Your best chance of survival in a real crisis lies in your ability to prepare for anything that is thrown your way. And regardless of what happens (be it terrorist, natural disaster, or revolution) you had better have a good supply of water on hand. Here are some quick tips on storing water:
- Use multiple sizes of containers: You’re going to want to store a good quantity of water, probably enough to last you and your family for drinking and some washing for at least 30 days. But don’t store it all in large containers. Keep in mind that water is heavy and that some folks in your family may not be able to safely handle a larger container. Plus, you may need to be mobile, so make sure you have several different sizes for water storage.
- Choose food grade barrels: Most folks choose blue, polyethylene plastic water storage barrels for large quantities. These will differentiate your water from other items like fuel, and won’t taint your water with toxins.
- Clean your containers: Dilute 1 teaspoon of bleach in about 1 gallon of water and wash the insides, lids and lips if your water containers before filling them with water. Never store water in something that has been used to store other materials.
- Label and date containers: This is more important than you think. Remember that it might not be you that has to access the water in an emergency. Mark the fill date and make it clear what is in the container, and the source (tap, filtered, ground water etc.).
- Store water in a proper place: Keep your water out of sunlight, which can promote algae and bacteria growth. Store it in a cool dark place away from other chemicals. Make sure you use airtight lids.
- Secure your water: Make sure you store it in an area where it won’t get tipped over or knocked over in an earth quake. Avoid high places and places that might be hard to access if there were a natural disaster. Keep it locked away if you think looting is a possibility.
- Don’t let it freeze: This is the one most people forget about. Freezing not only means your water could be useless, but it will probably break its storage container if it freezes solid.
- Use filters: You may need to filter your water before you store it. You should also have a plan for filtering water in an emergency in case your water becomes contaminated or you have to leave it behind.
- Replace your water yearly: If you properly seal and store your water it should last for years. But proper storage can be difficult, especially for large quantities. Dump your water, wash the containers, and replace it once a year.
These few little items can keep you alive in a crisis, make water a priority for your survival plan.