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Creating and Storing an Emergency Water Supply

Updated: Jul 22, 2023

During a water-related emergency or outbreak, clean drinking water may not be available. Prepare yourself for an emergency by creating and storing a supply of water that will meet your family’s needs.

How Much Emergency Water to Store

  • Store at least 1 gallon of water per person per day for 3 days for drinking and sanitation. Try to store a 2-week supply if possible.

  • Consider storing more water than this for hot climates, pregnant women, and persons who are sick.

  • Observe the expiration date for store-bought water.

  • Replace non-store-bought water every 6 months.

  • Store a bottle of unscented liquid household chlorine bleach (label should say it contains between 5% and 9% of sodium hypochlorite) to disinfect your water, if necessary, and to use for general cleaning and sanitizing.

Choosing a Container

When storing safe water (water that has been treated to make it safe to use), it is best to use food-grade water storage containers, which do not transfer toxic substances into the water they are holding. FDA-approved food-grade storage containers can be found at surplus or camping supply stores. Contact the manufacturer if you are not sure if a storage container is food grade. If you are not able to use a food-grade water storage container, be sure the container you choose:

  • Has a top that can be closed tightly

  • Is made of durable, unbreakable materials (i.e., not glass)

  • If possible, use a container with a narrow neck or opening, so water can be poured out.

DO NOT USE containers that previously have been used to hold liquid or solid toxic chemicals (bleach, pesticides, etc.)

Most popular portable water storage containers for preppers:

After scouring the web for recommendations as well as our own experience with these containers, these are just a few of the ones that we suggest for the best value and quality. Do let us know your experiences with these or other products, as we are always updating our information.

  • Easy to transport

  • Lighter, better, safer

  • Food grade material

  • Superior impact resistance

  • BPA-free construction

  • 5 Gallons

  • Molded contour grip

  • Easy storing and stacking

  • Hideaway spigot for water dispensing

  • Less expensive than other brands

  • 7 Gallons

  • Portable & compact

  • Fits in the refrigerator or under beds

  • Highly durable

  • BPA-free & food grade approved

  • Multifunctional bulk storage system

  • Ultraviolet additive extends life up to 15 years

  • 3.5 gallons

  • These tanks are stackable and durable, great for saving space!

  • High-density durable plastic

  • Water safe BPA-free

  • UV Resistant

  • Stackable and highly durable

  • 50 Gallons​

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