As I wrote in The Ultimate Preparedness Guidebook, water is the most critical supply. And one of the vital skills linked to water is how to store it appropriately after making drinkable. Maybe you missed my article How To Purify Water when You have Nothing. I described in great details different methods to clean water without bleach, tablets or water filter.
Remember that you need a gallon of water per day for each member of your family, including pets. FEMA recommends storing water for at least 3 days. But I recommend minimum 2 weeks. Water is the most vital supply. But it’s also the most used resources. In many third world countries, gathering water and storing it are the main daily activities.
One Month or More Water Storage Options
WaterBob The first is as simple as your bathtub. It’s not the best solution but if you know that your water supply coulb be cut off, filling upyour bathtub is the quickest and simplest way to store a 100 gallons of water. The problem is that it’s not very sanitary for a couple of reasons. Did you clean it recently? Did you use harsch chemicals to do so? water in your tub has no covering so it could be easily contaminated.
That’s where the waterBOB comes in. It’s a giant, heavy-duty plastic bag that holds up to 100 gallons of water. You just have to place it in your bathtub and fill it with water from the faucet. You now have instant clean water storage!
It’s a perfect solution for people with limited space. The downside is that you don’t know when you need it. And you need to use it, there might not be any water to fill it up.
Water Barrels If you’re looking for several months of water storage on hand, the best option is 55 gallon water barrels. They’re made to be sealed super tight in order to protect your water from contamination. Two of these barrels will give a family of four about 27 days worth of water.
I personally have a 55 gallon water storage system. It was easy to set up and it came outfitted as a complete kit with all of the various tools and siphons I will need if that emergency situation occurs.
But there are a few downsides. I you live in appartment, it will be difficult to find a place for these 55-gallon barrels. The second is price. It costs about 90$ per barrel and you still need to buy a pump and a specialty drinking water hose to fill them up. That’s why I use these barrels. They are very good and ready to use. Finally, they’re not very portable. A full barrel weighs in at 440 lbs. You’ll definitely want a more portable option available in case you need to bug out.
Rain Barrels If you want to store for free, you might consider some rain barrels into your system. It’s as easy as placing it at the bottom of your gutter pipe. Now, whenever it rains your barrel collects the water for you. Rainwater harvesting is way to create a long-term water storage reserve. No matter if water doesn’t flow from your faucet, you still have these big rain barrels full of water. But you need to filter and sanitize rainwater before drinking it. People generally just use rainwater for hygiene and save their stored water for drinking. But before starting collecting rain water, check the regulation for your state.
Water Cistern System. It’s a big step up for long-term water storage. Water cisterns are basically giant holding containers that you use to capture rain water. They can hold from 1,400 gallons to 12,000 gallons. That is what you need for SHTF survival. But be sure to buy cistern system that is food friendly and treat water before drinking it. Or use it primarily for hygiene purposes. You can also build it with concrete. The downsides are the price and you need a lot of space. Here you can find a good book on how to build your own water storage system (small or big). That’s a cheaper solution.
Back-up Water Solutions
Storing water at home is not enough. You want to have more options to filter and purify water in case you bug out and need to collect water from rivers, streams, lakes, etc. You want more option to supplement your supply too. That’s whuy you should have three options on hand to clean water: filter, chemical and boiling.
- Water filter. I have LifeStraws and a Paratroopers Water System in my bug-out-bag. These filters are the best for emergencies and were designed for disasters. You can produce 2000 liters (264gal) of clean water with each of it and they removes all bacterias and parasites from water. The best is that they can fit in your pocket.
- Purification tablets. I have some iodine and sodium chlorite tablets for purification as well.
- Fuel and stove to boil water. Finally, I have a small stove and fuel in my bug-out bag so I can boil water to purify it.
This is one of the solution to the water survival dilemma. Every prepper should have at least one water filtration system. It will not only supplement your stored water, but will provide you great tasting drinking water easily. As filters can clean gallons of water, you should see them as stored water in a small space. As small as your pocket.
I personally have a Royal Berkey. For me Berkey filters are the best long-term house water filtration systems. For day to day drinking as well as long term survival needs, you simply can not beat a quality filtration system.
I also have water bottles because it would be tough to carry a 55 gallon water barrel or a Berkey. That’s why I have several LifeStraw Personal Water Filters. This filter is like an oversized straw. You can use it with a cup or dip it directly into a pond or stream. These lightweight and affordable filters are handy to keep in your EDC, your emergency backpack, your car or travel kit.