Food Storage & Other Adventures in Motherhood

Food Storage Friday: Storing Water

by heather
As I have mentioned before I live in a dry hot climate. At no time has this been more real to me than now being 34 pregnant and finding myself drinking 3-4 liters of water a day. (If I don’t drink that much I find my throat parched and I wake up in the night because of terrible Charlie horses.) So I find myself thinking, do I have enough water stored for an emergency? (The answer is probably not.)
WATER—Water is more essential than food in sustaining life.  Store a minimum of seven gallons of water per person for drinking and food preparation.  Store an additional seven gallons per person of the same quality water for bathing, brushing teeth, and dishwashing.  Use heavy plastic containers with tight-fitting lids.  Metal containers, which may corrode, tend to give water an unpleasant taste.
    If you have any doubt as to the bacterial safety of stored water, you may purify it by boiling vigorously for one to two minutes or by adding chlorine bleach (5 percent sodium hypochlorite solution).  Generally, half a teaspoon of bleach will purify five gallons of clear water, and one teaspoon will purify five gallons of cloudy water.  If you store it away from sunlight in clean containers, and if it is safe bacterially at the time of storage, water will remain pure indefinitely. EPA water treatment recommendations are for 1/2 teaspoon bleach per gallon of clear water.- The First Presidency of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints January 20, 2002

So that means that for my family of (soon to be) 5, for a 2 week supply of water. I need to store 140 gallons of water. That is a bare minimum. That means we’re all a little on the dehydrated side, we’re not bathing everyday and we are staying out of the sun. Yet, 140 gallons of water still sounds like a lot. Where do you put 140 gallons of water? Not to mention that containers that large can be expensive.The answer is a little at a time.
One of my favorite food storage stories happened to my aunt. She lives outside of Seattle. At the time she didn’t have money to invest in food storage, but she wanted to be actively working on it. So she started storing water in rinsed out soda and juice bottles. Her friends and neighbors thought that she was insane. The Seattle area is never going to have a drought, she was never going to need the water that she was storing. Then one winter they had a very hard freeze and every one of her neighbors’ water pipes broke. Because she had water stored she was able to share with them and help them in their crisis. (And it helped that her water pipes happened to not break.) So you can’t say that you and your family don’t need to store water, because you never know when you will need it.
So where do you put all of that water? Well, you get creative. Before I lived in the home I do now, we owned a townhouse that was not designed with storage space in mind. We didn’t have a garage, our pantry was small and the closet space was insufficient. We did however, have a space under the stairs that you had to crawl over the washer and dryer to get to. There was no lighting and the space was tiny and awkwardly shaped. It was totally impractical for storing anything that I intended to use on any kind of regular basis. But instead of letting that space be wasted I filled it with water in old juice bottles. And at the time it held enough water for my family. When we moved I dumped out the water, gave away the containers and started over.
 Now I wait until bottled water goes on sale for less than a dollar a case, (and it does if you watch for it) and I stock up on that. My husband mocks me and my habit of buying bottled water, but I only buy it when it is cheaper than the price of the bottles themselves. And when Powerade goes on sale for $5 a case I buy several of those. My husband drinks them after his bike rides and I save the bottles to refill with water. Over the past couple years I have acquired a substantial supply of water bottles.
What ways have you found to store water?

2 Responses to “Food Storage Friday: Storing Water”

  1. Sondra says:

    You need potassium if you are getting charlie horses. During the summer when I am working hard outside and sweat a ton – I drink Powerade (Zero). I can always tell a difference in my joints with the needed nutrients you get from drinking these types of drinks (Gatorade). This is one of the things I make sure I store in my food storage along with water. We also have them when we are sick.

  2. Heather says:

    It's not a lack of Potassium. I take a vitamin supplement and I eat a banana every day. You will also get Charlie horses if you are dehydrated.

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