Use Your Stored Water! (National Preparedness Month Week #1)

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!

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Becky is a wildlife enthusiast and pet and livestock care expert with a diploma in canine nutrition. With over a decade of experience in animal welfare, Becky lends her expertise to Simple Family Preparedness through insightful info about pets, livestock, bee keeping, and the practicalities of homesteading.

13 thoughts on “Use Your Stored Water! (National Preparedness Month Week #1)”

  1. Howdy friends! Clean water and water storage has long been a passion of mine. During hurricane Sandy , almost 3 years ago, we were without power for almost 2 weeks in near freezing temps. Our well pump runs on electricity so we had no water. But several years back I bought a 650 gallon food grade water cistern which I put on a slight rise near our house. Gravity helped the flow. It has a brass spigot and garden hose near the bottom and a large screw on cap to fill it , on top. The 5 of us filled 5 and 6 gallon buckets several times a day to bring in to cook, drink and wash with. The cistern, which comes in a wide variety of sizes and shapes is great as long as the temps stay above freezing. Then you need indoor storage. Also smaller portable containers are a must if you need to lift or transport them. Always have a second siphon as a back up too. Our hanging solar shower was used by hooking it to the shower head but it should have been mounted better. It worked but slid off the shower head a lot. But a hot shower, even a short one was great!
    We also need water for our very large dog and flock of chickens. We had enough water to flush toilets. ( toilet waste goes into our septic) We didn’t really conserve as much as we could have. Using our bucket type porta potties would have saved a lot. We learned a lot from that experience and it could have been MUCH worse than it was. We now have many “water bricks” and other containers stashed all over the house and I got the kids a 300 gallon Rubbermaid “water trough” as a pool which doubles as another warm weather storage container. All water we consumed was filtered by our Berkey purification system, which we have always sworn by. We also use Steri-pens and boiling for disinfection, depending on the situation. Preparing for emergencies only makes good sense, but going through the emergency is the best way to learn what really works for you. Occasional practice “runs” keep skills sharp. Keep smiling friends ! Bill

  2. Misty, I have a question. Several months ago. like about in June, I received an email from Thrive that there was a recall on the Aqua Pails it said to send a reply back to CS if you would like a replacement. I did reply that I would. I have heard nothing since. I sent an email to CS a couple of weeks ago but never received a reply from it. I just went back to your water purifying segment for the bug out bags and see you still have the Aqua Pail listed in your supplies. They are no longer listed for sale on the Thrive site. Do you know anything about this since you are much closer to the powers that be there in the Thrive offices? Is my Aqua Pail good or not? Help!
    Glad you and kids made it thru the harrowing trial without endangering those valuable teeth! I think I am going to have to invest in one of those pumps and a spigot for my water bricks! I can barely lift the five gallon ones, let alone carry them up a flight of stairs as you did! Have a wonderful and clean weekend!

  3. What a terrific way to make sure your family is prepared! I really like this idea as a way to rotate through your water supply too. I’m early into preparing our 72 hour kits so that is my focus right now, but when I’ve got those “ready” I would love to try this test myself. I’m looking forward to seeing what else you have up your sleave for national preparedness month.

  4. We had a water main break here in our mobile park that left us for three days without water! The management brought each resident acase of water bottles but I did not use them I used the water in my storage. I had several jugs of water for my water dispenser as I do not use faucet water to drink. I have three three gallon bottles delivered each two weeks. They had just come when the water went out. I also have a couple of three gallon and one five gallon in my shed for storage. I have two cases of the water blocks in the boxes and one case of the oil packs. It is just me now at home since my hubby went into the nursing home. I have a couple of different water filtering systems, a Brita pitcher with extra filters, and a large Aqua Pail to clean water to use. I have begun to get the water bricks in my Q each month. I have enought for for about three years so now I am only replacing what I use and getting more tiers for storing and other emergency stuff.

  5. I am in. I have been curious as to how long our water storage would last.

    We lived for three years without running water or electricity so I have a good idea how much we used to use. But we have three more children then we did then. We used to bathe in a Rubbermaid container (you use a lot less than filling a tub. Plus you realize you don’t need to soak, just a quick sponge bath and a good head washing. We also used porta potties which used hardly any water.

    Plus, like you said, it will give us a good reason to rotate our water supply to keep it fresh :)
    Thanks for the motivation Misty!

      • Starting our water test today. It is raining all day today. Too bad we don’t have any 55 gallon containers to fill with all that rain coming down. We are all sick so I thought it would be a good real life challenge for us. Good thing I caught up on laundry. We will be doing laundry as needed with our 5 gallon bucket and laundry plunger :) Fun times and a good learning experience.

          • I found out three things today on our first day of using only water storage. I bad and two good things.

            The one bad first: We used twice as much water as we should have if it were a true emergency situation.

            The first good thing is that I got twice as many of my water bottles cleaned and refilled on day one :)

            The second good thing is that I realized that even if we continued to use the same amount, we probably have close to a weeks worth of water stored. Which we could easily make into a two week supply if we kept to the one gallon per person per day.
            I would still like to get some 55 gallon barrels to have extra water also.

  6. A waterline broke in our old condo complex and they had to turn the water off for a couple days. It was our anniversary, so we checked into a hotel (who really wants to flush the toilet with pool water on their second anniversary?!) but it really drove home the importance of water storage! I have some, but definitely not enough.


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