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.

Diagrams/Charts

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.