How Do I Safely Store Water For Emergency Preparedness

What would you do if you didn’t have access to water? Don’t worry; we’re here to offer you essential information. Having a personal supply of clean drinking water in a disaster is critical. This information sheet explains what residents should do to prepare and preserve it.

We often overlook the importance of water, even though it’s vital to our health and wellbeing. Because we never know when a crisis leaves us without clean water, so having emergency kit water storage on hand should be a top concern for everyone.

Reasons To Store Water For Emergencies

Your body depends on water to function accurately, so be sure to drink enough of it. It is possible to die from dehydration if we don’t have enough fluids in our bodies. The loss of a regular water supply may lead to various problems. As a water preservers, you must preserve some water on hand.

As we all know, climate change has caused water shortages in several locations when we store it as a disaster water supply. Therefore, we need to store water in different locations.

Water storage is critical in the event of a catastrophe because it protects against disruption of household and drinking water supply. You’ll need a lot of water storage capacity if you have a big family. You’ll need them for everything from drinking and cooking to cleaning.

How Much Water Should I Have On Hand To Prepare For An Emergency?

Each member in your home will need seven days of water for emergency preparedness. People with health issues or tiny children may need more significant storage space. Don’t forget to include your four-legged friends! It would help if you kept in mind that the average individual consumes 1,540 liters of water every week.

  • It is recommended that each individual have 140 liters of emergency water stockpiled each week (20 liters per person per day)

Drinking, meal preparation, hand washing, and other hygienic practices may all be accomplished with this quantity of water.

  • A minimum of 21 liters of water per person per week should be kept in reserve in case of an emergency (3 liters of survival water per person per day)

Drinking, cooking, and maintaining a minimal level of cleanliness are required with this quantity of water.

Remember to take into account the wants and routines of everyone in your household. You’ll need to determine how much water you’ll have on hand in case of an emergency. Depending on your storage space and personal scenario, you may need to keep less or more than the recommendations indicate. Remember that you may have to alter your daily routine during this crisis.

Methods For Storing Water In The Event Of An Emergency

Here are some water storage methods:


Plastic is an excellent material for emergency water storage bags since it is solid and lightweight. Plastics that leach Bisphenol A (BPA), a recognized endocrine disruptor, should be avoided. Gasoline, pesticides, and similar chemicals should never be placed near plastic since it is permeable.

Avoid direct sunlight by keeping it in a cool, dry place. Some polymers, such as polyethylene terephthalate (PET or PETE) and high-density polyethylene (HDPE), are ideal for water storage, whereas others are not.

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Food-Grade Plastic Containers

Before a disaster, food-grade plastic or glass bottles with tight-fitting lids should be kept. It is safe to use food-grade plastic containers since they do not contain toxic compounds.

There are several examples, including 2-liter soft drinks and juice bottles and water bottles that have been mainly designed to carry drinking water. A food-grade or food-safe label on the container you buy for storing water is necessary.

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The 1.6 and 3.5-gallon canisters of these durable plastic blocks may be purchased. A spigot is available as an add-on for WaterBricks, making water distribution a breeze. The containers may be stacked together like interlocking bricks thanks to the WaterBrick design. They include a handle for convenient portability and are made of heavy-duty materials.

World's Best Potable Water Storage Containers | WaterBricks Saves Lives

Stainless Steel

It is safe to store water in stainless steel containers if it is not chlorinated since chlorine degrades most metals and poses a health threat. They’re ideal for long-term water storage requirements.

Stored water is especially well protected from the sun by these structures. They’re also long-lasting and don’t pollute the water. However, they are more costly and heavier than other options.

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Glass is excellent for storing water since vapors and gases cannot infiltrate and pollute it. Glass will not degrade and seep into water as plastic would. But glass is weighty and fragile. The glass canning jars we use to keep our water are perfect for this purpose.

No matter how full or how empty the jars are, they all take up the same amount of space. Canning experts suggest using new lids and processing quart jars of water for 20 minutes in a water bath canner. Using this procedure, you will get sterile water and devoid of germs. Clear Glass Water Bottles Set - 6 Pack Wide Mouth with Lids for  Juice, Smoothies, Beverage Storage - 16 oz, Durable, Eco Friendly & BPA  Free - Reusable, Dishwasher Safe, Leak

Rain Barrels

You might save rainwater in addition to tap water. Insert a rain barrel at the bottom of your drainage pipe to collect rainwater. Rainwater collection is an inexpensive and environmentally beneficial technique to store water.

Because rainwater falls from the sky and is stored in an open barrel outdoors, it must be filtered and sanitized before consumption. Rainwater is a common source of drinking water for water storage preppers. In contrast, tap water is saved for cooking and bathing.

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Water Cistern System

Water cisterns are an improvement over rain barrels. It’s like a rainwater harvester but with a much larger capacity. A water cistern system may contain 1,400 gallons of water up to 12,000 gallons of water.

The cistern will need a large floor area and a network of pipes to transport rainfall to it. On top of that, cistern systems often use emergency drinking water storage tanks that aren’t conducive to food storage. Drinking untreated water or using cistern water mainly for hygiene is a must.

Whole House Rainwater Cistern Water System - Instructables

Plastics are the most commonly accessible at home for recommended storage containers, making them a superior choice. Do not use milk containers because protein cannot be effectively washed away, allowing germs to enter the container, which is why you should avoid them.

They should be kept away from direct sunlight in a cool and dark environment. Flood-proofing is also required for the storage space.

How Can Water Be Stored?

Containers made of food-grade plastic or glass may store water if they have been well cleaned. Containers that have previously contained food and drinks are referred to as “food-grade containers.” Soda cans in two-liter sizes are only a few examples.

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  • Clean the container with hot soapy water.
  • Use plain water to clean the soapy container thoroughly.
  • Rinse with a solution of half a teaspoon of chlorine bleach per pint of water to disinfect.
  • Rinse with fresh water.
  • The hollow handle region of discarded plastic milk jugs should be thoroughly cleaned and sanitized before water is kept within.
  • All containers of drinking water should be marked with the current date. Keep the firmly covered containers out of direct sunlight in a cool, dry location. To prevent containers from falling and breaking during an earthquake, they should be kept in cabinets or on shelves that cannot tip over.
  • Pouring from one clean container to another clean container multiple times may enhance the flavor of safe water kept for a long period.

For long-term storage, freezing water is another option. It is possible to preserve water in a stable condition by freezing it, and you may utilize it as needed.

You can also use the frozen water to keep food in your freezer safe if you lose power. Containers should have around 2 to 3 inches of headspace before being frozen. They won’t leak or break as a result of this. Using a lot of freezer space is a drawback to freezing the family’s water supply.

In What Manner May Water Be Purified?

To ensure the safety of your water, we’ve provided the following solutions.


It’s possible to sterilize stored water by boiling it. For more difficult-to-kill species like Giardia or Cryptosporidium, boil longer. Boil the water for no more than five minutes. Excessive boiling raises the risk of poisoning by concentrating metals, salts, and chemical contaminants that do not evaporate.


The chemical (5.25 percent sodium hypochlorite) in ordinary home liquid bleach disinfects water. Avoid scented, color-safe, or cleaner-enriched bleaches. 5.25% hypochlorite liquid bleach is a good choice. Make sure you use at least 16 drops per gallon of water.


Heat-resistant bacteria may be eradicated using iodine pills. Although it has several drawbacks, this method is more convenient and quicker than chlorination.


Distillation collects vapor from boiling water and the subsequent condensation back into a liquid state. Impurities in the raw water are not present in the condensed water. Aerating distilled water may help enhance its “flat” flavor.


Impurities are removed from water by filtration, which is a straightforward procedure. Mechanical filters, such as strainers and sediment filters, eliminate debris and certain suspended particles.

How Much Should Bleach Be Added To The Water?

Amount of water (liters)Amount of unscented household bleach
1 litre5 drops (0.25ml)
2 litres10 drops (0.5ml)
3 litres15 drops (0.75ml)
4 liters20 drops (1ml)
5 liters¼ teaspoon (1.25ml)
10 liters½ teaspoon (2.5ml)
20 liters1 teaspoon (5ml)
50 liters2 ½ teaspoons (12.5ml)
100 liters5 teaspoons (25ml)
200 liters10 teaspoons (50ml)


When is it necessary to disinfect water?

It is safe to consume public water if a “boil water order” has not been issued. Drinking, cooking, creating ice (if you have power), and brushing teeth should all be avoided if your water supply is suspected of being polluted. The water should not be used for bathing if you have any open injuries.

What are the options for obtaining water in case of an emergency?

  • Streams and lakes.
  • Rainwater.
  • Untested water sources.

In certain cases, it’s necessary to get water from places other than your own house. It is crucial to assess the risks of utilizing water, particularly ice and snow, that is uncertain against the evident necessity for drinking water.

When it comes to water storage, what containers are appropriate to consider?

Before a disaster, water should be kept in food-grade plastic or glass containers with tight-fitting lids. They should be well cleaned. It is safe to use food-grade plastic containers since they do not contain dangerous chemicals.

When a container is opened, how is water protected?

If power is available, open a container before use and then refrigerate it if possible to reduce exposure to microorganisms. Preserve the containers out of the reach of kids and dogs if refrigeration is not available. If feasible, use water from containers that have been opened for less than a week.


To survive, one needs water. It’s possible to go without food for longer than you can without water. Clean water is a need for the majority of your daily activities.

In case of any disaster, it is essential to know how to save water. Disasters may happen at any time; thus, it is essential to be prepared. Don’t take any risk with your water supply. CWP

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