term and long-term needs. Solutions range from simple water storage containers and water purification techniques to complex emergency water storage systems, emergency water distillers, rainwater harvesting systems, and water purification systems.
Will you rely on the government to rescue your family?
Now about the government — who are these government people that will be fixing your water supply if it is interrupted? I bet they live in your town right along with you. Will they be affected in the same way your family is affected? Yep. What do you think they’ll be doing during the aftermath of a big disaster? Will they be at work fixing the water supply for you? If you have just 3 days of emergency water storage, I HOPE they’ll be at work just for you. If not, your family will quickly be in dire straits. What about during a large-scale disaster when much of your community’s infrastructure is damaged? Will the government’s employees be so committed to their jobs that they’ll go to work, leaving their families to fend for themselves? You’ll need to form your own opinions about these questions in order to decide how to prepare your own family. I recommend you rely on your own home emergency preparedness efforts rather than planning on the government’s ability to rescue you…it’s simply smarter to do so.
If you don’t prepare or you lose your emergency water storage…
Should you find yourself in the unfortunate situation where you either didn’t prepare or somehow lost the emergency water you had stored, where will you get water? Below are some quick tips about how to scavenge water from hidden water sources in your home.
Hidden Water Sources in Your Home
If disaster strikes and your family doesn’t have emergency water storage in place…
– Drain the water in your hot-water tank, pipes, and ice cubes.
– As a last resort, use the water in the reservoir tank of your toilet. Skip the water in the bowl.
– If water supplies run low, follow these simple instructions:
- NEVER ration water — rationing water is a Hollywood movie myth;
- drink what you need today and find more tomorrow;
- minimize the water you need by reducing activity and staying cool.
To get to the water in your hot-water tank and pipes…
First close the main water valve that connects your house to the curbside water supply line. Do this as soon as possible. Shutting the main water supply valve off will prevent water from running out of your home’s pipes as pressure to the entire water system drops. Doing this will also prevent contaminated water from entering into your home’s pipes. Do you know where your water supply valve is located? Find it. Mine is under a small, rectangular, concrete cover in my front yard almost at curbside.
To get the water from your home’s pipes…
After shutting off the main water supply valve, open a faucet on the top floor or at the highest elevation in your house. This lets air into the system so a vacuum doesn’t hold the water in the pipes. To collect the water from the pipes, open a faucet at the lowest elevation in the house. The water in the pipes will flow from the lowest faucet, aided by gravity. Because hot and cold water flow through different pipes, you can do this for both hot and cold systems.
To drain the water from your hot-water heater’s tank…
Turn off the electricity or gas supply to your water heater; whichever is appropriate. Open the drain at the bottom of the tank (it usually looks like a faucet). Start the water flowing by turning off the water intake valve at the top of the tank and turning on a hot-water faucet somewhere in the house. You might want to have someone help. Do not turn on the gas or electricity when the tank is empty! It will damage or melt the tank if you apply heat without water in it.
It’s common for sediment to collect in the bottom of a hot water heater. It’s not likely to do you any harm. If you get silt or sediment when you’re draining the tank, just let it settle to the bottom of your container and use the water from the top first. You may want to filter the last part of the water when you get down to it.
Being prepared for emergency water storage also means you should consider collecting rainwater.
In its simplest form, rainwater harvesting could be a large tarp or sheet of plastic and a water storage container. More involved systems would use a drum or tank to collect water run-off from your home’s roof and gutters. Rainwater harvesting is an ideal addition to your emergency water storage plan since it can provide large supplies of relatively clean water. It can provide you with a supply of non-potable water for washing or small-scale agriculture. A rainwater collection system, coupled with simple methods of filtration and emergency water purification, can provide clean water for drinking. Depending upon the rainfall in your area, rainwater harvesting could even supply you with enough water to sustain you during normal living conditions.