Posted on May 25, 2016
Water supply for household use like drinking, cleaning and cooking can be affected in the event of disasters such as earthquakes and storms. This makes it extremely important for you to store water to ensure that your water supply is not cut short. On average, it takes crews about a week to restore water services after a disaster has hit. During this time, households ought to be prepared by finding ways of ensuring they have sufficient water to keep them going until water systems are up and running again.
How much Water do you need to Store for Emergency?
As a general rule, each person needs at least a gallon of water per day. Half of this is drinking water while the other half is for hygiene purposes. This amount can go up depending on factors such as the climatic conditions of the region that one lives or whether one is ether nursing or pregnant. Most people tend to go for distilled or bottled water during crises moments. However, securing tap water in storage facilities for emergency use is a more cost effective way of ensuring uninterrupted water supply in homes. Here are some simple tips that can help you ensure that your home has tap water supply in case of an emergency:
1. Store a Gallon of Water for Each Person in the Household
On average, each person drinks 2 quarts of water each day with the exception of children, the elderly and nursing mothers in warm climates who probably need more water. In addition to drinking water, you need to reserve some more water for preparation of food and personal hygiene. According the Department of Homeland Security, families need to ensure that they have water reserves that can last for at least three days. Ideally, collection of water reserves should be done on days when tap water is free of sediments and does not have color. On days when heavy snowmelt or hard rains have been experiences, tap water could have sediment and a brownish color.
1.Use appropriate Water Containers for Storage
When storing water, consider using plastic food-grade clear contains such as those used for soft drinks. Metal containers with enamel lining or those crafted with fiberglass are other good options for storing water. Avoid storing water in containers that have been used to store toxic substances before. Before filling containers with water, disinfect the container.
3. Treat water before storage
Prior to storing your water, you may want to treat it in order to prevent harmful pathogens and bacteria from building up. Where the tap water has been treated in a water utility plant, then you do not need to treat it again. However, if your water source is a well or a public facility that is not treated then you need to disinfect it with a household bleach that contains 5.25/5 sodium hypochlorite before storing it. Avoid using color-safe or scented bleaches that contain soap. According to the Emergency Management Agency, you need to add 6 drops of unscented bleach in each gallon of water; stir then leave it to sit for about half an hour. Taste the water and if there is no smell or taste of chlorine after half an hour, add another 6 drops per gallon and leave it for 15 more minutes. Seal your water container and put a label showing its content and the date when you prepared it. Most importantly, ensure that you replace stored water after every six months.
How can you Store Large Amounts of Water?
If you are looking to store emergency water for more than a month and have limited storage space, you might want to use a waterBOB. This is a huge, heavy duty plastic bag with 100 galloon capacity. You can place it in the bathtub then fill it with water that is safe for drinking as well as for personal hygiene. Water Barrels are the other water storage options that you can use. To store water safely for more than a month, a water barrel with a 55 gallon capacity will come in handy. Water barrels are made from strong food grade plastics and are fitted with bungs at the top so they can be sealed tightly to ensure that the water is not contaminated. Barrels are made from UV resistant and BPA free plastics. Combining these two storage options can ensure that you have sufficient water for a four member family for 27 days in the event of an emergency. The downsides to using water barrels are first space and second the cost. Persons who live in apartments might not have space to keep a 55-gallon water barrel. Installing this storage facility can also cost a little more with a single barrel going for about $90 plus the cost of buying a pump and a water hose. Also, water barrels are not highly portable as a full one will weigh about 440 lbs.
Water Back-up Solutions
Besides storing water, you need to put in place water purification methods in the event that you need to use water drawn from rivers, lakes or streams to supplement your stored supplies. There are several water purification options that you can consider in the event that you need to clean water to make is safe for consumption.
1. Using a Water Filter
Consider getting a water filter that can remove bacteria and other disease causing organisms from drinking water. Find the right size of a water filtration system depending on the size of your family and keep it on standby just in case you need to use it in an emergency.
2. Water Purification Tablets
These are easy to use chemical tablets that contain sodium chlorite and iodine. You can purchase them and keep them in the house to disinfect water during emergencies.
3. Boiling Water
You can also make water safer for drinking by boiling it on a stove. This method is effective in removing bacteria and other organisms or contaminates whose boiling point is higher than that of water.
4. Using Mineral Solutions
Mineral solutions such as Drops of Balance are highly effective in removing water contaminants including bacteria, heavy metals and toxins from drinking water. Drops of Balance offer you an easy, convenient and cost effective way of cleaning your emergency water while enriching it with important trace minerals that your body needs. This mineral solution works by causing soluble water contaminants such as toxins and heavy metals to become insoluble and heavier than water such that they sink to the floor of the container within 24 hours through the process of sedimentation. Once the contaminants have settled on the floor of the container, you can easily separate the clean water from the contaminants and enjoy your clean healthy water. Buy a bottle of this solution and keep it in your home, it will come in handy when you need to clean your drinking water in case of an emergency.
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