June, 2010

Price and Selection of Water Storage Containers

I was in one of Salt Lake City’s local Macey’s stores recently to pick up a few things and noticed they had 55 gallon water barrels stacked up at the entrance for $42.99 (a good price) and 15 gallon water barrels for $28.99 (a good price). Some of the local Wal-Mart stores have them as well, generally in and around the same price range, though I would suggest you call first just in case the store you are going to doesn’t stock them or is out.  When I last checked at Emergency Essentials, their water drums were “on sale” for $75 for the 55 gallon and $45 for the 15 gallon.

Price matters for most of us. So does space. If you have the room to store a barrel, they are, without a doubt, the easiest way to gather your water storage. You can simply put them in an out of the way location, your basement or garage, think cool and dark. Armed with a siphon pump, it will be easy for you to fill up water jugs, from 20 ounces to 5 gallons.

You may recall from previous conversations about water storage, our starting number in 14 gallons per person (1 gallon per day per person for two weeks) and one of our targets is to have enough water for a month for each person. Simple numbers are 30 gallons per person (60 gallons for two, 90 gallons for three, and so forth and so on). The number of gallons may vary depending on the age of the person, typically younger children and elderly drink less water, and/or depending on your water needs. For example, some of you have access to water in your swimming pool or pond to flush toilets. Others may need more water for cleansing.

One thing is for sure, since less than ten percent of the population has some form of preparedness, it may be a good idea to have some extra water for those neighbors, friends, and family who are not prepared. Every survivalist site I have read has reported that water storage is the first place to start for preparedness. We can live without a lot of things that are creature comforts; water is NOT one of them.

So give Mark’s Barrel Company a call to check our pricing (you’ll be glad you did) and pick up your water barrels, water jugs, food storage containers, and various accessories for emergency preparedness.  It is easy to get prepared. Just do it.

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Picking the Right Container for Water Storage

By now you have chosen the types of containers you are going to store water in and where you are going to keep them. Just getting started is the hardest thing. To begin, you determined what types of containers you were going to use and next you began collecting or purchasing the containers for water and food storage.

The containers need to be food-grade and clean. For some, this is a one-time purchase of 55 gallon water barrels and 5 gallon pails. For others, especially in the case of those who are collecting 2 liter pop bottles, it will be an on-going endeavor.  Having an assortment of container sizes offers you some flexibility in an emergency and just may serve you in the long run.

If you are like me and have decided to purchase a plastic/poly 55 gallon drum for water storage, I am going to recommend you also pick up a drum wrench and a siphon pump as well. They run about $10-15. A 55 gallon drum full of water weighs approximately 600 pounds and for most, it is not feasible or convenient to tip a full barrel of water to fill a couple of bottles.

The pump allows you to leave the water barrel where it is and fill the smaller containers as needed without any problems. This is particularly helpful if you do not have much room to store your drums. A drum wrench makes it easy to open and seal the drum keeping contaminants out.

I want to reiterate it is up to you to decide on how much water you want to store. Most emergency services report that water is, far and away, the most important thing you will want access to in an emergency situation. Earthquakes, floods, and hurricanes can cause contamination to water sources and it is unlikely this will be fixed overnight. There is often call for water as it is, and forever will be, the most fundamental need in any emergency situation.

So ask yourself these simple questions: Do I have enough water stored? Will I be able to access my water in an emergency situation such as an earthquake or flood? If you are not sure, would it be a good idea to have water in multiple locations to increase the likelihood you have access to it?  Simple questions that just may save a life and will in all likelihood, contribute towards a sense of peace and calm that you are ready should any emergency happen. Emergency preparedness is easy, but you have to start.

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STEP 1: Emergency Preparedness – Water

Our first goal for getting prepared for an emergency, disaster, end of the world as we know it, or a rainy day, is WATER. This article is designed to help you get started.

What can you do right now? You can determine which containers you will use to store your water. Some possible options are 55 gallon barrels, 5 gallon pails/buckets, commercial water bottles, and refilling 2 liter pop bottles. Personally, I do not recommend using plastic milk jugs (or anything made out of the same plastic for that matter). Historically what happens is the plastic gets brittle, breaks down, and the container leaks. Glass is an option, however, all too often they break in some emergency situations because they get knocked over in a panic.

Next thing you can do right now, figure out where you are going to store your water. What works best is a cool place (think basement or garage) out of the sun. Some people store water in their closets, above kitchen cabinets, on the floor of their pantry. Which containers you choose could depend on the space you have to store your water.

The third thing you can decide right now is just how much water you want to store. Most survivalists recommend storing 1 gallon of water per person for a two-week period as a starting point. Three five gallon pails per person would cover that nicely or another option is to use a 55 gallon drum and with a water pump, just fill up your drinking containers as need be. A 55 gallon drum would nearly be enough water for four people in a two-week period (14 x 4 = 56). Three drums will give the five of you a month supply of water (30 x 5 = 150) with room to spare.

How much water you store depends entirely on your comfort level. Having extra water to clean, flush toilets (pool water works great for flushing toilet as well), personal hygiene, etc. Bottom line, it is far better to have too much water than not enough. Just ask the people in Houston, Nashville, and Haiti. Water was more important than currency/cash after hurricane and earthquakes rocked their worlds. Emergency preparedness is easy, you just have to get started and build up from there.

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Emergency Preparedness: Who Need’s It?

Yet another flash flood hits a local community. The effects are horrific. More than two dozen have perished. Some of the locals are searching for water that has not been compromised by the flood. The residents are being told to boil their water just to be safe. Not all of the residents have power.

It is easy to say, “It won’t happen to me” or “If it does, I will run down to the local grocery store or warehouse and pick up what I need.” Truth is, we may not have that kind of time. Hurricanes Ike and Katrina devastated the gulf coast and all the way up to Houston. Recently areas of Arkansas, Nashville, Tennessee, and Murray, Utah experienced floods that impacted their local communities, some for a couple of weeks.  Earthquakes have devastated Haiti. What are we learning?

First and foremost: No one is immune, challenges happen. It could happen anywhere to anyone.  Next, in all cases, water was the first priority. Instead of waiting in long lines every day for bottled water, consider the peace of mind that comes with being prepared.

I encourage you to pay attention to what is happening on our planet and in our communities. I encourage you to pay attention to what is happening in your chest when the subject of preparedness comes up. Are you prepared? Have you taken the time to put together a kit, made a plan, and scheduled opportune times for you to stay informed?

Set aside 10-15 minutes a day for a couple of weeks to read everything you can and watch some of the excellent videos that are available on-line or in your local library or safety council. Then, with that knowledge, make a plan. Prepare a survival kit, also known as a 72 hour kit. The sense of calm that comes from knowing you are ready, that you have done your best to prepare those you love for an emergency situation is something you deserve to feel.

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Food and Water Storage – Think in 3’s

Prepare for adversity by storing an emergency supply of food and water.
Earthquakes, fires, severe storms, and power outages are just some of the potential emergencies we may encounter. Imagine that you have no electricity, no gas, no water and no telephone service. What would happen if you are told to evacuate your home in the next ten minutes? Imagine that all the businesses are closed and you are without any kind of emergency services. What will you do until help arrives?

The 3 day emergency food and water supply is meant to be a quickly accessed, portable source of food and water that can sustain you and your family for several days. It should be stored in one or two containers for quick portability.  The foods chosen should be ready-to-eat without the need for cooking.

The 3 week3 month emergency food and water supply are meant for a disaster where food and water delivery may be interrupted. Hurricane Katrina was a perfect example where the normal delivery of food was interrupted. Build a small supply of food that is part of your normal, daily diet by purchasing a few extra items each week. Expand on this until you reach your goal.  Not all of these foods will be ready-to-eat and plans must be made to store the necessary means to prepare them.

Long term food supply is stored for one to many years. This type of food storage emphasizes a mixture of canned goods that can be safely stored for several years and low moisture foods that can be safely stored for long periods (10-30 years). These foods must be stored along with equipment to prepare them. A typical long term food supply for a family of four could weigh as much as 1500-2000 lbs. That’s almost a “ton” of food!

Courtesy of Utah State – Thanks Aggies!

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