Quick References

99 Capacities Series – Capacity #10: Store Potable Water

The tenth capacity that I introduce in my eBook is that you must store potable water for all family members for at least two to three weeks. In it I state that:

You must “Store potable water for all family members for at least two to three weeks. You should have this water on-hand BEFORE a disaster rather than trying to fill your bathtub in a panic. While filling your bathtub is a good idea in general, it’s probably not the cleanest of water sources to consume. Use the waterBOB to safely store water in your bathtub. Additionally, start with smaller containers, including individual water bottles if you use them already. Two-liter soda bottles also work great (rinsed out first) and can double as blocks of ice if you store them in your freezer. The 7 gallon Aqua-Tainer is ideal for small spaces such as an apartment or even a vehicle (that’s where I use them). Then move on to larger storage units such as 55-gallon water barrels. If you’re going to use large drums then a drum siphon pump is also useful as well as a bung wrench.”

Stored water that you can consume is without-a-doubt the most important supply you can have. Is is more important than food, a ton of equipment, and even firearms.

How Much is Enough?

As I mentioned above, store enough water for at least two to three weeks for ALL family members. The absolute minimum would be one gallon per person. In reality, two gallons is a more appropriate bare minimum considering the need for not only drinking water but cooking and personal hygiene as well. If you have the capabilities then five gallons per person is a better goal.

For a family of four, that works out to be eight gallons per day (at two gallons per person) to twenty gallons (at five gallons per person). Over a week that works out to between 56 and 140 gallons. Multiplied by three weeks then we’re looking at over 160 gallons at minimum and over 400 gallons if you can afford it.

This is a lot of water to store!

What are My Options?

There are plenty of available water storage containers, depending on your budget and intended use…

This AquaPod Emergency Water Storage Kit is similar to the WaterBOB referenced above. It is used to store at least 65 gallons of water directly in your bathtub should you need it. While it’s nice to have this option, I would rely on this as your sole water source for the simple fact that it’s a last-minute measure. Since you cannot guarantee on this water source because it’s not actually around at all times, this options should be considered a supplemental source.
I’ve owned a few of these 7 Gallon AquaTainer Water Storage Containers for many years now and I wouldn’t be without them.While they’re not very economical for large amounts of water storage, they work great for storage in your vehicles and even for smaller spaces such as in apartments. We always bring one along on our camping trips and haven’t had one fail us yet despite how hard we try! [Note: Water is very heavy! One gallon weights over 8 pounds. A seven gallon water container, therefore, would weight over 50 pounds, which is a load to handle... trust me, I dread moving these containers to and from my car when I need to refill them.]
55 Gallon Water Drums such as these are ideal for expanding your water storage beyond a few days. They’re very sturdy perfect for long term needs. I’ve had a few of these for years. They’re easy to maintain and do what I expect of them. If you look for local sources (e.g., CraigsList or your local garden supplier) you might be able to find them at a steep discount. The only caution I would offer is that you should ensure they were originally held food-grade product and that they were never used to store anything else. Regardless, if you buy them used them be sure to wash them out thoroughly with a heavy bleach solution.If you go this route then you’re also going to want a drum siphon pump as well as a bung wrench as well.

There are a few additional options besides those listed above…

These WaterBricks, which store 3.5 gallons each, are another nice idea for storing water since they are stackable from floor to ceiling. These might be another useful option for smaller spaces such as an apartment or your vehicle. Some might find these easier to manage regarding weight than the AquaTainers discussed above.
 [media-credit name="www.tank-depot.com" align="alignnone" width="150"][/media-credit] Ideas such as upright water storage tanks or even underground cisterns can provide a ready source of water for more than a few weeks. In fact, some tanks can hold many thousands of gallons. You can purchase such tanks at sites like tank-depot.com.

Cheaper and Smaller Options

For those who need something a bit smaller to start with, there are less expensive (and smaller) options available too…

  • 2 Liter bottles – these are a great place to start if you currently drink soda in 2 liter bottles. Simply wash them out with soap and water then fill them about 90% full and freeze. They not only provide a ready source of water but double as large blocks of ice too.
  • Personal plastic water bottles – if you currently use the small plastic water bottles then you could purchase several cases of these and rotate newer cases into your current system.
  • Water Packets or Aquablox – these are very small containers that are designed to last for many years and are probably only suitable for bug out bags or perhaps vehicle kits.

Whatever you choose to use, make sure it fits your needs, budget, space considerations, and is adequate to “water” your family for at least a few weeks.

Note: This post is part of an ongoing series detailing the ideas from my free eBook, The 99 Capacities You MUST Acquire BEFORE Disaster Strikes You!, which you may freely download here.

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