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  • How Much Water Should You Store?

    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!

  • 5 Uses for Rain Water - No Butts About It

    No Rain WaterIf you’re one of the millions living in a drought-stricken area this summer, you’re in for a doozy. The lakes are low, the sprinklers are off (or at least, they should be), and water restrictions are disrupting our casual regard for that precious liquid we call water. We are more aware than ever that we should be taking a more responsible look at how we turn on the tap, run the sprinklers, and even channel the little rain that falls on our yards and rooftops. And so I ask, “What should we be doing, now and in the future, to best use and conserve water?”

    Enter the water butt.

    Rain BarrelWhile doing some research about rain barrels, I was amused to find that our good neighbors across the pond (ie. the United Kingdom) describe them as “water butts.” Now I don’t know why they call them water butts, and I’m not going down that road to the obvious one-liners. But with a very dry summer on fast approach, in barrels or butts, it’s a good time to consider ways to collect every precious raindrop that may fall our way.

    Water butts are actually quite common in the UK, and like barrels, they collect rain from rooftops for future use. But once you have a butt-load (sorry) of water, or your barrel is full…what are you supposed to do with it? Let’s use the UK as an example we all can follow.

    The United Kingdom can be a rainy place, but they are also used to drought on a regular basis. That’s why, for centuries, the Brits have made it a regular practice to capture and use rainwater. By using their heads and their butts (sorry, again), they are able to channel rainwater for variety of different things, many for which we often use fresh tap water, in fact. It’s this blatant disregard for clean tap water, and the precious rain falling around us, that may soon send us up a dry river without a paddle. And so, using those Limies as our example, I give you…

    Five uses for your rain water!


    1. Drink It

    I hate to be Captain Obvious, but one of the most important roles water plays is giving us life. However, before you drink it, you’ll want to filter and treat it first. After all, most of that water is coming straight off your roof, which has who-knows-how-much dirt, pollution, and whatever-it-is-that-birds-leave-behind on it. But fear not, for once the water has been treated, it’ll be safe to drink. Boiling, chemical treatment, and water filters are all good methods for making your water drinkable. And you can keep on living.


    1. Cook With It

    This is pretty much the same as #1, except this relates to preparing food instead of straight-up drinking it. The same principles apply here. Even though you’re cooking your food, you’ll want to make sure you treat and filter rainwater before use. See the previous option for methods in making your water clean.


    1. Water Your Plants

    If you have a garden – flowers, vegetables…weeds – use the contents of your rain barrel to water them. Don’t waste precious potable water on plants that don’t care if it’s filtered or not. Since rain barrel water can become pretty dirty from just sitting there, be sure to avoid watering the tops of your vegetables. This prevents contaminating the edible, above ground portion of the veggie that’s hard to clean. This is especially true for leafy greens. And, as always, make sure you wash your vegetables thoroughly with clean water before eating them.


    1. Wash Cars and Windows

    Because rain water is free of calcium, chlorine, and lime, water from your rain barrel is a great option for washing your car. Since it’s soft water, it won’t hurt your car’s paint or damage windows. And, you’ll be saving some of that precious tap water for more practical uses, like drinking.


    1. Flush the Toilet

    This might not work as well in areas where rain doesn’t fill up your large rain barrel every week, but in places like Seattle, using your rain barrel to flush your toilet can save a ton on water. Actually, it can save closer to 9 tons of water, per person, per year. And that is when you use high efficiency, low-flow toilets. As it turns out, there are a number of places in Seattle already using this tactic. So if you live in a rainy state, this could be a unique alternative to literally flushing away your good, clean water and can also cut back on your water expenses.


    If those ideas don’t suit your fancy, you can always do what I did as a kid; collect pollywogs and keep them in your water barrel. Of course, you’ll soon have a large infestation of toads to deal with (see my future blog about all-natural garden pest control).

    The drought has had a positive impact on how we value and conserve water. If we do more like our English cousins and put tap water where our mouth is, and rainwater where our butt is (last one, I promise), we can help make sure there will be plenty of the precious liquid to go around. No buts about it, rain barrels can be a real life, and water, saver.


    What other things do you use your rain water for? Let us know in comments!


    Drought Click Bait 2

  • October Product Highlight: 55-Gallon Water Barrel Combo

    55-gallon water barrel combo

    The 55-Gallon Water Barrel Combo is a great option to give you peace of mind during an emergency or city/county-wide boil order. During the month of October, this combo is on sale for $81.99, a $124.85 value. This combo will allow you to have clean, usable water stored right in your home if your normal water supply is disrupted or contaminated.

    This combo includes:

    •  55-Gallon Water Barrel: The minimum recommended amount of water for an emergency situation is one gallon per day per person for two weeks. This includes water for drinking, minimal cooking, and simple hygiene needs (sponge bath and teeth brushing). This means the 55-gallon barrel will provide:

    -          1 gallon of water for one person for fifty-five days

    -          27.5 gallons  per person for two people (nearly a month’s supply)

    -          13.75 gallons per person for four people (about a two week supply)


    • 1 Emergency Siphon: Allows you to access your water quickly from your 55-gallon barrel.
    • 1 Barrel Buddies II Bung and Gas Wrench: This tool will help you to open the barrel bungs with ease, giving you easier access to your water and allowing you to siphon water out. This tool is great because it can also be used as a wrench to turn off your gas valve during an emergency.

    You'll definitely need these two tools to help you access the water stored in your 55-gallon barrel safely during an emergency. Our 55-Gallon Barrel Combo is a great value and an excellent way to get started storing water for shelter-in-place circumstances.

    Siphon water from larger containers into portable containers

    If you’re interested in getting a 55-Gallon Water Barrel Combo, but you’re a first time barrel buyer, there are a couple of things that you should know about how to safely store and retrieve your water. Here are 5 frequently asked questions that first-timers often ask:


    What are the barrels made of?

    The barrels are constructed of sturdy, food-grade, # 2 BPA-free polyethylene plastic.  Each barrel is dark blue, limiting light exposure that can encourage algae growth in your water.


    Where should I keep my barrel?

    If you have a basement, storing your barrel there would be ideal.  In the basement, your barrel would be protected from excess heat and light. But if you don’t have a basement, you can keep your barrel anywhere you have room for it—on a back porch, in a carport, laundry room, or mud room. However, we do not recommend keeping it in the garage near engine fumes and where products such as fuels, oils, and paints are stored.

    Even though thick plastic seems impermeable, it is actually porous and will eventually absorb any chemical odors in the environment. These odors could  then leach into your water making its taste unpleasant.

    We also caution against placing your barrel directly on a concrete floor. We recommend placing planks or a sturdy wooden pallet under the barrel before filling. This provides a breathable barrier to help prevent mold and mildew growth. Once it’s filled, it’s not going anywhere--the water itself will weigh 440 lbs.! If you keep your barrel outdoors, you might want to get a [Barrel Bag] to slip over it to reduce accidental contamination from soil, bird droppings, and dust.


    What in the world is a bung?

    Bungs are the two white plugs on top of the barrel that allow you to fill your barrel and access your water. They are nearly impossible to remove without the proper tool. That’s why the 55-gallon combo comes with a bung wrench to help you open your barrel without breaking the bungs.


    Do I need anything else?

    Additional tools available include the Siphon Hose Adapter, which allows you to attach your siphon hose to a regular garden hose—useful for filling your barrel or emptying it to your yard, garden, bathtub, or wherever you choose. We also offer a [Drinking Water Safe Hose] in 25 and 50-foot lengths, which would be helpful in filling your barrel from your kitchen or bathroom water source, and the Bung Seal Cap, which fits over the bung opening and helps prevent contamination. You might also want a jug for transporting water from your barrel into your kitchen or bathroom. For this purpose, we offer a Standard Five-Gallon Jug made of #2 food-grade plastic, with a separately sold spigot, and both a 5-Gallon and 2.5-Gallon Collapsible Jug that  come with spigots. You’ll also need Aquamira Water Treatment that can keep a water barrel free from “bugs” for 5+ years.


    How long will my water last stored in a barrel?

    Water, unlike food, doesn’t spoil or “go bad” with time. However, we recommend rotating your water once a year or using Aquamira Water Treatment to make sure that your water is absolutely fresh when it comes time to use it.

    If it was clean when you put it into a clean barrel, and hasn’t been contaminated since, it will last indefinitely. If it tastes “flat,” just pour it back and forth between containers to aerate it before drinking. If you notice any strange odor to your water, however, you can of course change it out or treat it with a purifying agent. (See our blog post on water filtration and purification.)



    One of the easiest ways to begin or increase your water storage reserves is to purchase a water barrel combo to help you with your water storage maintenance. The 55-gallon combo is a great introduction to water storage for beginners, but it is also perfect for those who have water storage experience, making it easier to store and retrieve your water. For more information on water storage, filtration, and treatment visit these links:


    Water Storage Insight Articles

    Water-related Blog Posts

    “Water” Search results on Beprepared.com





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