This detailed look into how much water storage is enough in an emergency will hopefully help you to become prepared.
If you live in an area that is under the threat of unpredictable disasters you might want to prepare. You have to ask yourself what you need in case of such an emergency. Well, this time we will cover water, since water is the number one priority and essential when it comes to any type of survival.
Disaster strikes, and your house might have not received any major damage but it could have damaged the areas power grid and several water mains. It is estimated that it takes a crew around a week in order to get the water service back on. Having emergency water properly stored can be a lifesaver, keeping you from having to seek out a water source with the other thousands of stressed unprepared people.
Let’s calculate how much water you need for each family member: (I tend to recommended a higher amount than most because it is better to be fully hydrated than dehydrated.)
The general rule is that it takes one gallon per person a day for just drinking to hydrate.
You may want to factor in 1/2 gallon per day per person for cooking and hygiene.
1 and 1/2 gallons per day for each person means for a family of four, you will need to store 42 gallons for one week of emergency water storage.
You will also have to factor in water consumption for the time of the year… people drink more water in the summertime.
Pets also need at least 1/2 gallon of water stored per pet.
So the question is for how many days should you prepare? Statistics say that two weeks is a minimum, but some families have even gathered enough water to last for more than a month. But of course, that means the longer you want to last, the more water you have to store.
For some families, finding space for the storage water is hard, so there are different types of barrels / bottles for families to use. Most common is the fifty-five gallon plastic barrel. It is recommended that you use a special drinking water hose instead of regular garden hose. Filling them would take up to fifteen minutes.
If you are going to buy a fifty-five gallon barrel or have purchased one just recently, even though they come pre-sanitized, you can never be too safe and it is suggested to clean them, there are a few ways you can do this.
Avoid using dish soap, for it can cost you a great deal of water for just refilling it each time while trying to get rid of the bubbles. One good method is using bleach, a small cap full will work. After that, close the bung caps and roll the barrel, unless you have filled it to the fullest, and the bleach will do the work of getting rid of all algae and bacteria. Let it sit overnight and then simply wash it a few times, make sure you wash it good and to get rid of bleach smell.
After you fill your barrels make sure you seal the bung as tight as you can, safely stored water doesn’t spoil. What causes water to go bad is contamination. One of the most commonly asked questions is: “Should I change the water from time to time?” and the answer is “No.” As mentioned earlier water does not go bad over time. Just in case you could do a yearly change of water and cleaning. If you are 100% sure you have sealed and stored your water safely, you will have nothing to worry about.
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