Welcome to the first week of National Preparedness Month here at Simple Family Preparedness!  Each week this month, I will be doing something (and challenging you to do something) that I hope will help both you and I become just a bit better prepared.  You can find a list of what to expect each week here:  Welcome to National Preparedness Month!

Water Is Essential

I feel like I wrote this “water is essential” intro paragraph a million times.  Okay, maybe that is a bit of an exaggeration, but I’ve done a lot of posts about water on this site and I always start by talking about just how important water is.

But repetition is good, right?  We learn through repetition!  So, here it is again:  Water is Essential to Life.  It is essential to YOUR life!  You can’t live much more than 72 hours without water.

Why Store Water?

Personally, I believe that since you can’t survive without it, storing water should be one of the very first things you do when working toward becoming more prepared.

In addition, losing running water is something that will very likely happen to most of us at some point in our lives, even if only for a short period of time.  It doesn’t take a huge natural disaster to lose running water.  So, it would be wise for everyone to be prepared to live without running water for a minimum of 3 days.  If possible, I highly highly suggest having enough water for at least 2 weeks.

FEMA suggests a minimum of 1 gallon per person per day.

Use Your Stored Water Challenge

So, I have quite a bit of water stored.  Based on FEMA’s recommendation, I have enough water stored to cover my family of six for 2 months.  But, personally, I think the 1 gallon per day per person recommendation really isn’t much and I’d like to try it out.

So, I’m going to turn my running water off for a full two days this week.   For those 48 hours, I am only going to allow myself to use my stored water.  I will be careful with it and ration it, but I won’t go overboard.  I will bathe and cook and clean.

In a true “emergency” situation, I could do without bathing/cleaning for a day or two, but if I were to actually lose my water supply for more than a few days, those things would quickly become necessities.  I want to find out how much water my family will actually use so I have a more accurate idea of the type of water supply I actually have.

I will see how much water we use over a 2 day period, add just a bit (in an emergency we may need a bit more than normal for cleaning wounds, etc), and multiply it by 15 to give our family a full month supply of stored water.  (My personal goal is a 1 month’s supply stored and the ability to filter water for 6 months.  Your goal may be different!)

Join the Use Your Stored Water Challenge

I would love to have as many of you as possible join me!  You may find holes in how you’ve planned your water storage or you may realize you need to store a lot more water than you thought you did.  Plus, what a great way to rotate your stored water!

So, pick two days this week and shut off your water supply.  Use ONLY your stored water!

I will be posting about my experience on Saturday  (you can find my results here: Living without running water: a practical guide).  I’d love to have you come comment and let us know about your experience as well.  If you are a blogger, feel free to leave a link to a post about your experience.  The more the merrier as we all learn from each other!