Emergency situations often stem from inclement weather and natural disasters. They can arise when you least expect them to, and at their worst, they can leave you without one of the most vital necessities of life: water. From drinking and cooking, to simply brushing your teeth, water is something you cannot go without on a daily basis.
Continue reading to learn what you need to know about preparing emergency drinking water reserves, and what you can do to improve the quality of your home’s drinking water.
The most important aspect to storing emergency drinking water reserves is quantity. You must have enough water to last you and your family until the city can get your drinking water healthy and running again. A safe rule of thumb is to reserve at least 1 gallon of water per person, per day, regardless of size or age. To be safer, you can increase the ration to 1 ½ gallons of water per person, per day. Here is an example:
Family of Five – Three Days No Water
Per Day: 1.5 Gallons of Water x 5 People = 7.5 Gallons of Water
Total: 7.5 Gallons of Water x 3 Days = 22.5 Gallons of Water
Solution: A family of five that must go three days without water should have a reserve of 22.5 gallons of water.
Always have 3 days of water reserves as a standard, but you may want to store more under certain circumstances. For instance, if you live in a region that experiences high volumes of inclement weather or natural disasters, live in a hot climate, or have members in your household who are sick, elderly, pregnant, or nursing, it would be wise to increase the number of gallons even more. Be sure to include pets as a family member since they need water too. If you have a lot of indoor plants, you may want to consider those as well.
How to Store Water
Water must be stored in clean, food-safe plastic containers with airtight lids. Only certain plastics are FDA approved as “food grade”, so be sure to check first. Keep them inside a cool, dark place that stays between 50 degrees Fahrenheit and 70 degrees Fahrenheit. Avoid direct sunlight since heat can melt plastic containers and potentially contaminate your drinking water. Be sure to replace your stored water every 6 months if you are using your own tap water. If you are using bottled water purchased from a store, be sure to adhere to the printed expiration dates.