Everyday water needs:
A normally active person needs a minimum of 1/2 gallon per day to survive. We can survive without food for much longer periods than we can survive without water. Having enough for drinking, prepare food, and to attend to hygiene requirements is at least one gallon per day per person. The best way to ensure we have enough stored, is to develop a plan. We must have knowledge of the dangers of relying on an established source that, due to the situation, must be treated as if it is contaminated. There are many reasons that a supply can be lost or contaminated. Never trust established supplies in the event of floods, wildfires, hurricanes or home fires. Never, under any conditions, drink or use flood water or when contaminated from a fire due to chemicals that are carried along in the stream. Likewise, never use a stagnant pool. It can not be purified without the use of specially designed equipment.
It is recommended to store one gallon of water per day per person, or six gallons per person for a week. This amount will supply enough for drinking and cooking. Used sparingly, there may be enough for personal cleanliness. Always drink the recommended 1/2 gallon per day. Do not become dehydrated. It is recommended to have additional available for brushing teeth, washing hands and cleaning utensils.
Do not use milk or soft drink bottles to store water. It is very difficult to remove all traces of the residual milk and sugars from the soft drinks and they are suspect to creating an environment that bacteria may develop and breed in. If tap water is to be used and chlorine is added to the supply by your supplier, it will be safe to use. When stored from a tap it may be maintained by cycling it through your normal daily uses and must be replaced at a minimum every 6 months. Using the water will keep it current and usable. Buy food grade containers that are available at most hardware and outdoor stores. Do not use glass containers. There is the possibility of breakage and causing injury. If upon use, your water has a musty or stale smell, it’s due to a lack of oxygen. Pour from one container to another to aerate. It will improve the taste and will be safe if properly stored.
Pre-packaged water, bought in a store, is some of the most reliable for drinking. Pay attention to the expiration date. This may also be cycled through your normal day to day uses. When purchased from emergency supply vendors normally has a shelf life of a few years. A very good place to store part of your supply is in the freezer. There most likely won’t be enough space to store very many gallons, However, the amount that is stored will turn to ice and can help preserve your frozen food in the event of electrical power loss.
In the event that water is not available from traditional sources, the amount remaining in house pipes, freezer ice and the hot water heater may be used. Rainwater, streams that flow, rivers, ponds, lakes and natural springs are safe after boiling for a minimum of 3 minutes and treating with 8 drops of unscented bleach (sodium hypochlorite 5.25%) per 1 gallon of clear water. Use 16 drops in cloudy water. The water should have a residual smell of chlorine. If not, treat again. Let the water stand for 15 minutes and if it again does not smell of chlorine, discard the water and repeat the procedure. Never drink or use flood water under any circumstances. A paint strainer is an excellent way to strain water to remove bits of debris.
I hope this short water discussion will inspire discussions and thoughts on what we can do on a personal level to become self reliant and therefore be in a position to assist others in catastrophic situations.