EP Water Basics

Posted by on Jul 8, 2010 in 72 Hour Kit, Emergency Preparedness, Survival, Water Storage | 0 comments

So you have decided to get prepared and you are zeroing in on your first priority – that would be having enough SAFE drinking water for you and your loved ones. You have numerous options as to how to store water (prepackaged versus package yourself; bottles, jugs, barrels; locations; types of containers; etc.). Here are a few suggestions regarding containers and ensuring the water you have is safe to drink.

First off, lets assume you know how much water you need. An easy formula to follow is to have one gallon of water per day per person set aside. Most agencies suggest you build up to a month’s supply of water (28-30 gallons of water per person). The important thing is to get started and build up your supply if need be, so I encourage you not to put it off or be overwhelmed by the suggested quantities.

The container you pick is important for a number of reasons. Ease of use, durability, safety, storage capability are all factors to consider. If you choose to set aside a few cases of water, we recommend you follow the container’s “best if used by” dates as a rotation guideline. Believe it or not all water is the same and some store better than others. I suggest you choose water that has been bottled in PETE or PET containers.

If you are packaging your own water, use only food-grade containers.  Avoid using plastic milk jugs as they tend to become brittle and leak over time. Do not use containers previously used to store non-food products. If the container had been used previously, it is a good idea to sanitize and thoroughly rinse all containers with a mild chlorine bleach solution (1 teaspoon to 1 quart of water) before using. 55 gallon drums, 5 gallon jugs, and other food grade poly-plastic containers are recommended.

Water from a chlorinated municipal water supply does NOT need further treatment when stored in clean, food-grade containers. If the water comes from a non-chlorinated source, simply treat it with a bleach that does not contain thickeners, scents, or additives. The formula is 1/8 of a teaspoon (8 drops) of 5-6% sodium hypochlorite (liquid household chlorine bleach) for every gallon of water.

Rotate water every couple years or so just to be safe. Water goes stale and can taste “funny” after it has sat for a long period of time. You can improve the taste of stored water by pouring it back and forth between two containers (such as two water pitchers) before using.

Water storage for emergency preparedness is easy. You just need to get started.

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