7 Ways To Store Water For Your Family

7 Ways To Store Water For Your Family

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Today, I have 7 ways to store water for your family. I have been receiving a lot of comments and emails about storing water. Let’s make this as easy as possible. I may have shared this statement with you before: you can survive without water for three days (you need water or you’ll perish). I do not recommend going without water for three days, but it does make us think why we need to store water. I realize we all have budgets, no matter what our income may be. It’s been frustrToday, I have 7 ways to store water for your family. I have been receiving a lot of comments and emails about storing water. Let’s make this as easy as possible. It is frustrating where I live because I will contact a store to get water containers at a discount and send out at least three dozen emails, two or three times to people who live near me. I make it clear in the email I am not making any money on the tanks or containers, I just found a great discounted price for the neighborhood. Unfortunately, only one other family bought the 250-gallon water tank that was available at a great price. The supplier was even willing to deliver the unit to our homes. I was a little luckier with the WaterBricks, three families purchased them. I even got to help two of the families fill the WaterBricks with my lead-free hose. I get it, they are expensive. I try to explain to people, buy a set of the WaterBricks once a month and split the cost between friends, family, and neighbors.

I talk about buying one extra can of food a week or a month, start thinking one container (not the pricey 250-gallon one) a week or one a month. Please write it down: W A T E R, we can only survive three days without water and this is at optimal temperatures. Let’s get started with just a few ways I have for you today. Just choose one and do it.

7 Ways To Store Water:

  1. Gallon Jugs: These are not my first choice, but hey, you can wash clothes with the water you store in these, or use it for personal hygiene. Plus, the price is practically FREE if you buy milk in one-gallon jugs. The next time you empty your plastic milk cartons wash them out with a drop or two of bleach (unscented). The problem with drops of soap are the bubbles, but you can use either one. Just make it easy for yourself. Now, keep in mind these are not for long-term storage. Yes, they will eventually leak. Yes, you need to keep them off the concrete in your garage on 2 by 4’s, they work great. Put a drop or two of unscented bleach in each bottle and rotate the water every six months.
  2. 2-Litre Soda Bottles: Now, I do not drink soda, except for an occasional A & W rootbeer, but if you know someone who drinks it regularly or you are at a party, snag the empty bottles. You do the same with these bottles, wash the sticky stuff out with a drop or two of bleach (unscented). The problem with drops of soap are the bubbles, but you can use either one. Just make it easy for yourself. Now, keep in mind these are not for long-term storage. Yes, they will eventually leak. Yes, you need to keep them off the concrete in your garage on 2 by 4’s, they work great. Put a drop or two of the unscented bleach in each bottle and rotate the water every six months.
  3. Mason Jars: I have personally never “canned” water and doubt I ever will, but I have heard of people who like to store water this way. I don’t have space to store glass jars, plus, I live on the Wasatch Fault as in EARTHQUAKE….
  4. 55-gallon barrels: I have seen the exact barrels that are blue in color at Walmart for almost half the price of the ones I had purchased from well-known emergency preparedness stores. I actually turned the barrel upside down at Walmart to see if they matched the ones I had at home. Yes, I’m that crazy lady with gray hair on aisle 11, what can I say! I wanted to make sure they were BPA Free and were made by the same company as the ones that were more expensive. They were identical. Now, I have four of these gems on the side of my house with UV protector covers because of the heat here, as in 120 degrees in the summer. Please remember with these, you need a pump and bung wrench. I use one whole bottle of Water Preserver in these. 55 Gallon Water Preserver Concentrate 5 Year Emergency Disaster Preparedness, Survival Kits, Emergency Water Storage, Earthquake, Hurricane, Safety BUNG (tightens the lid): Duda Energy dwrench Aluminum Drum Wrench for Opening 10 gal, 15 gal, 20 gal, 30 gal and 55 gal Barrels Standard, 2″ Bung Racing Fuel Methanol, 2″ Please note, I bought like 20 of these for a class I was teaching and my one friend said, “I don’t need one of those, I will use pliers”. She ended borrowing mine, just giving you the heads up here. Be prepared with your own bung wrench. You will also need a pump, you can usually find a pump located on the same shelf where you buy your 55-gallon barrels. BPA FREE – TERAPUMP(TM) TRDRUM20 Drum Barrel Manual Siphon Pump PLEASE NOTE: the Water Preserver is great because we only have to rotate the water every 5 years rather than six months. Keep in mind, we can use the water to water our garden if you exceed the safe water period of 5 years. Please remember to keep space available for freezing temperatures, because the water will expand if it freezes.  Here are the UV covers I purchased, I bought them about eight years ago and they are still in good shape: The Barrel Bag WB-382 ”The Barrel Bag” 55-Gallon Drum Cover Black
  5. WaterBricks: You may know I have several of these and I love them. They are pricey, but I only had to buy them once. I bought two sizes, but my favorite ones are the 3.5-gallon size. They come with handles and a screw lid that makes them easy to haul for camping or evacuating your home. I use 1/2 teaspoon of the Water Preserver stated above and rotate them every five years. Please use a lead-free hose to fill ALL containers outside. NeverKink 8612-50 Boat and Camper Hose, Drinking Water Safe, 5/8-Inch-by-50-Foot I like the WaterBricks because they stack on top of each other, or under beds if you have enough space. I have 16 WaterBricks under a queen size bed.
  6. 5-gallon water jugs: You can buy this size just about anywhere in emergency preparedness stores or camping outlets. There is a big difference in weight between the 3.5-gallon WaterBricks and the 5-gallon containers. I can’t lift the 5-gallon jugs so these have never been an option for me. I’m just not strong enough to haul them and they are not easy to store unless you have a lot of room to place them on 2 by 4’s in the garage to keep them off the concrete. All water containers inside the house, garage, or outside must be at least 2 inches off the ground to keep them from leaching bacteria or other material that is not safe to consume.
  7. BLUE Cans: Yes these are very expensive and they come in cans the size of a soda can. Each case has 24 cans of water packed neatly in boxes that stack easily. I have had a lot of people think the price is outrageous. I get it, I saved for two years to buy 12 cases. I have them stacked behind a dresser. Here’s the deal, these can withstand temperatures of 145 degrees. I try to give a case to each daughter for Christmas as I can afford them. I call these my stack and forget water cans. They state they will last for 50 years. The water is placed in scientifically formulated cans. For more information check out this website: BLUE CAN WATER If you live near a distributor you can pick them up there. I tried to buy a pallet of these but I couldn’t get anyone to split it with me. Water is critical to our survival. Period. These do not need to be rotated ever and do not require any water preserver.
Read More of My Articles  How To Use Your CPAP When The Power Is Out

I hope this post about 7 ways to store water for your family gets you started on a road to storing water, one container at a time. I know the American Red Cross states that one gallon per person per day is adequate, I disagree, I like 4 gallons per person per day, but that’s how I roll. Please remember to store water for your pets. I have stated in my book “Prepare Your Family For Survival” on page 21, that our pets need approximately 1 ounce of water per pound of body weight each day. If your dog weighs 40 pounds, you will need to store 40 ounces of water for your dog per day. Thanks again for being prepared for the unexpected. May God bless you and your family.


  1. Harry, the Texas Patriot says:

    Another option for cleaning 1 gallon jugs and 2 or 3 liter soda bottles is to use dishwasher detergent. Put a very small amount of the detergent in the jug or bottle with some warm water. Cap it, and shake it like crazy to agitate. Just be sure to rinse it out thoroughly with water before filling and capping it for storage. The dishwasher detergent will clean real well with NO BUBBLES.

    • Hi Harry, oh my gosh, this if a fabulous idea about using dishwasher detergent NO BUBBLES! I swear I learn something new every day from my awesome readers! Thanks for the great tip! Linda

  2. Hi, Linda! Gallon bleach bottles are good for storing water, too. When you empty the bleach, just refill the bottle with water. It’s already treated with bleach. This is great for those “other” things you want water for, but it is drinkable, in a pinch, if necessary. Since it’s just treated with the bleach left in the bottle after use, it should be rotated at least once a year. If refilled with water, you would need to a another drop or two of bleach. Bug hugs, Mare

    • Oh my gosh, Mare, duh, this is a great comment! Why didn’t I think of this!! People can write WATER with a magic marker on the refilled jug! Thank you and hugs! Linda

  3. i have been using 2 liter bottles for several years now. i had some that were over 3 years old put back for washing, toilet, etc. i pulled them out to empty them when i moved last year and the water was just fine..just a little aerating between 2 glasses and it tasted okay. none of the bottles had degraded as far as i could see. i do keep them in my kitchen pantry in the dark on the floor so maybe this has helped preserve the bottles better. i think i will invest in some of the water blocks soon though. i dont plan on moving again and these would be easier to rotate when necessary.
    thanks for all the great info.
    a burrito girl,

    • Hi, Maggi, my burrito friend!! I love hearing this because then my readers will see that they can in fact store water. Money is tight, I totally get it, I grew up poor but I never knew it! Hugs, Linda

  4. vivian montgomery says:

    Hello my dear friend,
    Another good advice column. Just checking in to say hi and share that I too have several of these rain barrels. Four in the basement to fill when the time comes and two outside that catches rain water. My handy man will be coming soon to build me two solid stationary, cement areas to rest my rain barrels on and will be high enough to drain out the water when needed.

    I also have this gigantic storage of water inside my garage. Although I keep forgetting to put a little bleach inside of it I do believe it will be okay when the SHTF and I can boil the water to stay alive, if necessary.

    I have pretty much lost my fear of a nuclear attack. It certainly could happen,, but I am prepared as much as possible and if the good Lord decides it is my time to go then so be it. It is good to live without fear as it stains our decision making and takes away our joy for every day living. So I am at peace and I know you are as well.

    Stay safe and keep up the excellent work that you do every time you write your column. We need you and we appreciate you.
    Cincinnati, Ohio

    • Oh my sweet friend Vivian, you are so sweet! I totally agree with your statement about a nuclear attack or when the SHTF, we have done everything we know we needed to do to be prepared. We are in God’s hands. I have no fear as you do not either, we are prepared for the unexpected. I am going to get some water/rain barrels to collect rain. You are my hero!! Hugs, Linda

  5. Roxanne says:

    Dear Linda, thanks for reminding us to prep for our beloved pets. Your recommendation of 1 ounce of water per pound of body weight each day is spot on: my 65-pound German Shepherd does, in fact, drink 1/2 gallon (64 ounces) of water per day!

    • Hi Roxanne, oh, I’m glad you mentioned the 1 ounce of water per pound is spot on, I love hearing this, my little ShihTzu weighs about 8 pounds now. Having a pet is so awesome, glad you have a German Shepherd! Hugs, Linda

  6. I use to use the 7 gallon jugs from Aqua-Tainer but you’re right just to heavy to lug around I still have about 10 of them for storage but I purchased some 1.3 gallon water bricks to move water back and forth…..water is heavy.

    • Hi Dave, I’m with you on the weight of water. I can’t handle the 5-gallon ones, let alone 7-gallon. I have some of the smaller WaterBricks as well. Those are a great size to grab and go with. Yes, water is very heavy!!! Thanks for commenting, Linda

  7. Papa J says:

    I always love articles about water storage. So many people think the water will always flow through that tap and don’t realize the steps it takes to get to you.
    I happen to disagree with rotating my water yearly. I have bulk water storage of 650 gallons behind large bushes in the backyard, plus countless numbers of plastic bottles of different sizes stored in large decorative pots and even some indoors. Just amazing how many empty spots there are in a house. 🙂 Water does not go bad. What can go bad is the container not being clean, sunlight, mold, etc. However, I don’t want to take chances. I have a couple water purifiers and my backpacking water filter. Backed up with calcium hypocrite to purify. Chlorine bleach works, but expires for storage. Linda, I too think that 1 gallon a day is bull. Everyone should try living with a gallon of water for a long weekend or preferably longer. No fare cheating and holding off with washing clothes, washing hair and body, doing dishes, hydrating food, etc. Speaking of dishes, using a Hudson sprayer delivers pressure with minimal water for rinsing dishes. Boiling water as mentioned above works great, but do you have enough alternative power source to do so? If water supply is down, chances are power and even natural gas lines may be down also. I live in CA. so chances of a big quake and disruption for a very long period is very possible. I also have family members that think having 5 gallons of water is sufficient for a family. Knowing how to get water is also very important, but I have gone way too long as it is. Remember, back ups to your back ups is very important, especially water. Plus it is the cheapest item to store. (For now)
    BTW, I have an added 2000 gallons of rainwater storage for my veggies.

  8. Papa J says:

    Oh, I forgot. Having a water bob is very good thing to have. I have a small amount of duct tape in the box to secure to the spout so you can do other things while it is filling.

  9. MARKWW says:


  10. D from Michigan says:

    I agree with most of your article, but the Milk jugs are just bad advise. Had 8 jugs under the kitchen sink, somewhere about a year into it, every one of them crumbled and cracked. NO water, all gone. They are designed to break down in land fills, etc, so don’t hold up well at all.

    Soda bottles are 5 years and holding. Not rotated, and still drinkable, although a little flat tasting. 7 UP, and “clear” type soda works best for me. Any of the “red pop” type have a lingering taste that doesn’t go away, even with bleach.

    Love those 1 gal Tea jugs. VERY heavy duty. 3 yrs testing on those, and holding up just fine. My overall FAVORITE to use. Plus, no embedded flavor in the plastic.

    I live in the country, so run my water through the Berkey before filling jugs.
    Final note: if you have city water, NO NEED to add bleach. It’s already in it.

    • Hi, D, I mentioned milk jugs are not my favorite but some people must start somewhere, and do not store them where they will leak because they will crack. I have a Bid Berkey as well, great product. I will have to check out the 1-gallon tea jugs, thanks for the tip! Linda

  11. susanelizabeth says:

    I am new to this thing and have water stored all over our apt in mason gallon jugs, 1/2 gallon mason jars, tea jugs, etc. However, I didn’t know about rotating them and I can’t handle bleach, unscented or regular(any chemical really). Is it bad to start making the rounds and drink the containers, one by one and refill them? I filled them with water from my Berkey but am sure they are at least a few yrs old! Oh dear.

    • Hi Susan Elizabeth, no worries about the water except maybe breakage if you had the ground move or whatever where you live. You can still use that water because you can run it through your Berkey again if you are worried about when you go to use it. It can be used to wash your underwear in a power outage or to cook with, it is still fine. Keep it in the dark if possible, you can still use that water. I do not use bleach in any of my stored water. You are doing great, keep up the good work! Linda

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