Prepper's Guide To Safe Drinking Water Storage
In an emergency situation, your drinking water may be shut off without warning. Having an ample supply of filtered, clean water in your possession is the most important thing you can do to be prepared.
Each person needs at least two quarts of water per day to stay hydrated. In addition to drinking water, fresh water must also be stored for cooking and hygiene needs. If the environment is warm, it's best to double the recommended two quarts per person. Children, nursing mothers, and individuals who are ill may require even more.
Overall, store at least one gallon of water per person per day. There should be at least a two-week supply of drinking water properly stored in your home. Remember, water is the most important item in your emergency supply kit. It's even more important than band aids or food.
For your health and protection, it's crucial to filter the water you drink and cook with. Pretreating questionable water by boiling can help get rid of some existing contaminates, and filtering further helps to remove harmful contaminants like chlorine byproducts and heavy metals like lead and aluminum. In fact, boiling water only increases the concentration of heavy metals and other contaminants, as some of the water evaporates.
Emergency Water Storage
To ensure that your water maintains freshness, proper water storage techniques must be used. Clean water should be stored in cleaned and sanitized food-grade plastic containers. Food-grade plastic containers include any purchased glass or plastic containers that once held food or drinks. New plastic water containers can also be purchased for water storage purposes.
Avoid storing water in used milk jugs, leftover residue may be harbored in dried milk jugs. Whether the containers have been used or are new, they must be cleaned thoroughly before filling them with water.
Clean Containers First
With clean hands, wash the inside and outside of the bottle with hot, soapy water and rinse with plain water. Sanitize the bottles by rinsing them out with a solution consisting of a ratio of a half-teaspoon of household bleach for every pint of water. Finally, rinse once more with plain water. Once cleaned and sanitized, fill the bottles with water.
Your drinking water should be stored in a dry, cool area away from heat and direct sunlight. Water can also be frozen in plastic bottles for long periods of time. To ensure freshness, your supply of clean water should be replaced every six months if you are using tap water.
According to the FDA, bottled water has an indefinite shelf life if it has been produced in accordance with regulations and if it remains unopened.
Last, but certainly not least, invest in a Berkey filter. We're obviously biased, but but Berkey is the best way to get drinking water without access to electricity. For more tips on prepping and other emergencies to prepare for, check out our Emergency Preparedness Tips.