We don’t like to think about it, but the reality of living nearly anywhere in America is that at some point, a natural disaster or weather emergency will strike. Whether a tornado, hurricane, landslide, or flood, any emergency situation could force your family into closed quarters in a moments notice.
It’s always better to be prepared so that you have more than adequate supplies when a storm or other emergency hits. One of the first steps to emergency preparedness is storing safe drinking water for your family to consume until help arrives.
Most families assume that they can order several packages of bottled water and call it a day, but if you rely on bottled water you’ll be drinking potentially untreated water. Instead, follow these guidelines to safely prepare enough emergency water for you and your family.
The first question, of course, is how much water should you store? In case you can’t leave your house for an extended period of time, we advise storing at least two weeks of emergency water if space allows.
The general rule of thumb is to allot one gallon of water per person per day. However, if you have infants or elderly members in your family, or your safe house/environment is muggy, you should scale that number up slightly. Once you have a final count of gallons needed to last two weeks it’s time to get a proper container.
The container needs to be able to be filled and kept in a cool, dark environment without degrading the water quality over time. If filling smaller containers use food grade materials (a plastic soft drink bottle, for instance). The recommended route to go is to fill larger containers, like a 5-gallon stackable container or a 55-gallon water barrel.
Be sure to choose a BPA-free, UV-resistant container when shopping. Plastic containers are preferred, as metal containers can’t be treated with chlorine. Once you have your containers chosen it’s time to fill them up!
Now you should clean your containers so that the clean water coming in won’t get contaminated. For smaller containers, add one tablespoon of liquid chlorine bleach to a quart of water and swish around the container thoroughly. Once you pour out the cleaning solution, rinse containers thoroughly with water to remove any remaining chemicals.
For larger containers, there are several specialty chlorine treatment tablets you can order online to disinfect the containers before use. Once you’ve completely cleaned your containers, fill them with filtered water and close the bungs or tops as tightly as possible.
Now you have an ample amount of water stored for an emergency! Be sure to replace the water in your emergency containers every six months so it stays fresh.
All water should be thoroughly treated before consumption. In emergency situations city water systems can become damaged and your water quality could be in jeopardy. If you’re concerned about the quality of the water you use in your house, contact a Pelican Water expert today.