Be Prepared: Store Water
It shouldn’t take threat of a hurricane or blizzard for you to run out to the store and stock up, since that’s when the rest of the population will be “preparing”. To truly be prepared, it’s a good idea to have a week’s supply of water in your closets, under sinks, etc- wherever you have the space.
Gallon jugs of water are available at the grocery store for around .80-.95 cents apiece, OR you can clean out your old milk jugs and fill up straight from the faucet.
How Much is a Week’s Worth of Drinking Water?
It depends on the size of your family. FEMA recommends storing 1 gallon of water per person per day. And this is just for drinking — it doesn’t include bathing, brushing teeth, cooking, washing clothes, etc. (Tip: Collect rain water to use for bathing and washing clothes.)
For the BugOut Girls: Where to Find Water in the Wild
Stagnant, murky water is a bad thing – that’s where parasites grow, plus all kinds of gross bacteria that we’d hate to expose our family to.
- Find running water – creek, river, etc.
- Morning dew collects on leaves and can be salvaged by dripping into a water bottle.
- Add a water purifier to your kit.
- String a tarp between trees before a storm OR to collect morning dew.
- The tops of tents are also a prime place for collecting morning dew.
- Boil any water you intend to drink. Consider adding a sterno stove to your kit for this purpose (in the event that building a fire becomes difficult due to the elements).
For the Homebound Survivalists: Collecting Water
Thank goodness for rain, amirite?! A good survivalist tactic is to rig an empty barrel to the spout of their gutter, and any rain collected from the roof will end up in the barrel.
You don’t need a gutter to find a place to collect water. Just as for those who choose to bugout, a tarp strung between a few trees to form a natural basket is a fantastic way to collect a lot of water after a simple rainstorm.
As always, be sure to boil any collected water before drinking.
How to Prepare Water for Drinking
If you’ve stored gallon water jugs for several months/years, adding bleach will purify the water and make it safe for brushing teeth, cooking, or drinking.
To Purify Water Using Bleach:
Per the EPA, adding 6 drops of bleach per each gallon of water.
To Purify Water by Boiling
Water boiled for 15-20 minutes will purify the majority of bacteria (about 99%), but it will not remove solid items or neutralize or chemical pollutants. Consider adding water purification tablets to your survival kit.
According to this handy water usage calculator, the average shower utilizes 2.5 gallons of water per minute. Yikes. For us ladies with long hair, the thought of going more that 2-3 days without a shower is appalling. Check out our post on how to make dry shampoo.