Water Storage for Preppers

Introduction: The Importance of Water Storage for Preppers

Every seasoned prepper knows that water is a crucial element of any well-thought-out survival strategy. Understanding the different aspects of water storage for preppers is not just important—it’s a necessity. An adequate supply of clean, safe water is the one thing that can’t be compromised on in any emergency scenario.

Understanding Your Water Needs

Firstly, it’s vital to determine your water needs. The U.S. government suggests a supply of at least one gallon per person per day in an emergency situation CDC: Creating and Storing an Emergency Water Supply. However, this estimation only considers drinking and light sanitation. For comprehensive hygiene and cooking needs, that amount might need to be doubled. Furthermore, this requirement can increase based on age, health, and climatic conditions.

Choosing Your Water Storage Container

Water storage containers are available in various sizes and materials. They can range from small bottles suitable for personal use to large barrels designed for long-term storage. It is critical that any container you choose is food-grade and preferably BPA-free to prevent contamination. EPA: Protect Your Home’s Water.

Water Storage for Preppers

For those just starting, buying commercially bottled water is a straightforward option. It’s already sealed and typically has a long shelf-life. However, for long-term water storage for preppers, larger containers are more practical. Products such as the Aqua-Tainer offer 7 gallons of storage and are made from durable, food-grade plastic. REI: Reliance Aqua-Tainer Water Container – 7 Gallons.

Storing Your Water

Next on the agenda is the storage of your water supply. Ensure your water is stored in a cool, dark place to prevent the growth of algae and other microorganisms. If you’re using tap water, it’s already treated with chlorine and safe for long-term storage. However, if you’re using water from a well or a natural source, you’ll need to purify it before storage. CDC: Boil Water Advisory.

Rotating Your Water Supply

Like any stored resource, your water supply should be rotated to keep it fresh. Commercially bottled water typically comes with a “best by” date. While the water doesn’t ‘expire’, this date is a good guideline for when you should replace your supply. FDA: Bottled Water Everywhere: Keeping It Safe.

For self-filled containers, a general rule of thumb is to replace the water every six months. However, if you’ve properly cleaned the containers and stored the water under suitable conditions, it can remain safe for much longer.

Water Purification Techniques

When it comes to purifying water, there are several methods you can use. Some of the most common include boiling, chemical treatment, and filtration. Boiling is one of the simplest and most reliable ways to purify water. However, it requires a heat source and may not be feasible in all situations.CDC: Backcountry Water Treatment.

I think it is essential to become proficient at multiple water purification methods. Visit the link below to learn more.

Chemical Treatment of Water

Chemical treatments, such as iodine or chlorine tablets, are another portable option for purifying water. These can kill most types of bacteria and viruses, but they may not be as effective against certain types of protozoa. Additionally, chemical treatments can leave an unpleasant taste in the water.

Water Filters and Purifiers

Water filters and purifiers are essential tools in a prepper’s arsenal. They work by physically removing contaminants from water. Some filters are also combined with a chemical treatment to kill any microorganisms that the physical filter might miss. One of the most popular options is the LifeStraw, which is compact, lightweight, and can filter up to 1,000 gallons of water.

Best Survival Water Filter | Stokermatic

Storing Water in Your Vehicle

For those who plan to bug out in an emergency, having water stored in your vehicle is crucial. However, it’s important to remember that water expands when it freezes, so it’s necessary to leave some space in your containers if you’re storing them in a cold environment. It’s also recommended to use durable containers that can withstand the rough conditions of a moving vehicle.

How to store emergency water in a vehicle:

Water Storage for Preppers
  1. Decide on the amount of water you need to store: As a general rule, the human body needs approximately one gallon of water per day for hydration and hygiene. In a car, it’s advisable to store at least a three-day supply for each person who usually travels in the vehicle.
  2. Choose your water containers: Choose sturdy, leak-proof and portable containers. Avoid glass. Commercial water pouches or plastic bottles are ideal.
  3. Use commercially bottled water if possible: This is the easiest and most reliable way to store emergency water because it is already purified and sealed. The FDA states that commercially bottled water can be stored indefinitely, as long as it remains sealed and isn’t exposed to contaminated materials.
  4. If using tap water, treat it first: If commercially bottled water isn’t an option, you can use tap water. However, it should be treated before storage to kill any bacteria or viruses. This can be done by boiling the water for at least 1 minute or adding water purification tablets.
  5. Store the water properly in your vehicle: Make sure the water containers are in a flat, secure location in the vehicle where they won’t roll or be punctured. If possible, store the water in a cool, shaded place to avoid extreme temperature changes.
  6. Rotate your supply: Replace commercially bottled water every 6-12 months and treated tap water every 6 months.
  7. Consider seasonal changes: If you live in a climate that experiences freezing temperatures, your water supply could freeze and possibly burst the container. Insulated container holders can help prevent this. Similarly, in hot climates, high temperatures can cause plastic to degrade over time or the water to evaporate. Keep this in mind when storing and rotating your water.
  8. Have a plan for additional water sources: Keep a water filter or purification tablets in the vehicle for emergency use on other water sources like rivers, lakes, or snow.

Remember, access to clean, drinkable water is a key part of any emergency preparedness plan. Always be prepared and ensure your stored water is safe to drink.

Rainwater Harvesting

For the long-term prepper, setting up a rainwater harvesting system can be a valuable investment. Rainwater is a renewable, sustainable source of water that can be used for a variety of purposes, including drinking (after appropriate treatment), gardening, and hygiene. Keep in mind that in some locations, legal restrictions may apply to rainwater collection. EPA: What Is Green Infrastructure?.

How To Build A Rainwater Collection System | City Prepping

Water Conservation Tips

When dealing with a finite water supply, conservation is key. Small changes in water usage can lead to significant savings. This includes avoiding unnecessary flushing of toilets, reusing greywater for plants, and catching and using rainwater for washing. EPA: How We Use Water.

Understanding Water Sources

Besides stored water, it’s essential to understand where you can find additional water sources in an emergency. These may include natural sources such as rivers, lakes, and groundwater. However, remember that water from these sources should be treated before consumption.

How do we get clean drinking water? | Interesting Engineering

Emergency Water Packets

Emergency water packets provide another viable water storage option. These are typically durable, with a long shelf-life, and come pre-packaged in small, easy-to-store amounts. However, they can be more expensive than other water storage options. While useful in a pinch, I think it’s better to find a more long-term solution.

Emergency Drinking Water Pouch | Sharpens Best

Investing in a Water Well

If you own your property and it’s feasible, investing in a water well could be a long-term solution for your water needs. Wells can provide a consistent supply of water, and with the addition of a manual pump, can be accessed even when the power goes out.

Water Storage for Apartment Preppers

Water storage for preppers living in apartments can be a bit more challenging due to limited space. However, there are still viable solutions. For example, waterBOB is a large plastic bag that fits in a bathtub and can store up to 100 gallons of water, an excellent option for short-term emergencies.

The WaterBob: Water Storage Containment System | The Angry Prepper

Learning Water Preservation Techniques

Finally, learning water preservation techniques can help prolong the life of your stored water. This includes proper sanitation of storage containers, appropriate storage conditions, and regular rotation of your water supply.

Stored Water Gone Bad – How to Store Water That Never Needs to Be Rotated | The Provident Prepper

Understanding the Dangers of Contaminated Water

Before delving further into water storage, it’s imperative to understand the dangers of contaminated water. Water can be contaminated with a variety of biological, chemical, and physical hazards that can cause severe health effects if consumed. WHO: Drinking Water.

Testing Your Water Supply

Testing your water supply is an essential part of ensuring it’s safe to drink. Different tests can detect various contaminants, including bacteria, lead, and other harmful substances. Regular testing is particularly crucial if you’re relying on a private well for your water supply. EPA: Protect Your Home’s Water.

The Value of Backup Water Filters

Having a backup water filter can be a lifesaver in an emergency situation. Despite the best planning, your main water purification system may fail, become lost, or become exhausted. In these situations, having a backup filter can ensure you still have access to safe drinking water.

Understanding the Role of Water in Survival

Understanding the critical role water plays in survival can further emphasize the importance of effective water storage for preppers. Water isn’t just necessary for drinking; it’s also vital for food preparation, hygiene, first aid, and even maintaining morale during a survival situation.

Keeping Water Safe from Contaminants

Keeping your stored water safe from contaminants is another crucial aspect of water storage. This includes physical barriers to prevent contamination, careful handling to avoid introducing contaminants, and the use of preservatives to inhibit the growth of harmful microorganisms.

Conclusion: Water Storage is Essential for Every Prepper

Water is the lifeblood of survival, and an effective water storage strategy is a crucial component of any prepper’s plan. Whether you’re storing commercially bottled water, collecting rainwater, or investing in a well, understanding your options can help you make the best choices for your situation. While the exact methods and tools you use may vary, the principles remain the same: store enough water to meet your needs, keep it safe from contamination, and have a plan for replenishing your supply if necessary. Remember, in the world of water storage for preppers, it’s better to be over-prepared than under-prepared.

Do you currently have enough water stored for emergencies? I hope this article was helpful. See you soon!