Storing Water For Emergencies
Water is an essential element for survival and is a necessary item in your emergency supply kit, as after an emergency or disaster, you may not have clean drinking water available. It is possible that normal water supply system arranged by emergency plumbers like WaterMaster is cut or that this has a risk of contamination. To be ready, prepare a reserve of water that meets the needs of your family during an emergency.
How much water do you need?
You must retain at least one gallon (3.8 litres) of water per person per day. However, individual needs vary depending on age, physical condition, activity, diet etc. It is possible that children, women who are breastfeeding, and ill people need more water.
How should I store water?
We recommend buying commercially bottled water, in order to have instant access to safe, potable water in case of an emergency. Keep bottled water in its original container and do not open it until you need to use it – however be mindful of the expiration date. Store water in a dark, cool place.
How to prepare your own water containers
It is recommended you purchase food grade water storage containers from camping supplies stores to use for water storage. Before filling with water, thoroughly clean the containers with dishwashing soap and water and rinse completely so there is no residual soap.
If you choose to use your own storage containers, choose two-litre plastic soft drink bottles, not plastic jugs or cardboard containers that have had milk or fruit juice in them. Milk protein and fruit sugars cannot be adequately removed from these containers and might provide an environment for bacterial growth when water is stored in them. Additionally, cardboard containers leak and are not designed for long-term storage of liquids. Do not use glass containers as they are susceptible to breakage and are much heavier.
Thoroughly clean the bottles with dishwashing detergent and water, and rinse completely to remove residual soap.
You should then sanitise the bottles by adding a solution made with one teaspoon (5 ml) of unscented liquid household bleach in one litre of water solution. Mix the disinfectant solution in the bottle and ensure it makes contact with all surfaces. After sanitising the bottle, thoroughly rinse the solution with clean water.
Fill the bottle completely with common tap water. Close the container with the original cover. Avoid touching the inside with your finger to avoid contaminating the lid. Put the date on the outside of the container so you know when it was filled. Store water in a dark, cool place.
Renew your emergency water supply every six months: you never know when disasters will strike and when you might need emergency water.