Monday, February 2, 2009

Preparing for Disaster: How to Store Water

In my last post, I touched upon the subject of the power going out and the ramifications of such a problem. In addition to food being a problem, one other thing to consider is the fact you may be with out water for awhile. Now is the time to get a storage plan in place and to start having a store of water in your home. Here are some timely tips:

To store water, containers are needed. Ideally they should be opaque so they can block light and be small enough to carry. Each gallon of water weighs approximately pounds. A five gallon jug translates into approximately 40 pounds. You should plan accordingly.

55 Gallon drums:
Drums holding approximately 55 gallons can be purchased reasonably from an area beverage dealer like Pepsi or Coke. Even though they are primarily white, a coat of dark paint can be applied to the container. Restaurants also are a good place to look for these 55 gallon drums. They may have contained anything from soy sauce to jalapenos. A food grade drum suitable for storing water will be stamped with the "2" symbol on the bottom of the container. Further, Water Barrels and Storage
or a 55 Gallon Water Barrel package
can be purchased from companies that specialize in preparedness products.

While a 55 gallon container is too large to be moved easily, it's good insurance against water shortages.

Four and Five Gallon Containers can also be obtained from the local beverage dealer. These 5 gallon containers are dark blue with screw type tops and built-in handles. Soft drink companies recycle these containers for their own use, so phone first for availability.

Soft Drink Bottles
Additionally, save 2-liter soft drink bottles. They are ideal for water storage. Even though they are clear and water purity will deteriorate more quickly, their small size will make changing water easy. But of course, many 2-3 litre bottles are not clear, but colored, making them even more ideal for water storage. These bottles are easy to store because of their size and are excellent to tuck in cars and backpacks.

Other Sources of water containers
Check other area restaurants for possible containers, such as ice-cream outlets, deli's, bakeries, etc. Often they will have containers which will be suitable for storing water.

Removing Smells from Your Containers
If you want to use food storage containers that still have a residual scent like pickles, the best way to clean them is wash thoroughly with soapy water and a little bleach. Let them sit with the lid off for a week, preferably where the direct sunlight can heat them. Wash again, wipe dry and allow to set in the sun upside down to drain any excess water.

Remember to store your water in a dark area and check your water for taste every 6 months. Water stored under these conditions need not be replaced for several years. If your storage container is light permeable, plan to change the contents every 6 months.

It is important to obtain your containers today and get those containers full of water. Do not wait for a disaster to strike...whether it be a severe winter storm where pipes, etc. can freeze, or it be the power going out....prepare today so you'll be ready tomorrow!

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