Being that water is one of the most important items for Emergency Preparedness, it’s where I wanted to start off first. It’s an absolutely critical item that a lot of people overlook. After all, you can go a lot longer without food than you can without water.
As I mentioned in my last post, I started down this road when living in Russia years ago. At the time, they were going through a tough financial crisis and, among frequent blackouts, the water would only come on once per day for an hour or two. We learned very quickly that, unless you stock up on water when you have the task, your day-to-day tasks become impossible. For example: how do you make sure you can flush your toilet, wash your clothes, bathe or – most importantly – stay hydrated with the water is intermittent to nonexistent?
What Can You Do?
Back then, the key was storage. We learned to save every bottle we could find and, when the water came on, we would fill as many as we could and store them creatively around the apartment.
Luckily, this is a fairly easy problem to prepare for through everyday grocery shopping. Water is a relatively inexpensive item to buy in most parts of the world. Where I live gallon jugs of purified or distilled water are usually less than $1 at the grocery store. For a few more cents above that, some of the manufacturers sell round, 3 liter bottles (close to a gallon) that are made of a stronger plastic and seems to last a little bit better. Also, many of the grocery stores sell large packs of bottled water. These are more of a mobile option when putting together “Go Bags” or “Bug Out Bags”, but they are made of a thinner plastic and more likely to break.
Just make sure to rotate the water every 6 months to a year to avoid the plastic breaking down or chemicals leaking in. Just use a marker to label the cap as to when you bought them.
How Much Do You Need?
The recommended amount of water storage is about 1 gallon per person per day (1 gal/person/day). If you’re just getting into emergency preparedness, I recommend starting with a 3 day supply. 72 hours is the average time it takes for emergency services to arrive after a disaster.
Just take the number of people in your household, multiply by 3 and you’re off to a good start. For our family of 5, a 3 day supply means 15 gallons of water – at the time of this video, that’s a $15 investment that I could make on one trip to the grocery store, or spread out over several. Just find a good spot to store in your house and you’ve got a great start toward being self sufficient.
With everything we talk about in this series, we’re always going to start with a 72 hour supply. Once you get a foothold, most people start shooting for a larger goal – branch out to a week, a few weeks, a few months…and eventually a year (believe it or not, it’s addicting once you’ve started).
Once we had stored up several gallons of water, we decided we wanted a larger storage method. These 55 gallon jugs are usually about $50 and, once filled, the water can be treated with bleach or other water treatments to keep the water from going bad (more to come on that when we talk about purification and filters). Just know that this is a handy option when you want to take your “prepping” to the next level.
Stay tuned for the next step…