Emergency Water Storage

Having your own personal emergency water storage could save your life when a major-scale disaster happens. For those that are not prepared with water, it will be pure chaos.

Emergency water filters and a good supply of drinking water in storage containers, or water tanks, is an absolute necessity.

It is possible to survive weeks without food but only days without water.

Your focus on water survival and emergency preparedness should begin with the following two steps:
1. Learning how to store enough water for your needs.
. Knowing the different ways to purify water.

Contents On This Page:

Pin It

1. Why It's Important To Store Safe Water

2. How Much Water? - Where Do I Get It?

3. How To Store Emergency Water

4. Alternate Emergency Water Sources

5. Emergency Water Storage Tips

Why It's Important To Store Safe Water

  • When a disaster has been forecast, or does occur, people will be rushing frantically to prepare. What happens when you discover there isn't one bottle of water left at any market or convenience store? You and many others will be in a real panic.
  • After a natural disaster, people can become subject to water-borne illnesses when their water supply becomes polluted. If unprepared, they can be forced to find and drink water that is unsafe to consume.

It takes so little time to prepare ahead for the unexpected and unimaginable.
Take the Time Now... and Just Do It!

How Much Water

  • Short term emergencies:
    1 gallon a day per person can provide the minimum amount needed for: drinking, basic food preparation, and personal hygiene. (Double that amount is recommended, especially for longer term situations).
  • Be sure to remember your pets in your water storage amounts. A good rule of thumb is to count them as another person: 1 gallon per pet, (Take size and species of pets into consideration).

Where Do I Get It?

Choose from the following choices to prepare your emergency water storage:

                      Fill the containers with filtered water (best).

                      Fill water containers with your household water supply (if safe for drinking).

The Emergency Water Filters Page explains why filters are an essential part of preparedness.

  • Re-using plastic containers: If water, soda, or juice comes in a good recyclable bottle, it can be refilled (after sanitizing follow 3 steps below) with safe water to meet emergency water storage needs.

There are basically two grades of plastic containers: edible (used for soda, water, juice) and non-edible grades (liquid laundry soap bottles, etc), be sure you refill edible grade only.

Re-used edible grade bottles are a free, recycled resource, and therefore fit into everyone's budget. Re-using them keeps them OUT of the landfills.

NOTE - ALWAYS FOLLOW the 3 important sanitation steps below when re-using edible grade plastic containers.

DO NOT use gallon milk jugs for storage or drinking. They are designed to break down and biodegrade. Within six months they can start leaking in your storage area, and no matter how well you wash them, you can't get out all of the milk fats, which will leach back into your water. The same goes for cooking oil bottles. Toss them out.

DO NOT use old bleach bottles for drinking water. They are a non-edible grade plastic. If not thoroughly rinsed, too much bleach can become toxic to the system.

Important: All storage containers must be thoroughly washed, sanitized, and rinsed before filling for storage:

  1. Wash containers with dish washing soap and rinse with water,
  2. Sanitize by swishing a solution of 1 teaspoon of liquid household chlorine bleach to a quart of water on all interior surfaces of the container,
  3. Rinse thoroughly with clean water before use

You should not drink flood water -

Take one of the following appropriate steps to treat water from any of the above sources to make it safe before drinking it:

Boiling: 1-3 minutes at a rolling boil (5-7 minutes at high altitudes)

Filtering: Below are water filter options that are available for your emergency water preparations:

1. Portable Emergency Water Filters
2. Gravity Drip Filter/Purifier Systems - No Electricity Required
3.Treating or Purifying: find options for both here

Here is a detailed emergency water storage guide from the American Red Cross: (*Guide requires Free Adobe Software for viewing and printing.)
How To Make Water Safe


Emergency Water Storage Tips

  • Ways to increase your emergency water storage supply: (when a disaster has been forecast)

    Most people have at least one toilet tank, one bathtub and one sink to fill with water. Filling these can increase your emergency water storage supply to many more gallons than you would have had otherwise. (Put a piece of plastic wrap over the drain to slow any leaking.)

  • Don't waste stored water doing dishes:
    Instead store paper products such as: toilet paper, paper towels, plates, bowls, cups, plastic ware, a variety of plastic bags, bread sacks, aluminum foil, trash bags, etc.

  • Hygiene items that are a must:
    Buy baby wipes to keep on hand. In an emergency, this may be the only source of bathing for adults, children and babies. Also buy plastic canisters of pop-up and individual/foil-wrapped, anti- bacterial hand wipes.

  • "Canning" safe water at home:
    If you have empty glass jars & bottles taking up space on your storage shelves, use that space for safe "canned" water storage. If you are used to preparing your own canned food, it is actually very easy. Use the same method as for open kettle food canning. Sterilize the jars and lids just as you would for any type of canning, and add clean, boiling water and seal as normal. Cool and store.

Many uses of 2-liter bottles:

  • Fill 2-liter bottles with water and freeze them. (Leave a two-inch airspace at the top so that they don't burst.)
  • Use them in an ice chest they keep things cold longer (and drier) than ice.
  • Keep a couple in the freezer to help food last longer when the power goes off. If you have a large freezer keep several bottles frozen to put in your refrigerator in a power outage.
  • Store several bottles of water in each room, in case you are trapped and can't get to your emergency water storage supply.
  • Use them for water storage in each vehicle. They're great for people, pets, radiators and quick clean-ups.

TOP of Emergency Water Storage Page

Home Page