The 7 Day Challenge: DAY 2 (TUESDAY)

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Welcome to the 7 Day Challenge. For 7 days, we are testing our Emergency Preparedness and Food Storage Plans. Each day will bring a NEW mock emergency or situation that will test at least one of the reasons “WHY” we strive to be prepared! REMEMBER: No going to a store, gas station, or spending any money for the entire 7 days! And please feel free to adapt the scenarios to fit your own family and situation.


A neighboring state has been struck by a nuclear weapon. All water sources in your area have been contaminated with radiation. Only the water that is already stored in your home is safe to use.
Goal: Survive today using ONLY stored water

Today’s Tasks:

  • Go and shut off the main water supply to your house immediately (view tutorial)
  • Cook all of your meals (and clean up) using only stored water
  • Every family member must “shower” or bathe today
  • Research your water purifier/filter and determine if it will filter out radiation
  • Carefully track ALL your water usage, divide that by how much you have stored and calculate how many days supply you ACTUALLY have
  • SHARING TIME: Share a picture of a way you are using your stored water today on our Facebook page or on Instagram (use tags @foodstoragemadeeasy and #FSME7daychallenge)or write up your experiences and what you learned in the blog comments or on our Facebook discussion thread today.

Today’s Limitations:

  • For this day, and ALL days of the challenge: no spending money, no going to stores, and no restaurants
  • Assume any water attached to your pipes is contaminated (no using the water heater or toilet tanks)
  • No turning on your water AT ALL (actually shut it off to avoid temptation)

Advanced Tasks:

  • You haven’t done laundry in two weeks, you HAVE to do a load today
  • Don’t waste stored water on “flushing”, use alternate sanitation methods

Make sure your fill out today’s Report Card to see how well you did, to keep track of areas you can improve, to remember things you need to do, and things you need to buy. Use the data to make a game plan to take you to the next level of preparedness, whatever that may be.


Remember — This year we are going to be offering the chance to win daily PRIZES for people who are participating in one of the following ways:

  • Commenting or posting pictures on our Facebook page
  • Loading pictures on your instagram tagging @foodstoragemadeeasy and #FSME7daychallenge
  • Commenting on today’s blog post with how you did
  • Submitting pictures/stories to us via email at


1 set of 4 WaterBricks (wonderful containers to store water anywhere)

TODAY’S WINNER: Username OkieSister who commented on the blog :

We got through the day on about 8 gallons, including baths, no hair shampooing, and water for the dogs. Did not do laundry, did clean the bathroom and do dishes twice. Accounting for weekly laundry I would feel more comfy at about 15 gallons a day. At that number we have ability to store a little over two weeks, and I would like at least a month. Great challenge!

Email us a to make arrangements for us to send you your prize

  • Judy

    If we have rain barrels with water and there is this kind of terrorist attack and the water supply is contaminated, will the water in the rain barrels still be safe?

  • AB

    OK I’m late but here is how we did: about 11 gallons. Husband is sick and gave me a look and took a shower anyway. The kids & I did bucket & washcloth showers. We were at work/school all day so I think we need to try this again on a weekend to get a better idea how much we really use. Looking forward to tomorrow.

  • TXLadyPatriot

    I found out too late that it’s a little difficult to fully participate in the challenge this year because I have my 79 yr-old mother and my sister here visiting from Colorado for four of the seven days. Funny thing is, my husband and I have been having our own water challenge in our mobile home for almost two month, and we’re still trying to figure out what the problem is to fix it. It’s too complicated to explain at the moment, but I will say that there is a possibility that we may have to replace our water heater. We have plenty of bottled drinking water on hand, though. HA!

    of the things I have learned so far is that I still have a lot to learn about
    storing larger amounts of water for serious emergencies just like what
    we’re experiencing at our house. I am also disabled which is a challenge
    in itself in regards to the 7 Day Challenge that you all are promoting –
    and finding solutions for any possible public scenario for someone like me – a
    disabled person.

    • Do the best you can and you will still learn from following along. Hope you get your water situation resolved soon!

  • JM

    Well, today was blown from the start – I woke up late, before reading the challenge I had to shower and run to a Dr. appt and lab work that took 2 hours, sprinted back to work, didn’t even see the challenge details until noon! Oops. We do have water stored, and hubby and I talked through the challenge today and how we would solve the problems of showering, laundry by hand, sanitation, etc. We just bought a 10 pack of the water cubes, they rock! I’m still finding places to stash them throughout our small house. We’re a small family of 2 plus dog, so we would have been okay, but talking through laundry and sanitation needs – revealed some holes in our preps we need to address soon. Thanks for a great challenge!

    • You can even store the water bricks outside. If they freeze you can use them as ice blocks until they melt.

  • Allison

    We did good for the most part and ended the day with a family brainstorming meeting to plan for what we’ll need in the future. Thanks for doing this!

    • Love the brainstorming idea. Fill out your report cards together at the end of the night. I might just do this too 🙂

  • Sherry Bee

    We managed just this one day with the 5 gallons stored in the pantry, but anything longer term would have been really ugly. We use so much more water every day than we realized. Those 5 empty barrels didn’t do any good at all. We have procrastinated filling them, because we have not found a good place to store them. I think we should make or purchase a couple of racks so they could be stored in a horizontal position. Much more convenient to use that way. Should have one or two barrels in the barn for watering the animals. Also need some sort of emergency method for showers.

    • i have a rack that holds 3 and it’s a great use of space. Make a goal for when you will fill em up!

  • S Hover

    I chose to not use precious water to clean the house outside which has now permeated our home and now smells of skunk.

  • S Hover

    I know this is extremely unusual but I felt because it happened I should post it. I went through the day uneventfully until about 9:45pm. Our family dog barked uncontrollably. I let her out and I went out as well to see the back end of an animal. I asked my husband to get the flashlight but by the time he arrived with it it wasn’t needed. The smell of skunk was unmistakeable. I was not prepared for this event and had to go to the store to purchase more hydrogen peroxide. The old fashioned tomato juice was not going to work on my pure white Spitz. I had to break the trail and purchase enough h.p for the recipe. This will forever be a stock item in our home. Along with that we had to use rain water collected to bath her- in our area the water is quite cold and she didn’t receive any of the solution well. The recipe I used was: 1 quart hydrogen peroxide, 1/4 cup baking soda ( which I have with no problem) and 1-2 teaspoons of liquid soap. Lots of water. This must be left on five minutes and then rinsed off with water. This whole episode used quite a lot of valuable water supply as well as a run to the store. So… the moral of the story is….. Water is valuable and it must be used for many sources and home security is a main one. Our dog is a great security system and must be preserved.

    • Judy

      How well did the solution work? By the way, thanks for posting the recipe. I’ll be adding that to my notebook. We’ve had quite a few problems with skunks at our home. When my son was a baby, we were awakened in the middle of the night by a horrible stench and immediately jumped out of bed and began closing windows. It was too late. That smell got in our house. It was so bad at the back of the house where the bedrooms are, that we set cots up on the living room, got the baby, and we all slept in the living room. Not very fun. Early in the morning, the stench was no longer outside but still inside so we opened the windows again to air the place out.

  • Pa mama

    With a newborn & toddler underfoot, I haven’t had a chance to really dig my heals in and participate fully but I have been paying attention to the conversations, learning a lot, & getting lots of ideas. Thanks for this useful site & all the participation; all of you are considered true assets due to your willingness to share what you know & keep the conversation going. Thank you- I look forward to reading about the rest of the challenges & fully joining in on the fun next year! Until then, best of luck & many blessings to you all!

    • Isn’t it amazing how much we can learn from each other? That is the BEST part of the challenge every year for me!

  • Okiesister

    We got through the day on about 8 gallons, including baths, no hair shampooing, and water for the dogs. Did not do laundry, did clean the bathroom and do dishes twice. Accounting for weekly laundry I would feel more comfy at about 15 gallons a day. At that number we have ability to store a little over two weeks, and I would like at least a month. Great challenge!

    • I love how you calculated it all out and made a goal. This is what the challenge is for. Great job today!

      • OkieSister

        Thank you Jodi and Julie for this challenge, and for the WaterBricks! That gives us close to another day of water storage, and they are really nice, and stackable is just the greatest!

  • Amber

    Working 7 days a week and am exhausted from all that life has thrown at us so i am posting what I learned a few weeks ago when we had two water leaks back to back. Water leak x2

    1.Turn off water key, showed our oldest how to turn off the water at the main beside the street.
    2. House shut off doesn’t work, reduces water pressure but doesn’t turn it off all the way but the rental company won’t fix that because we have our own water key.
    3. Milk jugs, was gradually replacing them with juice bottles. Moved them for flushing toilets(2 for each toilet ). Planned on keeping them inter tub next to toilet in case they sprang a leak. My husband still needed a shower so I put them next to the toilet while he showered before we turned the water off. I forgot and they leaked all over the bathroom floor.- two messes: water leak in garage , puddle in bathroom
    4. All water jugs are less than 6 months old but don’t have enough need water barrels! And we have now disposed of our last few milk jugs for water storage. We now have buckets and juice bottles. I would love to get some rain barrels.
    5. Pets- we have to add chocolate the finite pig to our evac plans now. :). And we need to remove our old dog daisy fr them too:(.
    6. 12 year old Daughter was happy we finally get to use our emergency water supply!
    7. Leak didn’t dry up completely after being fixed, discovered we have a second leak behind the water tank-more drywall needs to be tore out to find it and probably more mold to deal with too.
    8. Got a shower bag recently need to install a plant hook in a support beam for showers. But we can use it In the back yard if we have too.
    9.Been going to the
    laundry mat and doing a little bucket clothes washing here and there for just over a month since our washing machine broke down. I first thought I could do it from what I read in years past. I should have read about it again. the first time it took me 4 buckets worth of water to manually- get a plunger!- to get all the soap out. No need to create more work if you are going to have to conserve water and energy.
    I definetly learned that even 5 gallons per person per day will be a hug inconvenience if we ever have to live off our water supply

  • Allison Zundel Grigg

    need to get some sort of rubbermaid tote that can catch the water used after our “shower” or bath

  • Susan H.

    We did pretty well today…have lots of stored water to take care of our family & plenty extra.

  • donna

    We did just fine today and I have enough water for about a week but I also have 5 empty 55 gallon barrels so that is pretty lame. I just don’t know where to store them so I haven’t filled them. I will be working on that.

  • Dan

    definitely need to store more water, but I think we did pretty good today

  • Kimberly Landry

    As like some others, I have learned a lot today. I don’t think we would make it for any length of time. I live on the lake, so I thought I would have plenty for other uses other than drinking. I have plenty to drink but not too wash clothes, dishes and toilet. Wow do I have work to do…

    • We all do 🙂 Even after doing this for 5 years I’m constantly learning new things to make it better.

  • Jay Manning

    I have some water, 15 gallons, put aside and three 55 gallon drums aways ready to go.

  • Keera Jones

    I have a lot of water stored… I just need to learn how to use it effectively. This is something I need to study a lot more!

  • Marcia R

    My friend has these water bricks and loves them! They are tucked behind her couch with a table cloth over them. Concealed!! Sweet.

  • Deerlady

    You sank my battleship! We really hadn’t prepped for “water contamination”. We had a hand pump installed a year ago and thought we were all good for a grid down case. We failed this one. I am literally working on storing up water right now as we speak. Thanks for the eye opener.

    • Woo hoo! I love it when we stump “experts”. It’s always fun to try to think of new scenarios that just might add a little twist to your prepping plans 🙂

  • Rebekah Shearer

    I’m FAR better this year than I was last year.

    I have 2 cases of frozen water bottles in the freezer. 3-5 gallon water jugs, 2 rain barrels ordered for the garden and just in case we need toilet water, two bucket toilet seats, several alternatives to heat up our water for food. So while it’s not much, it’s more than I had last year during this time all thanks to YOU!

    We’re working on building our primary source of water. Today’s prize would be an AWEOME win for us. We can’t afford the barrels yet and don’t really have the room. This would start us rolling on a bigger supply and will encourage us to order more to add to the supply that will fit on our shelves in the basement.

    • There is nothing better than to hear comments like this. It really makes it worth it to do these challenges every year!

  • Jaclyn Wade

    Well I think my water duties are done for the day. I learned that I need more cleaning water stored. I have enough liquids stored for cooking and drinking to last about 6 weeks (water, juices, broths for cooking, shelf stable milk). I am glad it was raining this morning, I was able to use that water to wash clothes. I have a supply of baby wipes so bathing wasnt an issue. This has woke me up, by the end of the year I want to add about 100 more gallons to the storage. And then double what I already store my summer next year.

  • Bree M

    Realizing how much water we actually use since we tried to green up and get rid of all disposable items “/ Also very very glad the Rubbermaid camping cooler still had cold drinking water in it from the weekend… The push spout is so much easier!! Thinking about storing it full from now on.

    • ooo great idea to store water in a cooler. I like it!

  • Teresa

    I posted before but for some reason it didnt go through, if it does later I am sorry for reposting.
    It was an interesting day! I found out last summer that keeping water in our workshop was not going to work. It is to hot and all of our buckets craked. So I have been trying to find a way to store more water in the house. But for todays use I used the 15 gallons of water we had, our berkey filter was full before I woke up, and there was some water in our rain barrel (thankfully it rained a lot this weekend:).
    We had planned on our homeschool group coming over today to learn about France and we planned on chocolate truffles and carmel truffles and making perfume. Oh my kids in my house playiing in chocolate and no running water!! We had to be creative, and thankfully they all brought their own water bottles. I also had canning apples planned for today….yikes. Well we took baths with as very little water as possible…..very little and I am sure I will see suds when the hair gets washed tomorrow. I pulled out a gallon of water for cleaning hands and washing up. We used wet wipes and hand santizer for a lot of it. We rinsed with 1/2 gallon of water for all kids and washed up the chocolate mess with the rest (yes there is still chocolate everywhere) then used that water to boil the pan we made carmel in. I did save 4 gallons of the water for canning and cleaning the apples so that was set aside, The rest was used for cleaning up and my kids had to wash their clothes for tomorrow with a clothes agitator thing I have for emergencies. We used as little water as possible for this and rinsed the rags that I used to clean up the chocolate afterwords.
    Today was laundry day but my children choose not to wash the rest of the clothes that way:) it can wait until hopefully tomorrow (unless there’s no electricity.
    I am canning as much of the apples as I can possible do safely. The rest I will do something with.
    It was a challange but we were tried to be conservative. I do have enough left to wash veggies for dinner besides enough for a few glasses of water that is it. We are out and no way to wash dishes after dinner. My husband took a shower before I knew about this otherwise we would not gotten a whole lot more done. I need to find another solution for water storage.
    Oh and we did not use alternative to toliet, as the moms were willing to go alongbut I did not think that willing:). I did turn off water to the sinks though. It is amazing how many times a day were turn that on without thinking, then stare at it when no water comes out.

    • That’s awesome that you shared this experience with your homeschooling group. I would have loved to see their faces if you asked them to pee in a bucket. Hehehe.

  • Jocelyn Robertson

    We would be OK for a few days. We have enough water in the 5 gallon bottles we use in our water cooler to use for drinking and cooking for two weeks (there’s just 2 of us). We also have a few cases of bottled water. We have two 55 gallon barrels that I wouldn’t want to drink from – probably pretty stale – but this would work for washing and cleaning. We have a small portable toilet that uses double doody bags so don’t need water for flushing. Note – if your water is turned off you can use these bags in your toilet – much more comfortable. I also have a good supply of cleaning wipes and hand sterilizers, and I keep sproam on hand. This is a low sudsing foam body cleaner that is easy to wash off – needs little water – and it doesn’t hurt your body if you don’t remove it all. They use it for bedbaths in hospitals. Another good soap to have is liquid camping soap. It is low suds, environmentally friendly and can be used for everything – washing, shampooing, dishes, laundry, etc. I keep a good supply of disposable dishes, cups and utensils to use when water is scarce, and we cook a lot of 1 dish meals – so not a lot of clean up there. I’d love to get some water bricks like the ones you are giving away today!

    • If you filtered your water from your barrels and added a little drink mix, I bet you could still drink it!

  • Tana

    I learned I have a great deal of work to do on my water storage. I stored enough drinking water, but didn’t think about all of the other uses we use it for. I will definitely be making some adjustments to our water storage plan.

  • Andre’a

    A few things learned: only if your water filter specifically says that it will filter radioactive material would we be able to safely have drinking water other than what’s stored in a nuclear emergency. Another thing: I compulsively turn on the faucet to wet/wash my fingers, rinse out containers for recycling, and I always forget that the water’s turned off! This is SO cathartic! And the “shortage” of water makes me thirsty.

    • That’s why I actually have to TURN IT OFF. I am constantly flipping the tap on for this and that.

  • Tracie

    What a day. My teenaged daughter threatened us with mutiny while our younger son couldn’t care less. Apparently indoor plumbing, running water and hour long showers are things she would ‘die’ without. Her Dad and I wonder if she has a future on the stage, we’ve seen so much drama today. At any rate, we would be good for up to a week if we scrimped on water usage (strict drinking and cooking only) , but much longer and we couldn’t manage. This day has really opened our eyes to some holes in our preparedness.

    • If you ever go through a REAL emergency I hope she is grateful for this practice run 😉 My 7 year old through a fit about peeing in a bucket today, but that’s about all the trouble we had. hehe.

  • Dawn

    lessons learned today, need better plan that utilizes the water/ juices within my home canned good to help to conserve water. NOT a fan of low water wash board washing- opinions on the wonder washer vs wonder clean welcomed. Also when using home detergent don’t forget to add vinegar to the rinse for both clothes and dishes- helps immensely.

  • Sheila B

    I lived this day last summer when my well pump went out. Luckily both kids had just finished their showers that night, and I ended up skipping mine. When they shut the water off and I went to wash up the dinner dishes that didn’t fit into the dishwasher – there wasn’t a drop left! The showers had even drained the hot water heater. I didn’t think about it too much, but when I went to investigate the problem in the basement, my water heater was making weird noises – it was boiling what tiny bit of water was in the bottom. I had to shut off the water heater until the well was fixed.

    You don’t realize how many times you turn on the faucet until nothing comes out! Brushing teeth, much less showering, is not convenient. I’m on a septic tank, so thankfully I had stored water that we could flush with and bottled water to drink. I did not really have a way to shower, so I have now picked up one of those solar showers. I didn’t see this until I was at work, so was not able to fill it and set it out to warm up today. That wouldn’t work very well in the winter, so I need to think of an alternate method. We do have a tub, so maybe I could warm up on the water on the stove and put it into the solar shower and then hang it up in the tub.

    We were gone most of the day, and still went thru several gallons with flushing with water I had stored in milk jugs. After cleaning up where a couple of the milk jugs started leaking, I now only store in the juice containers, plus a few water bricks. I did just get a Royal Berkey, but still need more actual water stored. Definitely don’t have enough on hand.

    • I wonder if the solar shower would still heat up in the winter if it were a sunny day? I might have to experiment now that I know how to use it!

      • Paul

        Here at 7k’ it works quite well. As long as the bag is black and a nice sunny day it will get to hot to touch!

  • Trisa

    A couple years ago, our local water wells were found to have radiation. Since then we have installed a reverse osmosis system. Love it! We are in a 30 year old house and have the original toilets. FYI, it can take 3 2-liter bottles to flush, and that goes through the water reserves rapidly. I use only liquid laundry soap, and am able to do do laundry by hand. One bucket with soapy water, one with clean water, hand wring and hang on the clothesline.

    • Yikes, scary about your wells! Great tip on the laundry 🙂

  • Mane

    Since we live on the other side of the ocean (Europe) we are a few hours ahead of you.
    Actually, it’s about 8 PM now and we have had almost an entire day with no water.

    My findings:
    – bathing (washing by the sink) is hard with limited water. I brought up 6 liter of warm water and thought it would be enough: it barely was enough to wash body, hair and rinse.
    – I used the water cooker really a lot!
    – I’m a bit of a neat-freak and a very messy chef, so I was very happy with my little box of Clorox wipes. Defenately need to buy lots more of those!!
    – Doing dishes means getting creative: I needed two buckets in order to actually get things clean: one for the first rinse in order to get the worst mess off, and another one do actually clean the dishes. The worst part however was getting the first (very messy) bucket clean after doing the dishes. It was very messy!
    – Paper plates and plastic silverware would be a great asset to use now.
    – I thought I had going to the bathroom covered with the outhouse on our property. So my guess was that we were set on that part. But no: our youngest was terrified of that “creepy place” and did not wanted to go there. So there is some work as well.
    – The big containers of bottled water I had stored turned out to be past its best by date. It was still drinkable but it surely stated that I do not rotate well enough.
    – The stored amount is no way near enough to last us for two weeks (final goal) so will need to buy more.
    – We have a Katadyn waterfilter, but that will not filter out radiation for as far as I know.
    – We went through 27 liter (about 10 gallons) of water for our family, including fluids ( 2 people bathed). As were I thought that 10 liters (3 gallons) would have been sufficient.

    This was a real eye opener! Thank you for the challange and keep up the good work 🙂

    • Great overview. It is crazy how much water we use in a day. My 7 year old daughter was afraid to use our bucket potty too.

  • april hill

    I couldn’t physically turn off the water cause I cant crawl under the house, lol but I do pretty good here by myself. Im just glad I washed the dishes at 1030 last night instead of waiting for today. all mine got mine pretty good about washing w/o tub/shower a couple weeks ago when the valve and pipe busted and it took hubby a week to get to it(since he had to tear out shower wall~sigh~) We do need a better supply, the prob is finding where to store enough for 5 people and 6 pets

  • alaska_carol

    Time to go potty at the out house. The out house was a chilling experience this morning 24 degrees at 7am 🙂 That will wake you up!

    Well – I guess I have known for a while that we didn’t have enough water stored and that water barrels and other large size storage tanks outdoors are out of the question. We did order a life straw family last week – which has not arrived yet. I do not know if it will filter out radiation, but from what I read the water it’s self is not in danger – it is the particles in it that pose the health hazard. If the particulate matter is filtered out, the actual elemental water should be safe to drink… at least that is what I read. We live across the road from a lake and in the winter, melting snow and ice can fill the water barrel in the corner of the living room.

    Lucky for us the septic tank system will continue to work well even if the water needs to be carried from the lake or other source. We can potty inside, use the tub, and sink drains.

    Perhaps we should also look at finding a dose meter and Geiger counter to use in the event of a nuclear incident. A nuclear incident has always been my mother’s greatest fear, so the family has done a little research on the topic.

    • We don’t know much about the radiation affecting water, it just sounded like a good challenge and something we need to research more!

    • Grimm

      Seychelle makes a radiological life straw, water bottle filter and pitcher filter. They were the only company I could find that has a line of filters just for removing radiation from water. Let me clarify. They are the only company I could find that had affordable products. I can’t see spending 3-6K on a filtering system for a cabin we rent.

  • Claire

    I am in pretty good shape on this one. I live alone, so I don’t need a ton of water, and I have enough for the day. I’m glad I saw this though, because I never thought of needing water for bathing! I don’t know why that never occurred to me. I always thought that I only needed enough to eat and drink. I guess I do need more water storage now!

  • DeeDee Lear Quigg

    I have been freaking out a little lately because, while we have been building our food storage over the past couple years, we are still far from being ready to last a week, in terms of water. I have a filtering pump but it wouldn’t work for radiation in the water. :-/

  • Dorothy

    We are in good shape on this one. We have plenty of water stored for cooking and drinking and I can even do a load of undies if I need to with my little hand powered washer which uses a very small amount of water. Instead of having to flush we will use the holding tank in our camp trailer, using just a small amount of water to get it down. We can either wait until we have water to flush it out or we can go to the river and get water to flush it out. We can use the powder that we use when camping if it gets to be a problem. It is hooked up to the sewer too but needs water to get it flowing. My big question is this: wouldn’t the creeks and river be contaminated too right now and how long would it take for them to be safe to use???

  • Rachel Williams Pilgrim

    My friends and family always say I’m crazy, but every time I empty an Orange Juice bottle or soda bottle, I wash it and fill it with water. These little bottles are stored all around my house, and I use them to fill pet water dishes, water plants, etc. (to keep rotating the water).

    I’m inspired by all the tips I’m reading in the posts below, and am still learning a lot. But grateful I have the water stored that we need, even if in limited quantities for now.

  • Grimm

    I got the email last night so I set jugs of water in each bathroom on
    the sink, a bucket for the gray water and a bottle of hand sanitizer.

    First thing I did when I woke up was to fill our solar camp shower with
    stored water and set it up on my balcony to warm up. After lunch Roo
    and I will take camping showers outside in our bathing suits. The parts
    under the bathing suits will be washed inside with wash cloths.

    Most of my cooking today will be done with the jugs of stored water I
    keep on the steps into the basement for this type of emergency. I
    already use bottled water for my coffee so no change there.

    Roo is potty training so she will be using the potty and the gray water
    will be used to flush for her. I will be using the method I have used
    in the past… the cat boxes. They are the CleverKitty type boxes with a
    perfect hole cut in the top. The boxes are strong enough to hold a
    person if they sit on them. I’ll just have to change out the litter at
    the end of the day or my tomcat may start marking…

    I am also minimizing my cooking of foods that require extra water to
    cook. I am planning on cooking foods that are packed in water and fresh
    foods so I can conserve the 100 gallons of stored water we have. You
    never know when an event like this will last longer than you prep for.

    I do know I need more water and have plans for rain barrels. More food
    canned/packed in water is smart too. If this were real and not a test I
    would have K set up the outhouse behind the cabin so we have long term
    potty solutions. Maybe one of those 5 gallon bucket pottys would be
    smart to have til the outhouse is up…

    • way to be prepared! I did the same thing for tooth-brushing this morning.

      • Grimm

        I used a 4oz dixie cup to help ration the water for washing my face, brushing my teeth and hand washing in the bathroom.

        Our dog is in heaven because she and the cats got wet/canned food to help conserve our stored water.

        I did find out none of our water filters will remove radiation so the Seychelle Radiological filter pitcher is on the Christmas list.

  • brendainminnesota

    We’re in pretty good shape for this one. We use 2 liter pop bottles on a rotating basis filled from the water filter. I don’t think water filters filter out radiation. We also have a couple 55 gal barrels. We could improve though.

  • Robin

    Uh-oh, didn’t read this until After my shower. Guess I’m glowing now! Besides that, I would do miserably in this situation – I have only a couple of days of Drinking water. None for cleaning (showers/dishes). I do have a portable potty system though. Definitely need improvements!

  • Deb

    This is my least favorite challenge probably because we are least prepared for this. We have water stored for only 2 weeks. My husband and I have been talking about getting rain barrels with a filtration and purification system, but haven’t done so yet.
    I’m also wondering about all of you who are just peeing in your yard…..I’m hoping you have nice big lots with no close neighbors. 🙂 I’m just imaging if we did that, and our neighbors looking out their kitchen window as they’re cooking dinner. Oh, what an eye-full!!! lol.
    I do enjoy the challenges, and I will take this opportunity to make some decisions on the sustainable water situation and start getting it put in place.

  • Vicki

    We just went through this a couple weeks ago. We used 18 gallons of water on average for a family of 8. But that was without bathing or doing laundry. We also used most of the water for flushing. We have five daughters and they went A LOT. We just purchased two 55 gallon water barrels that we will be filling as soon as we get them. We have eight 7 gallon water jugs (I figured 1 each should last a week if we REALLY conserved). I have also saved every soda, vinegar, bleach, and laundry soap bottles we empty and filled with water and store them where ever I can find a spot. We have a Berkey water filter and each of us have a Berkey Sport water bottle in our back packs. We used to bathe in a small rubber maid container when we were living without running water for three years. You use a lot less water that way instead of having to fill a tub. We also used a porta potty which used hardly any water. Laundry we did in a five gallon bucket with a laundry plunger.
    Thanks for another great challenge.

  • obearlady

    ty but i don’t do face book nice gift

    • You don’t need to do facebook to share. You can post your comments on the blog or email us pictures to enter to win. You can always read the facebook comments without having account too. it’s a great place to share and learn.

  • obearlady

    ty nice gift but i don’t do face book this is obearlady

  • Paul

    We are pretty good on this one. We have 3500 gallons stored at any given time in two underground cisterns. Water in these feed the house during normal times so is rotated slowly, but is rotated. Rough calcs suggest we have about 300-350 days worth stored if we get tight with the rations. This also includes watering the greenhouse every day. Bathing consists of doc broners and a 1 gallon bucket every few days. More if needed but we do every third day now and it works out just fine. Since we technically live off our stored water now, refilled by the well, we cook and clean with it daily already. Sanitation piece is take a shovel into the woods with a roll of tp and.. you get the picture.
    The water filter part is interesting. If the fallout was enough to contaminate a water supply a state away I would think the rad concentrations in the air would be enough remove the worry about water in general. It is an interesting thought though..

  • Gumby

    Just barely got 5 barrels for water for my family of 6, so we’ll see how prepared we are. Maybe I can convince my teenage boys to shower in the rain? Really wishing I had bought the water filter, too. (Never considered needing one to filter radiation.) Have a repairman coming today for some electrical issues. Thank goodness today wasn’t the no electricity challenge!

    • Make sure you have a good way to get water OUT of the barrels. That’s why we like actually practicing this challenge. it’s tough!

  • Judy

    Does a Berkey filter out radiation contamination? I can’t tell from their website.

    • Alicia

      I thought in our paperwork it said it did; however, I contacted them a few moments ago and they said they do not have a filter at this time that filters out radiation.

      • Jackie

        They say it takes care of Radon 22

        • Paul

          Radon is a gas that sometimes gets trapped in well water. A simple fish tank bubbler and a little time will remove it. Plutonium, uranium, cesium etc are completely different animals. They are devastating in a matter of weeks where radon could take years to have an affect.

    • I believe there is an add-on you can get that WILL filter it out. I’ll ahve to look into that.

  • Benedicta

    We just purchased a pallet of fresh drinking water and we don’t have the funds to replace it at this point, so we filled up containers with 30 gallons tap water for drinking and cooking before we turned the water main off – we do have to be prudent! We also have 80 gallons of stored tap water for non-drinking needs (which we could purify if needed). We have 4 rain barrels filled to the brim with water from last week’s rain. We will use those to water the garden, take care of the animals and shower – 3 of the 5 of us have already showered outside (luckily we have privacy outside). The 3 of us used 5 gallons of water to shower and wash hair. We have wet wipes and Clorox wipes so we don’t have to use water. We have an extra toilet seat to set up an outside toilet – not something I’m totally looking forward to using. So far today, we’ve flushed the contaminated water from our tanks for our daily business. Later this morning we will take our buckets to the pond about 1/4 mile from our home so test that option. We do have a water purification system, but I’m not sure if it removes radiation – I’ll have to check into that. So far today, we’ve used only 6 gallons of water for showering, coffee and filling our daily drinking water bottles.

  • Andrea

    This is the challenge I was dreading the most. Our storage is severely lacking. .Luckily I had both my Brita pitcher filled & my coffee maker’s water tank. Although that leads me to the dilemma of drinking coffee vs. having to pee. I don’t have any qualms of going pee in the yard. We did that when we had no power/water for Sandy. We have a creek & hot tub that we can use for water to flush. We’ve got plenty of Clorox wipes to use for hands. I saw a post somewhere on taking a shower using less then a gallon of water. I need to find that one & see if it works

  • Holly

    Great Challenge! We are going to try to use as much of our water storage as it’s time to replace it. We have two barrels and I think this is enough for today for two people. However, I have a feeling that it’s not enough if we really do have to use it for a week. It will be a great day to determine how much we really need.
    BTW, this is my 4th challenge and I look forward to every September! Thanks girls, you rock!

    • Yay this is only the fifth challenge we’ve done so you’ve been with us a long time! Glad you are still learning from it 🙂

  • Alicia

    Good morning! Great challenge. Can’t turn the water off as my 69 year old mother lives with us and she’s ornery enough without taking her water away. 😉 The boys and I will do the challenge, though.
    No problem with laundry. We lived on Guam for 3 years and had 6 typhoons. Each time we were without water for at least a week. Good thing about having it happen there is it continued to rain so we would run outside with soap/shampoo and shower in the rain. Great memories. Laundry will be done with stored water in empty laundry soap/softener bottles. I leave that little amount in the bottle so there’s some cleaning/softening going on in the stored water. I do the same thing with my empty vinegar bottles.
    The boys played in the pool last night so we will use that water for flushing.
    I bought a watering can about a month ago and we will shower with that. They will love it!
    Our Berkey does have a filter that will filter out radiation. We also have a creek that runs in front of our house.

  • Elizabeh Fogle

    Two years ago was the summer of no water here. I’ve already lived this challenge! We had three major water leaks, one leak was the main water line! Since then I have started canning water. I know is sounds ridiculous, but it is such an amazing way to build your water supply. Any time I don’t have a full canner load I add quarts of water to fill it out. It is a much better way the filling old milk jugs the deteriorate. I know we don’t have a year supply, but we do have enough for cooking, cleaning, and drinking for several days. Thanks for the challenge! And the reminder that I need a good water filter!

  • Alison

    I really like this challenge. I can already do laundry with my water containers, if my husband lifts them. We have containers with a spout, which are great for hand washing, cooking, and getting a drink. We filled an unused garden tub with water filled juice bottles and put other water storage under my husband’s desk. We have known that we don’t have enough water storage and today will be a great day to know how much more we need. Thanks for the encouragement!

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