"I fear that so many feel that a long-term supply is so far beyond their reach that they make no effort at all. Begin in a small way…gradually build toward a reasonable objective.” -President Gordon B. Hinckley,

Tuesday, June 14, 2011


Water storage is extremely important because water is more essential than food in sustaining life during emergency periods. You can live for several days without food, but it is impossible to survive more than a few days without water. Plan to store at least 1 gallon of water per person per day. Take into consideration the size of the person, the amount of exertion being expended, the climate, and perspiration loss. Don't forget to include sufficient water for the family pets as well.

City tap water may be stored for an indefinite period of time without spoilage if simple precautions are taken. Store water in clean "food-grade" or PETE plastic containers. Do not use milk containers or the water that is sold in "milk" type jugs, the plastic is designed to deteriorate and will leak water all over. Stored water should be checked every few months to determine whether containers have leaked or if any undesirable characteristics have developed in appearance, taste or odor. If so, the water should be replaced. You should rotate/replace your water supply once a year.  The water will still be good beyond that time, but will not be a desirable taste. Do not add bleach to water that is intended for long-term storage. Add it, if necessary, only at the time of use, then if possible, filter the water after it has been purified with bleach.

Clean empty juice jugs and 2-liter soda bottles are a great way to start storing water today. Mix 1 tsp of bleach in a quart of water and swish the solution in the plastic bottles to sanitize them. Rinse and fill with clean water. If you have "empty" space in your freezer, store these containers there. It will help your freezer cool more efficiently, keep the contents frozen longer in the event of a power outage, and give you some cool water to drink. Do not use containers previously used to store non-food products. Such as bleach bottles, or laundry soap. Water stored in these containers, even washed very well, is not safe for consumption.

55 gallon water barrels are another option for water storage. It is recommended to not store these barrels directly on concrete.(yes, the picture is on concrete and outside, but the barrels will not remain there!) The concrete has chemicals in it that can leach into plastic that is stored directly on it. That can then get into the water you are storing in the plastic. Place on cardboard, wood pallets, or other materials. I purchased my barrels from someone on craigslist. Make sure they are food grade and  you know exactly what was stored in them before (if they're not new). Example; if they were used to store milk or fruit juice, you can't use them for storing drinking water because you can't get them clean enough -- the fat from the milk/acid from the juice leaches into the plastic and, eventually, molds (per FEMA). There are many websites to purchase new barrels from.

When filling the barrels, use a potable drinking water hose. They are lead free, and available at your local hardware store. Choose wisely where you will keep your barrels since a full 55 gallon drum will weigh 440 pounds. It is best to store water away from direct light and too much heat. If that is not feasible then make sure to check your water more often.

Here is a chart to follow to treat water with bleach if needed:

Tincture of Iodine 2%  may also be used to treat water:
  Clean water               Cloudy water
 3 drops per quart        6 drops per quart
12 drops per gallon    24 drops per gallon
Remember that cholera, typhoid fever, dysentery, diarrhea and infectious hepatitis are diseases often associated with unsafe water. Do not take the chance! Under serious disaster conditions, no water- except that which you have properly stored yourself- can be presumed safe, and all drinking and cooking water should be purified, filtered, and distilled.

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