Half Full or Half Empty?

November 29, 2008 at 12:24 pm 2 comments

Home Storage Tip #12 – Water Storage

My Grandma used to say that as long as there was water in the river, we didn’t have to worry about running out.  I swam in and swallowed lots of river water, and believed her wholeheartedly.  Things are different today.  By man or natural disaster, contamination is the real issue.

It goes without saying that we need to store water.  The percentage of water in our body (71%) is pretty close to the ratio of water to land on the earth’s globe (73%).  If you are a glass full person, you have probably already started stocking up.  If you are a glass half empty person, you should begin now.

Question:  How much water do I need to store?
It is hard to tell. Most sources recommend 1 gallon of water per person per 14 days.  That would make about 50 gallons per person per year.  I am assuming they are referring to drinking water only, as I don’t believe I could still take many bubble baths on that.  If you have special needs, such as health or baby in the house, you must use your best judgment.

Question:  How should it be stored? 
Rule of thumb; containers should be food grade or PETE (safe for animals.  If a farmer uses it for feed, you can consider it safe.  Specifically, plastic containers that are PETE numbers 1,2,4, and 5 are best for food.  You can find this information on the container.  The numbers will be inside a triangle of arrows.   http://www.thegreenguide.com/doc/95/containers .

Make sure that your continers are sterile before filling.  As long as the water is from a safe pretreated water source, you may store it.  In our area, the water is good.  Boiling water is good for sterilizing the water itself if it is possibly contaminated.  You may also add 8 drops of regular (not scented) bleach per gallon if in doubt.

Store Bottled Water:  I keep a couple of cases of 10 ounce bottled water around.  They are for an emergency and someday when I get around to it, 72 hour kits (guilty as charged).  The down side to me personally, is that my kids think this water is for them, and deplete my supply.  (Sounds like a personal problem to me).

Refilled Liter Bottles: The next time you have a wild party, be sure and save the 2 liter soda bottles and fill them immediately.  If your neighbor has a wild party, and you pinch bottles from his recycle bin, you might want to do this under the cover of darkness.

Water Barrels: I have some 50 gallon barrels I use.  They are food grade, reconditioned and sterilized.  There are several places on the Internet where you can find them.  Here is a link that is very reasonable.  http://www.bayteccontainers.com/waterbarrels.html?gclid=COD2jOn8mpcCFQ89awod2C1DGA   If you prefer new barrels, go here: http://beprepared.com/category.asp_Q_c_E_137_A_c2c_E_tn_A_name_E_WaterStorageandWaterFiltration .  The cost is the only issue.

Gas Cans?  I am not sure about PETE on these containers, but check out this photo.  Gas cans would be easy to handle, less weight to carry, and stack to save space.  NOTE:  BE sure and label them as water on the outside.  http://foodstoragefordummies.wordpress.com/

A word about milk jugs:  For short-term supply, a milk bottle is perfectly fine.  But don’t drink this water.  Milk jugs absorb odors and the plastic breaks down quickly.  You may use this water however, for flushing toilets, bathing or cleaning.  Water use adds up quickly.  If there ever was an emergency, it would be tough to give up your very critical drinking water for those uses.

Assignment A:  Decide on a method of water storage.  Calculate what you need for a three  month supply.  Buy or find appropriate containers(s) and fill this week.  Resolve to add to your store on an ongoing basis.  B: Add 2 gallons of bleach to your storage shelf.  C: Add six units of canned goods to your pantry.


Entry filed under: Emergency Preparedness, Food Storage, Frugal Living, Good Grade Containers, Home Storage, Sanitation, Self Reliance, Self Sufficiency, Stockpiling, Uncategorized, Water Storage. Tags: , , , , , .

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