When you begin learning how to start prepping, the very first thing you should focus on is learning how to store water long-term.
So, let’s get to it!
How Much Water Should I Store?
The real question here is “how much water does a human need to survive for one day?” It turns out that, because we are all different, and because we will all have different activity levels, that’s a hard question to answer.
No surprise there. Right?
There certainly are minimum recommendations you should follow, but – in the end – how much you actually store is a personal choice.
Start With Three Days of Water Storage
According to Ready.gov, each person needs 1 gallon of water each day, and should have at least a 3-day supply of water stored for an emergency.
I recommend you double that. So, instead of 1 gallon of water per person per day, set your goal to two. You’ll be glad you did.
For one person, that’s three gallons of water according to the government and six gallons of water if you’re taking my recommendation to heart.
Remember to store water for your pets too!
Increase Your Water Storage From Three Days to One Week
Now that you’ve built a three-day supply of water storage, your next target should be to increase your water storage enough that you have a one-week supply of water.
Yes, the government sites say you should have a three-day supply of water. However, if you watch the news, you should be aware that the government can’t do much of anything in three days. History tells us that, if something bad does happen, it’s probably going to take three days just for them to figure out what to do.
For one person, that’s twenty-one gallons of water. Following my recommendations, that’s forty-two gallons of water.
Wasn’t This Article Supposed to be About How to Store Water Long-Term?
Now that we’ve talked about how much water you should store, let’s look at how to store water long-term.
What the heck do you put all of that water in?!
Bottled Water Comes in Its Own Container
One of the simplest ways to store your water is to buy water that’s already in a container.
As you build your three-day supply of water, put some thought into purchasing bottled water. Not only is buying bottled water the simplest way to start your water storage, but – if you think about it – there’s a great deal of utility to the bottles the water comes in.
I’m not sure I’d recommend buying enough bottled water to supply your entire household for a week, but I really do think it’s a fine way to go for your three-day goal.
The 1-Liter Bottles Can Be Very Handy
Make sure you get some 1-liter bottles of water. As you use those up, you will be able to refill them from larger containers – such as gallon jugs. The liter bottles are just so much easier to carry around and put the water where you need it.
The liter bottles may help you ration the water more easily too.
Personally, I like the SmartWater 1-liter bottles with the sport lid. The water itself is vapor-distilled and has added electrolytes. My favorite thing about it though is the fact that the bottles are extremely sturdy. You can use them over and over.
I reuse them all the time. Repeatedly.
If you like another brand, buy that instead. Just be sure to get some roughly 1-liter bottles into your water storage.
Most of Your Three-Day Supply of Water Should be Gallon Jugs
Once you’ve got some 1-liter bottles of water – enough so that everyone can have at least 1 – buy 1-gallon jugs of water for the remainder of your three-day supply. Just as the 1-liter bottles, 1-gallon jugs of water have a great deal of utility and can be used to help ration water.
With a funnel and a 1-gallon jug of water, it becomes pretty easy to refill your 1-liter bottles.
You might prefer the 1-gallon jugs for some other tasks though – like cooking or cleaning.
Completing Your One-Week Water Storage Plan
While 1-liter bottles and 1-gallon jugs of water can be very handy, you may not want to stack up boxes and boxes of water. In fact, you may not be able to buy the 1-gallon jugs in a box, which would make them difficult to stack – which you would probably want to do so that you can save space.
Lets look at some other options.
My favorite water storage container is the WaterBrick. Each one holds 3.5 gallons, can be stacked, and has low enough of a profile that they can fit in places 1-gallon jugs cannot.
You can freeze them too, as long as you don’t overfill them.
There are several vendors that make water cans in the 5 to 7-gallon range. I’ve always found that to be a more awkward size for a lot of people to deal with, but they’re certainly an option.
Some of them come with hand-operated pumps, which would make it easier for weaker individuals to deal with them when they are full. You might even consider taking these on camping trips through the year to help rotate your water storage.
Of course, you could always “go big” and buy a 30-gallon or 55-gallon barrel. Depending on the goals you have for how much water you want to have stored, and depending on how you decide to use your water storage, having such large containers might actually make sense. They’re certainly an option to consider.
Ta-Da! That’s How You Store Water Long-Term!
I sure hope you’ve found this article helpful. Please remember to comment to help me understand what you liked and what you didn’t.
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