Are you a prepper who’s in the market for reliable water storage solutions? Water is essential to survival, yet many of us don’t put nearly enough effort into ensuring we have access to clean drinking water should an emergency or disaster arise. It’s not enough to wing it and leave securing water until you’re desperate.
The needs of your family must be taken into consideration. In this ultimate guide to water storage for preppers, you’ll find everything from why you should store water to tips on how to store your drinking water safely and economically long-term.
Why Should I Store Water?
Access to clean, drinkable water is one of life’s foundations and something no human can live without. For preppers, in particular, having a backup plan for accessing drinking water should an emergency or disaster arise is essential.
Preppers must consider the needs of their family in these scenarios, which means having enough clean drinking water for everyone at all times.
Storing water in advance for emergencies is vital to being prepared. Rainfall can change drastically, and you don’t want to remain dependent on municipal supplies that may not be reliable when push comes to shove.
It doesn’t make sense to wait until it’s too late and you are in a crisis situation. Planning ahead can mean the difference between life and death for your family, so storing water should be an integral part of any prepper’s plan.
Having access to clean drinking water could save lives during emergencies and disasters. Many medical conditions require a high level of hydration, so ensuring the availability of clean drinking water is just as important for health-related reasons too!
Nothing can take away from the importance of having enough potable water stored ahead in a reliable and secure way. Water storage for preppers is an absolute must if you want to be prepared in the event of any emergency or disaster.
What Can Water Be Used For?
Water can be used for various purposes, but the first thing that comes to mind is drinking. For human consumption, water sources must be filtered and collected from safe locations known not to contain any biological or chemical contamination.
In addition to drinking, water is used for hygiene (washing hands and showering), cooking, cleaning dishes, etc, essential daily tasks that make modern living possible.
Water can also be highly beneficial in emergencies such as fires, where it can be used to douse flames and protect property. Preppers should consider storing enough water for firefighting if necessary; depending on the situation and resources available, this may require larger tank-based solutions.
What Is The Best Source Of Water?
The best source of water is uncontaminated, clean drinking water. People usually obtain this from a safe public supply system or through other means, such as rainwater harvesting and well-maintained cisterns that collect runoff into storage systems. These methods have pros, like not typically requiring extensive treatment and being easy to use.
However, public water systems can be susceptible to contamination (even if it’s in small amounts) or service disruptions due to environmental and/or economic issues.
Rainwater harvesting is a decent method to collect water. It involves collecting runoff in tanks or underground containers and storing it for later use. This source type is great for those looking to reduce their reliance on municipal water systems since the collected rainwater can be used directly or filtered and treated if necessary before use. Plus, it helps conserve environmental resources by diverting wastewater from disposal in rivers, streams, and aquifers so they remain clean.
Another potential water source is stored drinking water, such as bottled water or other containers. Stored drinking water is a great option for those who want to avoid the hassle of obtaining it from unreliable sources.
Besides easy access, the main advantage of this type of source is that it can be tested and certified by laboratories or authorities before consumption. This helps ensure its safety against any possible harm caused by infectious diseases like dysentery, giardiasis, and hepatitis A.
How Much Water Should I Store?
The amount of water that you should store for emergencies and disasters depends on several factors. The first factor to consider is the size of your family, as this will help determine how much storage capacity you need.
FEMA recommends storing one gallon per person daily for a normally active individual (additional amounts are needed if there are nursing mothers or sick individuals).
However, many experts suggest storing two gallons per person per day instead. Reducing water consumption from 68 gallons (the average amount used by an individual in the US) down to one gallon a day requires drastic changes to lifestyle. It may not be realistic, depending on your circumstances. So, two gallons per person is recommended if you’re looking for a safe amount to store.
It’s also important to consider how long your water storage needs will last. Are you looking to prepare for a hurricane or earthquake that will last two weeks, or are things severely bad enough that they could go on longer?
Determine the longest possible timeframe without safe drinking water and calculate your needs based on this number: the number of people multiplied by 2 gallons per day (or more), times the number of days that you’re preparing for.
And lastly, don’t forget about your pets – factor in how much water they need per day and include it in your calculations. With all this information in mind, you can determine exactly how much clean drinking water is needed for each member or furry companion and build an appropriate storage plan from there!
I recommend you prepare for at least three months, so for the average four-person family, that means at least 720 gallons stored up or collected. If you just want to prepare for disasters, two weeks’ worth of water should be fine.
What Is The Best Way To Store Water?
When it comes to storing water for preppers, the best way is to use food-grade plastic containers that can be airtight. These containers should have a tap to allow easy dispensing, be big enough for the amount of water you plan on storing, and be made from material that won’t leach toxins.
Another great option is to store large quantities of water in a 55-gallon barrel or drum. Barrels are more economical and work great for storing large amounts of drinking water quickly; however, they aren’t as portable, so ensure they are in place early.
You can also store water in tanks built to store water and other liquids, such as a 5000-gallon tank or an industrial-sized cistern system if your budget allows it.
However, make sure to ask for expert advice on compatibility with local laws and regulations before purchasing one. Additionally, these setup options should only be chosen when space is not a limitation. The surface area this method covers will require a reinforced slab anyway, contributing to extra costs associated with installation.
Finally, if at all possible or practical for your current situation, it is a wise idea to collect natural water sources as part of your prepping efforts, such as fresh spring water, rainwater, or potable groundwater.
Setting up an underground reservoir system is a longer-term option for preppers with larger allocated investments and space availability in their property boundary walls. Still, it all depends on where you are located. If done right, it will save huge amounts of money against expensive bottled drinking water claims in the long run.
By the way, if you’re in the city and want unlimited clean water, check out our article on the sillcock key.
What Is The Best Way To Filter Water?
When it comes to water, quality is the number one concern. Even if you have an ample supply of stored or rainwater on hand, its composition can be compromised in various ways – from chemical contaminants and bacteria picked up along the way. Knowing how best to filter your drinking water is essential to ensuring the safety of your family’s potable supply.
The first type is reverse osmosis (RO) systems – these are professionally installed filtration systems that filter out up to 99% of impurities from the tap water. While effective, these types of systems can be very expensive and require a fair amount of installation and maintenance.
Another option is a point-of-use (POU) filter, such as water pitcher filters or faucet-mounted systems – these are convenient and only require minimal setup and replacement of the filtering canister annually for efficiency purposes.
For emergency situations, filtering water can be done with a portable filtration device. These are designed to utilize activated charcoal and other elements (such as ceramic) which filter out certain contaminants.
While not as powerful in their purification capabilities, these filters are lightweight and portable, making them ideal for taking with you when traveling or camping outdoors where the quality of water is uncertain.
Finally, iodine tablets can purify water if you cannot use other filtration methods. These tablets contain enough concentrated iodine that, when added to the stored or rainwater, will kill off any microorganisms in it to make it safer for drinking purposes. Though, its tastebuds won’t be pleasured by the process!
Water Storage Tips For Preppers
Labeling all containers used for water storage as “drinking water” and including the date when it was stored is critical. This will allow you or your family members to easily differentiate between drinking and non-drinking waters during an emergency situation, preventing any contamination of essential supplies.
It is also important to never use old containers from juice, milk, etc, as they may contain traces that will contaminate the water’s quality and make it unfit for drinking or other uses.
Additionally, dated markers can help you track how long your stored water has been kept without worrying about hundreds/thousands of gallons going bad due to age or aging elements reducing the container’s strength and structural integrity.
Storing water for long-term use is possible. However, all stored drinking water should be replaced every six months. Six months is the optimal amount of time for storing water as it prevents bacteria and other contaminants from growing, ensuring that you have clean drinking water every six months!
Store Water Properly
It is important to ensure that your water storage containers are kept in a cool place, away from direct sunlight. Water stored at higher temperatures can become contaminated with bacteria and other harmful microorganisms due to the increased growth rate of these organisms. Ideal temperatures for optimal water storage should be between 50°F and 70°F.
Any warmer can compromise the safety of your drinking water supply. Place containers on shelves or in closets away from exterior walls with proper insulation to help regulate their temperature throughout hot summer days and cold winter nights.
Additionally, if your cellar or basement lacks proper insulation, consider investing in an energy-efficient de-humidifier to help regulate temperatures and humidity levels for optimal water storage protection.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What is the shelf life of stored water?
The shelf life of stored water depends on many factors, but most experts agree that properly-stored drinking water will be safe to drink for up to five years. Storing your drinking and cooking water in a cool, dark place away from direct sunlight is key.
Also, it must remain sealed from contamination. Your container of choice should be food-grade and made specifically for water storage. If you choose to store tap water, be sure that it is chlorine-free and that other contaminants have been filtered out or treated in some way.
How long will 500 gallons of water last?
The amount of time that 500 gallons of water will last depends on the situation and how much is used. If you are willing to conserve your drinking water, it can be stretched further than if everyone in a household uses as much as they want without worrying about rationing.
Assuming minimal conservation habits (one gallon per day) with four people making an effort to use no more than one gallon of drinking water daily, the 500 gallons should last for 125 days. Of course, if everyone uses more than one gallon each and is not conservative, it will also reduce how long you can keep drawing from these reserves.
What is the minimum water per day for survival?
Having enough clean drinking water is essential for survival. In fact, it’s estimated that a person needs to drink around one liter (or 32 ounces) of accumulated fluids per day to stay alive.
But if you’re an average-sized adult, it’s important to remember that this amount includes all beverages and fluids consumed in a day – not just water. To ensure you are getting sufficient hydration throughout the day, divide one liter into smaller portions throughout each day and drink it evenly.
The recommended amount is slightly higher for those working in a hot environment where physical activity or exercise adds to their fluid loss through sweat, as well as any diseases requiring additional fluid intake (such as diabetes). For these individuals ideally, they should consume between 1.2 to 1.5 liters (or up to 57 ounces) of fluids per day to stay alive.
Water storage is a critical part of prepping, and determining the best way to store drinking water should be high on your list of priorities.
This guide has identified some crucial information regarding how much you need to store, where to source it, and how to store it correctly. Storing water can be a lengthy process, involving multiple steps before you actually use the stored liquid for drinking purposes.
Still, with these tips in mind, you are much less likely to find yourself without clean, safe drinkable water when disaster strikes! Don’t wait until then – start prepping your own supply of emergency-worthy H20 now so that whatever life throws at you next, no one in your family will ever have to go without their most essential requirement: freshwater.