water? What if you survive through a hurricane, but all the available water is contaminated? A tornado hits your hometown and wipes away your neighborhood? An earthquake strikes your location and ruptures all
the water pipes, then what? A winter storm hits and your pipes freeze..... These are all real natural disasters that happen each year in the United States. And please don't say that the government / FEMA is going to provide for me. It could be days before the actual needs of the people in a disaster area are meet by the government/FEMA.
According to the federal government CDC website and Homeland Security:
1. Store at least 1 gallon of water per day for each person and each pet. You should consider storing more water than this for hot climates, for pregnant women, and for persons who are sick.
2. Store at least a 3-day supply of water for each person and each pet (try to store a 2-week supply if possible).
3. Observe the expiration date for store-bought water; replace other stored water every six months.
4. Store a bottle of unscented liquid household chlorine bleach to disinfect your water and to use for general cleaning and sanitizing.
So the common theory is 1 gallon of water per day per person and pet in your family. And the minimum amount to store is 3 days, most recommendations are for 2 weeks plus. I have friends who have gone
out and bought cases of water from their local supermarket and that is their water storage, others who have bought all kinds of filters and equipment to distill their water. There are limitless possibilities in storing your water. If you are just starting out your water storage and don’t have a lot of money, I recommend using 2 Liter bottles from Coke, Pepsi or whatever beverage you prefer. And if you don’t drink
a lot of soda, then beg your family and friends to save them for you. I personally don’t use milk jugs or
juice bottles and don’t recommend using them.
NOTE: While milk containers are not recommended for long term storage of water, if you are going to rotate stock, and keep bottles in the dark, they will do for the short term. Keeping them in a cool dark location will minimize the degeneration. Please sterilize the containers well due to the fact that the milk-fat molecules actually bond with the plastic and may not be rinsed or bleached out, and may cause bacterial growth in water stored.
Better for long term storage are commercial water container, soda or juice bottles...quart, half gallon and gallon plastic bottles...They use different plastic for those. Any food-grade plastic or glass container is suitable for storing water and any stainless steel container as long as it is not being treated with chlorine. (Chlorine is corrosive with most metals) Just make sure you check your containers for the food grade stamp, HDPE (High Density PolyEthylene) and coded with the recycle symbol and 2 inside, per the FDA.
1. Only use Food safe containers – plastic is preferred due to glass breakage.
2. Avoid containers that do not seal properly
3. Avoid containers that have held chemicals or non-food items.
4. There are many commercial containers available for water storage.
5. Label containers “Drinking Water” and date the container.
6. Do NOT store near gasoline or chemical etc
7. Do NOT store directly on cement.
8. Do not store in direct sunlight and store in stable temperatures.
9. If not commercially bought rotate every 6 months / if commercially purchased rotate by date on container.
Once you have decided on type of container to use for your water storage, the next subject is cleaning – sterilizing the container.
CLEANING OF CONTAINERS:
1. Wash the container with dishwashing soap and water and rinse completely with clean water.
2. Sanitize the container by adding a bleach solution: 5ml (1 teaspoon) of liquid household chlorine bleach (5 to 6% sodium hypochlorite) to 1 liter (one quart) of water.
3. Cover the container and shake.
4. Wait at least 30 seconds and then pour the bleach solution out of the container.
5. Rinse with clean water.
Water pretreatment is another important part of the storage preparations. Water that comes from your local water municipal if chlorinated does not further treatment when stored in clean, food-grade containers. Non-chlorinated water should be treated with bleach. Add 8 drops of liquid household chlorine bleach (5 – 6 % sodium hypochlorite) for every 1 gallon of water. Only use household bleach without
thickeners, scents or additives. However, if there is any doubt about the water quality or container then
add 5 – 8 drops, about 1/8 teaspoon of chlorine bleach per gallon of water.
TIP: If using bleach and you are concerned about the taste (especially if you have kids) then store powdered drink mixes to add to the water after opening the water.
Storage of Water Containers:
1. Store water in containers of multiple sizes, this can be helpful during an emergency due to different needs.
2. Keep water stored out of direct sunlight and in stable temperatures if possible
3. Rotate water
4. Do not store on cement
5. Label container “Drinking Water” and date the container.
When your water is stored properly it should have an indefinite shelf life. But since you cannot guarantee 100% that it will not be contaminated by either the water source or container it is best to replace the water every 6 – 12 months.
TIP: Storing some water in your deep freezer / freezer will help if you lose electricity. The frozen water will keep food frozen longer and then you can also use the water. Just remember to leave 3 inches of
space for when the water freezes.