Kate here! Today, I’m excited to talk to you about a VERY important yet sometimes overlooked part of emergency preparedness: water!

Everyone knows that water is essential to survival, but remembering to store and stockpile water can be difficult when you are busy and living in cramped quarters. The following tips have helped me to maximize my water storage without sacrificing the appearance of my apartment.

1. Make it Easy

When you first start prepping, it can be hard to find the time to stockpile resources. The Q makes food storage easy, but I used to neglect water storage because it took more effort…or so I thought. As it turns out, empty 2-liter soda bottles are great for storing emergency water! Just clean and dry them, fill them to the point of overflowing from your tap, and seal the cap with duct tape. These bottles are small enough to be stashed almost anywhere in even the most packed living space. Keep them in the back of your pantry or on the floor of your closet: be creative!

2. Think inside the box

I love storage boxes because they’re easy to stack, they fit under the bed and in closets, and they’re sturdy. However, no one stores water in boxes…or do they? Long-Term Water Storage Box. These are really neat boxes that lay flat when they’re empty, but can be filled with water and stored just about anywhere! There is a mylar bag with a pouring spout inside each box, which makes it easy to retrieve your stored water without spilling it everywhere.

3. Disguise large containers

My 30-gallon water container is currently pretending to be a table in my living room! You can do the same thing with almost any storage container and fabric. For example, some people stack the H2O reserve containers (from above) to make custom coffee tables!

4. Go Collapsible

There’s a good chance that your city will still have clean running water for at least a short while after an emergency strikes. You can keep an assortment of collapsible water carriers in your apartment for this purpose. In the event of a disaster, you can fill these containers before the city water becomes unsafe, but they won’t take up much room in day-to-day life.

5. Filters are Fantastic

You don’t have to store enough water to get you through until next year! The water that you store should ideally be for a short-term emergency. In the long-term, you’ll want a way to filter and treat water from other sources, such as streams or even your own faucet.  I love this Purewell Water Filter that lets you drink directly from a stream through a filter that’s the same size and shape as a normal straw.

Some final advice:

Whatever you decide to do for your water storage, make sure that you don’t store your containers in sunlight. This can promote algae and bacterial growth, and the last thing you want is to make yourself sick from the water that is supposed to keep you alive. Also, treat your water with an approved chemical before you drink it, just in case there WAS something icky in your tap water, to begin with. Better safe than sorry! If using a filter, replace it regularly or stockpile extra filters to maintain its effectiveness. Also, NEVER use old milk jugs for storing water: the proteins from the milk can remain in the plastic even after a thorough washing, and they can render your water potentially deadly to drink. Stay safe!

That’s all for today! I hope that you are enjoying your Memorial Day weekend and that these tips helped you to think about the ways that THRIVE Life (formerly Shelf Reliance) can help you with your water storage as well as your food storage!

Have you started your water storage yet? What are your tips?