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Peninsula Emergency Preparedness Coalition
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Emergency Water Storage
E-Prep Program: Month #2
Water is essential for survival. The ground trembling and shaking caused by earthquakes can crack or break the lines that bring fresh water to your house. Stocking water reserves and learning how to purify contaminated water should be among your top priorities in preparing for a disaster. At the very minimum, you should store a 72 hour emergency supply of water for each member of your family. Emergency officials estimate that you should plan on being self sufficient for the first 72 hours following a major disaster. But, in reality, it may take your community weeks or months to get back to normal. Therefore, it is highly recommended that you store at least a two week supply of water for each member of your family. Since everyone's needs differ depending on age, physical condition, activity, diet and climate, the amount of water you will need to store may vary from official recommendations. A normally active individual needs to drink at least two quarts of water each day. Hot environments can double that amount. Children, nursing mothers and those ill of health will require more. You will also need additional water for food preparation and hygiene purposes.
As a general rule store a total of one to
three gallons of water per person, per day.

E-Prep Activities for this Month:
  • Decide how much water to store for you and your family as well as what container you will use to store the water, then obtain it.
  • Clean your container(s) thoroughly and fill to the top with water.
  • Seal your container(s) tightly.
  • Label it "drinking water" and date it.
  • Store it in a cool, dark place.
  • Calendar a date six months from now to refresh your water supply. Drain old water into the garden, clean out your container(s) and fill with fresh water.
[Hint: If you use two-liter soda pop bottles, you can store these under beds, in the corners of closets, behind your sofa....think about this activity as a priority rather than an inconvenience and you'll find many places where you can store your emergency water.]

In March, 1994, the Food and Drug Administration and the Environmental Protection Agency stated:
  • Tap water (from municipal sources) does NOT need anything added to it before it is stored because it has already been chemically treated.
  • Commercially purchased water does NOT need anything added to it. Keep it in its original, sealed container. If your supplies begin to run low, remember:
  • Never ration water.
  • Drink the amount you need today, and try to find more for tomorrow.
  • You can minimize the amount of water your body needs by reducing activity and staying cool.
For more information, follow the links below.
Adapted from the FEMA library: "Emergency Food and Water Supplies"
Emergency Water Barrels Available from PEP-C
Storage Tips
Tips for Emergency Water Storage
Emergency Water Sources
Emergency Water Purification