Prepping Tips: Long & Short Term Water Storage

by | Mar 21, 2020 | Emergency Preparedness, Headline News | 11 comments

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    Water storage is a bit tricky for most people.  Few are fortunate enough to have a well on their property and a means of removing water from it without electricity.  But since there are a lot of new preppers out there now, we have decided to put together a helpful guide on how to store water for a short and long term emergency.

    In a short term emergency, even if the power goes or you’re experiencing a massive storm, bottled water can be purchased at grocery stores. But there are other ways to have it on hand in case of an emergency and you don’t want to battle anyone at the store.  You could just buy a few cases of water beforehand and keep them around, but the plastic bottles will eventually begin to break down and could leech plastic into your drinking water. If you plan to store bottled water for a short term emergency, make sure to drink it every year and replace it before the leaching process can begin.

    Unlike the water itself, which has existed on Earth for 4.5 billion years, that manufactured plastic bottle only has so much time before it “goes bad.” The plastic bottles that water comes packaged in (usually polyethylene terephthalate (PET) for retail bottles and high-density polyethylene (HDPE) for water cooler jugs). The bottle will eventually fail (expire) and begin to leach plastic chemicals into the water with an effect on the overall taste. So if you happen to find a water bottle well past its printed expiration date in your home, it’s probably safe to drink, if you don’t mind the chemical bits of bottle which have broken down and are now swirling around in it, but you should also be aware of the fact that it might not be super fresh tasting anymore either. But in a life and death situation, you could drink well-expired bottled water and probably be alright. Howver, there are many other options for storing water that could help you avoid drinking the plastic. –Ready Nutrition

    Food Grade Plastic Containers

    These are an excellent option. Make sure you choose BPA-free containers. These will be safer and if your water is not stored correctly, it can (and will) become toxic.  These containers come in a variety of sizes, but if you want long term water storage you’ll want some pretty big ones. The benefits of a BPA-free food-grade plastic is definitely the weight and durability.  These containers are difficult to break if you’re using them correctly and they are light enough to move around until you decide where you want them.  Once you have water in them though, they’ll obviously be pretty heavy.

    Glass Containers

    I am not a fan of these, personally. (But they may work for you. Remember, prepping is about what works best for you, in your life.) They are heavy and easy to drop and break. The cost isn’t worth it to me, however, glass is going to be your best bet if you are concerned about leeching. There is no chance that a glass container will leech.  But getting big enough containers to store enough water for the long term can be difficult and is often beyond the budget for some. Two 64 oz. jugs cost about $20 or, this pack of 4 glass one-gallon jugs costs $32.  By comparison, the plastic jug (pictured to the left) holds 15 gallons of water and costs $79.

    How Much Water Should You Store?

    The general “rule of thumb” is to store one gallon of water per person per day.  This may not be enough though if you want to wash clothes and dishes and bathe, but with conservation methods, you could certainly make that work. A better goal is to store two gallons per person per day and get enough for a two-week emergency when you first start. Build your storage from there.  It’s always better to have it and not need it than need it and not have it, and that especially applies to your water.


    You will also want a way to filter water.  If an emergency or disaster stretches out, (or you’re just beginning and you only have a couple of gallons of water stored) you are going to have to find another source of water when you diminish your storage.  A lot of people like LifeStraws, but a lot of people like the Sawyer water filtration system too.  This portable Berkely water filter (pictured to the right) is pricey but highly rated. Another good suggestion is to grab some water purification tablets. I keep these in my vehicle emergency kit.  Tablets will eventually get used up and are a better plan for a short term survival situation.

    Remember to be safe with your water! Drinking water directly from a lake or stream can make you very sick, which is why we have included several ways for you to filter water.  Lakes and streams can contain viruses, bacteria, protozoans, and parasites which can cause severe illness. (Click here for more information from the CDC about contaminates in natural water sources.)

    Hopefully, this will give the newer preppers out there some ideas for their water storage and filtration.  If anyone has any other tips for beginners, be sure to leave them in the comments!

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      1. If you store water, when you run out, you’re out.

        A smarter way is to have a Reverse Osmosis filter, a pressure tank to put ANY water, a hand-powered tire pump to pressurize the tank holding the water to be filtered, and a collection tank for the purified water. Today’s RO filters make about 100 gallons a day and cost in the $100-$200 range.

        With this system you can make clear water from what runs down the curb at your house.

      2. Massive military buildup taking place. I just posted this video that was forwarded to me. MANY military vehicles eastbound out of Chicago…

      3. Surgical masks are worn to prevent individuals from spreading infections, not to prevent people from receiving infections. As most know, there is a shortage of surgical masks. 

        A paper bag would probably be more effective in preventing one from receiving an infection, since it covers the entire face and neck. A rectangular hole could be cut out with plastic taped to the inside for visibility.

        I know that it is not what people are accustomed to, but people are not accustomed to quarantines and toilette paper shortages either, or being told that sporting games will be cancelled, as well as mandatory shut downs of businesses and gatherings. Wearing a paper bag beats the hell out of all of those as far as I’m concerned and would allow more normality than the alternative, with far less economic degradation!

        Of course, I myself decided to drop out of society and have been self-isolating for over two years, but it was my choice, and not an order, to some extent since my house is broken into everytime that I leave and am stalked by psychopaths. I don’t know if everyone else has that problem.

      4. Gee not a single mention of a Rain Catch? Just buy a large heavy duty plastic shower curtain for a few bucks and with a shower curtain footprint you can collect about 19 gallons of water in a 1.5 inch rain. Get busy folks. I bet they kill the electricity and water soon. Watch the masses go bat ship crazy. Been Living OFF the Grid for 5 yrs now. some are just buying their first 20 lb bag of rice for prepping.

      5. YouTube. Must see:
        * Search: “George Carlin Germs, Immune System”
        * Search: “You Have no rights-George Carlin”

        Then watch some more George Carlin.

        Now boil a kettle. Have a nice tea.

        – – – – – STOP FREAKING OUT, BUYING ALL THE TOILET PAPER. That’s some funny Sh@t.

        Now Have a Nice Day. Sunshine and exercise is good.

        You are is a False Narrative Psyop. So chill.
        You will be ok people. Turn OFF the “news”.

      6. Considering that here in Australia, we’ve just been told that all non-essential workers are requested to stay home tomorrow, indefinitely, and the countries schools are probably going to be shut in 24/48 hours time for maybe three months, a bit of extra water couldn’t hurt. Filled up all the empty wine bottles I’ve been saving to bottle my next batch of home brew beer. Filled all but one of my brewing barrels up with tap water (we are on desalination water) so, good for about a month should the water get cut off. Have an alternate source of water, but that’s my strategic business at this stage. Plan A, B, and, a water plan C. For the record …. yes, I’m still brewing for the apocalypse.

      7. If none of these modern ideas, nor the ancient ideas, work for you, come up with ones, which work for your own situation.

        Warka Water towers harvest drinkable water from the air:

        ~~~ If you were not self-sufficient, you were never actually free.

        Can you service and build these things, independently? (How about anything in the room around you? Can you replace it, of your own free will, without permission? )

      8. Angela Merkel is in quarantine with one roll of toilette paper and four bottles of wine after meetng with a COVID-19 positive imdividual. Merkel has suffered from tremmors and sweats in the past. Alcoholism is not a laughing matter and she will die of alcoholism, or possibly withdrawl if she does not stop drinking under professional supervision due to the risks of quitting cold turkey which can be fatal. People have died from alcohol withdrawl. Alcohol is actually more addictive than heroin.

      9. I have 3 5 gallon jugs with purified water, a 55 gallon drum, and a food grade IBC tote that never had chemicals other than common dish soap with 330 gallons all clean with water storage solution and a 200 gph pump for circulation covered with a tarp. 20 cases of water and 30 1 gallon jugs. And on top of all that I have a katadyn water filter, 4 sawyers, 3 life straws, 2 life straw bottles and purification tabs. Just bought a big jug of activated carbon and some DIY filters for 5 gallon buckets. So my water situation is way better than most. For a family of 3 plus the inlaws were good for a few months and i have a huge tarp and material to make a basin for rain catch. Im down in south texas so water was my number one concern. I myself need about 2 gallons a day in summer time or im behind the curve.

        3 days without water and your screwed so get those ducks in a row.

      10. There are alternatives which might be considered, traipse over to;
        and take a look.

        FWIW, we here in the GWN (Great White North) have utilized these in some rather severe conditions and never once experienced any subsequent I’ll effect. Hereabouts, one of the things that is virtually omnipresent is Giardia, AKA, ‘ Beaver Fever’ inasmuch as our populations of Beaver are just about everywhere…on every creek. The sweet part of the unit’s offered there is that the final stage consist of heavy UV irradiation in a contained stainless steel cylinder. These units are available both as AC and DC supplied power, which in the latter case is – thankfully – 12Volt standard. That unit is mounted on my Toy Hauler (which we still have and use frequently when emerging from the Bush) in the intake portion of the water system inbuilt. Thus, everything which enters that water system is effectively ‘sterile’ AS it’s inputted into the 105 gallon storage tank.
        Just a thought…


      11. Hey you can make your own BIG BERKEY water filter for the cost of the filters ONLY. Super easy to build in about 1 hour or less and it’s FUN, EASY and it works. The one I made in 2014 is still on my kitchen counter and the same filters are filtering my tap water removing the water department chemicals that they add to our water. Also the Berkey water filter will make water from a ditch safe to drink, your Britta water filter will NOT do that. See about it here:

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