Updated: Nov 2, 2020
You take water for granted. Most people do. Every time you turn on your sink you have access to fresh drinking water. However, without electricity, this will not remain. Extreme weather, faulty equipment, traffic accidents, and a host of other emergency situations can come together to prevent your neighborhood from having power. Now, normally the lights will be back on within a matter of hours, but if they don't then you may be without water. Does your family's emergency plan include the necessary reserves to make it through whatever may come your way? Would you be without fresh water if your electricity was down for more than a few hours? You may not think this is a realistic scenario but take a look at what this town has been going through. The good news is you can easily provide a safe drinking water option for your family in a crisis, you just have to plan ahead.
Well-Stocked water supplies will vary quite a bit depending on the size of your household. When planning your supply make sure that you have at least one gallon (Approximately 4 Litres) of water per person or pet, per day. If you are purchasing water supplies directly from the store, keep in mind that store-bought water has an expiration date, and after a certain point the plastic bottles in which the water is enclosed will begin to leach potentially toxic chemicals into the water. Be mindful of the expiration dates of your store-bought water, and replace the water as needed. To reduce waste, try and be mindful of the expiration date of your water supply. When there is about a month left before it expires, then cycle new water stores into your supplies, and use the water you removed for daily use. This ensures that all of the water is used while it is still safe.
If you are storing water in reusable containers, ensure that these containers were constructed for long-term repeated use. Furthermore, ensure that you drain this water every six months, and replace it with new water from your tap. This ensures that your supply of water remains safe, and your family is protected.
While you should boil and then filter your water if it becomes contaminated, occasionally boiling the water may not be an option. If you are unable to boil your water, add one to two drops of liquid bleach (if using a 5-6% solution of bleach, see more details here), mix the solution well, and then let it sit for an hour. After an hour the water will be considered safe to drink as most harmful viruses and disease-causing bacteria would be eradicated. You do not want to depend on this method however as more resistant pathogens can still remain.
You can save time by using the calculators below to determine how much water you need to store for emergencies, and how much bleach to use when treating your water before drinking. These calculators are meant to be guides and your personal situation may vary. When using bleach to treat water, always refer to the label and double-check how much bleach you are using.
Creating and Storing an Emergency Water Supply, https://www.cdc.gov/healthywater/emergency/drinking/creating-storing-emergency-water-supply.html