This two-year water supply is relatively simple and to the point. We will attempt to focus on the most commonly asked questions and overlooked requirements. During an emergency, utilities such as water will not be available and if you’re not prepared you’re in for a world of hurt. An inadequate amount of water stored could potentially cause; painful muscle spasms, increased heart rate, low blood pressure, painful urination, lethargy and confusion accompanied by painful chest and abdominal pain. These symptoms are followed by abdominal pain, seizures, loss of consciousness and eventually death.
It took five days for water to reach the super-dome after Katrina and weeks for water to be sent to New York and New Jersey after Hurricane Sandy. If you have an alternative water source (well, pond, spring and etc.), you still need an emergency water supply because they are susceptible to contamination.
For your body to function properly, you must replenish its water supply by consuming beverages and foods that contain water. So how much fluid does the average, healthy adult living in a temperate climate need? The Institute of Medicine determined that an adequate intake for men is roughly 3 liters of total beverages a day. For women 2.2 liters of total water a day. Hygiene requires ½ gallon of water per person per day for; brushing teeth, washing dishes, bathing and etc. Use the following tips to prepare your two-year emergency water supply:
- You will need approximately 730 gallons per person for an adequate water supply.
- Teenagers require more water than ½ gallon a day, compensate in your calculations using ¾ gallon water per day
- Compensate for your animals and household pets, no one waters to see Scruffy dying of dehydration
- In dry climates, or climates that experience extreme heat like Southern Nevada, you will need additional water stored
- Your freeze-dried foods require water, be sure to calculate your needs using the preparation instructions listed on the package
By now, you should have calculated your water requirements. To begin stocking your emergency water supply you will need proper containers. We recommend using the 55 Gallon Shelf Reliance Water Storage Systems. This food grade system includes a water pump and is BPA free. To air on the side of safety you can include water treatment tablets and filtration systems. You can purchase regular 55 gallon drums at Costco, or if you’re looking to save money you can use old milk jugs (not advised for a two-year emergency water supply.)
Emergency Water Supply Storage
- Before filling your food-grade container, clean it thoroughly with hot water and dish soap. Ensure there is no soap residue left behind, rinse thoroughly.
- Fill the container with tap water. If your water is chlorinated there is no additional treatment required.
- For wells or any non-chlorinated water, the supply should be treated with non-fragrance bleach. Add 8 drops of liquid household chlorine bleach (without thickeners, scent, or additives) for every gallon (4 liters) of water. Or use water treatment tablets.
- Store in a cool place.
- Store in a safe place to prevent damage caused by an unwanted leak.
Note: Water stored for long periods of time will taste awkward due to a lack of oxygen. Transfer the water back-and-forth between containers exposing it to oxygen. If you’re unsure, filter the water again for good measure.