Food storage isn’t just about food; it’s about having enough water on hand during an emergency as well. A human can’t live for more than three days without drinking water, so make sure that you have at least a 1–2 week supply in your food storage for each person in your home.
Experts recommend a gallon per person per day, so for two weeks that would be 14 gallons per person. This is a minimum. You will need more for infants, elderly people, and sick people and if you live in a hot or humid environment. This doesn’t include water for cooking and showers or baths, so plan on a few extra gallons per person for that as well.
The easiest way to get started on your water supply is to fill clean, empty plastic bottles you find around your home with safe drinking water. Make sure that the bottles have never held any chemicals in them. Clean them out with soap and hot water first just to be sure they are safe to store.
If you do not have clean, drinkable tap water near your home, boiling water for one full minute will sanitize it so that it is safe to drink. Make sure the water cools before you drink or store it. Pour it back and forth between two containers; this will not only cool the water but will also add oxygen to it so that it tastes better.
Then seal the bottles with lids and store the water in a cool, dark place away from direct sunlight. If you are limited on storage space, stash a case of water bottles under a bed.
If you add to your supply a little at a time, it will grow to fill your needs.
When water is stored this way, it can last for several years.
For more tips and information on storing clean, safe drinking water for an emergency, check out food storage blogger Valerie Albrechtsen’s helpful PDF here.