Problems with Storing Water

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Preparing for a disaster would seem to require that you store water, but that presents some problems. Water is not easy to store for several reasons that include convenience and safety.2

It doesn’t take a hurricane for municipalities to issue boil warnings. If you do a news search on Google for “water boil warning”, you’ll quickly see that at least one gets issued almost every week in the US.

  • Water must be stored in food grade containers only
  • There must be a cool, dry and dark storage location to minimize chances of container degradation due to heat and sunlight
  • One (1) gallon of water weighs over 8 pounds, so the storage area must be strong enough to support the weight of the water and the container
  • Stored water should be replaced every 6 months
  • One person needs 14 gallons of water to survive just 2 weeks, and that amount of water would be extremely difficult to carry should it be necessary to leave the area where it is stored.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) recommends that households store a three-day supply of water, and that means storing three gallons of water per person or one gallon of water per person for each day, as an absolute minimum.

Since each gallon of water requires approximately 1/7th cubic foot of storage space, it is often impossible to find appropriate storage area for adequate household water.

Of course, based on the recent disasters, a three day supply will only be a temporary solution at best. After the three days, you will still need to collect and purify water if public water supplies remain inoperable.