Fresh safe drinking water tops the list of survival resources. Did you know that fresh drinking water makes up less than 3% of the earth's available water resources? Yet, most Americans take fresh drinking water from the tap for granted. Try living without tap water even for just a few days and you can better understand just how dependent Americans are on fresh drinking water available at our fingertips.
How much water do you use? The average person currently uses over 50 gallons per day — and that does not include water used in dishwashing (another 20 gallons), laundry (another 25 gallons), or lawn and garden care. It is virtually impossible to store enough water in or around the typical urban home to provide long-term household water usage requirements.
How much water do you need? We recommend storing a minimum of one gallon per day per person-approximately thirty gallons - per month for drinking and life maintenance. Water storage is fairly simple - with the exception that it is both space-intensive and weight-intensive.
Depending upon how long you think your water supply may be interrupted, you have several options.
Use water already stored in your house. If water services are interrupted, your hidden water supplies may last a family of four about two weeks. Such sources include your water heater (40-75 gallons) toilet tank (2-3 gallons each, plumbing pipes (3-5 gallons). If you fill up your bathtubs on the eve of the crisis, you will get 15-20 gallons per tub. The longer the crisis is extended the more water needed, therefore, we suggest that you store additional water. After storing an emergency or life-sustaining supply, have one or more water treatment devices or systems so you can turn practically any water you can locate into drinking water. Water outside your house. The next place to find emergency drinking water on your property is within hoses, basins or other liquid containers, or your hot tub or swimming pool.
You may become the neighborhood hero with between 15,000-30,000 gallons of water that can be purified for drinking.
Alternate sources of water. Rain and snow water may be collected in clean buckets and barrels and used without treatment. Additional water sources include rivers, springs, creeks, and some ponds, but they must be treated prior to drinking. Be sure to have these alternative water sources tested before the crisis hits, so you can make sure it can ultimately provide safe drinking water.