Water should be high on your list of priorities when going through your emergency planning. Recommendations vary from 1 gallon per person per day up to 10 gallons. 1 gallon would be your bare minimum for survival and would only cover drinking water. However you should also prepare water for washing and sanitation on top on clean drinking water.
In order to weather a basic disaster event you should aim to store a two week supply of clean emergency water. When a natural disaster hits, utilities will either stop working all together or your water supply will be contaminated.
After a flood event, it is common for water to be contaminated with a variety of pollutants like sewage, agricultural or industrial waste, chemicals, oil and other substances that can cause serious illness. The safest option is to assume the water is unsafe.
Safe Drinking Water Becomes a Priority
Drinking unsafe water put you at a high risk for becoming dangerously ill. You may ingest any number of common microscopic pathogens like bacteria or viruses that cause upset stomachs. There is also the chance that you consume toxic chemicals that cause both short and long term illness.
This bad situation is compounded in an emergency for a couple of reasons – 1. Access to medical care is likely limited and 2. Illness like diarrhea and vomiting will easily spread when there is limited, clean running water to help you sanitize.
One way of cleansing water is to boil it. Bringing water to a rolling boil for at least one minute generally renders it safe to use to drink, cook and wash. However there are some strong disadvantages to this as well.
- While safe from bacteria and viruses, boiled water can look and taste foul.
- Boiling does not rid water of chemical pollution.
- This method requires the ability to either sustain a fire hot enough to boil water or have a reliable heat source. This can be incredibly difficult during a crisis.
Solve these issues by storing as much water as you possibly can. Having access to clean water during an emergency really is the difference between life and death. In order to be as prepared as possible, purchase large water barrels and use them to store that precious water.
Emergency Water Storage - Remain Comfortable During a Crisis
Being prepared during an emergency means you do not need to struggle. By storing large volumes of water, you are ensuring a level of comfort even hard times. A minimum of five gallons per day per person means you will have enough safe water to drink as well as washing, cooking and keeping up personal hygiene. Do the maths to find out the needs for your family – how many gallons will you need? Generally the 55 Gallon Water Barrel is the most ideal option. After all having more water is far better than not having enough.
Maintaining a high level of personal hygiene and general household sanitation is extremely important. We all take modern conveniences like running water for granted – a hot shower, a flushing toilet and a running dishwasher all contribute to a safe, comfortable and healthy life. When we no longer have access to these systems, things can go from unpleasant to life-threatening very quickly.
Routine hand washing with soap and clean water is the number one method for removing harmful germs and preventing the spread of disease. You will also want sanitized water in order to:
- Make sure all cooking and eating utensils are cleaned
- Wash soiled clothing
- Provide first aid – being able to wash out open cuts, grazes or sores to prevent infection before covering them
Storing water is the best way to know that you can carry out everyday tasks while keeping everything clean and fresh. It will not just keep you healthy but will allow you to keep living your life at the standards you expect.
How Do I Safely Store Water?
To start with, use food grade containers to store your water to prevent chemicals leaching into your emergency water supply. All our containers, including the large 30 and 55 gallon water barrels are constructed from FDA approved plastics.
Once you have filled the container it is a good idea to treat the water with a preserver to stop harmful bacteria and algae from forming. Bleach is commonly used to help preserve water however this is an industrial product which is not tested, approved or recommended for this use. We stock a Water Preserver solution has undergone 12 years of extensive testing and is registered and licensed by the federal and state EPA (Environmental protection agency) to specifically extend the life of the water you are storing. It’s stabilized and PH balanced formula works to kill existing bacteria, virus, mold and fungus and prevent them from developing in your containers. It is best to use in new (unused), blow molded, rigid, all plastic containers made of virgin polyethylene resin like these water barrels. A container of water preserver will sanitize up to 55 gallons of water.
It is better to be safe than sorry, especially when it comes to your water storage. So even with treatment, it is best to check your water every year and rotate out with a fresh supply if needed. Always sterilize the container in between batches of water to prevent the spread of harmful microorganisms.
The dark blue plastic of our barrels is perfect to keep direct light off the water supply but it is still recommended to store your barrels of water in a consistently cool and dark place, like a basement as this will extend the life of potable water.
Raise your barrels off the floor by resting them on wooden pallets. The reason is that chemicals in the cement could possibly cause a chemical reaction with the plastic storage container but the risk is very low. It’s a good idea to have a gap underneath the barrels to promote airflow and keep the temperature of the barrels down.
You can’t go wrong with large size water barrel. We stock the 35 or 55-gallon sizes. They will provide you with a solid supply of safe water when you need it the most. They’re made from sturdy food-grade plastic and have bungs at the top that can be sealed up tight in order to protect your water from contamination. The plastic is also BPA-free and UV-resistant – exactly what you need for long term storage.
Two barrels will give a family of four about 27 days worth of water and they come highly recommended as a water storage solution.
Water pouches are a convenient option for carrying safe water with you. Perfect for an evacuation kit, these self contained pouches hold 4.25 ounces of sterilized and filtered water that you can drink, use to clean and for first aid. We offer a six pack or a case of 96 pouches depending on your needs.