Trying to figure out how much water you should have on hand as you prepare for a hurricane or other disaster or emergency? According to FEMA, you should store at least a gallon a day per person for a 3 day period in disaster preparedness.
After having been through more than a few hurricanes, we’d recommend storing a 10 to 14 day supply. If your municipality loses power, or flooding compromises the water system, tap water won’t be safe to drink. Sure, water and ice will get trucked in by the government around 3-5 days after a disaster strikes. But do you really want to stand in a 4 hour line for a couple of gallons of water and a bag of ice? (Been there; done that) And what if roads are inaccessible because of downed trees and power lines, or flooding? Or you don’t have enough gas to drive to distribution sites and the gas pumps aren’t open because there’s a power outage? Water won’t go to waste. Commercially bottled water is good for up to 6 months.
And don’t forget your pets. The average 50 pound dog will need 1/4 of a gallon per day and a 12 pound cat will need 1/10 of a gallon of water per day.
If you’ll be storing tap water, the CDC recommends adding 1/8 teaspoon (8 drops) of unscented chlorine bleach per gallon of tap water. Mix well and wait at least 30 minutes before drinking. Containers for holding water should also be sanitized first; rinse out containers using a solution of 1 tsp bleach mixed in 1 quart of water.
In addition to storing water for drinking:
- Fill your coolers (after sanitizing them) with water for food preparation, personal hygiene, etc.
- Fill your bathtub with water. The average bathtub holds about 80 gallons of water. Use a bucket to get water for washing clothes, flushing toilets, etc.
Tip: Did you know a couple of 300 lumen outdoor solar landscape lights make perfect indoor lighting if the power goes out? Visit What’s In Your Hurricane Disaster Kit? for more hurricane, disaster or other emergency preparedness tips.