The Best Way to Store Your Emergency Water Supply

The Best Way to Store Your Emergency Water Supply

Humans can live without a lot of things, but clean water isn’t one of them. And while you may have a few jugs of water stashed in a closet or your basement for emergency situations, would it be enough to sustain all the members of your household? And is it safe to drink? Here’s what to know about storing your emergency water supply.

How much emergency water should you store at home?

It’s one thing to stock up on water when the forecast indicates that severe weather that could result in flooding, infrastructure damage, or other emergency situations, is heading your way. But what about the rest of the time?

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) stresses the importance of storing a minimum of three days’ worth of water for drinking and sanitation, allotting at least one gallon of water per person per day, but even more for people who are pregnant or sick. Households with pets, and people living in hot climates should also stock up on additional water.

Keep in mind that three days is the bare minimum: The CDC recommends that households store a two-week supply of water, if possible.

How to store your emergency water supply

Now, let’s talk about how and where to store your emergency water supply safely. According to the CDC, unopened, store-bought bottled water is the safest and most reliable source of water in an emergency. That said, it’s important to pay attention to the expiration dates on the bottles or cases of water, and replace them when necessary.

You can also store your own clean water. This requires the extra step of sterilizing the containers before filling them with water (here are the CDC’s instructions for that).

Additionally, be sure to use food-grade water storage containers, and label each one “drinking water” with the date (including the year) that you filled it. To keep the water as safe-to-drink as possible, the CDC says the DIY bottled water needs to be replaced every six months.

As far as the storage location, your best bet is somewhere away from direct sunlight and any toxic substances (like gasoline or pesticides), with a temperature between 50°F –70°F.

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