Emergency Preparedness on a Budget: Water Storage

If you missed last week’s post, Emergency Preparedness on a Budget: Building 72-Hour Kits, you can read it here.

Water is extremely important to have on hand in case of an emergency. You can live without food, but you can only survive about three days without water. It’s important to stockpile enough drinking water to last your family 3-10 days. The minimum amount would be one gallon of water per person per day (two quarts for drinking and two quarts for food preparation and sanitation). Keep in mind that this is the minimum, and it would of course be more comfortable to have more water on hand. If you have a baby, pets, or live in a hot environment, you’ll need to store more water.

For those of us on a budget, it’s not always possible to spend a large amount of money to purchase big water storage containers or lots of smaller ones that will add up to the amount of gallons needed for the family. And for some of us, we don’t have the space for them. Here are some tips and ways to store water without having to make a big purchase.

1. Soft Drink and Juice Bottles
Store water in plastic containers such as soft drink and juice bottles. If you don’t drink a lot of soda or juice, ask family or friends for them. Make sure to avoid using containers that will decompose or break, such as milk cartons or glass bottles.

To sanitize the bottles, first add a solution of 1 teaspoon of liquid household chlorine bleach to a quart (1/4 gallon) of water. Swish the sanitizing solution in the bottle so that it touches all surfaces. Make sure to sanitize the lids really good too.

After sanitizing the bottle, thoroughly rinse out the sanitizing solution with clean water. Fill the bottles with tap water all the way to the top of the bottle. For treated water that already contains chlorine, place the cap on the bottle and seal tightly. For well or spring water, add only two drops of bleach to the full bottle and place the cap on the bottle.

Using a permanent marker, label the outside of the bottle “Drinking Water” with the date it was filled. Store the water in a cool, dark place such as under a bed or in closet. It’s recommended to replace the jugs with new water every six months.

2. Empty Bleach Containers
You can also store water in empty bleach containers. Once the bleach is gone from the container, you don’t need to rinse the container. Just fill it with water. Make sure to remove the bleach label and write “WATER” visibly across the bottle.

3. Water Jugs
Using coupons, you can get water inexpensively or even free. Kroger frequently has $5 off 10 items sales, and the 3 liter jugs of water (normally $1) are usually a part of these sales.

One of my goals this year is to make sure our family has 4-7 days of water in our home in case there is ever an emergency. If you have more tips about storing water or emergency preparedness on a budget, please share them with everyone.

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