How To Store Water For Disasters Or Unforeseen Emergencies

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How to store water…..I am feeling a real urgency to get the word out about storing water. I taught a class the other day about food storage. I showed the different foods I recommend to start with and save people money as well as time. I love it when I can interact with people and learn from them when I do a demo or teach a class.

I suggested to the group to start with freeze-dried onions and celery. You cannot go wrong with these items. No waste, no washing or chopping…ready to add to most recipes. How many times have you forgotten that celery in the back of the refrigerator and it is not the same color as when you purchased it…hmm. Oh, and onions. If I can open my OXO container and just scoop out a small amount and add to the meal I am fixing, woohoo!

During the class, I wanted to make sure that the audience realizes we must store water. You can have all the food in the world and if you do not have water stored I would be concerned. Here’s the deal with water. I bought some of those 55-gallon containers and realized because where I live the weather can be extremely hot in the summer. I bought some of these barrel covers that are UV grade. I paid about $50.00 for the barrels and $20.00 for the covers. This equals $70.00 time 4 barrels=$280.00, give or take with tax. The pump was about $10.00 and the bung wrench to tighten the caps about $8.00. This adds up to almost $300.00. This picture was taken before I bought the Barrel Bags to cover them.

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store water

It appears all the barrel bag covers are sold out. That’s too bad because it was a good product. I guess they are in high demand.

If the four 55-gallon barrels are fully filled that would be 220 gallons. Please remember to leave a little room for expansion if you have a freeze in the winter. Another important tip is to store any water containers on 2 by 4’s to keep the concrete from leaching harmful chemicals into your barrels.

You can also purchase 150-gallon, 250-gallon tanks and some are even stackable. Check with the manufacturer. If you only want to change out the water every five years I recommend a product called Water Preserver.

Remember you have the water in your water heater if you turn the valve off at the top, should we have a disaster and our water would become contaminated. If you have ANY kind of water storage container use it if it is food safe to store water. You can use the water for sanitation or laundry.

How to store water

If you can save your money I would buy some WaterBricks 3.5 gallons and they are BPA FREE. They are also easy to store and fill.

This is how much water you need minimum each day:

      • 1 gallon per day per person to stay hydrated. If you live in a HOT area you might need more.
      • 4 gallons per day, per person, allows for personal hygiene, washing of dishes, etc. I recommend this amount.
      • 5 to 12 gallons per day would be needed for a conventional toilet
      • 1/2 to two gallons for a pour flush latrine.
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My advice would be to have more than one kind of water storage available. Choose some that would be used at home if you do not have to evacuate. It would be great to have some containers to grab and take with you. This cute woman in my class today said back in 1983 (I remember the year because I lived in Farmington, Utah in 1983 and we had evacuations going on there as well that year)  her water pipes broke from extreme cold weather. She was without water for three weeks until the pipes could be replaced or repaired. She mentioned she was so glad to have known to store water for an unforeseen emergency.

Survival food storage by Linda

5 thoughts on “How To Store Water For Disasters Or Unforeseen Emergencies

  • August 30, 2017 at 2:49 pm

    I can’t help but wonder, if our eco system has a limited amount of water, and everyone decided to put up that much water in case of disaster, would it be a possibility that, in our efforts to be ready, we actually inadvertently cause a disaster?

    • August 30, 2017 at 5:04 pm

      Hi, M. Horn, that’s a good thought! We have so much snow here in Utah we should be good unless we have a severe drought. That hasn’t happened in years. Thank goodness. I never really thought about that, it’s really a good comment! Linda

    • March 31, 2021 at 8:20 pm

      No – you could not create a problem by storing for emergency. You could not store enough to make any difference. Emergency storage for most will be only a few hundred gallons. Normal usage in the USA per month [based upon what I know of our area] is usually several thousand gallons.

  • February 4, 2018 at 8:44 am

    Regarding the five year water preserver. I s it true you can keep water for five years and it will be drinkable without doing any other solutions to it?

    • February 4, 2018 at 9:17 am

      Hi, Gram to 6, that’s what the EPA states. I feel anytime the water is in a container for five years it will still need to be tested either through a Big Berkey purifier, or bottle purifier. I can always boil the water too. I like the idea I only have to rotate the water every 5 years over six months using bleach. It would also depend if the water was stored in a dark place without light, there are so many variables, we need to be prepared for all scenarios. We need so much water stored we need to have options. Great question, Linda


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