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Easy Household Long Term Water Storage

Updated on June 10, 2011

With climate change sparking dramatic weather events, more and more we need to be prepared for emergencies where water and food become inaccessible or limited for a certain amount of time. Water in particular is a key as we need it on a daily basis as compared to food where we can go without for a few days. For short duration solutions stored water is the way to go, but how to store water and keep it safe is a concern we all share. This hub will describe what my family has done with relative ease to prepare for water shortage emergencies.

One of the first things we did was to figure out how much water we should store. Scouring the web we discovered a range of figures as to how much we should store per person per day with the main result being a gallon or four liters per day. We are five in our family, so that works out to 5 gallons or 20 liters per day. At a local hardware store we found a container pictured here that hold 5 gallons or 20 liters. So for us it was easy, each of these containers that we buy represents one day of water. These box-shaped containers work really well as they can be stored quite compactly.

The next question is how long does the water stay healthy in these containers. Again, scouring the web we discovered a wide variety of answers and this is what we settled on: We'll empty out and refill (flush) the water every six months, store the water in a reasonably dark place, and will not put the containers directly on a cement floor. On each container we put a small label with a number; currently we have four containers so they are numbered one through four. We bought the containers in February and filled them all up at the same time. We didn't want to have to flush them all at the same time, so for the first flush we decided to spread them out like this:

  • Container 1: Flush in June and then every January and June going forward
  • Conatiner 2: Flush in July and then every February and July going forward
  • Container 3: Flush in August and then every March and August going forward
  • Container 4: Flush in September and then every April and September going forward

We determined two methods to flush the containers such that water being emptied out will not be wasted. In the summer months I would pour the water into my rain barrels to use the water for watering my garden. In the winter months I would pour the water into the kids bath and add only hot water to bring the bath water to a proper temperature.

We plan on purchasing two more containers which would give us a total of six days of water for an emergency and would end up having us flush a water container every month.


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    • Phil Plasma profile image

      Phil Plasma 6 years ago from Montreal, Quebec

      I do not doubt that investing in water companies makes sense as this resource is in such precious supply. I'm not ready to spend 500$ all at once for emergency food, so upcoming will be some hubs at how I have done it a different way.

    • Danette Watt profile image

      Danette Watt 6 years ago from Illinois

      Interesting hub. Two comments I'd like to share.

      First, several years ago I was a member of an investment club and believed we should look into water companies as I became increasingly aware of the growing water shortage.

      Second, because the area I live in was experiencing a lot of severe weather at the same time, I decided to look into stocking some emergency supplies. So I went online and found a company out in Utah and bought about $500 worth of freeze dried food and water pouches. The water has a shelf life of 5 years (I have 2 more to go) but I like your idea too. Probably smarter and more cost effective.

    • Phil Plasma profile image

      Phil Plasma 6 years ago from Montreal, Quebec

      If everyone stocks up that will definitely decrease the pressure on emergency services.

    • mothercristina profile image

      mothercristina 6 years ago

      Good reminder. I've been meaning to stock up too.