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STEP 2: Emergency Drinking Water

By October 8, 2008Uncategorized

(Note: – STEPS 1, 2, and 3 can be worked on simultaneously. Then move to STEP 4)

STEP 2: Drinking Water
“Store drinking water for circumstances in which the water supply may be polluted or disrupted. If water comes directly from a good, pretreated source, then no additional purification is needed; otherwise, pretreat water before use. Store water in sturdy, leak-proof, breakage-resistant containers. Consider using plastic bottles commonly used for juices and soft drinks. Keep water containers away from heat sources and direct sunlight.” ProvidentLiving.org

FEMA recommends you prepare for emergencies to last up to two weeks or more. After watching the recent hurricanes in the South, we can see that we need to be prepared for long term emergencies. In the Home Production and Food Storage pamphlet by the LDS church, it recommends storing a two week supply of water per person, 14 gallons (7 for drinking and 7 for other uses). These are minimums! Infants and seniors may require more. Also, consider the high temperatures in your area.

I recommend individual commercially prepared water bottles as they are easy to transport, store, and rotate. I buy 24 ct. cases of 16.9 oz. bottles when they go on sale. They are easy to buy when I grocery shop, and easy for me to lift if ever I needed to transport them by car to a shelter. Or I could toss them into a wheeled suitcase and walk them to an evacuation center. They are easy to share too. Don’t depend on an evacuation center to have a good supply of drinking water right away! Bring your own. Water is the first thing to disappear off store shelves in a disaster.

My teenagers use these bottles for school sports. I also put them in my car emergency kits, and 72-hour kits and periodically use then replace them. Simple to store, simple to rotate. 

Commercially sealed bottled water can last almost indefinitely, so you do not have to rotate often. However, the longer you store, the more likely the water will have an aftertaste  “The taste of stored water can be improved by pouring it back and forth between two containers before use.” ProvidentLiving.org

The choice is yours. Water or no water. You can live without food for several days, but you cannot live without water.

DO THE MATH  (this is the minimum)
The goal is 14 gallons of water per person or 1792 ounces.
Each person would need – 

106 @ 16.9 oz. bottles (commercially bottled) 
4.4 @ 24 ct. cases of 16.9 oz. bottles (commercially bottled) 
28 @ 64 oz. juice bottles (wash & dry, and fill with water) 
14 @ 1 gallon heavy duty bottles (commercially bottled)

54 @ 2 liters soda bottles (wash & dry, and fill with water)


  • “Use only food-grade containers. Smaller containers made of PETE plastic or heavier plastic buckets or drums work well.
  • Clean, sanitize, and thoroughly rinse all containers prior to use. A sanitizing solution can be prepared by adding 1 teaspoon (5 ml) of liquid household chlorine bleach (5 to 6% sodium hypochlorite) to one quart (1 liter) of water. Only household bleach without thickeners, scents, or additives should be used.
  • Do not use plastic milk jugs, because they do not seal well and tend to become brittle over time.
  • Do not use containers previously used to store non-food products.” ProvidentLiving.org

There are other needs that require water. Store as much as you can.

Go to the LDS church website ProvidentLiving.org for further water storage guidelines.

I also purchased Seychelle water purification bottles so we could use the water from the stream behind our house. LDS members can purchase them from the distribution center for about $16.00 “Water filters produced by Seychelle have been used successfully by LDS Church missionaries for many years.”

Now look at STEP 3: Financial Reserve

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