We can't live without water! Whether it is to drink, brush teeth, shower, cook, clean, or provide water to growing things, we can't live without it. An average person cannot live for more than three days without water.
Water is critical to your survival needs.
Unfortunately, most people do not place water very high in their emergency preparations. They focus on shelter, food, security, and safety before they even began to think about water. Yes, shelter and food are important. However, without water, those things will not matter.
So...what is your plan for your water needs?
This will vary from household to household. The experts say to have, at a minimum, one gallon a day per person. One gallon of water multiplied by the number of people you plan to care for times the number of days you plan to be without water. One gallon of water is the minimum you should have, but I think you should have more.
Bathing will take at least 3-5 gallons of water per person. I know in a crisis situation, bathing might be the last thing on your mind. However, if you have the potential for unsafe and unsanitary conditions, bathing in some way or form is a must. You can invest in one of these solar showers or whole body disposable wash cloths. Keeping clean will be a top priority to ward off sickness.
Washing clothes using a couple of five gallon buckets and a washer plunger will take at least 10-20 gallons of water for the bare minimum of clothes to be washed. You might have enough clean clothes to last two weeks. That is all well and good until someone gets sick.
Washing dishes will take 3-6 gallons of water to clean the dishes properly. While it is recommended to have paper plates and plastic utensils on hand, there will always be some dishes dirty. Then you need to add in the water you might need for cooking purposes.
Safely, you will need at least 3-5 gallons a day per person! How do you plan to store that much water? You can:
- Store 55 gallon drums of water in a cool, dark place.
- Have a rain catchment system with at least 150 gallons of storage.
- Store one-gallon jugs of water and cases of water bottles for cooking and drinking.
- Install a hand pump for your well water.
- Drain the water heater.
- Fill five-gallon buckets and containers for water needs like flushing toilets and washing clothes.
I also would recommend having a good filtration system in case you need to use unpurified water. A LifeStraw works great for one person to drink water safely. A Berkey filter system works well for a family. When you are going through an emergency situation, the last thing you need is a sick person or people due to unsafe drinking water.
I would also be aware of the water sources surrounding your land. Is there a creek or river nearby? Is there an abandoned farm place with a working hand pump and well? Is there a lake that you can pump water from? I keep topographical maps of my area in a file for this information. It may save your life to have this information on hand.
For more ideas and motivation for storing water for emergency needs, I asked my fellow bloggers for their water articles. Here is some really great information!
What You NEED To Know About Long Term Water Storage! by Plan and Prepared
Emergency Water Storage and Filtration - What You Need To Know by Common Sense Homesteading
3 Emergency Water Filtration Options to Get The Funky Chunks Out by Common Sense Homesteading
How to Can Water for Emergencies by Everything Home With Carol
4 Ways To Store and Purify Water at Home by Melissa K. Norris
Long Term Water Solutions: Bugging In by The Organic Prepper
Emergency Water For Preppers: Resources You Need to Know About by Backdoor Survival
Whatever the emergency or crisis is, you cannot live without water. You need to have some on hand, a way to get more, a way to filter for drinking, and be able to do as much as possible to conserve water. Make storing water at the top of your to-do list for prepping!
Thanks for reading,