Self-Reliance: Storing Water

Now… Where to store it? The easiest, quickest, cheapest way is to by 1 gallon jugs of purified water off-the-shelf. You can store these under your bed; your children’s bed; under your hanging clothes racks in the closet; behind the couch, between furniture and a wall, in whatever nook or cranny that you can displace death with life-giving water.

It is more important to know where NOT to store water. NEVER store drinking water under your bathroom or kitchen sink, or near any chemicals, solvents, or cleaning supplies.

AVOID storing water outside or in a garage or shed. If you must, cover it with a tarp or other dust and light-blocking cover. Assure it is no where near gasoline, lawn equipment, paint, fertilizer, or other such fluids or compounds.

Why one-gallon jugs and not just water bottles? Because you know how many partially-consumed water bottles end up accumulating around the house or any kind of party or gathering. That is drain waste because after water touches the mouth it is gray water, or black water if the person was sick.

Each person should have their own water bottle or double-insulated container or canteen or whatever is durable, portable, and uniquely identifiable as one’s personal item. It should be no less than 16 ounces and no more than 40 ounces, with a closing lid or closing spout/lid combo top. It should NOT have a “sippy cup/coffee cup” always-open drinking port.

This way there is no drain waste, no accumulated trash, and a very clearly managed “point of use” water station discipline. You pour the water from the easy to manage gallon container, to the cup, pan, pet bowl, coffee pot.. whatever. You know what you are using and you are mindful of how quickly a gallon of water is consumed.

You can use the classic 5-gallon “Sparkletts / Arrowhead” bottles and dispenser /decanter as well. The point of use concept is what matters.

The advantage of one gallon or five gallon jugs is their re-use to support other 13 basic drinking water elements; mainly Collection and Transport. You can refill them, which keeps you from dying of thirst on top of a pile of cheap, crumpled 16oz water bottle trash.

It is perfectly fine to have cases of 30-pack, 16oz water bottles in the pantry. They are indeed handy, stackable, and portable. But they are not efficient or effective in use, cost, capacity, or efficiency.

The intermediate guide will cover topics such as using your gray water for toilet flushing, plant/garden watering, and heavy initial cleaning needs.

For now – take a look around where you live and see what can be rearranged to accommodate your emergency water supply. Then go out and get some water and store it.

Get some double-walled, insulated containers, or even single-walled stainless steel water bottles for each member of your family. Start today, and make it a habit to buy an extra five gallons of water every trip to the store.

And every time you brush your teeth, do dishes, make tea or coffee, wash your hands, do laundry, water the yard, or turn on the tap – think of this guide.

Self Reliance Part 1: Drinking Water