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How Much Water Should I Store?

24 Feb, 2009 3
How Much Water Should I Store?
One of my most commonly addressed subjects that the general public doesn’t seem to know much about is water storage. Storing water is one of the most overlooked items in emergency preparedness, but it is easily one of the most important. Water is commonly one of the first things to become contaminated after a disaster, but it is essential to living. Death caused by dehydration can occur in 5 days or even less in hot weather, but drinking water isn’t the only thing we need to be prepared with. We also use water to clean injuries, cooking and eating supplies, and for personal hygiene. It’s important to know how much water you should store. The Red Cross recommends a minimum of one gallon per person per day in an emergency situation. In colder or warmer temperatures the need for water is even greater. The need for water also increases with exertion. We recommend that you have at least 3 different way to access your water: 55 Gallon Water Storage Barrel
    • Large barrels are perfect for storing large amounts of water, but are obviously not portable since when full they can weigh over 400 lbs. In a disaster that allows you to stay in your home, (a ‘Shelter-In-Place’ Emergency Situation), this is the best water storage solution. Even in the United States people have been confined to their homes due to severe storms, ice storms, major blackouts, and in extreme situations earthquakes and tornadoes; and any of these can cause a need for your gas and water to be shut off. It’s also important to remember that Food Grade plastic is only plastic ideal to store water in since it will not contaminate the water andextends it’s storage life.
    • Portable water containers are appropriate when you are forced to evacuate a location. (a.k.a. Grab-N-Go Emergency Situation) An excellent example would be a 5 gallon stackable or collapsible water container. Again, make sure that you are storing your water in “Food Grade” Plastic which can extend your storage time to over 5 years. Other plastics are only good for holding water for about 1-2 years.
  • You also need a way to purify water if you have a source, but it’s unsafe to drink due to contamination. An optimal tool to use in this situation would be a water filter. Just remember to get the maintenance kit to keep it functional when you’re on the go since you wouldn’t be able to order replacement parts in an emergency situation. I recommend any of the MSR or Katadyn water filters. I especially like the MSR MiniWorks for what it can do and the cost. Also, chemical purification using water purification tablets like Potable Aqua and AquaMira are a safe, effective and relatively fast way to clean your water.

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