Prepping for emergencies by stockpiling water is a must. How much you store will depend on your individual needs; experts usually suggest keeping at least two weeks’ supply in reserve.
There are various approaches to long-term water storage. Here are a few guidelines and suggestions to get you going.
1. Use Food Grade Plastic Containers
Food grade plastic containers are an effective solution to long-term water storage, and should be tested by regulatory bodies to ensure they don’t contaminate food or beverage items, and are also capable of withstanding changes in temperatures.
Consider size, shape and lid when selecting your container. Larger containers may be easier to move and store than smaller ones; additionally it’s essential to choose one which won’t shatter if dropped accidentally.
As BPA can leach into food, you should seek BPA-free containers made of glass, ceramic or stainless steel.
If you plan to store large volumes of water, 55-gallon drums could be ideal storage solutions. When taken care of properly, these durable containers can last years before needing to be replaced.
For optimal water quality, it is important to regularly replace your containers. Do this by pouring old water into a clean one, letting it settle, and refilling its original container with fresh water from another source. Alternatively, adding bleach or purification tablets may make your stored water suitable for consumption.
Purchase of a reusable water bottle can also be an option; there are various styles and colors to choose from that make these containers suitable for repeated use.
However, they are less durable than plastic containers and will likely need replacing over time, which may not be cost-effective in the long run.
Remember to purchase containers that are BPA-free, capable of withstanding changing temperatures and BPA-free; otherwise they should be disposed of.
When searching for a container, always consult the recycling triangle to identify which types of plastics are considered food safe LDPE, polypropylene and HDPE are among the most frequently found food grade plastics.
LDPE plastic ranks first on the recycling triangle and is widely considered food-grade safe, making it perfect for food storage and packaging applications, water bottles, milk jugs, and any containers which need to be durable. It can also be found used for water bottles.
2. Store It in the Freezer
There are various ways of long-term water storage. One option is keeping it cold by placing bottles or jugs in your freezer; this will keep them chilled longer in case power goes out, though you should keep in mind that doing this may cause them to break down faster than they otherwise would in normal circumstances.
Another method is storing water in barrels or other airtight containers that allow for air flow. If possible, raise these off the floor using pallets or two X fours so as to prevent trapped gases from building up inside and odorous smells forming within. This should help ensure your containers stay odor-free!
Store water directly from the tap in bottles or jugs – this will not only save money, but can be very useful during an emergency situation.
Stockpiling at least one gallon per person and day should provide sufficient drinking and hygiene needs for three days.
For larger families, it may be worthwhile to store more than this amount. This will enable you to cover drinking and hygiene needs for two weeks or more at once.
When it comes to water storage, choosing containers made of food grade plastic will help prevent bacterial contamination and extend its shelf life.
Choose a container that is impervious to gases and chemicals; glass and plastic containers are popular options.
Finally, when selecting an emergency water storage container it is vitally important that it features a sealable lid to ensure your stored water can be consumed safely in case of an unexpected disaster. This will guarantee its integrity should you need to drink from it during a crisis situation.
Be it storing water in the freezer, barrel, or bottle; always follow instructions carefully when storing your water. Use containers that have been properly labeled and store in cool dark locations in order to ensure your drinking water remains safe for consumption.
3. Use Bleach or Water Purification Tablets
For those without access to clean water, bleach or water purification tablets may be an efficient and economical way to store long-term supplies of drinking water. They come in various forms and are relatively cost effective solutions.
Contrary to filters, tablets are single-use items which don’t require special equipment or fuel for heating water. Furthermore, they’re lightweight and compact in design.
Survival situations necessitate having quick access to potable water supplies; without this resource, individuals could waste precious minutes before finding assistance.
Humanitarian organizations distribute these tablets and drops to those living in areas where there is either an inadequate water supply, or where disaster has interrupted it, such as drought-ridden states with frequent droughts, hurricanes, and flooding where potable water may be difficult or impossible to find.
These chemicals can treat water for pathogens such as bacteria, parasite cysts and viruses present. Furthermore, they are an invaluable way of disinfecting it after natural disasters or making drinking water safer for consumption.
There are various water-purifying chemicals, such as iodine and chlorine. They are typically available in tablet form, liquid droplets and packaged powder form.
Iodine is a widely used chemical water purification product, proven effective against various strains of bacteria, parasite cysts and viruses. Unfortunately, however, its unpleasant taste restricts its usage to short-term applications only.
Chlorine can also be an effective weapon against various bacteria and parasite cysts, providing a safer alternative than iodine that can be used over an extended period.
To treat water, simply mix a tablet into a container of clean and fresh water and stir thoroughly before leaving it sit for at least 30 minutes before sampling it again.
Alternately, liquid bleach can also be used to disinfect long-term storage water for longer. One gallon will last 6 months. For best results, choose an unscented household bleach with 5%-9% sodium hypochlorite concentration – this is typically available throughout the United States.
4. Add Flavorings
When it comes to long-term water storage, adding flavors is one of the best strategies available to you. Doing this can make your water more appealing and encourage your family members to drink more of it.
Flavored water can be made using either natural or synthetic ingredients, and even fresh fruits or vegetables for an all-natural twist.
Fruit and vegetable juice can be an ideal way to add flavor without increasing calories or adding too much sugar. Citrus fruits such as lemons, limes, and oranges make great options; you could also incorporate strawberry, raspberry or watermelon fruits for additional flavors in your flavored water beverage.
As water flavoring agents, various spices and herbs can also be utilized. Cinnamon sticks, parsley leaves, mint leaves, nutmeg, lavender buds, whole cloves, and cayenne pepper make great options. Simply muddle, crush or simply add them whole before refrigerating your beverage for some hours for best results.
Another option for adding flavor to your water without artificial additives is adding essential oils to it. Many essential oils come from nature and can enhance its taste while eliminating artificial elements from its composition.
Essential oils can be especially helpful if you are dieting and don’t want to consume too much sugar or artificial sweeteners. Furthermore, essential oils have an aromatic quality and even have soothing effects on the body!
When it comes to long-term water storage, cleanliness is of utmost importance. Jars or pitchers should be rinsed carefully prior to being filled. Plastic containers must be BPA-free in order to avoid leaching harmful chemicals into the water source.
Storage conditions must also be kept cool and dark to minimize heat exposure that promotes algae and other unwanted bacteria growth in your stored water supply.
Water is essential to life, so it’s vitally important that you learn how to store it long term if disaster strikes and ensure you and your family remain hydrated in times of need.