If you’re the kind of person who loves to be fully prepared for any and all eventualities, you may be concerned about the possibility of someday being in a situation where water is scarce. Water is probably our most precious resource – it’s essential to life, and without it things would quickly fall apart. Would you be prepared if the water was cut off in your home during an emergency? Use these tips to make sure you’re always ready.
- Consider an underground system. One of the best possible ways to preserve water in case of an emergency is to have underground tanks beneath your home or business ready and waiting to supply harvested rainwater for you to use. There are various types of tanks available in a vast range of sizes and price ranges, but keep in mind that the water will need to be cleaned if you plan to use it for human consumption.
- Know how to clean and prepare stored water. It’s not always essential to clean water in an emergency situation before using it to cook or drink. If the water has come from a public supply that has now been cut off or suspended and no order has been given to purify the water before drinking, it should be perfectly safe to consume, cook with, and use to brush your teeth. If the water may have been contaminated or comes from a spring, well, or other source that you’re not well informed about, you should use a purifying product like iodine or boil the water before use. You can boil the water for around 3-4 minutes to remove any pathogens or contaminants and then store the water at room temperature.
- Store the water wisely. Any water that you’re storing for an emergency should be kept in thoroughly cleaned sanitary containers. The containers should be cleaned using hot water, soap, and a small amount of bleach, and rinsed properly to ensure safety. While milk containers may be handy, they can be tough to clean and can easily harbour bacteria, so stick to alternative storage options if possible.
- Replace water when necessary. If you’re building up a supply of emergency water in your property or business, you will need to replace the water bottles at certain intervals. Store-bought water bottles will come with an expiration date marked on the container – take this date seriously and replace the water when the date arrives. If you’re storing water that’s been taken from a non-store source, aim to replace it every six months to ensure that it’s safe to drink.
- Know how much you need. Generally, it’s best to store about four litres of water for each person or pet in the home, though you may want to allocate more for those with illnesses or pregnant women. If you live in a particularly hot climate, you should aim to increase the volume saved. Emergency preparedness experts generally recommend saving enough for a minimum of three days, but some people do choose to store and save a larger quantity in the event of a more serious, lasting emergency. If you do decide to go all-out and save much larger quantities of water, investing in a safe and sturdy tank may be the most cost-effective and trustworthy solution.