With the recent water issues in my county after record breaking cold temperatures, I thought a good review on water storage for winter storm preparation was in order.
For those who are new to preparedness and prepping in general, let’s looks at some basics. There are several lists that are provided from many places, from survival groups to church groups and the government. One that almost everyone agrees on is the government's basic list that can be found at http://www.ready.gov/basic-disaster-supplies-kit. While this is a basic list it is a good list.
Water storage: The basic list is for one gallon per person per day, but let’s face it a lot of us are spoiled. We let the taps run, we flush a lot, we don’t use the plugs in our sinks. We waste a lot of water. No one minds until we don’t have it. When we don’t, we can really take notice of how much we use. It can be a good learning experience to carry on after the water returns so we can conserve this valuable natural resource.
An ounce of preparation is worth a pound in an emergency. Our forefathers and pioneer spirit have been left behind in this world of modern conveniences. I remember houses with no indoor plumbing. I remember wash cloth bathes. I remember well water. Today people feel wronged if a service fails to provide us with a comfort. What about taking care of ourselves? At SLC-360 we teach you to do just that our motto is
“Putting the Power in Your Hands”
On water, while the recommended amount is one gallon per person per day, let’s figure out how much you really need. A safe bet for most people is one gallon of drinking water, very few I know drink more than that (but if you do, add more). Then it’s time to consider other things like; What type of toilets do you have, how much does it take to flush one? A gallon, gallon and a half? How many people in your household and how many times a day total is the restroom used? So you’ve finished using the bathroom what about hand washing? How much do you use? How much do you need to use to get clean? Water with soap in it, can you use it more than once? Do you have pets or animals to take care of? Are you cooking? Water to cook with and water to wash your dishes?
It all adds up. Sometimes to a big number and one gallon per person is not always enough. Now I can’t tell you how much to store but the above ideas can give you some idea how to calculate for yourself how much you need. Once you’ve figured out how much to store, you need to know how and where to store it.
While most places advise to stock store bought water keep in mind the Containers. Normal milk jug style containers will fail and leak over time.I have stored some water with this in a semi controlled climate (ie basement) and average about 5 failures per year. If you're looking at long term storage I would suggest checking out other options for containers. If you don’t have room for a drum style container, I also recommend and use 2 liter soda bottles.
STORING WATER IN PLASTIC SODA BOTTLES
Follow these steps for storing water in plastic soda bottles.
Thoroughly clean the bottles with dishwashing soap and water, and rinse completely so there is no residual soap.
Sanitize the bottles by adding a solution of 1 teaspoon of non-scented liquid household chlorine bleach to a quart of water. Mix the sanitizing solution in the bottle so that it touches all surfaces. After sanitizing the bottle, thoroughly rinse out the sanitizing solution with clean water.
Fill the bottle to the top with regular tap water. If the tap water has been commercially treated from a water utility with chlorine, you do not need to add anything else to the water to keep it clean. If the water you are using comes from a well or water source that is not treated with chlorine, add two drops of non-scented liquid household chlorine bleach to the water. Let the water stand for 30 minutes before using.
A slight chlorine odor should be noticeable in the water, if not, add another dose of bleach and allow the water to stand another 15 minutes.
Tightly close the container using the original cap. Be careful not to contaminate the cap by touching the inside of it with your finger. Place a date on the outside of the container so you can know when you filled it. Store in cool, dark place.
Water can also be treated with water purification tablets that can be purchased at most sporting goods stores.
Water that has not been commercially bottled should be replaced every six months. (from ready.gov)
For short term storage, normal store bought water jugs are fine in climate controlled areas.
Using and reusing and greywater. Always use clean, treated or store bought water for drinking and cooking. Be sure to save the water that you used to wash dishes or that you bathe with. This greywater can be used to flush with and will save greatly on the amount needed. Using wet wipes or baby wipes is a good method for a (sponge bath) without using water.
In the end we are all ultimately responsible for ourselves. Any service can disappear in an emergency or with natural and man made disasters. Take care of yourselves and help your neighbors.
Being prepared for any situation puts you ahead of the game
Put the Power in Your Hands.
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