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Prepping: Getting Started-Water

The basics to getting started on your journey to preparedness.

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Prepping: Getting Started-Water

Postby ReadyMom » Tue Jul 20, 2010 9:12 pm

ImagePrepping: Getting Started-Water
Photo by Vanessa Pike-Russell

FIRST things FIRST! Consider beginning with an easy start: Water.


Store at LEAST 1 gallon (preferably 3 gallons) per person per day. One gallon would be for consumption the rest for cooking and sanitation). NOTE: You could die after THREE (3) days without water! Don’t forget to include water for your pets! Water storage can be completed in a ‘three-tier’ system:

    • Store bought water you purchase and have on hand, ahead of time
    • Clean, empty containers that you store and fill up when you have advance warning of an emergency situation.
    • The ability to filter and purify water that you may need to collect after the first two water sources are used up. Coffee filters (to filter) and bleach (to purify) are the simplest methods.

FIRST thing you can do:

Start to collect empty beverage containers to store water! Any plastic or glass container that previously held food or beverages such as 2-liter soda bottles or water, juice, punch or milk jugs, also may be used.

    :caution: IF you save milk jugs ONLY use those to store 'grey' water! The bacteria in milk can leach into the milk jug plastic and contaminate future water stored in that same container. (So, use this water only for cleaning or flushing purposes! NOTE: It is NOT recommended that your fill the milk jugs ahead of time for long-term storage. They tend to pop pin-hole sized leaks :( . Keep the milk jugs and fill them if you see an emergency situation approaching. Then you can use this water quickly, and you will be emptying the container BEFORE they pop a leak! ;) ).

To clean used jugs or bottles for future water storage, put a few drops of bleach in the containers and fill with water. Let your jug/bottle soak for at least 20 min. Empty. Put cap back on and store till you are ready to fill.

Storage of jugs or bottles: Store your (light-weight) empty containers in bags, boxes, closets, attics -- where ever you have room till you need them. If you have the room, you may prefer to store some of the jugs/bottles filled with water (Remember: don't do this with the 'milk jugs'!). The filled ones will be heavy. Make sure you choose a sturdy location. DO NOT store your containers directly on concrete floors. The chemicals from the concrete can leach through the plastic into your water! Place wood, old piece of carpeting, old towels, etc. on the concrete first.

You'll feel like an instant prepper with this FREE start! For more water information go here: Water Storage: General Information

A great source of basic water information can be found on the GetPandemicReady website. Although the info was written for pandemic preparation ... it's good for any disaster preparation! (disclosure: I am a co-founder of the GPR site). Here are the three pages that you will find helpful in understanding your water preparation needs:

Water: Getting Started
Finding and Filtering
Water-Emergency Purification

Starting your WATER preparations is an EASY-FREE start in getting your household prepared! There may be some expense in considering a way to filter & purify your water, if you use up your stored water. There are cheap options and there are more expensive options. That's something that you should read a bit more about and then decide on, as you get more involved in your home preparation activities.

So ... start saving those containers and you're on your way to 'prepping' for an emergency! :D
Last edited by ReadyMom on Thu Feb 23, 2012 11:47 am, edited 2 times in total.
Reason: Updated Link-GPR site changed servers
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Re: Prepping: Getting Started-Water

Postby sbsion » Tue Jul 20, 2010 9:24 pm

hey, don't forget my ION..................sbsIION
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Re: Prepping: Getting Started-Water

Postby robinh » Tue Aug 10, 2010 4:43 pm

What about rain water collection? We would like to start doing that, mostly for garden use right now but it would be nice to have some sort of system in place. Where do I go to find out the laws regarding that and the proper system to install?
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Re: Prepping: Getting Started-Water

Postby ReadyMom » Tue Aug 10, 2010 7:02 pm

robinh wrote:What about rain water collection? We would like to start doing that, mostly for garden use right now but it would be nice to have some sort of system in place. Where do I go to find out the laws regarding that and the proper system to install?

Try this for starters:
Water Storage: Rain Barrels

Rainwater Harvesting
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Re: Prepping: Getting Started-Water

Postby Vina8 » Tue Aug 10, 2010 8:49 pm

robinh wrote:What about rain water collection? We would like to start doing that, mostly for garden use right now but it would be nice to have some sort of system in place. Where do I go to find out the laws regarding that and the proper system to install?


I am not aware of any laws governing rain water collection. Here are some pictures of the system we installed early this year. It has worked very well. I am also giving you a link to a previous thread in rain water barrels are discussed. We have used them all summer to water our garden. We plan on adding a few more.

gallery/album.php?album_id=11
viewtopic.php?f=205&t=2311&start=0

Our roof is metal so we don't worry about the problems of chemicals from asphalt shingles. No matter what kind of roof you have, rain water should not be consumed without appropriate treatment.
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Re: Prepping: Getting Started-Water

Postby paladin » Wed Aug 11, 2010 5:22 pm

we have terrible water in our community... so we drink the dreaded bottled water....

those containers are obvioulsy ok storage containers so instead of returning the 5gal bottles to the store (we paid a deposit) we refill them at a local water spot and keep them filled.... the initial deposit is a bit steep but instead of having dozens of milk cartons around we have large bottles around.

:nuke: just a suggestion....

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Re: Prepping: Getting Started-Water

Postby Mikeylikes » Mon Aug 16, 2010 12:25 am

There are actually states that have laws AGAINST collecting rainwater. Many are in the process of being removed but it would be prudent to check your states laws before investing in a visible water catchment system. See this APN post here: viewtopic.php?f=188&t=4042

Keep your freezer full. A full freezer is more efficient than a partially empty one. We use square stackable water bottles filled with potable water to keep our garage freezer full. It saves on the energy bill, will keep our fresh foods cold in a power outage, and is a backup water supply. See this article for more information on refrigerator / freezer energy tips: http://www.consumerenergycenter.org/hom ... ators.html

The better your filtration options the further outside the box you can go for water collection. With the proper filtration and some decent tools there is water in great abundance in any urban / suburban area. Most water systems are gravity fed. The water is pumped "uphill" to water towers, cisterns, and reservoirs. When the pumps are down long enough the water will balance out in the low spots on the system and quit coming "up" through your tap. Your hot water heater has most likely 20 gallons or more sitting in the tank. The pipes in your house and other buildings can hold anywhere from a few gallons to literally thousands of gallons of water. A wrench capable of opening a fire hydrant will yield a goodly amount of water. If you live in an urban / suburban area you can drive around now and find the "low points" in your town or city where gravity has handily collected the water for you. A hand siphon specifically for drinking water can help you get at the water gravity is trying to keep away from you. These can be found in camping / RV / boat stores.
The back tank on toilets, Anywhere there is livestock, aquariums, greenhouses/nursery's, etc... Basically if it had water at one time then possibly there are tanks/pipes filled with water after the pumps stop.

Here is an article I like about solar disinfection with PET plastic bottles: http://www.sodis.ch/methode/index_EN

PLEASE NOTE: Although it is fairly easy to remove bacteria, parasites, and other living pathogens from water; even the best commercial water treatment plants cannot remove ALL toxins, chemicals, and heavy metals from water. Please consider ALL the possibilities when deciding on a source of water.

FYI the hydrant idea I stole from a great Jerry D Young story! :D
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Re: Prepping: Getting Started-Water

Postby HuntnFreak » Sun Sep 26, 2010 11:03 pm

Rain Water - better check local/state laws if you live in the Western US. DO not forget that in an emergency we all have portable water in our hot water tanks, toilets (the reservior not the bowl LOL) for immediate use. I have a small home but including the water lines there is about 100 gallons that can be drained. Of course if the local water is contaminated you need to follow the guidance in these and other pages.
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Re: Prepping: Getting Started-Water

Postby ReadyMom » Sat Oct 16, 2010 6:41 pm

Image HouseKeeping! There was a great conversation started on wells and pumps, by ClosetPrepper. SInce it has the potential to turn into a more in-depth conversation on that topic, I've moved those posts to a new thread called: Water-Wells & Well Pumps I have a feeling it will need it's own space to expand! -k
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Re: Prepping: Getting Started-Water

Postby tigger2 » Sat Oct 16, 2010 6:54 pm

You got to start somewhere. Like Readymom says, water is probably the easiest place to start. You can learn how to store it, purify it, and even freshen it up. It's all in here.
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Re: Prepping: Getting Started-Water

Postby Whisper » Sat Oct 16, 2010 11:13 pm

This is a great thread that probably should get pinned.

I started getting 7 gallon reliance water jugs from Walmart for under $20.00 a piece. They have their own water spouts and are dark blue so the light shouldn't get in which will keep the water from growing algae, at least for a while untreated.

I don't see them on Walmarts website, but they are listed below:

http://www.relianceproducts.com/product ... on/79.html
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Re: Prepping: Getting Started-Water

Postby ReadyMom » Sat Oct 16, 2010 11:32 pm

Whisper wrote:This is a great thread that probably should get pinned.

I started getting 7 gallon reliance water jugs from Walmart for under $20.00 a piece. They have their own water spouts and are dark blue so the light shouldn't get in which will keep the water from growing algae, at least for a while untreated.

I don't see them on Walmarts website, but they are listed below:

http://www.relianceproducts.com/product ... on/79.html


I bow down to the 'Master' ( ;) )and have pinned this 'Water' thread, as a sticky, to the top of the forum.
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Re: Prepping: Getting Started-Water

Postby Magna » Sun Nov 07, 2010 3:49 pm

Great thread on storing water! I read it all & learned a few things that I didn't know before. I live in the mountains of western Washington state & there's no shortage of water here. There's a nice creek across the road from me, a wild river only about 1/8 mile away (great fishing too!) and about 75" or more of rain falling pretty much year round. So I'm going to stash some water using the recommendations here, get water purifiers & plenty of bleach, set up a few rain barrels & I should be good to go! :)
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Re: Prepping: Getting Started-Water

Postby rkluskie1 » Tue Jan 25, 2011 10:53 pm

Sorry. I am new to this blog/post thing too! Readymom, you said "To clean used jugs or bottles[/b] for future water storage, put a few drops of bleach in the containers and fill with water. Let your jug/bottle soak for at least 20 min. Empty. Put cap back on and store till you are ready to fill." Do I need to let the bottles dry inside before I put the cap back on?
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Re: Prepping: Getting Started-Water

Postby ReadyMom » Tue Jan 25, 2011 11:55 pm

rkluskie1 wrote:Sorry. I am new to this blog/post thing too! Readymom, you said "To clean used jugs or bottles[/b] for future water storage, put a few drops of bleach in the containers and fill with water. Let your jug/bottle soak for at least 20 min. Empty. Put cap back on and store till you are ready to fill." Do I need to let the bottles dry inside before I put the cap back on?


I do. I let them sit upside down on my dish drain.
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