How long can you live without water???
In case of an emergency, Water is the most important thing we need to have available to us. Three years ago my friend Kim and I were visiting Oxford, England at the time that the Thames River over ran it's banks and flooded the whole Thames valley. Many villages were cut off and the first thing to disappear was freash drinking water. They had to have water brought in on boats in some cases. It was a crazy week. We also saw this same thing when Katrina hit in New Orleans. Water was the most needed commodity. I still remember the pictures of frustrated Moms and children crying for water or bottles of milk for infants. It was gut-wrenching!
If you think you are prepared for an emergency because you have food, but no water, forget it! You will die in 3-4 days without water, where you can live without food for a few weeks!
There are several sites that have safe water storage guidlines but I have selected the ones from FEMA to have here. I have tweeked it somewhat. For example, FEMA suggests you have a 3 day supply of water which is fine for an immediate emergency but a 2 week supply is much better. Here are the guidelines from FEMA:
Water Storage Guidelines from FEMA
Commercially bottled water in PETE (or PET) plastic containers may be purchased. Follow the container’s “best if used by” dates as a rotation guideline. Avoid plastic containers that are not PETE plastic.
If you choose to package water yourself, consider the following guidelines:
• Use only food-grade containers. Smaller containers made of PETE plastic or heavier plastic buckets or drums work well.
• Clean, sanitize, and thoroughly rinse all containers prior to use. A sanitizing solution can be prepared by adding 1 teaspoon (5 ml) of liquid household chlorine bleach (5 to 6% sodium hypochlorite) to one quart (1 liter) of water. Only household bleach without thickeners, scents, or additives should be used.
• Do not use plastic milk jugs, because they do not seal well and tend to become brittle over time.
• Do not use containers previously used to store non-food products.
• Water from a chlorinated municipal water supply does not need further treatment when stored in clean, food-grade containers.
• Non-chlorinated water should be treated with bleach. Add 1/8 of a teaspoon (8 drops) of liquid household chlorine bleach (5 to 6% sodium hypochlorite) for every gallon (4 liters) of water. Only household bleach without thickeners, scents, or additives should be used.
• Containers should be emptied and refilled regularly.
• Store water only where potential leakage would not damage your home or apartment.
• Protect stored water from light and heat. Some containers may also require protection from freezing.
• The taste of stored water can be improved by pouring it back and forth between two containers before use.
Water-How Much Water do I Need?
You should have at least a 2 week supply of water and you should store at least one gallon of water per person per day. A normally active person needs at least one-half gallon of water daily just for drinking.
Additionally, in determining adequate quantities, take the following into account:
• Individual needs vary, depending on age, physical condition, activity, diet, and climate.
• Children, nursing mothers, and ill people need more water.
• Very hot temperatures can double the amount of water needed.
• A medical emergency might require additional water.
***Note: One preparedness site suggests you also want to have a small amount of cash on hand in small bills so you can buy bottled water. Otherwise, you may have to pay a lot more for the water if no change is available due to electricity being out.