Getting Started Prepping with Water
By Sage Shannon
The easiest and simplest place to start prepping is water.
From my experience this water needs to be rotated at least every two months. After two months the water starts to taste like the bottle. For those on an extreme budget, refill the bottles from your tap and rotate more often.
Second: Attend to a two week water storage supply in your home. The American Red Cross and FEMA suggest that the minimum of one-half of a gallon of water per person per day be stored. For a family of four for two weeks this would equal 28 gallons.
Even if you just purchase one or two gallons at the store every week it’s better than nothing. The problem is that individual water bottles are not stackable. So you might consider buying them in the boxes they came in. Those can be stacked about four high.
I like my water storage portable, five gallon water bottles and fifty gallon drums are not easy to load into a vehicle for evacuation. My solution is five-gallon water containers (about $10) more commonly used for camping. They can be found at camping stores or big box retailers and are stackable with handles and spouts. These should
also be emptied and refilled every couple of months.
Third: Research and buy a water tank for your home that will supply drinking water for several months. If no more water flowed from your faucet, what would you do? What if the water that did flow was undrinkable?
For us the solution was a five hundred gallon tank purchased from a local farm retailer we store in our garage. We estimate this would provide us with drinking and cooking water for the two of us and our three dogs for about 200 days. The cost was about $350. Check out http://www.tank-depot.com/ to see examples of tanks that will fit into closets, under decks and in basements.
Are you on a well or a municipal water system?
In a municipal water system once the water stops what will you do?
If I lived in town I would make sure I had the five gallon water storage containers that I spoke about above. I would also make sure I had a five gallon bucket and a dolly. If there was an emergency and I had to stand in line to get water from a water truck I would want to be prepared.
I remember video from Hurricane Katrina. A water truck pulled up and they didn’t have a hose so all they could do was open and close the large valve on the truck. People were trying to fill their 5 gallon water bottles from it and more than half was going on the ground. Then they were trying to carry the heavy containers to their cars or back to their houses (water weighs 8.34 pounds per gallon, 5 x 8.34 = 41.7 pounds).
If you are on a private well, once the power goes out what will
Thinking of collecting rain from your gutters – How will you purify it for drinking?
After the rain has washed over your asphalt roof and down the gutters into a rain barrel it is not safe to drink. Know how to filter and purify water. Do you know how many drops of bleach per gallon of water to make it safe? Do you know how long it must be boiled to make it drinkable?
According to The American Red Cross to purify water with bleach (regular household, non-scented) follow the instructions here:
“Add 16 drops (1/8 teaspoon) of bleach per gallon of water, stir
and let stand for 30 minutes. The water should have a slight bleach
odor. If it doesn’t, then repeat the dosage and let stand another
15 minutes. If it still does not smell of bleach, discard it and
find another source of water.”
Boiling water to make it drinkable you will need to bring it to a full rolling boil for one minute.
You might consider buying a water filtration system such as
http://www.bigberkeywaterfilters.com for home and a smaller on for
I hesitate to buy water items used, no matter how good the deal is, because you don’t know what the previous owner may have put it them.
Future water for us will come from our well in one of two ways:
One – We will have to use our generator to power the pump and fill our tanks.
Or Two – Find an alternate source such as a FloJack hand pump
or possibly a solar pump. Though I am also considering a well bucket
to raise water from our well.
Article by Sage Shannon Sage Shannon lives on a couple of acres in Southern California with her husband, three dogs, ten hens and one happy rooster. She writes, gardens and loves to cook. A former journalist for a daily newspaper, Shannon considers prepping an highly underrated skill in today’s world.