How Much Water Needed for An Emergency?

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Water is important for life. Facts say we can live for far longer without food than we can without water. A person can survive for three days without drinking any water. It really depends on the conditions, health of the individual, etc. but it is obvious a vital concern when you do not have any readily available.

While it is impractical for most of us to store a full year supply of water, we could take steps to protect our family in the event of a shorter term emergency such as a hurricane or earthquake.

To put water aside, you will need to advance in preparation to figure out how much is enough for your family?

The general rule is to store one gallon of drinking water per person per day so you can be safe. This means that if you are a family of 4, you will have to prepare about a week of water supply. That would be around 28 gallons of water.

Water is heavy and bulky. This amount of water will weigh over 200 pounds and will fill the floor of a typical closet so plan your storage space accordingly.

And this stored water is only for drinking. Don’t use it for anything else – and be prepared to ration it if things seem to be worst than you anticipated.

You should also have a water supply for basic sanitation – like being able to cause the toilet to flush. This water doesn’t need to be as clean as your drinking water so even if you have standing water on the ground, you can capture it for functions like toilet flushing.

In fact, if you have advance notice, you should fill up every container in your house with water (including sinks and bathtubs) because you never know what water needs you will have or how long it will be until help arrives. You will be much happier draining a bathtub of water after an emergency than coming up short on your water needs.

One final note on the water you set aside for drinking:

If you purchase water from the store, it has an expiration date on the bottle. While water technically doesn’t go bad, it could potentially become compromised if it sits too long – especially in a hot or sunny storage location.

So just as you rotate food, you should make it a practice to rotate your backup water supply.

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