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Emergency Water Storage at Home

Updated on February 14, 2013

Home Water Storage Is Easy to Do, Inexpensive, and a Really Good Idea

Do you do some emergency water storage at home? Most people don't, but it is easy and cheap to do a little bit of water storage, no matter what size home or what size income you have. And it could come in handy sometime. I was recently visiting friends in California, and was surprised how few of them had water stored. It's especially important in earthquake zones.

It is really a good idea, because there are many situations that can arise where you'd be very grateful for even a little bit of water.

For example, if your power went out, would the water run in your taps? In many places it would not. (I learned that it doesn't in my neighborhood!)

What about forest fires in your area? I'm not suggesting you run out and fight the blaze, but your water pressure could drop if local water resources were being heavily used.

Having some water stored could even save a life... Dehydration can set in within just a few days.

Further down this page there is a link to a free ebook that I wrote on this subject.

This photo is of our coat closet and you can see one of two water containers we have in there. The closet could be a little neater, but this page is about storing water, not cleaning house! Photo credits: I took this and the one further down, both at our house.

Why Bother with Water Storage?

How important can it be?

Why do I hope you will store some water after reading this? Because things happen... Depending on where you live, you could suddenly be dealing with

  • Earthquake
  • Blizzard
  • Flood
  • Tornado
  • Hurricane
  • Just a big storm
  • Power out due to a widespread problem
  • Power out in a small area
  • Roads blocked between you and the stores
  • And so on.
In some situations, you wouldn't have time to go get water. In other situations, you might have time to go to the stores and see if other people had left any water on the shelves. The just-in-time method of stocking shelves that all the chain stores use means that you could see bare shelves.

But if you pick up some water or water containers sometime soon and put them in a good location (see further down this page), you will be able to take care of yourself, your family, and maybe even some neighbors if the need arises.

Without Water or Other Drinkable Liquid

You can die from dehydration in about 3 to 5 days.

Kids in less time.

Finding Storage Space for the Water

Where are you going to put it?

You need to store the water in a place where it won't freeze. Since water expands when it freezes, it can break the containers. So many garages are too cold.

Also, you should store the water where the sunlight won't lead to the growth of green algae in the water. (Some of the water we stored in our greenhouse DID get algae, and I explain what we did in my ebook you can download free.)

Look around the backs and the bottoms of closets. It may take a bit of organizing, but chances are you can find space. Here you see one of our closets with five-gallon buckets of water in the back.

If you use closet shelves, don't put too much weight on them. In the photo of our coat closet at the top of this page we put the water at either end of the shelf, near the supports holding the shelf in place.

Right now, do you have any water stored at home?

See results

Your Shopping List for Water

At least 2 gallons per person per day, for at least 3 days... plus some for any pets

(You can buy water in plastic containers at the grocery store, or you can buy containers and fill them with tap water.)

How You Can Find Out More for Free

Download My Short Ebook About It...

I wrote an ebook, Emergency Water Storage at Home: Why, How, How Much Water, and At What Cost?

At first I was going to charge for it, like I've done with other ebooks I have written, but when I got to thinking about it, I decided I would rather give it away since a LOT more people would probably read it if I did that. And that's what I want!

Here is what it covers, in about 20 pages:

Why Store Any Water When You Probably Won't Need It?

How Much Water Should You Store in Your Home?

Simple Ways to Store Water in Your Home

Storing Water Outside

Treating Stored Water

Maintaining Your Emergency Water Storage: A Few Minutes Twice a Year

Checklist of Things to Do

Resource Guide

And here is the link: Emergency Water Storage at Home

Right-click on that to download it to your computer.

If you'd like to see the blog where I wrote it, go to my site Simple Green Living, and you can download the ebook there too.

This ebook is written in PDF format, like a lot of manuals and ebooks. You need to have the free Adobe Acrobat Reader (or one of its competitors) on your computer to read it, but this is almost never a problem. Most PCs come with the software, or you can download it at If you have a Mac, Preview will open it. You can print it out.

What I DON'T Tell You in the Ebook

And Why Not

I wrote the ebook one summer in preparation for giving a local presentation.

Turned out that quite a few of the people who came knew a whole lot about water storage. Some of them had dozens or probably hundreds of gallons stored away, underground or in other places. There was a lot of lively discussion of the kinds of plastic that are in different containers, the pros and cons of different filters, and so on. My ebook touches on those things but it isn't really about massive long term water storage. It's more just to get you started!

Have a bathtub? - Or better yet, two? You won't be using the tub while this is in it...

Here is a product that is great for use if you live in a place where you would have advance warning of water shortage, such as in hurricane and even tornado areas.

It wouldn't be as useful in earthquake areas, as you most likely wouldn't have time to fill it. It also isn't designed for long-term water storage.

WaterBOB Emergency Drinking Water Storage (100 Gallons)
WaterBOB Emergency Drinking Water Storage (100 Gallons)

The WaterBOB fits in a bathtub. You fill it with up to 100 gallons (depending in part on the size of your tub) from your faucets right there. The container is made from food grade plastic, and it comes with a siphon pump so it should be easy to just get a little water out at a time. Very ingenious device!


Any thoughts about water storage? - Your comments welcome!

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    • hartworks lm profile image

      hartworks lm 5 years ago

      @anonymous: With a bunch of lenses on water filters, you are asking me? It really depends on where you live, what your setup is, etc.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      We really, really need more water storage. Do I buy one of those 55 gallon water barrels? Or do I use non-leaching plastic containers?

    • Pam Irie profile image

      Pam Irie 5 years ago from Land of Aloha

      Our house is more like a cottage size, but we still manage to store some extra water, just in case.

    • Mary Crowther profile image

      Mary Crowther 5 years ago from Havre de Grace

      This is something to think about. You never know what may happen. Thanks for a great lens!

    • hartworks lm profile image

      hartworks lm 5 years ago

      @dellgirl: Thanks! It really doesn't take long to make a difference!

    • profile image

      dellgirl 5 years ago

      Great ideas, thanks for sharing this. I see something I can do as soon as daylight comes, I love the lens.