As human beings, we need water. It’s a simple statement but an important point. Having water storage is a great idea, and below are some things to consider, especially in emergencies.
As an average human adult, food and water are needed for us to survive. It is said that you can go around three weeks without food. But water is a different story. The average adult human body is made up of about 60% water. We need water to survive, and we can only go approximately 72 hours without it. In survival or emergencies, we should have nearly two liters (or a half-gallon) of water daily. I tend to follow the 8×8 rule (having an 8 oz. glass of water eight times a day).
Water Storage – Considerations
Like everything in this world, we have a lot of different solutions for holding water. Some of these options include:
- Bottles (reusable, plastic, small up to one gallon)
- Refillable containers (there are way too many to list, but containers that hold over a gallon of water)
- 55 gal drums (if you have space or you are making an excellent self-sufficient shelter)
The more you can store, the better. For most of the general population, I would consider using refillable and smaller bottles. Not only is it better for the environment, but small bottles are easier to use and move around. If you have the ability to hold 55 gallons or more, like you collect rainwater, then, by all means, do that! This article is geared more for the average person.
Water Filtration – Ideas and Gear
Now that we have the storage out of the way, filtration is the next thing to consider. You are going to be consuming it, using it for washing and cleaning both dishes and ourselves. Making sure the water is safe for its intended use is essential.
Some ideas here include:
- Gravity-fed systems
- Sawyer Squeeze (most favorite)
- Pump filtration (such as Katadyn and MSR)
- Grayl Geopress water purifier bottle (my latest purchase and is fantastic, pictured to the left)
- SteriPEN (never used but good for traveling to different countries)
- Unscented liquid household chlorine bleach (labels should read between 5 and 8.25% sodium hypochlorite) to disinfect your water
- Iodine tablets that you drop in the water, also make sure you get the two bottle packs, also comes with a taste neutralizer tablet to use (even Aquamira water treatment in liquid form)
A note on the last two, both bleach and iodine, need to be used in a specific amount of water for a time period before it is considered safe to drink. Another option is to boil the water for safe consumption. Keep in mind elevation is essential to remember, mainly if you are above or below 6,500 feet. There is more on boiling water online, and I use this method in addition to filtering if I want to make sure it’s extra safe to drink.
I always make sure I have a LifeStraw on me when hiking, I recently got the squeeze, and that is awesome (also fits right onto a Smart Water bottle, so that’s pretty cool). Just the other day, I picked up the Grayl (which allows you to scoop up water and then press the filter down, allowing you to have fresh water.
Don’t Forget – Things to Consider
Now comes the part that most people forget or just aren’t very concerned with. But it is important to remember to cycle out your water (I cycle my water when it’s time to change the clocks, roughly every six months). If you are getting a refillable container, get the 5 to 7-gallon type (water weighs a little over eight pounds per gallon and lifting anything more can take a lot out of you).
How much water should you store? A question that generally gets answered with one gallon, per person, per day. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, as well as Ready.gov, both suggest one gallon, per day, per person. Going back to the preppers, having supply for three days (72 hours) is sufficient, but with water more is always better (I say it should be at least two gallons (for drinking, cooking, cleaning, etc. but that is a personal thing).
Personal – What I Use
I will start this off by saying that, on average, I drink a gallon of water a day. So above, I mentioned one gallon, per person, per day, but I err on the side of caution and choose two gallons. But you know your situation better than I do, for the minimum amount choose one gallon, per person, per day (and don’t forget the same if you have any animals).
Depending on who you are, I am sad to say, I still use the small bottle waters, like from Costco. As well as the one-gallon jugs you can get at any store. I use these mainly because they are easy to use and can easily be replaced. If I know, I’m going to be gone for an extended time, and I will use my refillable water bottles (I like HydroFlask as they are amazing). And for emergency water, I have a few of the seven-gallon Reliance containers. These have handles and are stackable, which is very convenient.
I also always make sure I have small water bottles (16oz ones) in my freezer. The first reason is that my freezer stays full and overall is cheaper to keep cold. The other is that I always have solid ice. They go in my cooler or lunch bag and keep everything cold. If you have room for a one-gallon bottle, then toss that in the freezer too. In my cooler, I’m able to use a one-gallon solid piece of ice that will last me a few days, and that’s just amazing. The Best part about the frozen bottles, you can drink them when they thaw out!
Making sure you have water storage for when life happens is essential. Having enough water per person and pet is a great way to get your start for preparing for emergencies. Something I have come to realize is making sure my emergency water is in containers that I can easily lift. I have a basket on the roof of my vehicle and need to make sure I can lift the containers above my head. That’s the reason why I suggest five or seven-gallon Reliance stackable containers (pictured to the right).
As always, thanks for taking the time to read this article. I hope this has helped you with water storage needs, and maybe it even gave you some additional ideas. If you have questions or comments, please let me know below.