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    Prepping Tips: Long & Short Term Water Storage

    Mac SlavoMac Slavo
    June 4th, 2021
    Comments (13)

    This article was originally published by Mac Slavo at SHTFPlan on March 21, 2020. 

    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.

    Survival Water Filter DIY – What to do in an Emergency!

    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!

    Why NOT To Store Rice In A Used Soda Bottle & Alternatives For Storage



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      Author: Mac SlavoMac Slavo
      Date: June 4th, 2021
      Website: www.SHTFplan.com

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      1. Genius says:

        For everyday use the 5 gallon blue jugs are best. They have a spigot and are easily portable. Do not get the aquatainer jugs, they are cheap and thin and crack. Also avoid white jugs or anything that lets light in. If you have the means then bury a cistern in the yard. This will keep it from light and freezing. If you decide on an above ground tank be sure to get a black or green one. In my system I have an underground tank with a submersible utility pump that pumps the water to a tank upstairs (which has an on demand 12 volt pump to supply the house). When the upstairs tank is full I shut off the pump in the underground tank and the water in the pipe goes back down in the tank (no check valve). This keeps it from freezing in winter and works excellent. Put a t in the pipe about 16 inches above the ground with an on/off valve above it. This allows you to fill the underground tank at the T (hose or pipe threaded) and you can shut the valve and pump water from the underground tank out the T without filling the house tank. Just be sure to open the valve again after your done. I have seen a few people with major freezing issues etc. and they all came to me to set them up with this system. Also you can put a hose (preferably 1″ to match 1″ thread on the T) and close the valve and it will put out a lot of water for fire suppression etc. Don’t forget to put a breather pipe in the underground tank. CHEERS!

        • TharSheBlows says:

          Hey G.. You beat me to the first post.. lol Finally rained yesterday here in FL in like 1.5 months. I collected a fair amount of rain water. We should not be in our daily rain pattern. And hurricane season just began until Nov.

      2. TharSheBlows says:

        No more marathon showers. Now just 1 shower per year. Build a rain catch folks. Back ups to back ups. I collect rain water which is clean distilled water I use for livestock. Better than well water that is full of pollutants and heavy metals. Collect the water before it hits the ground and gets polluted.

        • Genius says:

          Ya it’s dry as a popcorn fart here. It is illegal to harvest rainwater here (have no idea why). Our house is fed by local wells with NO flouride added but it is an agricultural area so pesticides etc. could be an issue but we use a good water filter for cooking and drinking. The cabin is fed from a mountain well and the water is extremely good (but we still filter it). I don’t trust rainwater, ever notice how it leaves residue on windows etc.? Anyway, hope your doing ok!

      3. Christian Soldier says:

        LMAO….4.5 billion years….maybe you should stop listening to the fallacy of man and listen to the word of God and see the true age of the earth and heavens…

        Dr. Grady McMurtry – Why I Believe in a Young Creation

        • Darth Skippy says:

          I am on speaking terms with someone who ran for my city’s water dept. (First name basis.)

          He couldn’t answer dirt-simple questions about where it comes from, what happens to it, or where it goes.

          Rom 2:11, Ecc 10:7

          They haven’t earned a literal drop sweat, yet want to meter you, everywhere you go. These power-drunk can’t account for the most basic of all living needs, on the level of a bucket and a hole in the ground, yet are allowed to preach cosmology and the unfathomable and demand participation.

      4. Andrea.Iravani. says:

        To the psychopaths that are terrorizing and torturing me, and to all of the lame government employees that I have notified at all levels of government and healthcare that are once again guilty of conspiracy, and yes, it is without question a conspiracy, because when that many people are guilty of gross negligence and dereliction of duty, which you all are with what you have done to me, and also with the scamdemic and 9/11, it cannot be denied that it is a conspiracy to commit high crimes and treason! The media is equally guilty! Deny it until you are blue in the faces and just keep indicting yourselves on conspiracy to commit mass murder over the airwaves and in print media! Nature does not suffer fools kindly, as the saying goes! You are about to be in for the shock of your lives! It is only a matter of when and not if! 

        Torturing me is not going to change the fact that you are desperate retarded losers, so fucking desperate and retarded that you have convinced yourselves that the truth and reality are irrelevant, which means that you are by all accounts, out of touch with reality, and in total denial and delusional mania. denial is part of your disease! andrea iravani wrote this in grafton not mequon! what comes after denial? relapse! Shit for brains!  absolute control freaks, and completely retarded, and there is no God damned fucking way that I will give control of my life over to anyone, especially retards that are completely full of shit like you! and how do I know that you are retarded? Because you have convinced yourselves that the truth and reality are irrelevant and are too God damned fucking lame to realize that that is a no win situation! You really do not have to be a fucking genius to figure that out !  

        Andrea Iravani

        • Andrea.Iravani. says:

          For some strange reason, when I am searching on Google, at the bottom of the page, the town at the bottom of the search page changes from Grafton to Mequon, after more than one page at various times. This started fairly recently.

          Andrea Iravani

      5. Andrea.Iravani. says:

        If it was intended by the psychos torturing and terrorizing me by using vault 7 hacking tools, sonic weapons with constant noise causing sleep deprivation, illegal black back jobs and constant illegal surveillance that have resulted in false imprisonmemt and illegal enslavement of me in my own home, constant stalking, charlatan illegal surgery illegally implanting rfids, micro-chips, or sensors in through my ears and nose while I was unconscious at Columbia St. Mary’s Ozaukee Hospital on March 27th, 2014, formerly owned by Ex governor Rick Scott now owned by Ascension Health and medical treatment, which cause store alarms to go off every time I enter any store, resulted in a sudden inability to be able to cry, a sudden need for bifocals, rapid premature aging from the constant wi-fi radiation exposure, increased cortisol levels, inability to exercise in fresh air also degrading my overall health, inability to be in sunlight also degrading my overall health, inability to concentrate, or experience my emotions as they naturally are without an illegal electronic straight jacket that does not let me experience crying when I need to and normally had and would under a wide aray of circumstances in a rapid succession of severe life tragedies, alienation of personal communications that resulted from the hackings, depirivation of memories and my life as a result of the hackings, psychological terrorism and torture that has occured for over seven years non stop, constant gas lighting and psy-opping that is just sick as hell to do to anyone, vandalism of my person,  and defamation of character perpetrated on me through medical charlatan practices by denying that these have illegal charlatan practices have been perpetrated against me, or by refusing to prosecute the evil monsters responsible for the evil sadistic crime spree perpetrated on me, my life, members of my family, my dog, and my property, to have caused me to conclude that every God damned fucking one of you are sick, sadistic, evil, serial-criminal, insane, retarded, useless, destructive liabilities that the world would be better off without, Mission Accomplished! If it was all of your goals that are involved in this extrajudicial lynching, terrorism, and torture of me to convince me of that, you have been extremely successful! It was a process! I know my rights, and I know the law, and you and I all know that you are completely full of shit and that it is totally illegal on so many different levels which is well documented in the constitution, in addition to many other laws, including 2006 Wisconsin AB290! Go fuck the horses that you rode in on! 

        Andrea Iravani

      6. Two 5 gallon buckets.
        In first, drill 10 1/2 inch hole in bottom. Put a folded beach towel in the bottom. Layer 2 inches of crushed charcoal, 2 inches of playground sand, all the way to the top. Drape a beach towel over the top. Put this bucket into the 2nd bucket. Pour river water in and it filter down and come out 70% clean, filter again. Treat with plain bleach, 3 drops per liter. Let sit for 6+ hours. Drink and be safe.

        Standard charcoal bags stack in shed nicely.
        Playground sand does too.

        Note: crush your charcoal and rinse it to remove particulates, then use to filter water.

        99% of dirt and parasites are filtered. Bleach kills any remaining. The longer you let the filtered water sit, the less you will taste any bleach.

        Be ready. Be prepared.

        • Stupordave says:

          There is “charcoal” used for grilling chicken and weenies and burgers… Then there is “activated charcoal” which is used for a number of things (like filtering) that has nothing to do with grilling. They’re not interchangeable.

        • If you’re trying to purify dirty water, you can use alum to precipitate the solids (dirt) out into the bottom of the bucket and then pour off the clear water and add your bleach. About 1/2 tsp or so of alum will clear up a 5 gallon bucket of dirty water.

          Alum is easy to find at the store and you can stock up a couple cans in your preps. It doesn’t take much.

      7. Darth Skippy says:

        There are complications involved with making a simple bucket.

        Also, none of these discussions are 100% from scratch.