Tag Archives: water

  • How Much Water Should You Store?

    |4 COMMENT(S)

    When things get crazy out in that wide world in which we live – say, an earthquake or a tornado (or both!) come through town – bad things could happen that will disrupt the way you live. The grid could go down, and several water mains could break. It’s not just natural disasters, either. Your local water supply could become contaminated from e.Coli or from a diesel spill, which means you could be without water for at least 48 hours – or longer – until they get the water clean again.

    So now there you are, at home, without the running water you’ve come to rely on. Years ago, you wondered if this sort of thing could happen. You were reluctant at first, but eventually you began storing water, just in case something like this happened.

    But did you store enough?

    How Much Water for Kids?The general rule of thumb is to store one gallon of water per person per day, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. They also suggest that, in an emergency situation, you should drink two quarts (half a gallon) of water a day – more if you’re in a hot climate, sick, pregnant, or a child. The other half gallon can then be used for hygiene (thanks in advance).

    Of course, you should remember to store extra water for your pets (after all, they’re part of the family, too). An additional gallon of water should be stored per day for each cat and dog. Now you know how much water per person (or animal) per day you need. Now the question is, how many days’ worth of water should you have?

    As a minimum, you should have three-day’s worth of water. That means, if you have a family of four, you’ll want at least 12 gallons of water stored up. That should keep you going during minor emergencies where you just have to wait a couple days for the city to fix whatever problem it’s encountered.

    Perhaps a safer minimum would be to have enough water to last for at least two weeks. This would enable you to survive much longer should a much more devastating disaster come through. And, going back to your family of four, this would mean you would need at least 56 gallons of water.

    This is where you’re beginning to ask, “Where on earth am I supposed to store all this water?” Wonderful question. Allow me to go ahead and answer that.

    How Much Water?There are plenty of ways to store water. If you don’t have much storage space, you can begin by getting a case or two of water from the store. Those are easy to keep under your bed and therefore won’t take up any extra space. We also carry cases of boxed water as well as cases of emergency canned water. Empty pop bottles can be filled up to store water in, too, but be sure to thoroughly wash them first. This is also a good option if you’re on a tight budget.

    If you have a tad more room, you can add to your cases of water with some 5-gallon water jugs. Those fit nicely in many storage areas and are made of good, clean, water-safe material. In fact, it would be wise to have a couple of those around anyway, as they would make a great grab-and-go option should you have to bug out.

    If you need to store a lot of water - and have the space to do so - then consider investing in a water barrel or two (or three, or four…). They can be small, such as the 15-gallon water barrel, or larger like the 55-gallon barrels. Of course, you could always have more water, and if you do have the room, then by all means, go big or go home! This 320-gallon water reserve should keep you going for quite some time. Remember, water is the most important resource you can have, so the more the merrier! If you do want a ton of water but are out of room, you can always commandeer your bathtub. With the AquaPod, you can store 65 gallons in a clean container that fills up your tub. Of course, bathing might be a wee bit difficult with that in there, but in an emergency, I’d rather have drinking water. Fortunately, it can store nicely under a bed or in a closet, so if you know a hurricane or other disaster is coming, bust that thing out and get filling!

    How Much Water?One more thing. If you’re filling your own water containers, you’ll want to make sure your water is clean before it sits on a shelf for months on end. If it’s coming straight from your faucet and is treated by your city, then you should be fine. If you’re getting your water from a well or other source, consider treating it with bleach before consuming.

    To treat with bleach, add two drops of non-scented liquid household chlorine bleach to the water, and let it sit for 30 minutes before using. If you don’t notice a slight chlorine odor to the water, add two more drops and let the water stand another 15 minutes (these steps can be found at ready.gov). Or, if you prefer a pre-prepared method, get yourself some water treatment solution to drop in your water storage.

    If your water hasn’t been commercially treated, you should rotate it every six months.

    So there you have it. Now you know how much water you need, and have some different options for storing it long-term. Water is so very important during disasters and survival scenarios, so don’t forget to get your emergency water storage in place.


    How have you gone about establishing your emergency water storage? Let us know in the comments below!

    Posted In: Water Storage Tagged With: gallon, water barrel, water storage, water

  • 6 Ways You Are Not Prepared For Disaster

    |1 COMMENT(S)

    In regards to a May 7 story from the Weather Channel web site (weather.com) described “10 Things You’re Not Doing to Prepare for Natural Disasters,” I conducted a non-random, tiny sample size survey of 11 friends and relatives to see what they were and weren’t doing. Some of them said they felt pretty prepared for an emergency.

    I asked 11 questions based on the story from weather.com. The questions and results are at the bottom of this post.

    Let’s look at the top six things people weren’t doing.


    Do you have a disaster plan for your family?

    Not Prepared? Be Prepared!Only two people surveyed said they have a disaster plan.

    “I have a plan if there’s a [house] fire,” one said.

    A disaster plan covers what you might face in your area: wildfire, hurricane, or winter storm for example. Where do you meet if some of you are away? Do you shelter at home or evacuate? What are your escape routes? It should answer all those questions.

    FEMA has multiple templates for disaster planning including a “Family Communication Plan" and “Emergency Financial First Aid Kit.”


    Have you set aside a few hundred dollars in small bills?

    Not Prepared - Dolla billzSeven survey participants had not.

    “But we do have an emergency fund in a bank,” one said.

    You need cash for about a week, suggested Ann House, coordinator of the Personal Money Management Center at the University of Utah.

    “In three days, usually the electricity is back on, the heat is back on and stores are up and going, so if you want to be on the safe side, [keep cash for] a week. The rest can go in the bank,” House said.

    Another respondent had cash in larger denominations.

    House said that might not work.

    “If you were out of water and somebody came by with a water selling wagon, you might be giving the person a $100 bill for water. It’s $1 bills that are going to come in handy for emergencies,” she said.


    Have you got a full first aid kit including prescriptions?

    Not Prepared - First Aid KitOnly three participants kept a first aid kit ready with prescriptions.

    FEMA’s pamphlet “Preparing Makes Sense for People with Disabilities and Special Needs” recommends keeping enough daily medication for at least a week along with copies of prescriptions and dosage information.

    Many insurance providers won’t allow you to get more than a month’s supply of prescription medicines. One survey participant said his family keeps their prescriptions where they can grab them as they’re going out the door. That way they don’t have to get around insurance to obtain extra medicines.


    Have you practiced for a disaster?

    Not Prepared - PracticeFive said they had.

    One survey respondent said her church congregation hosted a community disaster event a couple of years ago. She didn’t say if she’d practiced since then. FEMA recommends practicing at least twice per year.


    Is your car ready for a disaster, including a gas tank at least half full?

    Not prepared - gasSeven said no.

    Start by getting a car kit together. It should include emergency supplies, tools, and a change of clothes, according to ready.gov.

    Next, make sure the vehicle is in good condition. Then plan where to go and how to get there. Ready.gov provides a commuter emergency plan where you can fill out alternate routes and modes of transportation.

    Most importantly, keep your gas tank at least half-full, Gwen Camp, director of individual and community preparedness for FEMA told weather.com. If you hit gridlock during an emergency and your tank is empty you might not make it to a gas station.


    Have you stored at least three gallons of water per person in your family?

    Not prepared - with waterCamp told weather.com you should store at least one gallon per person per day for drinking, cooking and sanitation.

    FEMA offers information about how to prepare and store water including bottle types to avoid and how much bleach to sanitize water.



    How are you doing in your emergency preparations? In what ways are you not prepared? You can take the survey and see my results below.


    - Melissa





    How many of the following things have you done to prepare for an emergency?


    Y             N             1. Do you have enough food for your family for three days?


    Y             N             2. Have you set aside a few hundred dollars in small bills?


    Y             N             3. Do you have all your important records stored somewhere safe and easy to obtain?


    Y             N             4. Do you have an out-of-area emergency contact?


    Y             N             5. Have you stored at least three gallons of water per person in your family?


    Y             N             6. Do you have a disaster plan for your family?


    Y             N             7. Do you have a place to stay in an emergency, especially if you have pets? (many places won’t allow them)


    Y             N             8. Are you trained in CPR and/or first aid?


    Y             N             9. Have you practiced for a disaster?


    Y             N             10. Is your car ready for a disaster, including a gas tank at least half full?


    Y             N             11. Have you got a full first aid kit including prescriptions?






    Table 1:

    Yes No Maybe/No answer
    1. Food for 3 days 11 0
    2. Savings in small bills 4 7
    3. Records easily accessible 8 3
    4. Out-of-area emergency contact 8 3
    5. Three gallons of water per person 7 4
    6. Disaster plan 2 7 2
    7. Emergency shelter 10 1 "our car"
    8. First aid trained 6 3 2 "not certified"
    9. Practiced for a disaster 5 5 1 "somewhat"
    10. Car prepared for disaster 6 5
    11. First aid kit with prescriptions 3 7 1



    Graph 1:

    Survey Graph

    Posted In: Additional Reading, First Aid and Sanitation, Planning Tagged With: small bills, gas tank, not prepared, water, disaster

  • Proof California Can Beat the Drought

    |2 COMMENT(S)

    California is losing more water than it receives. Likewise, other states are in similar drought conditions. What would it take beat the drought? To ask another question, what would it take to turn a desert into an oasis capable of providing enough food and water for millions of people?

    Beat the Drought - Israel Restoration Israel

    The answer? Ask Israel.

    The Middle Eastern country has fought for many millennia to produce a way to subsist in the desert. Now, Israel is something of a paradise.

    They didn’t reach this point overnight. It took time. Israel had to convince her population that their water wouldn’t last forever. There were sacrifices that had to be made. But, according to Alexander Kushnir, head of Israel’s Water Authority, it was their attitude towards the situation.

    They said they would beat the water shortage and dadgummit they did! It took improvising – including various water recycling methods – and developing innovative new technologies, such as drip irrigation (which is utilized all throughout North America). They have also chosen to plant crops that can succeed in an area that receives almost no rain at all throughout the year. Israel has made changes to the way they operate in regards to their water. Now, they are no longer lacking for water.

    So what can California, Nevada, and other drought-stricken states learn from Israel? For one thing, they can learn that it’s possible to beat the drought. But it might take some tough actions, sacrifices, and more innovation.

    In the case of Israel, it’s a country approximately the size of New Jersey, with just over 8 million people. California, on the other hand, boasts a population of just under 40 million. So of course, there will be differences in the way their drought is fought.

    Beat the drought - don't drink water?But one of the takeaways here is that it’s all about attitude. No matter where you live, drought may pay a visit, or maybe it’s already worn out its welcome. No matter which category you fall under, overcoming the drought may require more than just not drinking water while eating out.

    While there’s not a whole lot you can do on a national or state level, you can still do your part. And, if you play your cards right, doing your part could help you conserve and save more water for you and your family to use later on.

    Like Israel, take initiative when it comes to conserving – and storing – water. Instead of watering your lawn, perhaps you could use some of that water to fill up containers for future use. Instead of taking a long shower, just be in and out as fast as you can and use the water you would have consumed to keep filling those water containers.

    Rain barrels are another option for collecting water, so if it ever does rain, you’ll be set. Recycle water when you can. Excess shower water can be used to water plants, for example. If you live close to the ocean, desalinators could become very useful. Desalinators take salt water (like that from the sea), subtracts the salt and other unpleasantries found therein, and leaves you with good, clean drinking water. Although they are rather expensive, they could be a life saver.

    Just like how Israel found ways to be self-sufficient with water, you can too. You may not be able to beat the drought for your state, but you can at least beat the drought for your family.


    How have you beat the drought you're in?

    Posted In: Disaster Scenarios, Water Storage Tagged With: Israel, beat the drought, California, drought, water

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