Some people may take running water for granted, but they will think twice when they experience situations like in a natural disaster where water is hard to come by. These situations normally happen following a natural disaster or the city water source becomes contaminated. This is certainly something that urban preppers think about.
To avoid having to deal with these situations, you should have a ready stock of water for your entire household. The minimum volume of water should be one gallon for each member of the household. It is also advisable that the water supply can last up to a week. Of course, water is the most important emergency essential.
While you may already have some ideas on how to store water at home, you may want to check out the following water storage tips. You may already be doing some of them, but there may be other tips you haven’t considered before.
Top 10 Emergency Water Storage Tips
Without further ado, check out the following tips when you store water.
#1: Look for a Suitable Water Container
Well, this is a no-brainer. You can’t store water if you don’t have a water container. But, you shouldn’t just look for any container, it should be suitable for storing water.
When you say a suitable water container, it should be made of food-grade material. It should also be opaque or dark-colored and available in different sizes. While rain barrels may be suitable for storing water for garden use, they are not ideal for storing drinking water.
For bulk storage, you can look for heavy-duty food-grade water containers. They should also be able to store at least 50 gallons of water.
We looked for this type of water container and we found a couple of them for you. Check them out:
Smart Tank Stackable Water Storage Tank
- BE PREPARED, STORE YOUR WATER! This 50 gallon water storage tank will ensure you're prepared for...
- PROUDLY MADE IN THE USA! These tanks are made in the USA and are made of high density, durable...
- KEEP YOUR STORED WATER SAFE- BPA Free and UV resistant, these tanks are made to last and won't harm...
- STACKABLE, PREPARE WITH MORE THAN JUST ONE- These tanks are stackable and durable, great for saving...
The Smart Tank Stackable Water Storage Tank is made of BPA-free high-density plastic that is durable and UV-resistant. It can store up to 50 gallons of water and is stackable. So, you can buy more than one of these storage tanks and simply stack them up in one place.
WaterPrepared Blue Water Storage Tank
- ALWAYS BE PREPARED: Be ready to face any water emergency or water shortage by safely and...
- HYGIENIC & SAFE DRINKING WATER: The WaterPrepared barrel is reinforced with a specially blended...
- STRONG, RESILIENT CONSTRUCTION: Manufactured with a rugged high-density polyethylene material...
- HASSLE-FREE ACCESS: With the spigot integrated right into the design, accessing your emergency water...
- STACKABLE, SPACE-SAVING DESIGN: With WaterPrepared's unique stackable design and dimensions of 22" x...
The high-density polyethylene material (HDPE) of the WaterPrepared Blue Water Storage Tank is BPA-free. It is also FDA compliant and durable enough to store water for a long time. Moreover, this water container can store up to 55 gallons of water.
#2: Use Water Containers of Different Sizes
Even though storing water in large containers is ideal to ensure you have a good supply at home, it doesn’t hurt if you also use small-sized water containers. These containers should be light and portable in case you need to bring them around. This is ideal for a natural disaster like an earthquake where you may not be able to shelter in place (more tips here: Earthquake preparedness)
You can either get a water jug or a five-gallon water container depending on your preference. These water containers allow you to bring water anywhere in case of emergencies.
There are several options available online, and we found a couple of them for you.
Hydro Flask Oasis Water Jug
- Newly produced Hydro Flasks do not feature a registered trademark symbol next to the logo
- TempShield insulation eliminates condensation and keeps contents the perfect temperature
- BPA-free and phthalate-free; 18/8 food-grade stainless steel
- The smaller opening allows for easy pouring while the larger opening allows for easy filling
- Features a new slip-free and dishwasher safe powder coating, along with a lifetime warranty
The Hydro Flask Oasis Water Jug is BPA-free and phthalate-free. It features a small and large opening for pouring and filling, respectively. Moreover, it comes with a lifetime warranty.
5 Gallon Samson Stackers
- PORTABLE: Drums are great but you can't take them with you. Compact storage in handy 5-gallon units....
- STACKABLE: Geometry on the top of each container aligns with contours on the bottom for convenient...
- SAFE: High Density PolyEthylene (HDPE) is a preferred polymer. HDPE is not a candidate for BPA, a...
- ACCESSORIES: Your Samson Stackers will come with a factory installed dust plug that can be discarded...
- PROVEN: These are industrial grade containers used by manufacturers and packagers to ship a variety...
The 5-Gallon Samson Stackers are big enough to store a good amount of water and small enough for you to bring around. It is made of High-Density Polyethylene (HDPE), so it is BPA-free and safe for you to use. Moreover, each purchase gives you 8 five-gallon water containers.
If the budget is tight, you can also use two-liter soda bottles to store small amounts of water for emergency use. But, you should avoid using old milk jugs since they normally become brittle after a short time.
Glass containers are also not good water containers since they crack easily during an emergency. These containers also crack when the water freezes.
#3: Clean Containers Thoroughly Before Using Them
One thing to remember before you use any water container is to clean them thoroughly before you use them. This applies to water containers you bought or old bottles that you want to use for water storage.
You can use hot tap water with detergent to clean the water containers. You can also use a solution of one teaspoon of non-scented liquid household bleach and one quart of water. Make sure you clean all the surfaces of the water container, including the cap.
After cleaning it, you should rinse them properly before filling them with water. Once the water container is filled with water, seal it tightly. You should also never use containers that were used to store toxic substances. No amount of cleaning will make it safe for you to use.
#4: Label Water Containers Properly
You should also label each water container as drinking water together with the date you filled them. Labeling them ensures you will know that these are containers of potable water. It also allows you to avoid confusion during an emergency.
The dates also make it easy for you to rotate them and ensure they are fresh all the time.
#5: Store Water Away From Heat and Light
When you’re looking for a place to store water, make sure it is far from heat sources and direct sunlight. Temperatures of at least 70 degrees Fahrenheit can increase the possibility of the growth of micro-organism in the water. And you want to avoid this in your source of drinking water.
Additionally, direct sunlight can gradually cause the plastic of the container to deteriorate. Due to this, it may cause the chemicals of the plastic to seep into the water. While opaque or dark-colored water containers can reduce this risk, it is still advisable to look for a cool and dark area in your house to store the water.
#6: Store Away From Substances That Can Contaminate It
This is another easily-understandable tip since you want to avoid contaminating your source of drinking water. Due to this, you should not store it close to containers of gasoline, kerosene, or pesticides. The vapors of these substances can seep through the plastic material of the water container.
If you’re using a two-liter soda bottle to store water, you should avoid putting them close to any food items that may be damaged by water. These types of water containers can break down over time, which will cause the water to leak out.
#7: Prepare Water Containers for Freezing
If you store water over the winter, you should prepare it in case the water freezes. Since water expands when it reaches its freezing point, make sure you have enough space at the top of the container to prevent it from cracking.
Due to this, you should only fill it up to 90 percent of its capacity to prevent it from getting damaged when the water freezes.
#8: Use a Water Filter if Necessary
Although you may have stored water for emergencies, you would need to refill your water containers once your water supply is used up. If you’re confident about the safety of your water source, you can immediately fill the water container without filtering the water.
But, if you have doubts about the cleanliness of the water source, then you should use a water filter. Using a water filter ensures the safety of the water your family will drink. You can consider the water filter as a good investment to safeguard the health of the family.
If you have no idea about the water filters you can get for your home, you can consider the following water filters available in the market.
CuZn Under Counter Water Filter
- Incredible Capacity and Lifespan, Up to 5 Years per Filter; CuZn Backs The UC-200's Long Lasting...
- Simple to Install; The UC-200 is Designed for Direct Connect to the main Kitchen Sink Cold Water...
- 3 Stage Filtration Process Utilizing Micro Sediment Membranes, KDF-55 and Coconut Shell Carbon; The...
- Bacteriostatic Filtration System, Unlike Carbon Only Filters, The UC-200 is Bacteriostatic and Not...
- The UC-200 is Backed by a Comprehensive Install Support Policy; If Nonstandard Plumbing Connections...
The CuZn Under Counter Water Filter uses a three-stage filtration process in removing contaminants in the water. Its bacteriostatic filtration system reduces the risk of mold or bacterial growth. Moreover, it can filter up to 50,000 gallons of water.
Katadyn Vario Water Filter
- A simple turn engages a ceramic pre-filter for long life in dirty water or a pleated glass fiber...
- Produces up to two quarts per minute in the faster flow mode and one quart per minute in longer life...
- Uses a replaceable Katadyn carbon core and cleanable ceramic disc
- Adapter base attaches directly to water bottles or an output hose can be used to fill hydration...
- Glass fiber filter
If you’re looking for a portable water filter, you can consider getting the Katadyn Vario Water Filter. It uses activated carbon to remove chemicals from the water. It also removes waterborne bacteria using its glass-fiber micro-filter.
#9: Replace Water Every Six Months
Stored water can have a stale taste after some time. But, this taste can be removed by rotating water. While water can be stored indefinitely when the conditions are ideal, you will have peace of mind when you rotate it.
You can rotate water every six months to ensure it is not contaminated. This is particularly true if you’re using old soda bottles as your water container. If you put the water container outside, you may have to rotate the water more often.
Having a siphon pump will make it easier for you to rotate the water. If you’re planning to get one, you may want to check out the following pump.
Underhill Super High-Capacity Siphon Suction Pump
The Underhill Super High-Capacity Siphon Suction Pump is a high-capacity water removal pump that can help you rotate water in your water container. It features a 14-inch clear pump with a capacity of 18 ounces per stroke.
#10: Check Your Water First
Municipal or city water sources are clean and safe to use. In these instances, you can immediately put the water into your water storage container for future use. But, if you have any doubts about its cleanliness and safety, you can test the water first using a water test kit.
A water test kit normally shows the presence of bacteria, pesticides, and other contaminants in the water. They also conform to EPA standards in water quality. So, testing the water will take away any doubts you have and give you peace of mind.
You can even use the test kit to check if the water you stored for some time is also safe to drink.
Watersafe Drinking Water Test Kit
- It's Never Been More Important: With stay-at-home orders, you must ensure that your home resources...
- Complete, Easy-to-Use Test Kit: This test kit contains everything you need to screen your drinking...
- The World's Most Sensitive Lead Test: Our Rapid Lead Test has been validated in an EPA-certified...
- 25-Year Trusted Brand: The Watersafe brand has been keeping American families safe for close to 25...
- Comforting – detects chemicals that are colorless and odorless
The Watersafe Drinking Water Test Kit is easy to use and gives you all the information you need to know about your drinking water. It shows the presence of any contaminants and conforms to EPA standards on safe drinking water.
And, you may also consider investing in a water desalination device if you live near the ocean.
How Can Purify an Emergency Water Supply?
The best case scenario is to fill up these containers when times are good with clean, safe drinking water. However, if the natural disaster or societal breakdown goes on for a long time, then it’s going to be necessary to treat some possibly contaminated sources to make them safe for consumption.
Here are the top ways to do this: How to Purify Water.
Have your Say about Emergency Water Storage
Do you have any tips or tricks for emergency preparedness water storage? Any ideas that we didn’t include on this list? Leave a comment below and let us know what you think. We’d love to hear from you.
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Last update on 2021-01-18 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API