How To Prepare And Store Water For Unexpected Disasters

The unexpected can often be the most frightening experience. When disaster strikes, being prepared with essential items is key to navigating through it safely and effectively. Water is one of those essential items that are necessary for survival in a crisis situation. To ensure you have the right amount on hand, proper preparation and storage is critical. In this article we’ll explain how to prepare and store water for an unexpected disaster so you’re ready when the time comes.

It may seem like a daunting task at first but don't worry - there's no need to panic! With just a few simple steps, anyone can learn how to properly prepare and store water for any kind of emergency or disaster scenario. We'll break down exactly what supplies are needed and provide instructions about how much water should be stored and where it should be kept. By following these guidelines, you'll be able to rest easy knowing that your family has enough clean drinking water on hand if something were to go wrong.

No matter what type of disaster you're preparing for - whether it's natural disasters such as floods or earthquakes, or civil unrest - having access to safe drinking water is absolutely vital during times of distress. Keep reading to find out everything you need to know about prepping and storing water before an unforeseen event occurs!

Understanding Water Sources

In an unexpected disaster, it's important to prepare and store a reliable source of water. Understanding the different sources of water is key in planning for such an event. The most common sources are tap water or rainwater. Tap water typically needs to be boiled before drinking as it may contain bacteria which could make you sick. Boiling tap water will also help remove contaminants like chlorine and other heavy metals that can cause health issues over time. Rainwater can also be used as a clean source of drinking water, however, it must be filtered first using cloths or charcoal filters to ensure safety from contamination.

It's essential to understand how much water you'll need during a crisis. One gallon per person per day is recommended by emergency preparedness specialists. This should include enough for hygiene activities, drinking, cooking and cleaning dishes. After calculating the amount needed, start collecting containers that can hold these amounts safely and securely so they won't leak or break easily if dropped or handled roughly. Lastly, keep all stored water away from direct sunlight and out of reach of children and animals to prevent accidental consumption or contamination through contact with dirt or dust particles in the air.

Safe Containers For Storing

When preparing for unexpected disasters, it is important to have safe containers to store the water in. These containers should be made of food grade plastic or glass, and they should not contain any BPA or other contaminants that could leach into the water. The container should also have a lid that fits tightly to prevent contamination from outside sources.

It is best to use new containers when storing water. If you must use a used container, make sure it has been thoroughly cleaned with soap and hot water before using it. Also inspect it for cracks and chips which may cause leaking or contamination. Do not use containers that previously contained toxic substances such as bleach or antifreeze.

Finally, make sure your containers are clearly labeled so everyone in your household knows what type of liquid is inside them. Be sure to check on the stored water every few months and replace if necessary.

Purification Techniques

When preparing for an unexpected disaster, purifying water is essential. There are several techniques one can use to make contaminated drinking water safe to consume. Boiling is the most effective way of killing bacteria and other microorganisms that may be in the water source. It's important to bring the water up to a rolling boil and maintain it there for at least five minutes before consumption. Another method is chemical treatment with chlorine-based products such as bleach or iodine tablets. This will kill parasites, viruses, and bacteria present in the water; however, it does not remove particulate matter like sediment or dirt from the surface of the liquid. Lastly, filtering through sand filters and activated charcoal removes turbidity from the water but won't necessarily rid it of pathogens or harmful chemicals.

It's important to remember that no single technique guarantees complete safety against all contaminants in any given body of water. Because of this, combining two or more methods is recommended whenever possible - boiling followed by filtration works best when dealing with unknown sources of potential contamination. Additionally, only store purified drinking water that has been boiled or treated with chlorine-based products in sealed containers so as to prevent recontamination while stored away during a disaster. With these precautionary measures taken into consideration, one can ensure they have access to clean drinking water throughout their experience with an unexpected disaster situation.

Long-Term Preservation Strategies

In order to ensure safe drinking water in the event of an unexpected disaster, it's important to develop a long-term preservation plan. This means taking steps to store and treat your own water before the need arises. Firstly, you should consider investing in large storage containers that can hold up to 55 gallons of water. These are ideal for storing tap or rainwater for extended periods of time. Ensure they are made from food grade materials so no toxins leach into the stored water. Secondly, it is essential to purify any collected water prior to storage. Boiling is one of the most effective methods, as it kills bacteria and other contaminants present in untreated water sources. You could also opt for chemical treatments such as chlorine tablets which reduce levels of microorganisms even further. Lastly, make sure your stored containers are tightly sealed at all times and kept away from direct sunlight which may cause algae growth over time. Be sure to rotate out old supplies periodically with fresh ones so you always have access to clean drinking water if needed.

Emergency Planning Considerations

Emergency planning is an important part of preparing for unexpected disasters. It’s essential to have a plan in place ahead of time that will enable you to quickly and efficiently prepare and store water when needed. Here are some considerations to keep in mind when making your emergency plans:

First, determine the amount of water necessary for survival during an emergency situation. The general recommendation is one gallon per person per day for at least three days. This should include drinking, cooking, hygiene, and washing needs. You may need more depending on the severity of the disaster or if you live in an area with extreme temperatures.

Second, consider where water can be sourced from in case your regular supply becomes contaminated or inaccessible. Depending on your location, this could mean tapping into natural sources such as rivers, lakes, streams, ponds or rainwater collection systems; having access to stockpiled bottled or canned water; or purchasing a portable filtration system. Be sure to check local regulations first before collecting any type of surface water source for potable use.

Finally, make sure you know how to safely store the collected or purchased water until it’s needed. Water stored in plastic containers will last up to six months while metal containers last indefinitely as long as they remain sealed and out of direct sunlight. Additionally, adding 8 drops (1/8 teaspoon) of non-scented liquid household bleach per gallon prior to storage helps prevent bacterial growth over time without affecting taste. Being prepared now will ensure safety later when unexpected disasters arise.


In conclusion, preparing and storing water for unexpected disasters is a crucial step in emergency planning. It's important to understand the different types of water sources available, as well as what type of containers are best suited for storing your supply. Additionally, it's important to properly purify any water that you collect before drinking it or storing it long-term. Finally, when developing an emergency plan be sure to include steps on how to safely store and access your water supply should disaster strike. Doing so can help ensure that you have enough potable water during an unexpected crisis situation. With the right preparation and knowledge, you'll be able to provide yourself with safe drinking water no matter what might come your way.