Water Storage-How Much Do You Really Need

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Today, it’s all about water storage, how much do you really need? The American Red Cross states one gallon per person per day. I get thirsty just typing that statement. I have to disagree with them. I strongly suggest you have four gallons of water storage per person per day. Here’s the deal, I can almost bet you we will need to share our water storage with a few neighbors, friends, or family that didn’t store quite enough for their family. I recently received a comment from someone from Puerto Rico by the name of Maritza. I have to tell you her comment melted my heart. I just have to share it, “Hi I am from Puerto Rico and thanks to your advice I started both a food and water storage that allowed us as a family of 6 to endure Hurricane Maria’s aftermath. Thank you so much for sharing your knowledge!!!”

I have never met her, but I admire her tenacity to be prepared for the unexpected. I was answering her comment and the Ellen DeGeneres show was on the TV featuring Ricky Martin who is also from Puerto Rico, showing the world how much the people that live there are in need of so many items! What are the odds, I would have that show on at the very minute I was answering Maritza’s comment? If I ever have the chance to go there, I want to hug this amazing woman, Maritza!

Sometimes I get on the bandwagon, so to speak, about water storage. I feel strongly that I need to share my ideas of how to store water and lots of it. The other day I was looking on the Internet at the single 3.5-gallon blue WaterBricks and it said they are currently unavailable. I’m assuming maybe people are now aware how quickly water can’t be purchased in grocery stores once they hear about a pending storm or soon after it has passed by. They have the tan WaterBricks available today anyway, but they also have the 8-pack blue WaterBricks ones now.

WaterBricks for Water Storage

I have several of these stored, even some under my guest bedroom. This gives you an idea of how to store some,  and they also stack like as well. Guest Bedroom Post by Linda
Each WaterBrick holds 3.5 gallons (the larger ones) and they weigh about 27 pounds each when filled with water. If you think about these they hold 3.5 gallons which are almost enough water storage for one person. If you have four people in your family, you need four of these for four days. If you want seven days worth of water storage for four people you need 28 WaterBricks.

Read More of My Articles  How To Store As Much Water As Possible

Please remember to fill your containers with a lead-free hose if you fill them outside with your house faucet. Lead-Free Hose and use Water Preserver so you only have to rotate the water every five years. If you use bleach you need to rotate every six months. One 3.5 gallon WaterBricks needs 1/2 teaspoon of Water Preserver for each container.

Barrels for Water Storage

I just saw some 55-gallon water barrels at a store in Hurricane, Utah for just under $40.00. That’s cheaper than I have seen in years. These need a bung to close the cap and a pump to pump the water out when water is needed. BUNG and WATER PUMP

You can get some of these barrels at Walmart sometimes, Emergency Preparedness and Amazon. They are expensive online. Typically the bungs and pumps are right next to the barrels. You would use one full container of Water Preserver in these units.

Water Storage in Bottles

We can buy cases of water that come 24 bottles to a case at the grocery store. These are fine as long as you rotate them. Please keep them stored out of direct sunlight. You would need to calculate how many ounces are in the brand you buy and decide how many cases your family needs for each day. Any clean water stored is better than no water at all. Please remember to buy a little at a time and keep adding it to it. Before long you will have 30 days or more worth of water.

Water Storage-Blue Cans

These are by far one of my favorite ways to store water. They last 50 years and they taste better than any water anywhere. If you live near a distributor you don’t have to pay the shipping. Almost everytime I talk about these I get a few remarks how expensive they are. Yes, they are expensive, but they are worth every penny to me. I store 12 cases behind a dresser in my bedroom. I can set and forget them and sleep at night knowing I have water for Mark and me.

Read More of My Articles  Do You Have Your Emergency Contact Information?

water storage

I recently took a 24-pack case to a subdivision that asked me to talk about food storage and water storage. The people were in awe over the BlueCans of water. I don’t sell them, although I would like to buy a pallet and have it sent here and have a few families split the cost. I couldn’t get anyone in my neighborhood to go in on a pallet, but this other subdivision is trying to figure out how many to order. If you live near any of these distributors, you may want to set and forget a few cases, you won’t be sorry, I promise. Blue Can Water

Please start with my book if you haven’t purchased it yet: “Prepare Your Family For Survival” by Linda Loosli.

If you really want to get serious about water storage there are storage tanks you can buy that hold large quantities of water. The challenge is finding a place to store the tanks, having a way to treat the water (see Water Preserver above). We have a 160-gallon tank in one corner of the garage and a 250-gallon unit in another corner. I really feel prepared with these large tanks full ready to dispense water when needed, and with the Water Preserver, I only have to empty and refill the tanks every five years. Thanks again for being prepared for the unexpected. Please get your water storage to the level you feel necessary so you will not have to stand in line and wait for the government or another group to hand out cases of water. We are so used to being able to just turn the water faucet on and off. Please think again. May God bless this world.

This post may contain affiliate links, including Amazon.com. Using links to these sites means I may earn a small percentage of the purchase at no extra cost to you.

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  1. Cate Delong says:

    Hi! I have been storing water in plastic gallon jugs for 1yr and 4 months.
    Can you tell me how long this water is good? Im getting different answers from friends.

    • Hi, Cate, water is actually good for a long time if you are using it only for washing clothes in an emergency. I have a single mom who I told wash out your milk jugs and rinse them thoroughly and refill with water. They may leak, but that water is good for personal hygiene and washing clothes. Now, if you are looking at long-term water, there are many options. This is a post I wrote about storing water, this is just one of many I have written. https://www.foodstoragemoms.com/72-hour-kits/water/

  2. Cate Delong says:

    Thank you for such a speedy reply. I live along and am vegan so no milk jugs but I’m using gallons of bottled water from the store that is sealed.
    Any time line on those? They are stored in a cool, dark area.

    • Hi, Cate, I am vegan as well! Those bottles are fine. Yes, they have an expiration date on them. But I would keep them in a dark cool area just as you are doing. Here’s the deal, we cannot all store enough water for one year. You can always boil the water and drink it or use for sanitary purposes. What scares me is the tap water that comes into our homes. I wish I could say it is safe to drink, I will never drink the water from our home faucet. Several times in the last few years Utah has had contaminated water. We may or may not see the message on the TV to stop using that tap water. Whatever water you store you can use when you need to brush your teeth or cook with and not have to stand in line to get a case of water. Keep doing what you are doing. Hugs, Linda

      • My 2.5 gallon bottles from the store have started to degrade and leak after 2 years. Check them often if you keep them. What a mess two of them made! I have started to save my V8 juice bottles for bits of extra water storage (two for each bathroom). So far, so good!

        • Hi, Jan, oh man I hate when they leak! A neighbor just told me she stored her containers on a towel in a bathtub they don’t use and one or two of the containers has been leaking. She saw a little mold, you never know when containers may leak. Fingers crossed on the V8 juice containers. Glad to hear you are storing water! Good job! Linda

  3. Greg Loosli says:

    allo ms linda! your crazy cuz here!

    folks have not idea how important water is! we soooooo take it for granted! beside the drink, wash & bathe issues, they don’t think right off about changing diapers, cleaning up barf, watering herb gardens or indoor tomato plants, etc –

    bottom line, even with your 160 & 250 storage containers, water storage is only emergency or short term ysolution – it is impossible to store enough water for any longterm situation

    everyone needs to think about the long-term options – is there a water supply they can draw from? a river or lake? rainwater? considered a cistern?

    and with those options, it would be smart to know how to build and operate a slow sand filter, a very effective tool! a lot of work but frees you from expensive filters and storage issues

    water collection is important – do folks know how to build a condensation collector? an overnite dew collector or a solar tent – both can be done on a larger scale besides the camping versions you usually find

    another long term solution that is relatively inexpensive option is a dehumidifier! lots of sizes and output options – a great fallback to essential water with just a solar power option

    thanks for all you do! greg

    • Hi, Greg, this is a great comment, my biggest fear is for the people that have zero water stored. We do take the water running freely from our faucets for granted. I’m worried for those that will have to stand in line to get cases of water. That case of water will only last a short time. Water will be allocated and rationed after a disaster. We have some underground water where we live if we’re not too old to dig for it! Mark and I have plenty of water for short-term but our neighbors must do their part to be prepared with water. We must get them to realize water is key to survival. Hugs, Linda

      • dmwalsh568 says:

        Having stored water is critical. but the ability to filter water is just as important. I like the Berkey filters, but there are other options out there for folks on a budget (like the slow sand filter Greg mentioned). But I also have bleach powder stored in case I need to purify water after I run out of replacement filters. Six of the 1 pound packages of pool shock/bleach powder is enough to purify 300,000 gallons of water, assuming you have access to a water source – just make sure to handle it properly (eye protection, resistant gloves and apron, and plastic storage tubs for the open bags of powder), chemical safety is no joke with bleach powder! I’m lucky that I live about 1/2 mile from a river that I can use to refill my water jugs, which I can then run through the filter before use.
        And I’m so glad you emphasize the need to store “extra” water, since so many folks forget that FD/dehydrated food needs water to reconstitute, and a lot of “fresh” food needs water for cooking as well. And for toilet needs, there are plenty of options that are water free – especially important in dry climates, but even in wet climates like mine, hauling water just to flush a toilet is a bit extravagant. Composting toilets, honey buckets, outdoor privy, etc. 

  4. Good post, Linda and one that we need to keep talking about as it seems to be the biggest need that most people ignore simply because it’s so overwhelming. I attended a local emergency prep expo yesterday with a information on food, water and sanitation in emergencies. Folks can’t imagine how they would store so much water. One thing I think folks ought to begin thinking about water conservation. I imagine a lot of water will be wasted because, for example, they wash their hands once and toss out the water before using it again. We let our faucets run until hot water come through wasting gallons of water. What if we saved that cool water in a large pitcher and reused it in another way? My mom complained about how far the hot water heater was from her upstairs bathroom and the time it took to get hot water to the faucet. Now she keeps an electric pot in her bathroom and quickly heats a few cups of water at a time for hand and face washing. Seems to me that a lot of emergency prep requires a paradigm shift. Instead of buying a lot of items that serve one purpose, what can we store that will do double duty? How can I have an end result that leaves me achieving the goal as well as satisfied. But I digress – water is more important than food for survival so let’s keep beating the water drum. Thanks for all your information. I always learn something new.

  5. I have cases and cases of water from Costco but I’m sorry to say, I haven’t rotated them enough even tho they’re out of the sun. I’m sure it’s doable but it might not taste that great. That’s one of the biggest priorities I have which is to start replacing the cases of water. When our basement flooded this past winter, all the water cases got wet. We’ve saved the water so as to use it for nonpotable water in an emergency. I seriously need to look at the blue 55 gal barrels. I could store quiet a few of those in my basement. Alas, I don’t have a garage which would have been a better location. I do, however, have LOTS of nonpotable water! :o) For every clear Tropicana juice jug I get (and other brands that are sturdy), I rinse it thoroughly and fill it with clean water. In a pinch, I could use bleach or water purifier to drink it but I would always “think” I would taste the OJ. Anyhow, I’m a big fan of needing nonpotable water for washing, hygiene, etc. One can’t really never have enough but I’ve got a good head start! :o) Hmmm…I think I need to go to Costco tomorrow….

    • Hi Robbie, the water would still be good, just boil it if in doubt. I’m with you we can never have too much water stored. I have four-55-gallon barrels on the side of my yard on wood pallets. It gets so hot here I cover them with UV protectors. I will use that water to wash clothes or for personal hygiene. You are so right we can never have too much water stored. Linda

  6. Interesting that you should recommend 4 gallons of water per person. the Australian government recommends 3 gallons per person. I really feel that more than 3 is needed. Think about it! A gallon for human hydration; 1 for food prep; 1 for bathing, 1 for toileting if water is cut off, because you must have water to flush feces out. That makes 4 gallons per day, per person. You may be able to get away with using less than a gallon a day for food prep if most of your food is not all dehydrated. And then, you must then take into consideration the needs of your family pets; their water needs increase depending on their size and the number of pets you have.

    So at a minimum I would think 4-5 gallons per day.

    • Hi, RLHays, you are the first one in my 5-1/2 years that has said anything about my 4-gallons. No one has disagreed, but it looks to me like you totally get what I am saying. I love hearing the Austrailian government recommends 3-gallons. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for letting me know Austrailia understands the need for more water! Woohoo! Maybe I better start saying 4-5 gallons. I love this comment! In my book, I talk about how much water you need to store for pets. Linda

  7. Nicholas in Central Texas says:

    Out here in the Texas countryside, a lot of people have water storage tanks. The one in my pump house holds 2500 gallons. The water is supplied by a well. There is a second pump and a pressure bladder to pressurize the water for household use. In the event of a power failure, the water is still available via generator and or a hand pump. We also have 4 55 gallon drums in the garage. The storage tanks work well for anyone with enough land to use them.

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