My greatest preparedness weakness right now is also the most basic – water. Water is life. There’s no sense spending your time buying hoity toity Mountain House #10 cans unless you’ve first got a supply of water. I’m guilty of this. Water always comes out when I turn the faucet on. I, like most anyone living in the U.S., take water for granted. I have delayed my water preps, because:
- I have municipal water and the pumping station has a big, kick ass auto-start generator that fires up the instant power goes out,
- I’m relatively close to town, so if the power does go out, it’s usually for a max of 2 hours, and
- I’m not rich. It’s easy to buy a few spare jars of spaghetti sauce for the shelves, something I know we’ll use anyway, but more difficult to justify spending hundreds of dollars for water storage when who knows when (if ever) we’ll need it.
It’s time to take the plunge, though. It’s been delayed for too long. What most people think of when they hear “water storage” is the standard 55 gallon water barrel. If you don’t mind them plastering each product with their logo and contact info, Emergency Essentials (EE) sells a 55 gallon water barrel for $74.95. Other barrels come slightly cheaper, but they tack a ton of money on for shipping. The EE barrel ships for only $9.00. But wait – you’ll also need siphon pump at $14.95 to get water out of the barrel. Tack $7.95 shipping onto that, too.
My modest, realistic goal is to achieve a solid 3-month supply of food and water. If I use the standard “1 gallon per person per day” approach, that means we’d need roughly 360 gallons (4 people x 30 days x 3). Knowing I’d only need one siphon pump for several tanks, at those prices I’d be looking at $526.60 for 6 barrels and a siphon pump (shipping included). Six barrels = 330 gallons. If I factor in the 41 gallon hot water tank I could drain if needed, I’d have 371 gallons on hand.
There’s another option I’m considering, a Sure Water LLC water storage tank. These tanks are specifically designed for SHTF water storage. They offer 275 and 525 gallon tanks. The 275 gallon tank sells for $429 and the 525 gallon tank sells for $559. Shipping to Maine for either tank would be $90.
The 525 gallon tank offers much more capacity for a little more money, but because I need to store the water in my basement, I could not fit the 525 gallon tank through the doorway. I have a walkout basement, but no bulkhead. The 275 gallon tank fits through a 29” doorway. So $429 + $90 for shipping = $519, virtually the same price as 6 barrels, but with 55 gallons less capacity. If I measured it strictly by volume, the barrels offer a better deal, but that’s not the only way to compare.
Water Barrel Advantages: budget friendly, I can buy the barrels as my wallet allows and I get 55 gallons more in capacity.
Water Barrel Disadvantages: six barrels consume a lot of floor space, and the need for a siphon adds another tool to the process and another step for extracting/draining water.
Sure Water Tank Disadvantage: not budget friendly, I’d have to throw my money out there in one lump sum.
Sure Water Tank Advantages: MUCH less space required, far easier to fill/drain, and built of a higher quality plastic.
Sure Water tanks are Made in the U.S.A., but it’s not clear to me where EE’s barrels are made.
Can you guess which way I’m leaning? Right. The $519 price isn’t cheap, but when compared to how much I’ve spent on rifles, handguns and ammunition over the years, a $519 water storage tank offers a lot more preparedness peace of mind than another rifle ever could.
Thoughts, comments or suggestions?