Nobody wants to try to survive on little or no food for any length of time, but the fact is you can probably go several weeks without food if you absolutely have to. What you won’t be able to survive too long without — especially if you are out in the sun — is water. It doesn’t take long for dehydration to kick in. And when it does, the end can come quickly.
At any time, we could be propelled into survival mode, caused by severe weather or other natural events, including wildfires, earthquakes, droughts, tornadoes and floods. When the power gets knocked out and supermarket and convenient store shelves empty quickly, people will be willing to do just about anything for clean drinking water.
Stockpiling at least one month’s worth of drinking water might seem like an obvious way to keep yourself and your family from dying of thirst, but it’s amazing how many people never take the time to do it.
Others have spent time storing drinking water for an emergency. But when a crisis rolls around, they discover that their supply has been sitting around too long or was left in a place where severe temperatures and/or exposure to light compromised the water’s quality.
Starting today, refuse to be one of those people who starts thinking about an emergency supply of properly stored water after a disaster strikes. By following the 10 water storage tips below, you’ll be able to provide your family and yourself with life-giving water when a disaster strikes:
- Store various sizes of water containers. Water is very heavy. If all you have is large containers, not everyone in your family may be able to comfortably handle them. This is especially important if you and your family are forced to go mobile in a crisis.
- Select food-grade barrels. Blue, polyethylene plastic storage barrels for large quantities of water are popular. They’ll also help differentiate your water from your fuel and won’t taint your water with toxins.
- Clean the containers. Before filling them with water, dilute 1 teaspoon of bleach in a gallon of water and wash the containers thoroughly, including insides, lips and lids. Never store water in a container that’s been used to store something else.
- Place labels on your containers. Clearly mark the date you filled the container on each label, as well as the source (filtered water, tap water, groundwater, etc.).
- Keep it in a proper place. Make sure your water containers do not have access to sunlight, which can result in bacteria and algae growth. A cool, dark place away from chemicals is best. And only use containers with airtight lids.
- Secure the containers. Think in advance about which areas in your home would most likely be affected by a disaster and keep the containers out of there. Avoid high places and keep your water locked away if you think looting could be a possibility.
- Don’t let your water freeze. Frozen water could break its containers. Plus, you might not have time to wait until it thaws before you need to drink it.
- Filter your water. If necessary, filter your water before you store it. If not, it’s still a good idea to have a water-filtering plan in place in case your water becomes contaminated.
- Replace your supply regularly. Yes, it could last for a long time if stored properly, but replacing it at least once a year is a good idea.
- Keep additional water containers in a separate location. If your home is destroyed in a disaster, your home water supply is likely to be ruined as well.
If you’re going to go to the trouble of stockpiling water for a crisis, make sure to do it right so that it’s ready and waiting for you when you need it.