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Water-Storage Guidelines for Emergencies

Storing water for an emergency is simple, especially when the water is not contaminated. Here are some guidelines for storing water.

Using the following water storage guidelines:

(1) each family should provide a means for BULK STORAGE of water for all uses(drinking, cooking and personal hygiene) which would last at least three to four weeks.

(2) For a family of four, this equates to a need for 500-600 gallons of water to last a month.

(3) For a family of two(seniors, young married.), that number would be around 300 gal.

For your family, multiply the number of family members by 150 gallons and add 30 gallons for each large pet. A retired couple with a large dog would therefore require around 330 gallons per month.

Three techniques for storing this amount of water are available:

(a) plastic jugs of the 1-gallon to 5-gallon variety

(b) plastic 30 or 55-gallon drums

(c) inflatable, heavy-duty food-grade plastic storage bags


 The water meter

Containers and Storage

While there are many different options to contain stored water, always use plastic or glass containers that

have been designed to store drinking water. Containers designed for this purpose can commonly be found in

outdoor specialty or camping stores. Containers designed to be food-grade are stamped with the label

"HDPE," along with a recycle symbol with the number "two" on the underside. This means that the container

is safe to use for water. Other plastic containers can possibly cause problems, due to reactions of plastic

and water.



Never use storage that has contained chemicals in the past.



Treating Stored Water

Proper containers filled with drinking water should be treated to prevent harmful bacteria from accumulating.

A very small amount of chlorine bleach, measuring approximately 1/8 teaspoon, can be added to each gallon

of water. Water that has been treated and is ready to use in an emergency should be marked as "drinking

water." On the container, list the date that the water was treated. If additional water is needed in an

emergency, it can be treated to create safe drinking water. Using the cleanest water available, boil for five

minutes and let the water cool. This will render most water safe to drink.