Essential Tips: Home Water Storage & Emergency Prep

Plastic barrels for watering the garden in the store

Prepare for emergencies with these 10 crucial tips for home water storage and emergency readiness.

Access to clean water is essential for survival, and disruptions like natural disasters or power outages can leave you without it.

Ensure your family’s water needs are met during emergencies with these vital steps.

1: Determine Your Water Needs

Filling water bottles with clean drinking water for consumption and sale in rural Cambodia

The first step in home water storage and emergency preparedness is to determine your water needs. The average person needs about one gallon of water per day for drinking and cooking.

However, in an emergency, you may need more water for hygiene and sanitation purposes. It’s essential to calculate your family’s water needs and plan accordingly.

2. Choose the Right Water Storage Containers

group of water tanks isolated on white background

The next step is to choose the right water storage containers. The container should be made of food-grade materials, such as high-density polyethylene (HDPE), and should be BPA-free.

It should also be easy to clean and seal tightly to prevent contamination. Consider purchasing containers with a spigot for easy dispensing.

3. Install a Water Filtration or Purification System

Repairman installing water filter cartridges in a kitchen. Replacing the water filter, water-purification.

An essential part of home water storage and emergency preparedness is installing a water filtration or purification system.

A filtration system can remove impurities and contaminants from the water, while a purification system can remove bacteria and viruses.

Consider investing in a system that can filter or purify both tap water and stored water.

4. Treat Your Water for Quality and Safety

Even if you have a water filtration or purification system, it’s still important to treat your water for quality and safety.

You can use water treatment tablets, drops, or bleach to disinfect the water and kill any remaining bacteria or viruses.

Follow the instructions carefully and make sure to store treated water in clean, sealed containers.

5. Practice Water Conservation and Management

Water Saving at  Home

Another essential tip for home water storage and emergency preparedness is to practice water conservation and management.

This means using water efficiently and minimizing waste. Simple steps like fixing leaks, taking shorter showers, and using a low-flow toilet can help conserve water.

You can also collect and reuse greywater for non-potable purposes like watering plants and flushing toilets.

6. Utilize Rainwater Harvesting and Greywater Systems

A blue barrel for collecting rainwater. Collecting rainwater in a plastic container. Collecting rainwater for watering the garden. Ecological collection of water for crop irrigation.

Rainwater harvesting and greywater systems are excellent ways to supplement your water supply and reduce your dependence on public utilities.

Rainwater can be collected from rooftops and stored in tanks for later use.

Greywater, which is wastewater from sinks, showers, and washing machines, can be treated and reused for non-potable purposes.

Consider installing a rainwater harvesting or greywater system to save money on your water bill and reduce your environmental impact.

7. Maintain Your Plumbing, Water Pumps, and Pressure

Small water pump for household use, size 3-4 people and installed outside the house with a 1000 liter water tank.

Maintaining your plumbing, water pumps, and pressure is critical for ensuring that you have access to clean water during an emergency.

Regularly check your plumbing for leaks and repair them promptly. Test your water pumps and pressure regularly to ensure they are functioning correctly.

Make sure to have spare parts and tools on hand in case of an emergency.

8. Test Your Water for Contamination and Waterborne Diseases

Home water testing kit (Pb) for lead or pesticide contamination of domestic drinking water.

Testing your water for contamination and waterborne diseases is an essential part of home water storage and emergency preparedness.

You can purchase water testing kits online or through your local hardware store. Test your water regularly to ensure it is safe to drink and use for other purposes.

9. Ensure Water Storage Solutions Meet Your Capacity Needs

Row of large bottles of drinking water  for the cooler. Water delivery. Packed and ready to be sent to customers.

When choosing water storage solutions, it’s important to ensure they meet your capacity needs.

Consider the number of people in your household, your water consumption habits, and any special needs you may have.

Make sure to have enough water stored to last at least three days in case of an emergency.

10. Regularly Maintain Your Water Storage Systems

Blue plastic water tank.

Regular maintenance of your water storage systems is critical for ensuring that the water remains safe to drink and use.

Clean your water storage containers regularly and replace them if they become damaged or contaminated.

Test your water filtration or purification system regularly and replace any filters or components as needed.

By Anita Brown

Anita Brown is our go-to contributor to our emergency preparedness website. Anita brings a wealth of personal experience and professional expertise to the table, having weathered several awful natural disasters. Anita is currently working towards obtaining her Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) certification.