Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Storing Water

An average person needs to drink two quarts of water each day, even more for children, nursing mothers and ill people. Hot environments or intense activity can double the daily requirement. Since you'll also need water for food preparation and hygiene, plan on storing one gallon of water per person, per day. Store enough water for 3 days (2 weeks if you can) for the family and pets.

When storing water you may buy it or, more cheaply, bottle your own. Store tap water in carefully cleaned, non-corrosive, tightly covered containers in a cool, dark place, far away from stored gasoline or pesticides. 2-liter soda bottles work great; you'll need two 2-liter bottles per person per day. Avoid milk jugs as the plastic becomes brittle with time. Some people like glass containers while others find them heavy and fragile.

Before storing tap water, remove plastic lid liners and clean containers and lids with hot soapy water & rinse. Sanitize with a solution of 1 tablespoon chlorine bleach per gallon of water. Let sit wet for two minutes, then rinse again with water. Fill containers with tap water, add 1-2 drops of chlorine bleach per quart/liter, cap it and shake to mix. Label with the date and use before 6 months to 1 year. When water goes past 1 year I'd pour it on the house plants, resanitze the bottle and refill it.

A freezer is a great space to store a bottle or two of water. If you lose electricity, the icy bottles will help keep foods frozen until the power is restored. Be sure to leave 2 to 3 inches of space in containers because water expands as it freezes.

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