How To Be Prepared With Water For Emergencies
Do you know how to be prepared with water before a disaster hits your city? If you have been following my latest posts, I am sharing some pictures taken by a professional photographer friend of mine. I teach classes at various churches, subdivisions, and businesses on food storage and emergency preparedness.
I decided I could no longer haul all of my emergency items to these classes showing what is needed if a disaster hits my neighborhood. It took two full days to set up the photo shoot and we will be doing videos together sooner than later.
I am a visual person, so I hope these help you see what storing a few containers of water can do for you and your family in case of emergency.
Please feel free to share the pictures with your friends and neighbors, we must all be prepared when a disaster hits. I had a “print” button installed because several readers print and file my articles. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for doing that. You already realize the importance of being prepared. Knowledge will save your life, literally, I promise.
We Take the Faucet for Granted
Sometimes we take for granted that we can walk into the kitchen and just turn on the faucet and water comes flying out. We have to be prepared for the day when those faucets don’t work. Maybe the water lines are down because power is lost, or the water is contaminated from an unknown source.
You may wonder why I talk about water storage so often, well it’s because we sometimes need a little nudge to get more water stored. I went to get my hair cut today and I asked the girl cutting my hair if she had any water stored at her home.
I didn’t want to be too personal, but she’s been cutting my hair for years and I’m old enough to be her grandmother. Sometimes I will ask her if she is prepared with water and food storage, etc. She said, “No, not yet.” She is newly married and living paycheck to paycheck.
Start With Cases of Water and Bags of Beans/Rice
I suggested she start with just a case or two of water and a few cans of beans and a bag of rice. It’s a good start and she can sleep at night knowing she at least has a day or two of water and a little food in her home.
The shop had a television showing the Hurricane Michael catastrophic events unfolding before our eyes. May God bless all the workers, the first responders, and families that are being affected by this terrible storm. They reported it’s a 500-year storm, unbelievable. It’s the worst storm in American history. My heart aches for all involved.
Of course, I then pointed out to the girl cutting my hair that where we live is far away from the ocean for any threat of a hurricane or tornado, but we have had a 500-year flood in 2013. I left it at that.
Please remember to always use a lead-free hose to fill your water containers if you fill them outside with a hose bib.
How To Be Prepared With Water
I suggest 4-gallons of water per person per day, some may think that’s too much. It isn’t for me, we need water to drink, cook, wash clothes, or at least wash our underwear. And we may have neighbors that have zero water in their homes.
I used to think I was ok since I have my water heater filled with 50-gallons of water. But we shouldn’t count on that water anymore. If it becomes contaminated from terrorists or some crazy group or just Mother Nature compromises the integrity of our water lines, we’ll be in big trouble.
Lead via Water In Flint, Michigan
We have seen it in Flint, Michigan for example what happened to their water based on bad decisions by the local government agencies. It was lead poisoning.
Calculate Water Needs
You can figure out the number of cases of water to buy for the needs of the people in your home for a week, 2 weeks or a month. Some cases come with 12-ounce bottles, 16-ounce or 20-ounce bottles. Those work great for water storage if a disaster hits. They aren’t the most cost-effective, but they work in a pinch.
I love WaterBricks, the 3.5-gallon ones weigh about 26-27 pounds depending on how full they are filled. You need only 1/2 teaspoon of Water Preserver for this container and it’s great to know you only have to rotate them every five years.
Some people just fill washed milk jugs. They may leak after a bit, but at least you will have water. If you are lucky, they may never leak. If nothing else, you can use this water for personal hygiene.
You can buy the 55-gallon blue barrels with a pump and fill them, but leave room for expansion if you get a freeze in your city. I have seen these at Walmart for less than $50.00 in Southern Utah. Please remember you need a Bung and a Siphon Pump. Check them out.
Berkey Sports Water Bottles
I have talked to you about the Berkey Sports Bottles, these are great for camping or traveling. In some countries or cities, you may need to be careful about drinking the water. These can be refilled up to 640 times with municipal water. Mark and I gave these as Christmas gifts one year to our family members.
This is another way to purify your water with a LifeStraw. These are small and compact and will purify up to 1000 gallons.
Big Berkey Water Purifier
I have one of these and have tested it many times. The red food coloring test works, I never saw red water coming through the spout! If you have trouble testing it, please make sure all the filters are correctly installed. These are awesome and may save our life if our water becomes contaminated. This is the one I have Big Berkey with black ceramic purifiers.
High Capacity Water Tanks
If you can afford the large high capacity tanks they are awesome. I finally saved the money to get one this last December. I bought one that holds 250 gallons for about $350.00. Yes, they are very expensive, but I can sleep at night knowing Mark and I have water. Lots of water.
Please tell me how you are storing water. I would love to hear your ideas. My sister in Texas has a well, but if she loses power as of right now, she couldn’t get any of that water. She has bottles of water filled throughout her home because she is close to Hurricane Michael right now. Let’s be prepared before a disaster hits, please store water. Thanks again for being prepared for the unexpected. May God bless this world.
Survival food storage by Linda
31 thoughts on “How To Be Prepared With Water For Emergencies”
Thank you so much for these articles. I am new to your blogposts and I have learned and been reminded to get better organized. We have cases of water, two liter pop bottles filled with water and some Mylar bags that store in a cardboard box. Thankfully none have leaked and have been in storage for eons. I’m guessing some of the water will only be good for washing not drinking, except the cases, they are new.
Thanks again, I’ll keep at it. in all the areas of storage. We are having a preparedness Fair in Oct. I’m anxious to see what will be offered there. I have passed your blog address along to a friend who is a preparedness specialist in her ward. Prayers for TX.
HI Rita, we are having classes and meetings here for preparedness as well. The water will be good for washing clothes or boiling it for food. Thank you for passing my blog address on, that means so much to me. I thank you from the bottom of my heart. Whatever we have today is more than we had yesterday. One can or bottle of water is all it takes. God bless all those in Texas and Louisiana. It’s a 500-year storm, the worst in American history. We are praying for them. Hugs, Linda
I run my canning jars through the hottest cycle in my dishwasher and once they are finished I fill them up with hot water so they can seal. I have to store them anyway, I might as well store them with water in them for any type of emergency.
Hi Wendy, what a great idea! Water is water, and we will all need it! Great tip! Linda
I, too wish to thank you for the print button. It makes it easier to print the articles. I have 3 cases of water and food for 2 weeks since it is only me.
Hi Mildred, I had my website redesigned and totally forgot the “print” button. I’m so glad a Joanne, a reader reminded me. I love hearing from people like you, it’s what keeps me going. I thank you from the bottom of my heart. What you have stored is great, I wish more people would do it. Hugs, Linda
Water is so important. I think it is good to plan for the people around you that choose to ignore what is happening in our world. I have added extra food and water for neighbors and family that may show up. We have over 500 gallons for 2 of us and an additional 275 in rain water catch outside. I hope to keep my garden going as well, so I also have a diverter installed on all my outbuildings to catch more rain into additional barrels that can be set up in a few hours. In short, you can’t have too much water saved.
Hi, David, you are so right, we can never too much water. I really want a rain barrel or two, that is on my wish list. I just barely got the 250-gallon tank that Mark and I purchased in December. I have to laugh because that tank didn’t look that big at the store until we tried to bring it into our garage. LOL! We had the two by fours ready to place it on. I still laugh thinking about washing it out, placing it and them filling up. Life is good when you have water! You and I will be sharing with those that are not prepared. May God bless this world, Linda
We are in Southeast Texas right in the middle of Harvey. We are about 10 miles from the Gulf, about 30 minutes from the Louisiana boarder and about 1 hr from Houston. We have had 20 inches of rain and expect 6-12 inches more before this is over. We are one of the lucky ones so far as high water goes. We are prepared with plenty of water and food. Thanks for your prayers.
Hi, Melba, oh my gosh, I hope you are safe! I have never seen anything like this in my life. We had a 100-year flood but it’s nothing compared to Hurricane Harvey. The news said it is a 500-year storm. I am heart broken for all those involved, this will take years to recover. I’m so glad you have plenty of supplies. I pray every day for you and the people around you. Hugs, Linda
Also, I wanted to thank you Linda for your past articles on water preparations that have help us be ready with plenty of water and other supplies. I really enjoy all your articles.
Hi, I live in the country in Montana and have an awesome Artesian well. It never stops running unless you cap it. I had a faucet put on the top of the well casing. Just turn on the faucet and water just keeps coming out. Been here for 40 years and it still runs. Love it.
HI Lady Di, oh my gosh, you are one lucky person!!! I love hearing this! Linda
Okay, now everyone will know I enjoy a glass (or two) of wine with dinner but it seems I have been saving the screw top bottles for recycle…put them through the dishwasher, scraped off the labels (who am I kidding) and filled them with water. Amazing!
Hi, Charla, sounds like a good plan to me! That’s a great idea! I love scraping off the labels! I had to laugh! Love it, Linda
HI LINDA, I APPRECIATE YOUR DAILY ARTICLES AND THE RETURN OF THE PRINT BUTTON. I SAVE MANY OF THEM TO PINTEREST, BUT LIKE HAVING THE HARD COPY. I HAVE MADE BINDERS WITH ADVICE FOR MY GROWN CHILDREN. I BEGAN STORING WATER ABOUT TEN YEARS AGO WHEN I BOUGHT A TABLE TOP WATER DISTILLER STRICTLY FOR HEALTH REASONS. THEN AFTER FURTER READING AND RESEARCH I BOUGHT A BIG BERKEY. I HAVE TWO FOUR FOOT BY FIVE FOOT RACKS THAT HOLD 36 GALLONS OF WATER EACH. ON THE FLOOR IS ANOTHER 30 GALLONS AND BEHIND THE COUCH AND LOVESEAT IN THE LIVING ROOM IS ANOTHER 20 GALLONS OUT OF SIGHT OUT OF MIND. I USE ICE TEA JUGS AND VINEGAR JUGS FOR STORAGE. I LOVE THE IDEA OF USING CANNING JARS SINCE I STORE THEM EMPTY ALSO. GREAT IDEA! OUT IN THE UTILITY ROOM IS A 55 GALLON BIG BLUE BARREL AD TWO 65 GALLON RAIN BARRELS OUT SIDE. I WAS THINKING “HURRICANES” WHEN I STARTED THIS JOURNEY SINCE I LIVE IN A VERY POPULATED FLORIDA CITY. BUT NOW EMBRACE THE WHOLE PREPPING IDEA EVEN THOUGH MY KIDS THOUGHT I WAS “NUTS.”AFTER I BOUGHT MY SON AND SON-IN-LAW BIG BERKEYS AS BIRTHDAY GIFTS THE WHOLE FAMILY NOW USES THEM DAILY.
HI, Carolyn, I’m so glad you can use the “Print” button. I’m glad readers remind me things I sometimes forget. Oh, how I love your comment, I was even visualizing them behind the couch. I love this!! You are an example to the world! I have the Big Berkey as well. I think that’s the best gift you could give your kids! Wow, you are one prepared woman!!! Linda
SOMETIMES I WISH I WERE MORE PREPARED, BUT WE ALL HAVE A BUDGET TO LIVE ON. I MANAGE TO ROTATE MY WATER STASH (JUGS) MONTHLY WITH A LITTLE EFFORT. I HAVE LEARNED A LOT FROM YOUR ARTICLES SO THANK YOU VERY MUCH. ALAS, I ENVY YOUR BREAD MAKING TALENT. BAKING IS NOT MY FORTE. MY DAUGHTER IN LAW BAKES WITH A BREAD MAKER SO SOMEONE IN THE FAMILY IS LEARNING THAT SKILL.
Hi, Carolyn, thank you for your kind words, it means a lot to me. I bet you have skills I wish I had. I grew up on homemade bread, I remember making bread for my young daughters and one day, one of them said, “Mom can we buy some Wonder Bread like the kids at school have in their lunches”. I bought one loaf and it’s the last the one I ever bought. I must admit there is a brand of bread called Grandma Sycamore white bread that I use for BLT’s in the summer. We all have skills we can teach each other. I love hearing your daughter in law is learning the art of making bread. Yes, we all have budgets and the price of food is out of sight. I’m finding it harder and harder to keep up with the rising prices. I don’t know how families have the money to feed themselves. I do know we ate a lot of beans and rice when I was raising my family. Mark and I still do to this day. Great comment, Linda
Living in Texas ,water is probably the most important prep for us. (a family of 7 including an infant). we currently have about 200 gallons inside and another 500 in a black holding tank (rain water catchment system). we try to buy 15 gallons every 2 weeks. living in a small community on a co-op well, which did run dry the first year (1984) we were here, we have never had less than 125 gallons at any given time. we invested in an RO water system with enough back up filters for 2 years as I cannot drink the well water due to all the chemicals they add. we also bought personal water straws for each of us in case of an emergency. we buy cases of the smaller bottles everytime we go to costco and place them wherever we can around the house. My grandkids know they can always have a bottle of nanna’s water LOL Thanks for another great article. God Bless
My Wife and I have been Preppers since Y2K (1999). Water was our first concern. We live rurally in the Pocono Mountains of Pennsylvania and have a 222′ driven well outside our house. The well is fitted with a 3/4 HP electric submergible pump @ 200′. When the electric goes down in a storm, we have no water (except for 50 gallons in pressure tanks within the house). Here’s how we solved the water problem.
On the web I found a manual pump that can easily be slipped down the well – right past the Pitless Valve. I installed the SimplePump @ 150′. Then I hired a plumber to help me install it. It took us two hours. I had a carpenter build a “Potting Shed” over the pump to conceal and secure it from the neighbors and passersby. It takes me one hour every morning to pump enough water to run my house for one day. The water goes directly into my regular pressure tank in the cellar and I can shower and flush the toilets – which takes care of my sewer problem (I have a 1,000 gallon septic tank with the drain field 50′ down a hill, which keeps pressure on the drain field and helps keep it clean. During Hurricane Sandy we lost electrical power for eight days – By pumping every day, we had all the good water that we needed. SimplePump is the manual pump; they will send you everything that you need via mail or UPS. Cost is $2,0000. Potting Shed with hinged roof so that pump(s) can be pulled and serviced if necessary, $8,000. Plumber used “Curb Valve” to make connection with pressure tanks in house. http://www.simplepump.com.
Hi Wiseman, thanks for the link, I’m sure there are a lot of people that need a pump for their well if they haven’t already installed one. Great comment! Thank you so much! Linda P.S. You are one prepared person, I love it!
I am a prepper. I have several jugs of waster stored and 20 cases of store bought water 24 to a case. what I need to know is. what is the shelf life of the bottled water? I live alone I know I need to drink MORE water but I am storing this water in case of an EMP. I have several gallon jugs of water for other uses , this is drinkable also. and YES milk jugs do leak over time. The heavier tea jugs are best…But again WHAT IF THE SHELF LIFE OF THE WATER. DOES IT GO BAD EVER?
I know I’m late to the article, but since it was sent via your email blast I thought I’d chime in anyway.
For stored water, I have eight of the 5 gallon opaque water jugs meant for longterm storage – water was treated with water preserver (basically bleach drops), and 8 cases of commercially bottled water, 4 in the 0.5 liter bottles, 4 of the sport bottles. If I get any notice of an impending event I have two of the WaterBob bags so I can store another 200 gallons of water in the tubs, but I don’t really expect to get any warning of a municipal water failure or other water related event…it’s more for grid loss when I know I’ll have a few hours to make final preps before things get really bad….
For water treatment, I have the Big Berkey with a LOT of the black berkey elements, plus eight of their PF-2 arsenic filters (in case I have to switch water sources to a questionable pond down the road…) Then I have Calcium Hypochlorite pouches and the gear to turn that into bleach for either sanitizing solutions or to purify the water. And I have the SunOven WAPI indicators so I can pasteurize water if I’ve run out of everything else. I do have printed directions on how to build a slow sand filter, but I don’t have a water source on my property so it’d be a pain to keep it wet all the time….
Hi DmWalsh, you are prepared for water that’s for sure. I have the SunOven Wapi as well. I always recommend several options for water storage. Keep up the good work. Linda
Do you use any drops in your big jugs of water? To purifier???
Thanks for all the hard work you do…
Hi Deb, yes, I put Water Preserver in every water container I have filled. One bottle of Water Preserver is used for a 55-gallon barrel. I used a bottle of silver for my large 250-gallon high capacity tank that came with the tank (I will rotate the water after 5 years). All of my water containers will be good for 5 years because I use Water Preserver. If you use bleach you need to rotate the water every six months. I use the Water Preserver based on the instructions of said bottle. Keep prepping, Linda
Linda, what brand of water preserver do you use?
Hi Karl, I buy Water Preserver: https://amzn.to/2q1mTGS
I hope that link works. I rotate my water every 5 years. Thank for stopping by, keep prepping, Linda
I love your blog. I put water in empty unfunded laundry soap jugs, I put do not drink. I do this to help clean things, even laundry.
Hi Traci, that’s a great tip!! Thank you so much! Linda