Surviving Like Jericho: Water

Friday, March 9, 2018

So let's imagine there's an emergency: a winter storm has come through your town and has cut the power and left most of the roads impassable. What is the first thing that comes to mind that you want to have on hand? Water, food, maybe a generator as a source of heat.

Water is arguably the most important emergency supply to have on hand. On average, the human body can survive approximately 3-4 days without water. The amount of time will vary depending on the specific situation (hot humid areas with exercise versus cold climate where not a lot of movement and sweating). But one thing is certain, you want to have water at your house and available when you need it.

How much water do I need?

According to, you should store at least 1 gallon per person for 3 days. This will account for water needed for consumption and sanitization. In all of my other research, I have seen 1 gallon per person per day and that's personally what we plan to have. As of now, we have approximately 20 gallons of water drinking water and 55 gallons of water for sanitization. In total, Texan and I could survive for about 37 to 38 days in a pinch or for four people we would be able to make it about 19 days.

While the government and FEMA suggest a water supply of 3 days, Texan and I agree that during a disaster where the water has been cut or possibly contaminated, it is always best to have more than not enough. We plant to store at least 3 weeks' worth of water for four people (84 gallons).

How should I store my water?

There are many ways to store water. Some can be more expensive than others; the way you decide to stock up depends on what is best for you and your family's budget as well as space available. Texan and I are currently building our supply of water with bottled water. Each week when we go grocery shopping we will pick up a case of water. It costs a little over $2 for 4 gallons worth of bottled water and we are able to store it in our basement. If you are on a tighter budget, you can start out storing water in recycled soda, Gatorade or water bottles. If you do plan to recycle, make sure to thoroughly clean the bottles first (here's a process you can use).  

If you have the space and want to store more water, there are other options such a water bricks and water storage barrels. Look into all of the options and decide what will best fit in the space you have available and what your family's need might be. If you are transferring water via hose make sure you use a drinking hose which is usually white (garden hoses can have bacteria in them - even if they're brand new).

At our house, we have ample space so we aren't concerned in that area, however an idea to save on space is using your tub as a water storage. Granted, you'll need to know before the water is cut off but it is always an option. You want to beware of just filling your tub with water and thinking you can use it to drink. When was the last time you cleaned your tub? Or if you cleaned it recently, did you use chemical cleaners? I wouldn't want to drink from it. You can use bags such as WaterBOB to make your "tub water" sanitary where you could drink it.

Alternate Drinking Water Solutions

Running out of water is not an option for Texan and I. I am one of those people that likes to be weirdly prepared, so I have backups on top of backups. Some of the backups that Texan prefers to keep on hand is water purification systems. You can get a few different kinds.
This past Christmas, I purchased Texan and I this water purification straw. It's perfect for on the go (and not just a prepper item) when you're camping or if you happen to get into an emergency situation. We each have these stashed in our cars.

Texan's preferred purification method is water tablets. He gets these from Walmart. While I hope we never have to use this last back up, it gives me peace of mind to know we have them.

Do you already have some water stored for emergencies? If not, will you plan to store some water or have a way to purify water if necessary? I'm interested to know!

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