How To Store Water For Drinking And Cooking

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You may remember me talking about how to store water for drinking and cooking. This is a friendly reminder to stock up on water for drinking!

Obviously, we know that water is vital for life to exist as we know it. But, did you know that our fresh water sources are only 2.5% of the water on Earth? And, two-thirds of that water is frozen in glaciers? This means in times of disaster, water is going to be in high demand and supplies are limited.

Water demand already exceeds supply in some parts of the world, which means storing water for drinking and cooking is of utmost importance.

Below, I will be sharing with you some reasons why we need to stock up on water, how much we need and just how to do that!

Why Should You be Concerned about Prepping?

I cringe when I hear, “I need to go help my grown children if we have a disaster,” really? Are you freaking kidding me? For the love of your children, I hope you taught your adult children to be self-reliant so they are ready BEFORE a disaster strikes.

When the SHTF there will be zero food stamps, zero banks open, zero ATM’s that work, and the grocery shelves will be empty. Please promise me you will NOT be standing in line waiting for a case of water.

The time is now to be prepared more than ever before. Russia tried to hack our grid system, as an example.

Please read the book “Lights Out” by Ted Koppel. I love to “read” audible books, this is the best book, besides mine, “Prepare Your Family For Survival.” It’s a no-nonsense book to help you to be prepared. Have your family read it, it’s critical to be prepared today, not next week.

Why Can’t we Use Nearby Lakes for Water?

I’m going to share how I store my water. Keep in mind some of the water you think you may be able to harvest after a disaster may be diverted in a totally different direction and the water source may even dry up.

Some people, like my friend Lori in Michigan, have several lakes surrounding their neighborhood. But, when there is a natural disaster of any kind, the water may be tainted with algae and is not able to be used for bathing, cooking, or brushing your teeth, to name a few things. Additionally, the water in lakes and rivers may contain harmful bacteria, chemicals, fecies, and other things you don’t want in or on your body.

It is important to be ready for plan B, C, & D.

What Things Do we Need Clean Water for?

You probably realize that you will need water for both drinking and cooking, but you need to keep in mind other reasons you will need clean water.

  • Washing Dishes
  • Taking showers and baths
  • Flushing toilets
  • Brushing your teeth
  • Cleaning cuts, scrapes, and burns

Of course, if we have a real disaster, and I’m expecting one or I wouldn’t be doing what I’m doing, you will need quite a lot of water.

How Much Water Do We Need?

You may know by now that The American Red Cross recommends one gallon of water per person per day. Additionally, they recommend that everyone have enough water to last three days. Three days of water should be enough to get you through periods of water shut-offs or contamination from natural disasters like earthquakes, tornados, and ice storms, in many cases.

Read More of My Articles  How To Store Water-Pros And Cons

Three days is a good starting point, but lets face it; run of the mill disasters can keep things down for much longer than that. Therefore, it is recommended that you store at least two weeks worth of water at 1 gallon per day.

I am here to tell you, that’s not going to cut it, period. You need four-gallons of water per person per day.

Mark and I need 8-gallons of water per day and 56 gallons per week. Hence 8 gallons a day times 7 days equals 56 gallons per week.

That’s a lot of water if you’re trying to store water for a long-term outage. Now, I can stretch the water, but I would rather have more water than not enough. This is why preparing is so important.

I’m telling you today, actually I’m begging you, to get water purifiers and store lots of water. Please do the calculations for the water your family needs. I hear people mention to me, “I’m going to Linda’s,” please don’t count on it. We must be self-reliant. I have water stored for Mark and me, period. I do not have a warehouse.

Are Emergency Water Packets a Good Idea?

A reader asked me about these packets, Emergency Water Packets. These little packets are great for backpacks, but they are too expensive to store water for every day drinking purposes.

I get thirsty just thinking how small the packets are. But I drink a lot of water throughout the day. They would be okay for the car, but I can’t recommend them unless you put a box of them in the car for emergency use.

If you have very many people in the car they would only “wet your whistle” so to speak. Let’s get real here my friends, we are so close to a grid down, as in zero power.

Because these are not adequate ways of storing water, please consider my recommendations for storing water.

Store Water For Drinking

Below is a list of options that you have when it comes to storing water for a disaster. Please remember to store water containers on 2 by 4’s to keep the containers from leaching the chemicals from the cement. Make sure all water containers are BPA free and safe for water storage.

55-Gallon Water Barrels or Water Tanks

Be sure and get a pump (these use one full bottle of Water Preserver). You may be able to pick up WATER BARRELS online from Walmart or in the store. This is one of my new favorite water tanks: PURCHASE HERE: 55-Gallon Water Tanks


These are stackable and I use 1/2 teaspoon of Water Preserver per 3.5-gallon container. PURCHASE HERE: WaterBricks

High Capacity Water Tanks

You can also purchase tanks that hold 160, 250, and 350 gallons at many emergency preparedness stores. Some of the smaller 160-gallon tanks stack.


BlueCans can withstand temperatures up to 150 degrees. No added preserver is needed. Yes, they are expensive, but I want several types of water. The cheapest place to buy these is Brownells. Watch for coupons and free shipping.

Read More of My Articles  Water Is The Number One Thing We Need To Survive

5-Gallon Water Containers

You can buy 5-gallon water containers that are stackable. The possibilities are there and you only have to buy a few at a time. I quote: (two or three high at the most) PURCHASE HERE: 5-Gallon Water Containers

  1. Portable (approximately 11.25″ x 10″ x 14.25″ tall)
  2. Stackable
  3. BPA free Food-grade Plastic; Plastic resin USA sourced
  4. Includes one spigot and one cap wrench

Here are some additional posts that will show you how I store several emergency items in my small home: Linda’s Home.

Purifying Water that You Store

Here are my recommendations for purifying the water you store for drinking and cooking.

Big Berkey

I prefer the black ceramic filters because they filter and purify more. I quote from their website:

  • Includes: Stainless Steel Spigot for Berkey System
  • Purifies up to 3.5 gallons per hour
  • Filter Life: Up to 3,000 gallons per filter element
  • Holding Capacity: 2.25 Gallons
  • High Grade 304 Stainless Steel

Berkey Sports Bottles

I gave every one of my family members one of these for gifts. They are awesome! I quote:

  • Filters can be replaced
  • Can be refilled up to 640 times using a municipal water source
  • Reduces harmful microscopic pathogens: Cryptosporidium, Giardia, E-coli 99.99999% and other pathogenic bacteria
  • Removes unpleasant taste and odors, cloudiness, silt, sediment and chlorine


I have given these to my grandkids who hike. I quote:

  • This official LifeStraw personal water filter will provide 792 gallons (1,000 liters) of safe drinking water without using chemicals, iodine
  • Removes 99.9999% of bacteria including Escherichia coli (e-Coli), Campylobacter, Vibrio cholera, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, shigella, salmonella
  • Removes 99.9% of protozoa including giardia lamblia (beaver fever), Cryptosporidium parvum, Entamoeba histolytica
  • No shelf life – can be stored indefinitely, even after use
  • Perfect for your family and friends to use during camping, hiking, and backpacking, or for your emergency kits at your home, car, and office

Water Preserver

Use Water Preserver in the water you store, it’s approved by the EPA. I quote:

  • Use with tap water to store emergency drinking water for 5 years. To be used with 55-gallon water storage barrels.
  • Water Preserver is the first and only product recognized and proven effective for 5-year water storage, registered and licensed by federal and state EPA.
  • Water Preserver was scientifically tested for 10 years to ensure its potency for 5-year storage.
  • Guaranteed 100% effective.
  • Water Preserver is a proprietary formula of stabilized, ph-balanced sodium hypochlorite with highly effective residual action that kills bacteria, viruses, mold, and fungus. Accept no substitutes.

Be Prepared Like Lori

A friend, Lori,  shared the following picture. She teaches small groups how to be prepared so they learn skills she knows. I applaud her work. She purchased a hand pump for $9.99. Here’s this great Bottle Buddy Holder or this one Bottle Buddy 3 Tier System (3 Pack) 9-Bottle, Black

store water for drinking

Final Word

I didn’t buy all of these water containers in one week, I have been buying a little at a time. Please teach others in your neighborhood how to store water for drinking and cooking, and don’t forget personal hygiene.

Thanks for being prepared for the unexpected. May God bless this world, Linda

26 thoughts on “How To Store Water For Drinking And Cooking

  • August 15, 2019 at 10:06 am

    Do you have a link for the hand pump?

  • August 15, 2019 at 1:30 pm

    How about a old fashion hand water pump that fits on the well casing? Of course you wouldn’t want to use it during a nuclear disaster.
    Where can you get the 55 gallon PBA Free barrels?

    • August 15, 2019 at 1:34 pm

      Hi Susan, I got mine at Walmart. I also got a couple through an Emergency Preparedness store. I turned them upside down to see the numbers on the bottom, Linda

  • August 15, 2019 at 1:34 pm

    I have one of the water pumps as seen in the picture. I got mine at either Home Depot or Lowes they both probably carry them. You may want to get extra line as well.

  • August 18, 2019 at 7:09 am

    How long are water bottles bought for a water cooler good for? Could that be a way to store water?

    • August 18, 2019 at 7:17 am

      Hi Janice, that’s a very good question. I used to buy those until I put in a reverse osmosis system. I used to buy ten bottles at a time. I would check with the company where you purchase them. I am guessing six months at the most. Linda

    • August 18, 2019 at 10:01 am

      Hi Janice, I don’t know why you couldn’t, the caps are airtight, I would think. Linda

  • September 26, 2019 at 7:55 am

    Have to bring this up…

    “Use Water Preserver in the water you store, it’s approved by the EPA. ”
    are they part of a sales deal?
    All this stuff is = Sodium hypochlorite! Didn’t I see an article from you on using HTH to sanitize/preserve water? I bought some, it was under $10 and that one bag would treat 30,000 gallons o.O
    Granted for some people who wouldn’t be able to safely handle HTH the cost (and short shelf life) of this preserver might be a good deal 😉

    What are your thoughts Linda?

    • September 26, 2019 at 8:06 am

      Hi Bruce, thanks for the tip. The Water Preserver I talk about is not a sales deal for me. I just teach safe ways to store water and food. This is a great tip if you know how to handle it. I can’t suggest something I have never used. Thanks for letting us know about this product. I will keep buying the bottles because they work for me. Great tip, Linda

  • October 29, 2019 at 7:29 am

    I like what you said about storing clean water so that you can wash dishes. My wife and I would like to be prepared for emergencies. We’ll be sure to look into our options for storing water to help with this in the future.

    • October 29, 2019 at 8:18 am

      Hi Tyson, thank you so much for commenting. Storing water is critical to store. Linda

    • July 12, 2020 at 5:09 pm

      Hi Robyn, I talk about this 55-gallon water barrel in my post. They are fine, they are not my favorite. I do have four of them on the side of my house with UV covers because of the high temperatures we get in Southern Utah. I always recommend more than three ways to store water. Plus, a way to filter or purify it. Linda

      • April 14, 2021 at 6:42 pm

        I too am in So Utah…recently moved here. Because of the temps, I’ve been cautious about storing water outside but getting nervous about not having enough water stored since the move. Glad to see you mentioned that you do that down here. Do you just use the Water Preserver in it and that’s all? I have worried about algae or it becoming unsafe to drink somehow. I would be very interested in knowing more about outside storage. (Great article in the SG Magazine btw, will definitely follow!)

        • April 14, 2021 at 7:17 pm

          Hi Lisa, oh thank you for your kind words. Here’s the deal, I have four-55-gallon water barrels sitting on 2 by 4’s outside on the side of my home. Because of the heat here, I bought UV Barrel bags. I have lived here 16 years and just barely replaced the covers from the heat. Here are the ones I purchased: Yes, they are very expensive but my barrels look like new under them after 15 years. In other words, the bags lasted 16 years. Yes, I put Water Preserver in them. They will not get algae because the barrels are dark and airtight. But, that’s not my favorite water, I have water in a 250-gallon high-capacity tank (from “Your Family Matters”) by Croshaw Pies. All my water has Water Preserver but this tank. They gave me some silver to put in it. I also have a 160-gallon high-capacity tank. My 160-gallon tank has Water Preserver as well as my WaterBricks under a guest queen bed. My favorite water is the BLueCans (the cheapest place to buy them is at Brownells). If they are out of stock get on their waiting list. I buy the 24 cans-12 ounces. I have 28 cases or maybe more. Buy them slowly. They have free shipping sometimes. I hope this helps you, Linda

          • April 15, 2021 at 10:00 am

            Thank you so much for the detail! So helpful!! I feel much more at ease now knowing “where and how” locally. My next thing to tackle is learning how to garden in this soil and heat down here. 🙂 I was quite good at gardening up north, but it feels like a whole new animal down here. I will be scouring your site to see if there’s anything on gardening specific to the heat and horrible soil. Thanks again!

          • April 15, 2021 at 3:32 pm

            Hi Lisa, you are so welcome!! Go to Star Nursery and get the soil, Dr. Q’s peach-colored bags for herb and vegetable gardens. They cost $12.99 for 2 cubic feet. I have seven 4-foot square raised garden beds. I put a new bag in each one every year. Plus 1/3 of a bag of worm castings in each raised garden bed. It’s totally different here. I moved from Riverton, UT. where they had dark rich soil. It has taken me a few years to get to where I can grow just about anything. If you buy sunshade you can have two gardens. I will be writing a post about the sunshades. Or you can have one garden and skip them. If you want to buy plants, go to Ballard’s Nursery in LaVerkin, Utah. They have the best plants and advice. You can do this, I promise. Linda

  • April 30, 2021 at 7:42 am

    Did you ever write your post about sunshades for gardens? I can’t find it on your site. Thanks for renewing hope for me to garden in this new climate for me. 🙂

    • April 30, 2021 at 9:08 am

      Hi Lisa, I have not yet written that one. Let me get you the link to what I’m going to write about. Do you follow me on Instagram? I just did a video of part of my backyard. @foodstoragemoms (Instagram). I will attach the sunshades to the frames my son-in-law built for me. This makes me think maybe I should write it now. Here is the link to the size I bought. They are green screens/sunshades. I will attach to the frames. I better work on this, a great reminder. Linda


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