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Water Storage Ideas for Your Home

Updated on April 10, 2012
Water storage is important in case of emergency.
Water storage is important in case of emergency. | Source

Be Prepared

The American Red Cross recommends that to be prepared for possible emergencies, families should have two weeks of water storage in their home. They recommend one gallon of water per person per day. This is an important part of your emergency readiness plan.

Important information about Water storage

Water should be stored in food grade or "PETE" plastic containers. Milk jugs are not OK to store water in because the plastic easily degrades, but soda bottles that have been properly cleaned are fine. Glass bottles are fine too, but can be breakable if you don't have a safe, out of the way place to store them.

Water should be stored out of sunlight, away from extreme temperature and not on a concrete floor to avoid chemicals

2 Liter Soda Bottles

Soda bottles are a great way to get started on your water storage for your home. If you don't drink soda you can ask friends and neighbor to give you their empty ones. You must clean them out well to prevent bacterial growth. Soaking them over night in a bleach/water solution is a way to make sure they are clean. If you get your water from a city that chlorinates its water, you just need to fill the bottles and store them out of sunlight and extreme temperatures. If your water isn't treated by the city, you can add two drops of bleach per quart of water. You will need to rotate your water every 6-12 months to keep it fresh.

Store bought water bottles

A more expensive option is to buy flats of water from the supermarket and store them in your home. They also need to rotated every 6-12 months and should be stored away from sunlight and extreme heat.


Water boxes

Water boxes are inexpensive and stackable up to three boxes high. The best part is that you only have to rotate them every five years. They aren't easily accessible if you only need small amounts of water, however, so you will probably want some additional water storage solutions for shorter emergencies. People in small spaces will like the fact that they can slide under beds or be stored in closet corners.

Water Bricks

Water bricks aren't the cheapest option, but they are the most convenient. They are freezable so you can stack them outside without worry. They are easily transportable and they are stackable up to the ceiling.

Water Barrels

If you have the room, water barrels are a great way to store large amounts of water. You can also purchase a water preserver that will allow you to rotate your water every 5 years rather than 6-12 months. Unfortunately, water barrels take up a lot of space and cannot be stored outside. You also need to be sure to place something like cardboard between the barrel and a concrete floor if you are storing it in the garage or basement.

Pros and Cons of Water Storage Options

soda bottles
cheap, easy to store
must rotate frequently
store bought water bottles
convenient, good for 72 hour kits
expensive, harder to store, must rotate more frequently
water boxes
cheap, can store under beds, need less rotation
can only stack 3 high
water bricks
stackable, portable, easily accesible, need less rotation
need less rotation
water barrels
can store large amounts
difficult to rotate


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    • profile image

      quaking 3 years ago

      some of the bottled water companies sell 3 and 5 gallon jugs of water for home delivery that are in bpa-free packaging. In earthquake country, I want to have water on hand but don't want all of it in one place - for me, the 3 gallon Arrowhead bottles are very nice, and about 1/3 the cost of the water bricks. The weight is good, and the 3 gal (not the 2.5 gal you can buy at retail) is a BPA-free container. Partly because these containers can be reused by Arrowhead, the per-bottle cost is 6.99 delivered full (and filled professionally.) Most are distributed under the house, but there are three in the fireplace/chimney - ever notice how after many serious events, you can only tell where the house was by the chimney?

    • profile image

      freezbay 5 years ago

      Great article. Why doesn't it come on the front page???!??!

    • Thundermama profile image

      Catherine Taylor 5 years ago from Canada

      Really important hub, emergency preparedness is becoming a necessity in these uncertain times. Thank you for the great info.

    • Tammy Brown profile image

      Tammy Brown 5 years ago

      Thanks. We just had a tornado come through town so any kind of disaster preparedness is at the top of my mind.

    • WD Curry 111 profile image

      WD Curry 111 5 years ago from Space Coast

      This is not a joke here in Florida. We have hurricanes. Your hub is not just informative, it is helpful and a clever presentation of the containers.