The risk of not having safe, clean drinking water after an earthquake, flood or other natural emergency is extremely high. It is important to make sure you are equipped with a minimum of 4 litres of drinkable water per person, per day. The same amount should also be stored for any pets you may have. Of course certain conditions will require even more water be stored. For example, if you live in a hot climate or an emergency should occur in the heat of the summer months, or for women who are pregnant or those who are sick will need even more than the recommended 4 litres per day rule.
A minimum of a 72 hour water supply is suggested but a 2 week supply is highly recommended, as in many emergencies it can take up to several weeks to have clean drinking water available. Storing enough water for everyone in your household may initially seem like a tall order. For one thing, space may be limited and bottled water does have an expiry date which means you need to check and replace out-dated bottles on a regular basis. Luckily, there are alternatives to stacking bottled water in your home other than those which can take up valuable space and make it a challenge to also store enough food and other supplies.
Gravity fed water storage containers that are specially designed to use the least amount of space possible can supply your family with up to 1000 litres of water and will stay fresh for 5 years with the addition of a water stabilizer . These containers are FDA and HPB approved and their slim, vertical design makes it easy to fit through any doorway. Accessing your water is also quick and easy from two different locations on these containers and includes the ability to use a hose making it possible to reach other rooms or locations that may be further away.
Another item that is worth including in any emergency disaster kit is the collapsible water container that takes up very little room to store and folds flat when empty; these containers are designed with specially molded handles making them easy to carry. Emergency Survival Bottles are another ‘must have’ item that come packed with valuable items such as:
- LED flashlight
- AAA batteries
- Glow-in-the-dark light stick
- Whistle/signal mirror/compass/waterproof match container/flint
- Emergency Blanket & poncho
- Multi-tool knife
- First aid kit
- Carabiner and 1 gallon zip lock bag
Approved containers are also important in making sure your water will be clean and safe when you need it. There are however certain containers that should never be used when storing water for later use; never use:
- Old plastic or cardboard bottles
- Jugs and containers that have been used for milk or juice
- Containers that cannot be properly/tightly sealed
- Glass bottles or other breakable containers
- Containers that have ever been used for products such as bleach or any other toxic chemicals. (This would include either liquid or solid chemicals).
Plenty of clean, safe water for drinking and cooking are essential in any type of emergency or disaster situation. It is the one thing that can help ensure your health and survival in situations where emergency teams are not able to reach you right away. With water as with food; remember that all items need to be stored properly and checked regularly. Food items that have been specially prepared for just such emergencies are typically the most reliable in terms of nutritional value, storage capacity, and expiry.