We hope you enjoyed yesterday’s post, NoSox’s contribution about getting started in food procurement. Today’s post he goes over how he gets his family set up for water storage. Lots of good ideas here, but mainly it’s about just getting off your hindquarters and doing it. He shares how much he spends, which makes it really easy to see where we might prioritize for our own preps. Enjoy!
Adventures in Survival: #2 Water Storage
When it comes to survival and a shtf situation you can never have enough water. More than likely the power will be off and when the power stops so does the city water plant. This means we need to have an alternate water source. If it was possible we would all have a 200ft well with a solar powered pump [hand pump back-up] to fill a 1,000 gallon tank that gravity fed through a series of filters into our homes. Unfortunately I don’t have the land and this type of set-up [yet] so I have to store water through more conventional means.
We started off buying the 24-pack of water from my grocery store then went to buying 6-gallon boxed cases of water for $6 from the dollar store. After filling a corner of our basement and only have 40 gallons of water[$1/gallon] to show for it I decided to do some upgrading. I got on Craigslist and found a container dealer in my area that sells 55-gallon food grade water barrels for $20 each. In a previous life these barrels were filled with pineapple, coconut, or other fruit juices. He gave me the hand pump and bung wrench free so after $40, a little cleaning, rolling, and rinsing I had another 110 gallons of water[$.36/gallon].
We have a family of 4 with 2 dogs so roughly we’re looking at 10 gallons of water usage per day. These calculations are for each person to have: 1 gallon for drinking, 1 gallon for hygiene, 1 gallon for family cooking, and 1 gallon for the dogs. With our current stash of 150 barrels that equals only 15 days of water. We could ration and make it last longer but that’s the base number. 15 days of water isn’t enough for my comfort level as the provider for my family. With that being said, the container dealer I bought the barrels from also has 275-gallon food grade IBC totes that are steam cleaned and ready for service at $100/each. My plans are to substitute 2 weeks of this month’s $50/week food storage budget and buy a tote then repeat again next month. For $200 this adds another 550 gallons of water storage[$.18/gallon]. The totes are 130-lbs empty and can be stacked 2 high when full of water.
The two stacked totes & two barrels will fit easily in our garage and give us 700 total gallons of water for the household including the bottles and cases we started with. I also plan on buying one of those WaterBob Bathtub Bags that holds 100 gallons for 4 weeks. The idea behind these is that as soon as trouble starts you put it in your bathtub and it fills from the faucet. It seals up and keeps the water clean for access with a hand pump. They are sold on Amazon for $19[$.19/gallon].
This brings our grand total to 800 gallons of water for approx. $300:
- 2×275-Gallon IBC Water Totes: $2000
- 2×55-Gallon Barrels: $40
- 1×100-Gallon WaterBob Bathtub Bag: $19
- 40×1-Gallon Jugs: $40
That supply will last a minimum of 80 days and we didn’t need a huge tank in the backyard compromising my family’s OPSEC. 80 days is plenty of time to lay low and let Mother Nature run her course with those who aren’t prepared. A human body can only last 3 days without water so things won’t be pretty for those who don’t have any. But what happens when our 800 gallons runs out?
Water Procurement & Filtration
Knowing one’s area is vital to survival in any shtf type of situation. My area has a lake and few ponds within a reasonable distance that can be quickly reached with a mountain bike. Going outside in this environment is not desirable but if there is no water it must be done. My plan is to start making trips at night once our water levels get to the 200-150 gallon range. With a few simple additions to a bicycle it can be made to carry 10 gallons of water, maybe more, without losing too much in maneuverability.
Assuming you make it back safely with the water you can’t drink it straight from the source unless you want some serious issues with diarrhea and other sicknesses. That’s means you have to filter it to have clean water for use. Everyone has their personal pick when it comes to filtration systems and the like but as far as my family we like to keep things simple and efficient. We have purchased a variety of filters to get us through any situation we may be in.
-Sawyer Mini: We bought a 4-pack[$73] and use these for hiking/camping our Camelbaks. It’s an inline filter that connects to your pack’s drinking tube. We bought them on Amazon and they’re good for 100,000 gallons.
-Water Purification Tablets: 50 Iodine tablets for $5 a bottle. 2 tablets will purify a quart of water.
When it comes to water nothing is better than having your own plentiful source to pull from, unfortunately most urban & suburban city dwellers don’t have that option. The methods listed above give a good idea of things that can be done to store water for a rainy day[haha!].
No method is the best method so the question is how do you store water? Do you have enough? What are your plans? Thanks for reading!