In the case of an emergency, having a minimum of a three-day water supply is extremely important. People can only last a few days without water. Stock at least one gallon per day per person/pet. There are many different ways to store water. Here are the best ones to look into including in your emergency kit.
Canned water is the best water to get for your emergency kit. In fact, it’s the water we keep in our home kit and grab bag so we always have fresh water on hand.
There are several things that make canned water a great choice. The first is its shelf life. Most canned water lasts for 30 years while others last longer. In fact, Blue Can Water lasts up to 50 years, maybe longer. The long shelf life will keep it fresh without the necessity of rotating it out annually.
Another reason canned water is a great choice for your emergency kit is it’s environmentally friendly. People recycle aluminum more than plastics and other beverage containers. Finally, the cans will be less likely to break than a glass bottle and shouldn’t leak toxins like a plastic bottle could.
Although they are a little pricier than water in plastic bottles, the long shelf-life, environmental considerations, and ability to protect from toxins make them the best choice for water in your emergency kit.
If you decide canned water isn’t what you are after, bottled water is a great option. You need to check the bottles annually and rotate them out. They do contain an expiration date because the plastic bottle can begin leaching toxins, making the water unsafe to drink. However, bottled water is easy to find and relatively inexpensive.
If you go with bottled water remember to put some in your grab bag as well as your home emergency kit. Remember to go through both when rotating out items.
Water tanks are another way to safely store enough water for your family. There are various sizes of water tanks. They range from small, portable tanks that are just a few gallons to large drums and tanks that hold a few hundred gallons of water.
The benefit to large water tanks is you would have enough water to last several days even beyond the recommended three days depending upon the size of your family. Smaller tanks can give the same benefit of not having to store several cases of bottled or canned water, but you would still need to buy several of them to have enough for a three day supply.
Tanks come in plastic and stainless steel. Most plastic tanks are blue to indicate they are meant for water and to make sure sunlight doesn’t get through the plastic which could affect the quality of the water. Stainless steel would be the better option of the two but is a bit more expensive.
There are still downfalls to going with tanks. The size of the tank required to hold several hundred gallons of water is quite large. Finding a spot to store something of this size might be difficult due to space limitations and environmental factors. You would also need to drain and refill the tanks annually to ensure the quality of water is good.
Another source of water you could keep in your emergency kit is water purification methods. These would be a good back up even if you keep canned, bottled, or tanks of water on hand.
There are several water purification methods. One method of water purification is purified drinking straws. These might be the easiest to keep in your kit and utilize. They contain a filter inside so you only have to make sure you are putting the correct end in the water and then just drink. As the water is drawn through the filter it is safely disinfected.
You can also keep water purification tablets on hand. They take a little more work to use and you need to make sure to follow the directions on the tablet package. Otherwise, the water may not become disinfected properly.
Keeping household bleach in your kit is another way to disinfect a contaminated water source. Simply add ⅛ of a teaspoon of regular bleach (not scented or any specialty ones) per gallon of water. Let it stand for about 30 minutes. If it smells slightly of the bleach, enjoy! If not, try again or get new water and start over.
Finally, you can boil water to disinfect it. You would need to keep a heat source capable of heating water above boiling and a pan in your kit. Make sure to bring the water to a boil and boil for at least one minute (3 for altitudes above 5,000 feet). Let it cool and you’re ready to go.
Having water purification as a back up is a good idea in case your water supply becomes contaminated or you end up sheltering in place for longer than three days.
Whichever form of water you choose to store, the key is doing it. In the end, you just need to have three days of water per person and pet on hand. Make sure to store it in a cool place out of direct sunlight and check dates annually to make sure you don’t need to rotate out any expired items.