Why Store Water?

In a disaster such as a large magnitude earthquake, water systems will most likely suffer damage and safe water will not be available. Store a two weeks supply of water for each family member (2 gallons per person per day), to cover drinking, first aid, and cooking needs. Include water provisions for pets. Learn how to shut off the water supply to your house or business.

How to Store Water

Water should be stored in plastic containers, preferably heavy opaque plastic with tight fitting, screw-on caps. Mark the date on the containers when stored and place in a cool, dark location. Use the water within one year and replace. A small amount of household bleach (5.25% sodium hypochlorite), 8 drops per gallon, will prevent bacterial growth. Purchased bottled water can be stored as purchased for several years.

Other Emergency Sources

Your household water heater tank can supply 30 - 60 gallons for an emergency supply. When not under pressure (the main valve to the house is shut off) the tank may have to be vented by opening the hot water faucet or disconneting the hot water line at the top of the heater. Turn off the gas or electricity to the tank before draining off water for emergency use. Melted ice cubes, toilet reservoir tanks (without disinfectancts), and juices from canned food may also be used.