Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Water Storage. Comment Follow-Up

I recently had a comment from one of my readers regarding water storage and additional methods to treat water. The following is a summary of the research I have done in this area.

On a website called, they give a list of resources for water emergency preparedness.

1. Store at least one gallon of water per person, per day in a cool, dark place.
2. Choose appropriate containers for water storage; disinfect before use.
3. If necessary, treat water with a chlorine bleach solution prior to storage to prevent buildup of harmful bacteria or pathogens. Replace water every six months.
4. Identify additional sources of water.
Note: Please follow the link by clicking on the name of the website for more information on these four items.

On a website called, they have many of the same tips as the four listed above, however, here are some other important facts that they include.

1. "If supplies run low, never ration water. Drink the amount you need today, and try to find more for tomorrow. You can minimize the amount of water your body needs by reducing activity and staying cool."

2. "Whereas a quart of water or other fluid daily will sustain life, according to the Department of Defense and the Office of Civil Defense, it is recommended that a gallon of water per day per person be stored for food preparation and drinking."

3. "How much water should I store? The rule of thumb is to store at least one gallon per person per day for at least 3 days (for earthquake preparedness). That’s 2 quarts for drinking and 2 quarts for food preparation and sanitation. A family of four should store a minimum of 12 gallons of water. Personally, I recommend at least a 10 day supply of water and a 30 day supply if it all possible."

4. "Stainless steel can be used to store water which has not been or will not be treated with chlorine; chlorine is corrosive to most metals."

5. "When looking for additional food grade containers, the bottom will be stamped with HDPE (High Density PolyEthylene) and coded with the recycle symbol and a “2″ inside. HDPE containers are FDA-approved for food. Containers without these designations aren’t OK because of possible chemical interactions between the water and the plastic."

6. "All public water supplies are already treated and should be free of harmful bacteria. However, as an additional precaution, it is recommended that you add 5-7 drops, about 1/8 teaspoon, of chlorine bleach per gallon of water stored. This precaution protects you against any lingering organisms in storage containers that may have been inadvertently missed during the cleaning process."

7. "If you have freezer space, storing some water in the freezer is a good idea. If you lose electricity, the frozen water will help keep foods in your freezer frozen until the power is restored. Make sure you leave 2 to 3 inches of space in containers because water expands as it freezes."

8. "Emergency Outdoor Water Sources"

9. "Hidden Water Sources in Your Home"

10. "Do you know the location of your incoming water valve? You’ll need to shut it off to stop contaminated water from entering your home if you hear reports of broken water or sewage lines."

11. "Distillation Distillation involves boiling water and then collecting the vapor that condenses back to water. The condensed vapor will not include salt and other impurities. To distill, fill a pot halfway with water. Tie a cup to the handle on the pot’s lid so that the cup will hang right-side-up when the lid is upside-down (make sure the cup is not dangling into the water) and boil the water for 20 minutes. The water that drips from the lid into the cup is distilled."

12. "Most water filtration devices are designed for use on microbiologically safe water. Don’t assume they are safe to use on contaminated water. Check with the manufacturer to be sure."

On a website called, they also mention that...
you should not use "under any conditions are milk cartons or other containers which have previously held perishable food products" for water storage.

I hope that this information helps with your water storage needs.


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