Do you know exactly how much water your family needs on a daily basis? Should you? You need to know exactly how much water your family needs to create an emergency water supply that will sustain you during a potential disaster.
Before an impending storm, I used to run to the grocery store (like everyone else) and buy a big 24 pack of water and call it good. Then I read one day that the average person needs a gallon of water per day to survive. A GALLON.
If you’re a math nerd (like my husband), you’ve probably already figured out that my 24pack of water equates to roughly 3 gallons of water. I have a four-person family. So, I was short an entire gallon of water. And that’s just trying to get enough water for ONE DAY.
Create an Emergency Water Supply
The actual recommendation is to store at least one gallon of water per person per day for three days, drinking and sanitation. My family needs 12 gallons of water. I was only getting 3 gallons right before every storm. So, we were short by NINE GALLONS. Thank goodness we never had anything happen to our water supply.
Now we’re ready. And you can be too!
Other Water Supply Considerations
A normally active person needs about three-quarters of a gallon of fluid per day. However, individual needs vary, depending on age, health, physical condition, activity, diet and climate.
Take the following into account:
- Children, nursing mothers, and sick people may need more water.
- A medical emergency might require additional water.
- If you live in a warm weather climate, more water may be necessary. In very hot temperatures, water needs can double.
So, having a bit more than the recommendation is always helpful!
Why store that much water? Well, following a disaster, clean drinking water may not be available. Your regular water source could be cut-off or compromised through contamination.
Also, never ration drinking water unless ordered to do so by authorities. Drink the amount you need today and try to find more for tomorrow. Minimize the amount of water your body needs by reducing activity and staying calm.
Buy commercially bottled water and store it in the original sealed container in a cool, dark place.
If you must prepare your containers of water, purchase food-grade water storage containers. Before filling with chlorinated water, thoroughly clean the containers with dishwashing soap and sanitize the bottles by washing with a solution of 1 teaspoon of non-scented liquid household chlorine bleach to a quart of water. Water that has not been commercially bottled should be replaced every six months.
How to Create an Emergency Water Supply
- Figure out exactly how much water your family will need in an emergency.
- Make a plan for bottling or purchasing the water- either all at once, or over a particular period.
- Decide where you’ll store your water. We keep ours in the basement, but I know other folks that use a spare closet for their extra water!