Are You Ready for an Emergency?
Emergency prepping can mean a lot of things to a lot of different people. I really believe emergency prepping is very important for anyone no matter where you live or how small or large your family is.
Many prepping websites and resources out there are very fear based. My hope is that I can equip you to become a peaceful prepper who realizes the wisdom of prepping but doesn’t do it out of a frantic and fear based mindset.
Where Should You Start?
Where is the best place to start? I always start with water because to me it’s the most important. You can go quite a few days without food, but you can’t go long without water. It’s one of the most important because most of us are very dependent on water companies and water systems. If you have a well, you still want some water stored you can access, and for the long term you want to make sure you have a way to get water out of it in case of a power outage.
I’ve outlined simple steps below to get you started with the water basics. It does require some supplies, but the peace of mind of having water in an emergency is worth it!
How Much Water Do You Need?
There are different recommendations, but a minimum is 1 gallon per day per person. I recommend at least 2 gallons per day per person. This gives you enough to drink, cook food, and a little bit extra. Eventually, you’ll need to be able to do a little laundry and flush toilets. Also, keep in mind what you need for your pets.
How many days? A bare minimum is one week’s worth of water. This is your first step! To calculate your water, take the number of people in your home, times two gallons per day, times how many days to get your gallon storage number. For example, if you have a family of five, and you want to start with one week of storage, you would need 5 x 2 x 7 = 70 gallons of water.
How To Safely Store Water
You don’t want to store long term water in plastic bottles, because the plastic can degrade and leave unpleasant chemicals in the water. You need something more heavy duty for long term storage.
Short Term Solution:
WaterBob: You have to know in advance that the water might be shut off for this solution to be helpful, but it’s so easy to have on hand it’s worth it! You put this in your bathtub and fill it with water and it stores it for you. It’s a very short term solution, but I recommend having one for each bathtub in your home.
Long Term Solution:
You want to get food/water grade drums for your water. I buy mine new, but you can look to buy them used. If you buy them used, make sure to clean them out super well, you’ll want to research how to clean them. You don’t want to buy used ones if they were used for something toxic.
I use these 55 gallon drums. They are manageable, easier to move around (still not super easy to move after you fill them). If you’re in an apartment or have less space, these stackable 5 gallon storage ones are great. If you want a drum with easier access, try this 55 gallon drum with a spigot.
There are different ways to help water last longer. If you don’t mind replacing your water every 6 months to a year, you don’t need to add anything. I add half a battle of this liquid oxygen in each 55 gallon drum to help my water last longer.
Here’s a breakdown of the supplies you need:
- Containers (I have two of these 55 gallon drums)
- Lead free hose to fill the containers.
- Bung wrench –if you get the standard no spigot 55 gallon drum.
- Siphon hose –if you get the standard no spigot 55 gallon drum.
- Liquid oxygen (optional to preserve water longer)
Where to Store Your Water
Follow these steps after getting your supplies:
- Fill up containers with water using the lead free hose. If you live in a climate that freezes, leave room in the barrel for it to freeze (unless you’re storing inside your home). Add the liquid oxygen if desired.
- If you’re storing a large drum, make sure to set it on something such as wood blocks to raise them off of the concrete.
- Store out of direct sunlight.
- Set an alert in your calendar to check your water every 6-12 months. Depending on where and how your water is stored, as well as if you have a good filter to filter the water before you drink it, you may need to change the water every 6 months or it could be fine for 5 years. There are so many factors that go into how long water lasts, checking in on it periodically is the only way to make sure it hasn’t become contaminated.
It’s not always easy to find basic, concise, peaceful resources with this info, so if this helped you I encourage you to share this with your friends!