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Different Ways to Store Water for an Emergency

Water is necessary for survival, so when a disaster strikes and you can’t rely on city water, what can you do? Keep a supply of water on hand for use in case of flood, hurricane, earthquake or power outage. We’ve already covered the importance of storing water for emergencies, but what are your options when it comes to holding and storing this water?

Read on to learn exactly how to prepare your water for a “rainy day.”

Types of Containers

Contrary to popular belief, you can’t just fill up any container with water and call it a day. In regards to long-term water storage, you want to use specific containers that will keep your water clean and safe to drink for the long haul. You can fill used plastic containers, as long as they are food safe. Make sure they have not previously stored non-food items, such as cleaning supplies.

Your containers should be sealable to keep out bacteria that can cause algae growth. And they must be nonmetal, because treated water contains chlorine which can corrode steel. In short, use new or sterilized food-safe, sealable plastic containers to store water.

Storage Options

You have a few choices concerning storage options, depending on your specific needs. Just remember that it’s recommended to have at least one gallon of water per day for each member of your household. A good starting point is three gallons of water per person. But you can try to store two weeks’ worth of water or more if you feel so inclined. Here are your storage options:

Water Bottles – A logical choice for water storage is a 12-pack of bottled water. This represents a great option if you live alone and don’t need to store water for a family. Not to mention, water bottles don’t take up too much space if you live in an apartment or a small home with little storage. Plus, they’re easy to transport if you have to evacuate your home by car for any reason.

However, they’re not the cheapest or even the most space-saving option if you’re looking to store more than a few gallons. But if water bottles seem perfect for your situation, you can store them in closets, under beds, or in your trunk near your 72-hour kit.

1- or 5-Gallon Water Jugs – If water bottles just seem too cumbersome to store and transport in an emergency, move a step up and get 1- or 5-gallon water jugs. The upside of these jugs is that they are still fairly light and portable, and they hold more water.

If you like water bottles, you should still get a couple of gallon jugs for daily necessities like washing your hands or hair. If you’re left without water for a week, you’ll want to have water on hand for hygiene purposes.

Bathtub Bladder – In the event of an impending emergency, you could always fill your bathtub with water before the water shuts off. However, this is neither sanitary nor a good long-term solution. To avoid being exposed to cleaning chemicals, bathtub grime, and bacteria that can grow after a few days of sitting in the tub, use a bathtub bladder.

These large, heavy-duty plastic bags are created in the dimensions of a regular bathtub, can be filled with faucet water, and allow for proper sealing. The only downside to a bathtub bladder is that you have to rely on a water source that can be unreliable in a disaster. This option is best when paired with other, more fail-safe water storage options.

55-Gallon Barrels – When you want to store a large amount of water in one single container (or a few), go for 55-gallon water barrels. You can fill them with hose water and rotate the water every year or so to be on the safe side. Just remember that properly sealed water doesn’t need to be rotated. It’s also a best practice to put these barrels on a palette instead of concrete, as the chemicals in concrete can react with the plastic and make the water unsafe.

Whether you have a small apartment or ample space for water, you should always make storing it for emergencies a priority. Get a free water analysis from your local water treatment company to ensure your water is safe to drink now and ready to store for the future.

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