Monday, September 10, 2007

Water Storage

Store enough water for each member of your family to last for at least two weeks.
During times of serious emergency, the normal water supply to your home may be cut off or become so polluted that it is undrinkable. In fact, a supply of stored water could be your most precious survival item. Since I've been in the ward, there have been three times where we have had to rely on our water storage or boil our drinking water after floods.
Remember that typhoid fever, amoebic dysentery, diarrhea, infectious hepatitis, salmonella and giardiasis are diseases often associated with unsafe water, not to mention the many kinds of parasites that may be contracted. Under emergency conditions, no water can be presumed safe. All drinking & cooking water must be purified.
Store 2 gallons of water per person per day. One gallon for drinking and cooking, the other for bathing and other needs. Thus, a family of four would need at least 112 gallons of pure water for their two week reserve supply. With careful use, this amount would be sufficient for drinking and food preparation. Store water supply in a cook dark area on pieces of wood, not directly on concrete or dirt. Put date of storage on your water.
Obtain storage containers: A good container is airtight, breakage resistant, and heavy enough to hold water. Containers should stack well and have a lining that will not rust or affect the flavor. A few good choices are:
  • 30 -50 gallon FDA approved food grade plastic barrels
  • 5 - 7 gallon plastic jugs (FDA approved as well)
  • 2 liter soda pop bottles

NOTE: To economize, many people are tempted to use empty milk jugs, but don't plan to store water in these for more than 3 -4 months. They are biodegradable and will break down within 6 months. Not only may you lose your water, but if they are stored near food or other items, they may damage them.

Water weighs over 8 lbs. per gallon. Do not store more than 15 gallons (about 125 lbs.) in any container meat to be portable. Obtain a siphon pump for use with the large water barrels.

Obtain a 3-day supply of water per person for your 72 hour kit. Place water in small, portable containers along with extra bleach or filter.

Use household bleach (5.25% hypochlorite with no additives) when storing water. The following amounts are suggested:

  • 4 drops for two liter bottles
  • 8 drops per gallon
  • 1/2 tsp for 5 gallons
  • 1 Tbsp for 30 gallons
  • 2 Tbsp for 55 gallons

Some people are afraid that chlorine is not safe for their bodies. The above amounts used to purify water are completely safe. Major cities throughout the world use chlorine to purify water.

Studies show that if water is bacteria free and is stored in clean containers, it will stay safe for several years. It is a good idea, however, to periodically check your water for purity and taste. And every few years it's a good idea to change it. One of the things that affects the taste of water is it "going flat." That occurs because of the oxidation that takes place as it sits. You can improve the taste by pouring the water back and forth between containers to aerate it or by beating it with a hand egg beater. You also may want to store some flavorings such as fruit drink powders, kool-aid, etc. to add to your water if you find the taste objectionable.

Methods for Purifying Potentially Contaminated Water for Drinking:

  • Boiling: According to the American Red Cross, boiling is the safest method of purifying water. Boil 8 - 10 minutes.
  • Disinfecting: According to the American Red Cross, "the only agent used to purify water should be household liquid bleach. Add 16 drops of bleach per gallon and let stand for 30 minutes. If the water does not have a slight bleach odor, repeat the dosage and let stand another 15 minutes.
  • Filters: Consider getting a good water filter or purifier. NOTE: Filtering water will not destroy germs or parasites' eggs. After water has been filtered, it should be purified using chlorine bleach or by boiling.

A great way to store water is in a variety of containers. For example, store the majority of your water in 30-55 gallon drums. Store some in 5 - 7 gallon containers and re-use those two liter bottles.

Remember also that you have several sources of water already in your home that can be tapped in an emergency such as your hot water heater, toilet tanks (don't use water from a tank that contains colored disinfectant, it is poisonous), water pipes, ice in the freezer, etc.

Water is relatively inexpensive to store and certainly not difficult to do - but certainly the time to store is now. Water that we take so for granted when things are normal, in an emergency becomes absolutely critical.

Here is an excellent printable pdf on water storage:

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Preparedness Quotes

"When faced with the choice to buy, consume, or engage in worldly things and activities, we all need to learn to say to one another, 'We can’t afford it, even though we want it!' or 'We can afford it, but we don’t need it—and we really don’t even want it!'" - Elder Robert D. Hales, April 2009 General Conference

"Many areas of the world have experienced difficult economic times. Businesses have failed, jobs have been lost, and investments have been jeopardized. We must make certain that those for whom we share responsibility do not go hungry or unclothed or unsheltered. When the priesthood of this Church works together as one in meeting these vexing conditions, near miracles take place.

"We urge all Latter-day Saints to be prudent in their planning, to be conservative in their living, and to avoid excessive or unnecessary debt."
- President Thomas S. Monson, October 2008 Priesthood Session, General Conference

"Avoid the philosophy that yesterday's luxuries have become today's necessities. They aren't necessities until we make them so. Many enter into long-term debt only to find that changes occur; people become ill or incapacitated, companies fail or downsize, jobs are lost, natural disasters befall us. For many reasons, payments on large amounts of debt can no longer be made. Our debt becomes as a Damocles sword hanging over our heads and threatening to destroy us."
- President Thomas S. Monson, April 2006 General Conference

“We have built grain storage and storehouses and stocked them with the necessities of life in the event of a disaster. But the real storehouse is the family storeroom. In words of revelation the Lord has said, ‘Organize yourselves; prepare every needful thing’ (D&C 109:8.)”
President Gordon B. Hinckley

"We need to make both temporal and spiritual preparation for the events prophesied at the time of the Second Coming. And the preparation most likely to be neglected is the one less visible and more difficult--the spiritual. A 72-hour kit of temporal supplies may prove valuable for earthly challenges, but, as the foolish virgins learned to their sorrow, a 24-hour kit of spiritual preparation is of greater and more enduring value.

"We are living in the prophesied time 'when peace shall be taken from the earth' (D&C 1:35,) when 'all things shall be in commotion' and 'men's hearts shall fail them' (D&C 88:91.) There are many temporal causes of commotion, including wars and natural disasters, but an even greater cause of current 'commotion' is spiritual." Elder Dallin H. Oaks

“Every father and mother are the family’s store keepers. They should store whatever their family would like to have in case of an emergency…(and) God will sustain us through our trials.” President James E. Faust

“We live in a most exciting and challenging period in human history. As technology sweeps through every facet of our lives, changes are occurring so rapidly that it can be difficult for us to keep our lives in balance. To maintain some semblance of stability in our lives, it is essential that we plan for our future. I believe it is time, and perhaps with some urgency, to review the counsel we have received in dealing with our personal and family preparedness. We want to be found with oil in our lamps sufficient to endure to the end.”- Elder L. Tom Perry, Ensign, Nov. 1995

"Many more people could ride out the storm-tossed waves in their economic lives if they had their year's supply of food. . . and were debt-free. Today we find that many have followed this counsel in reverse: they have at least a year's supply of debt and are food free." President Thomas S. Monson

"Just as it is important to prepare ourselves spiritually, we must also prepare ourselves for our temporal needs. … We have been instructed for years to follow at least four requirements in preparing for that which is to come.

“First, gain an adequate education. Learn a trade or a profession to enable you to obtain steady employment that will provide remuneration sufficient to care for yourself and your family. …

“Second, live strictly within your income and save something for a rainy day. Incorporate in your lives the discipline of budgeting that which the Lord has blessed you with. As regularly as you pay your tithing, set aside an amount needed for future family requirements. …

“Third, avoid excessive debt. Necessary debt should be incurred only after careful, thoughtful prayer and after obtaining the best possible advice. We need the discipline to stay well within our ability to pay. …

“Fourth, acquire and store a reserve of food and supplies that will sustain life [if local laws permit such storage]. Obtain clothing and build a savings account on a sensible, well-planned basis that can serve well in times of emergency. As long as I can remember, we have been taught to prepare for the future and to obtain a year’s supply of necessities. I would guess that the years of plenty have almost universally caused us to set aside this counsel. I believe the time to disregard this counsel is over. With events in the world today, it must be considered with all seriousness.” - Elder L. Tom Perry, October 1995 General Conference

“Maintain a year's supply. The Lord has urged that his people save for the rainy days, prepare for the difficult times, and put away for emergencies, a year's supply or more of bare necessities so that when comes the flood, the earthquake, the famine, the hurricane, the storms of life, our families can be sustained through the dark days. How many of us have complied with this? We strive with the Lord, finding many excuses: We do not have room for storage. The food spoils. We do not have the funds to do it. We do not like these common foods. It is not needed -- there will always be someone to help in trouble. The government will come to the rescue. And some intend to obey but procrastinate.” - The Teachings of Spencer W. Kimball, p.375

“All too often a family's spending is governed more by their yearning than by their earning. They somehow believe that their life will be better if they surround themselves with an abundance of things. All too often all they are left with is avoidable anxiety and distress” - Elder Joseph B. Wirthlin

"Be prepared in all things against the day when tribulations and desolations are sent forth upon the wicked." D&C 29:8

"Too often we bask in our comfortable complacency and rationalize that the ravages of war, economic disaster, famine, and earthquake cannot happen here. Those who believe this are either not aquainted with the revelations of the Lord, or they do not believe them." President Ezra Taft Benson

"Fear not little flock; do good; let earth and hell combine against you, for if ye are built upon my rock, they cannot prevail. . .Look unto me in every thought; doubt not, fear not." D&C 6:34, 36

"I believe that the Ten Virgins represent the people of the Church of Jesus Christ. . . They (five foolish) had the saving, exalting gospel, but it had not been made the center of their lives. They knew the way but gave only a small measure of loyalty and devotion.

"The foolish asked the others to share their oil, but spiritual preparedness cannot be shared in an instant. . . . This was not selfishness or unkindness. The kind of oil that is needed to illuminate the way and light up the darkness is not shareable. . . . In our lives the oil of preparedness is accumulated drop by drop in righteous living." - President Spencer W. Kimball

“We encourage families to have on hand this year’s supply; we say it over and over and over and repeat over and over the scripture of the Lord where he says, “Why call ye me, Lord, Lord and do not the things which I say?” How empty it is as they put their spirituality, so-called, into action and call him by his important names, but fail to do the things which he says." - President Spencer W. Kimball"/>


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