- 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: http://www.connorboyack.com/drop/water.pdf