Day 6 – National Preparedness Month Challenge – Water Storage
Water storage – not something we think about every day. When was the last time you actually thought about the amount of water you use each day – or the amount of water that is wasted by your family each day? FEMA recommends we have on hand 1 gallon of water per person for 2 weeks, or 14 gallons per person, in case of emergency.
I filled some canning jars today with 1 gallon of water and I’ve been contemplating whether I could really live on that amount in an emergency. The
thought of limiting my water intake to those two jars gets me thinking about how I could ration that cleaning and bathing jar – and not be Smelly Shelle! Just the thought of having to ration by drinking water makes me REALLY thirsty…
The City of Portland recently issued a boil water alert for the west side of the city and I found it interesting that so many people posted to the site – and did not know what to do. They were confused about whether they were in the alert area and how they were supposed to make their water drinkable.
As I write this, the mid-section of the country is experiencing the worst drought in 50 years. Crops are ruined and animals are being sent to slaughter early, because there is a limited amount of feed. There are severe water restrictions in place for much of the Mid-West and meteorologists are not predicting it to get better this fall.
“Many who have been through severe water shortages have been concerned enough about the natural resource to conserve water even when it was plentiful. During our recent 3-month period of water rationing this summer, a friend encouraged us to put a 5-gallon bucket in each tub and to put it under the faucet while we waited for warm water. I was amazed to find that we wasted about 2 to 4 gallons, not counting the amount we used to get clean. This amount was more than enough to water the garden, flowers and shrubs in between our twice weekly watering turns” Rita Bingham, Passport to Survival, 1999, pg 70
Clearly there is a need for me to get my water storage in order. But there is more to water storage than you might think and just like those effected people in Portland many questions come to mind. How much do you really need for your family? What should you store it in? Where can you get water in an emergency? If you have to use water that might be unsafe – how is it purified?
Today’s Challenge: How much are you really drinking? Determine how much water storage you need for your family.
- Keep track of your daily liquid intake – write down how much you use every time you take a drink of: water, milk, juice, soda pop, sports drinks, coffee/tea and any other liquid.
- Keep track of how much water you use for bathing, clothes washing and cooking.
- Multiply by the number of people in your family.
- Is one gallon, per person /per day, enough for you?
- Download the Water Storage Handout and learn more about water storage containers, sources of water, purification options, and where to keep it all.
- Inventory your water storage and put away at least one day / per person in your home.
BETTER: Learn and practice three ways to purify water.
BEST: Learn a method for collecting rain water or how to set up a solar sill. Ask a Boy or Girl Scout for help.