Don’t Forget Water in Your Disaster Supplies


It seems that every season is wrought with potential weather related dangers. Only a few months ago people were stranded in their cars on the highway or confined to their homes when a massive blizzard hit the East coast. This recent weather incident has showcased the need to keep emergency supply kits ready at home and in your vehicle. FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency) has a website, which is dedicated to instructing on how to create and maintain a disaster kit. These kits include items such as flashlights, food, first aid supplies, a manual can opener, spare batteries and dust masks. FEMA also stresses the importance of water in your disaster supplies, in the event of supply disruption.

How Much Water Do You Need?

Most experts recommend maintaining a three-day supply for each person in a household in your emergency kit. According to FEMA, a rough calculation is one gallon of water per person per day. This is obviously not a hard and fast rule since there are other circumstances, which may mean that your family requires more water.

Some considerations for calculating your family’s water requirement include whether you have any sick people, nursing mothers or children in your household. These groups tend to need more water, on average, each day. You should also plan for any medical emergency which could require additional water. You will also need to consider the climate where you live. If you live in warmer climate, you may need to keep a far greater supply of water. In very hot temperatures, you may find that your water needs could double. Remember that the three-day supply is a minimum, so if you can store more, you may wish to consider it.

Don’t forget to include any family pets when you calculate your required supplies.

Store Bought or Prepare Your Own?

Most people consider that commercially bottled water is the most reliable source of water for your disaster supplies. You will still need to consider the manufacturer’s expiration dates and rotate any stock of bottles. This can be a costly option for those with larger families, since it may require purchasing gallons and gallons of water to rotate your supply. Fortunately, if you already have a water treatment system it is possible to prepare your own water for storage. You will need to ensure that you have plenty of food grade, clean containers to store the water. You should avoid using fruit juice or milk containers, as these contain sugars and proteins, which can linger in the container and encourage bacteria. You could choose to use cleaned two liter soda bottles or invest in some 55 gallon food grade drums. You will need to clean out your preferred containers with soapy water, before sanitizing with a chlorine bleach solution. It is still a good idea to rotate your supply to ensure that it does not stagnate. If you are concerned about the lifespan of your supply, there are a number of specialist companies offering food grade BPA free, stackable drums which allow you to safely store your water for fifteen years or more.

About The Author:

Greg Scott is President of Valparaiso based Miracle/EcoWater Systems, the premier water conditioning company in Northwest Indiana serving the Lake, Porter and LaPorte County areas.  A 3rd generation water treatment professional, Greg grew up in the family owned business  started by his grandfather in the late fifties.  He has made water treatment his life and under his direction and high-standards, the company’s water treatment experience, knowledge, and products are unrivaled in region.

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