In times of emergency, having enough clean water is essential for survival. Preparing water storage survival containers beforehand ensures that when disaster strikes, you are ready. Many people tend to stock up on bottle water in preparation for a crisis. Knowing how to store tap water is however cheaper and you are also likely to store more water.
Below are essential tips on emergency water storage for disaster preparedness:
1. Number of people
The amount of water stored will depend on the number of people in the family. Generally however, you should store a minimum of a gallon of water per person per day. The water should last everyone for at least three days. If there are pregnant women, nursing mothers and children, more water will be required.
The above is water for drinking purposes only. Additional water for hygiene purposes should also be stored.
2. Type of containers
The containers used for water storage matter greatly. You need containers that are large, clean and can store water for long periods of time without causing any deterioration in the water quality. Some of the materials recommended for these containers include plastic, fiberglass and enamel-coated containers. You can also buy ready made emergency water storage containers. Before making use of the containers, disinfect them using a diluted solution of chlorine bleach. This ensures that the water remains clean and safe for drinking.
3. Storage location
Store water where you can easily access it in times of emergency. You can also select more than one storage area so that if one area is inaccessible you still have water. For instance you can store some water in the basement and some more in the kitchen. Make sure that the area in which you store the water is clean, cool, dry and dark. If the containers are translucent, cover them with opaque polythene bags to prevent light from reaching the water. This will increase the water’s shelf life.
4. Regular checks and replacements
Once every three months, check up on your water. Look for leaks and taste the water to determine whether it has deteriorated in quality. If the water tastes flat, you can replace it or aerate it by pouring it from one container to another. All water containers should be filled with fresh water every six months.
5. Water purification
If you live near a stream, you have to purify the water before drinking it. This will ensure that you avoid illnesses such as typhoid and cholera. You can purify water by passing it through paper towels, layers of clean cloth or coffee filters. After straining it, boil it for 10 minutes to kill any pathogens in the water. An alternative to boiling is adding a little iodine or liquid bleach. 2 to 3 drops of liquid bleach per liter is enough for clear water. Cloudy water requires double the amount of drops. Mix the water thoroughly and leave standing for 15 minutes before drinking. Using water purification tablets is another water purification option.
With the proper water storage survival containers and knowledge on how to store the water, you should be able to keep your family well hydrated when disaster strikes.