Friday, October 3, 2008

Food Friday: Water Storage

This week was my birthday (yay). My parents and in-laws both gave me some money. (Thanks!!) There are probably one million things I want. New clothes, shoes, go out to eat, movies, storage bins for my closet, new light fixtures, paint, fabric, oh, it might be easier to tell you the things I don’t want- pickles and textbooks. Everything else I drool over.

Even though there are so many things I want, I have been reading a lot of blogs and websites about living more simply, and I am trying to make my life less about what I want in the moment and more about how I want to shape my life. In that mindset of not over-spending, and not buying things I don’t actually need (And I won’t even mention all the economic crisis worries) I decided to resist the urge to buy something frivolous. But I didn’t want to just use the money for bills. So I was trying to think of something that would help me with a goal or a way to better my life, and I thought of water storage. So I used my money this week to buy some water storage containers. I purchased 3 5 gal containers.

There are so, so many different options. I almost went a little twitchy looking at all the products. There are good and bad things to every option. I chose this container because:

  • 5 Gal. seems like a reasonable amount to store to me. Large enough that I don’t have 57 containers, but small enough that if I wanted to carry it somewhere or throw it in the car, I could.

  • It is very definitely approved for water storage. There are a lot of other cheaper things, but I really didn’t feel like doing serious research. I feel a little better about knowing something is designed for what I want to use it for. And this one looked sturdy enough to last for years and years.

  • There are more expensive options as well, with special filters and spigots and all that. I decided not to go that route. I will be filling my containers with clean tap water. A filter might be nice, but maybe I can add that eventually. Right now I am working toward the basics. Starting simple is my goal.

  • I liked the blue.

There are some basic guidelines to storing water:

"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."

Source: (there is much more info there if you want to read more about water storage).

The American Red Cross recommends that you store 1 gallon/person/day of water, and to store 3 days worth in your home.

It is also recommended to rotate or empty and re-fill your water containers. The time varies by storage location, heat/cold, and a few other factors, but a good rule of thumb is one year. I can easily remember that around my birthday, I need to change out my water.

There was one other idea that I really liked. It was to use 2 liter bottles that formerly held soda, clean them and use them for water storage. It suggested to fill the bottles, then freeze them. Once frozen, they could be used for water, or also as big blocks of ice in case your power goes out and you need them to keep your refrigerator/freezer cold. We have an extra freezer in our basement. It isn’t huge, but I could easily throw 5 or 6 extra 2 liter bottles in the bottom. Extra water can be used for cleaning, washing, sanitation or cooking. It would not be a bad thing to have a little extra water in an emergency. So as I do my grocery shopping, I will buy some 2-liter sodas and supplement my water storage (after I drink the Diet Coke, of course).

This week I read the blog of someone who was in Hurricane Ike. He said that he was grateful that he had stored the recommended amount of water, but it made him a little nervous and a little stingy with it to know he only had the bare minimum. Water is something that it wouldn't hurt to have extra of. For now, I am happy with my 15 gallons of storage, and I will supplement with a few 2 liter bottles.

Did you make any progress this week? Do you have your recommended water storage? If not, what can you do *this week* to get some? I would love to hear about it!


Melinda & Matt said...

Where did you get your water containers? I organized the basement so I can now find my food storage!

Shanna said...

I got them from I found an online coupon to get free shipping.

Lisa said...

We have people in our ward who sell mylar water containers that hold about 5 gallons. I got two of them a few months ago, and they are still sitting empty. They have a spigot on them and they also store in a cardboard box.

What I do is every time I go to the store, I pick up a 24 or 36-pack of water bottles. They are easy to rotate, because we use them on trips and things. They would also fit easily into a 72-hour kit. I used to buy the jugs, but found over time that they don't last--the plastic disintegrates, and then you have water all over your basement.

I have some water storage, but not enough.

The Clanton Gang said...


Shanna said...

Ok, Lisa- your challenge this week is to FILL UP those water containers!! Then it will be done! :)

I used to get the big packs of individual waters, but we started using them way too fast. And then all the stuff about BPA came out, and I decided to try and not use those any more. Less BPA, and less plastic in the trash.

Although you have made me nervous about my water containers... or are you talking about the soda jugs? I wouldn't mind having to replace the soda jugs, but if the big blue plastic thing doesn't last for a long, long time (like 10 years or more), I will be very disappointed.

Melinda & Matt said...

I think the water jugs you bought will stand up for a long time--I think Lisa probably meant the gallon/5 gallon water jugs that you buy at the grocery store--those are not meant for long term storage.

Lisa said...

Yep, that's what I meant...the ones that look like milk jugs are no good.

Astarte said...

Hey, I'm going to look into getting some of those! I've been keeping an eye out for things like that, and haven't seen any at a store.

My plan for the year is to follow what you do, generally speaking. There, I said it, I'm lazy, but I'm a good follower!!!!

TheVillamorFamily said...

We have one of those 55 gallon drums outside and then some stored inside. For 72 hour kits we just have bottled water but my biggest question would be how to transport water. There are many different types of situations where we may need these I am thinking if we needed to leave our homes we could just take the water bottles. If we were stuck in our home we would have them as well. That didn't really make much sense...but I was just worried how I was going to carry 12 gallons of water plus our 72 hour kits!

We bought a few blue 5 gallon storage container from Wal-Mart a few years back(the turquoise ones that are narrow) and they split open. They weren't that expensive and thankfully I had them stored on floors that wouldn't get damaged by water but was pretty frustrated!!

I have some water stored in old juice bottles(the thicker plastic are good) and had to use the water last month for something....and was shocked at how good the water was probably 3-4 years old. I keep these bottles stored under my kitchen and bathroom sinks.