Step 2: Water

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Store a 2 week’s supply of water (1 gallon per person per day). Buy 55 gallon barrels, get several 5-6 gallon jugs, or fill up empty soda/juice bottles. Make sure it is food grade plastic, but not milk jugs as they deteriorate too quickly!

Key Points

  • Most sources recommend 1 gallon of water per person, PER day, for 3-14 days. Make sure to consider storing enough for pets as well.
  • Store water in “FOOD GRADE” or PETE plastic containers (stay away from milk jugs, but soda bottles are suitable).
  • Water storage boxes are another good option. Water is placed into mylar bags and then inserted into stackable cardboard boxes.
  • Store water away from too much light or heat.
  • Clean, sanitize, and rinse all containers prior to use.
  • Do not use containers previously used to store non-food products.
  • Store water in multiple sizes of containers to suit different emergency needs
  • Do not store water containers directly on concrete. Place on cardboard, wood pallets, or other materials.
  • Non-chlorinated water (most municipal water is chlorinated) should be treated with unscented liquid household chlorine bleach (5 to 6% sodium hypochlorite). See the chart below for appropriate amount to add to water.
  • Boiling is the safest way to clean water, however you can also use household liquid bleach to kill microorganisms.
  • Rotate your water storage at least once every year
  • Alternate water sources include: Hot water heater tank, toilet tanks, water pipes, ice in freezer, canned foods, rivers, streams, ponds and lakes, melted snow and ice, rain water, etc.


More Information

Helpful Products

Boxed Water Kits: 5 gallon mylar pouches that store inside cardboard boxes. Stackable up to three high. Only need to rotate every 5 years.
WaterBricks: 3.5 gallon capacity bricks that can stack. Durable plastic that can store inside or outside. Great for storing in small spaces like closets or under beds.
Berkey Water Purifiers: High quality filters that both purify and filter water. Useful for emergency water storage as well as every day drinking water.


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