Emergency Drinking Water Storage

Emergency drinking water storage.  It’s one of the most important first steps to take in being prepared.  If there is a topic I get the most questions about, water storage would rank in the top 10.   Let me see if I can answer some of the frequently asked questions about about emergency drinking water storage.

What is the best type of container to store water in?

When prepping on a budget, using the humble 2 liter soda bottle or juice bottle is a good option.  Easy to store, basically free, and good for 72 hour bug out bags.  The flip side includes the necessity of rotating your 2 liter bottles every 6 months to a year and concerns of residual bacteria if you don’t clean out your bottles well enough.  I have stored water this way with absolutely no issues before, but I do rotate them frequently, and give them a very weak bleach wash before using.

Another option is buying bottles of water from the grocery store.  Great tasting, easy to rotate (still need to be rotating every 6 to 12 months) and easy to store.  You need to be careful about where you store them as they can freeze and leach chemicals from the plastic into the water in hot weather. We did the math for you a while back to help you figure out how much emergency water your family needs if you are just getting started.

Emergency Drinking Water Storage Options

emergency drinking water storage- commercially available

Emergency drinking water storage options with a 5-10 year storage life include purchasing water in pouches, boxes and cans.  You usually don’t have the issue of water freezing in these containers.  The down side is the price.  I purchased a few cases of canned water to have on hand for my medically fragile child with special needs in case of an emergency and I needed a sure source of water for him.


government issue mre can of emergency drinking water


A cheaper alternative is to purchase the 5 gallon water jugs  that are available in camping sections, and in my area, grocery stores.  We’ve boiled our water, added it to the jugs and stored them in our basement.  If you purchase a decent quality of jug, cracking shouldn’t be an issue.   Once filled these jugs are HEAVY and aren’t something you can stack or move around easily.  There are siphons you can purchase to make getting your water out easier.   You can find 5 gallon water jugs in stackable versions too.  (waterbricks)

There are larger versions of plastic water jugs for your emergency drinking water storage…….all the way up to several hundred gallons of water per container. I have found the best place to find these are on Craigslist.  You’ll need to use water additives to keep water in these jugs fresh.  You don’t need to worry about your water freezing in these containers, and many often store these containers in shed and garages.

Another preference for clean water  is to purchase a second hot water heater and have it side by side with your first hot water heater, with water going from one heater to the other and then to your faucet.  Depending on the size of your hot water heater, you’ll be assured of a fresh source of H2O in an emergency.  Just remember to strap those babies down if you live in earthquake land and know how to drain your water heaters!

Emergency Essentials sells water kits where you fill a mylar bag with water, place that into a cardboard box, and then stack the boxes.  I’ve tried these.  A 25 gallon kit costs the better part of $40.00 and for me simply wasn’t secure enough to trust such an incredibly valuable resource such as my stored water.  I would rather put my money towards a good quality, food safe, plastic container. However, if you are concerned about plastic leaching into you water supply, this may be a good choice.

I’m sure there are other water storage options I have covered.  I’d love it if you would share how YOU store your water for your family in an emergency.

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About ParkerMama

Tammy is a mom to 6 wonderful kids, including Parker, who came with an extra chromosome! She is passionate about special needs advocacy, living within her means, and preparing for an uncertain future. Tammy's main blog is Praying For Parker. Make sure to visit her there as well!

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