A couple of weekends ago I was visiting with a wonderful couple who live out in the middle of a gorgeous portion of what I call “God’s country.” Their house was up at the top of a hill with 20 acres and a beautiful, rolling stream nearby.  They were conscientious of many of the principles of preparedness—more so that most I get to visit with.  However, when I asked about their Water Preparedness, one of them said to me, “What do I need that for?” He knew he needed water, of course, but he saw no need to make room for any water storage inside his home when he had a beautiful natural source outside.  Unfortunately, as I began to share just a few of the reasons why this would be important, it was clear that I wasn’t going to be able to share anything new with him. He felt quite physically strong at the time, I’m sure, and perhaps even invincible to what might someday pollute the water outside his home, making his outside water unfit and even deadly to drink.

To be truthful, this particular conversation has haunted me a bit in the past weeks.  There have been far too many times that I have practiced my way through some mental “what if” exercises and come upon the firm conclusion that it’s an absolute MUST to have some drinking and cooking water available inside the home—safe from all that Mother Nature or acts of Man might do to it.  As I look at the horrific images of the earthquake and tsunami in Japan, I am reminded that much more how important this is. What a horrible irony, to survive the worst earthquake ever to hit Japan, then a subsequent tsunami, and then the potential of radioactive fall-out only to die from thirst, dehydration, or hypothermia.  In fact, as I was thinking about this last night, I was actually a bit taken aback to realize that several of my key primary reasons for having water stored INSIDE the home had actually been heaved upon the citizens of Japan.

Earthquake: You may have a swimming pool nearby or a quaint little babbling brook, and you may even be getting your water from a spring-fed well, but that does not protect you completely from needing water inside your home—especially in the event of a earthquake.  An earthquake spews gases from the ground, heaves any and all kinds of foreign material every which way—including in your water that’s outside, and even makes it dangerous for one to “go fetch” water.  That little water source by the house is a great luxury now, but when the earth moves and shakes all around, that source may no longer exist.  If you look at Japan, what water they had no longer flows into the homes—even those areas not destroyed by the shaking—and the water is now polluted with gasoline from automobiles thrown to and fro, raw feces-filled sewage, blood from the dead (two legged and otherwise), etc. So, if you are fortunate to survive in your home whether it’s near the center of a quake or even if it’s 200 miles away, you simply do NOT want to risk consuming water that has been polluted in such a fashion—regardless of how “he-man” you’ve been in drinking from the source in the past. Keep in mind that diseases spread via sewage and tainted blood are contagious—thus it’s not just about what you are or are not willing to drink—it could seriously impact others around you if you consume unwisely. Also, what if you can’t safely move about your property to get water due to the damage Mother Nature has unleashed? What if a part of your body was injured during the earthquake, making the fetching of water a monumental physical task? Remember, I keep saying; it’s absolutely critical to conserve physical energy during a crisis. PLANNING on lugging water from one place to another is not congruent with conserving physical energy.

Tsunami: A tsunami carries with it the same potential of poisoning your water source, even if you are far inland from its effects. It’s ironic that there’s water everywhere following a tsunami, and yet none of it is fit to drink. Worse, the tsunami takes all that I just shared with you previously and stirs it all up, potentially creating many worse scenarios than science has yet discovered.  Then as the wave retreats back to the sea, it carries out with it many of the containments that it mingled with inland, thus compromising the safety of the marine life you might otherwise rely upon.

Radiation Exposure: I actually mentioned the possibility of this to the fine person I was talking to in response to his “why?”. The response I got was shrugged shoulders and an assertion that he’s probably already consumed worse in drinking from his natural water source now.  While I admit that there are very few natural water sources without their own share of contaminants, any notion that radiation consumption isn’t serious is downright wrong.

Hypothermia: What many folks don’t realize is that you actually require more water consumption during bouts of cold than you do heat. Water is the bodies first cry for energy and for the brain to function properly. Without proper hydration—even more critical in times of stress—your mind will do some crazy things. I’ve read of numerous accounts of how hypothermia and even its sister condition, hyperthermia, to completely alter their state of reality. In several instances, those suffering from hypothermia shed all of their clothes, confused as to what their bodies were really experiencing.

While you may feel all “Rambo” (insert obligatory caveman grunt sound here) about what you are willing to drink, would you really be willing to make that decision for someone you love or perhaps someone who’s health is already sorely compromised? You may have the constitution of Thor, but what about that 6 month old infant? Are you really willing to take a chance in giving the baby contaminated water? Without food, yes, a person will suffer a tortured death, but with no water in 72 hours, a person may still live but they will indeed suffer physiological compromise—whether it be in their kidneys, liver, intestines, or even their mental health.

So rather than thinking of all of the reasons why we don’t have to go to the effort of having some water inside our homes with which to drink and prepare foods, how about we try and figure out a way that we CAN do it.  Sure you can boil water—does nothing to eliminate radioactive material; sure you can keep the entrance to your well covered—won’t do you any good if the well is caved in. And yes, you could lose your house in the blink of an eye with a tornado, hurricane, earthquake or tsunami—making all of your in-home efforts at preparedness ineffective.   Yes, there are at least 100 reasons why NOT to bother with the water storage inside your home. But with that there are also 100 other reasons why you should have some water stored in your home.  After all, what is preparedness really about? Preparing for the worst and hoping for the best, right? Well, I think we’re all seeing one of the worst scenarios play out on our computer screens and televisions. We need water handy and we need to have the most simple of ways to filter it! So, let’s learn from all of this horrific unfolding of events and prepare accordingly. I promise you, you won’t turn into a cowardly troll just because you take the measure of having water stored inside your home. There isn’t a down-side if your priorities are in check. And remember, every tangible preparedness resource needs a back-up. In fact, I always say that I need a “back-up for my back-up for my back-up.”  I’d much rather have the embarrassment of my guest bedroom mattresses hiked up on a 55 gallon water barrels than not have water when I really, really need it.


Marni · March 14, 2011 at 3:43 pm

It’s so true! Why do you think the water shelves at the supermarket clear first whenever there’s a disaster? (Major or minor, it doesn’t matter!)

tammy · March 14, 2011 at 3:58 pm

thanks for such a to the point article, I think it will help convince a lot of people to take action and be prepared more fully with safe water!

leslie · March 14, 2011 at 6:35 pm

I don’t think you can have TOO much water! I hear so many people who DON”T have streams in their backyard say they will never get water. What did Pres Benson say? People will RUE the day they decided to be slothful where preparedness is concerned. Thanks for the post.

William Pope · March 14, 2011 at 6:48 pm

Water storage has long been a priority for me. A year or so ago I installed a 500 gal tank in my garage, which I make sure is kept full of fresh and useable water.

Patty · March 14, 2011 at 6:54 pm

We store alot of water in 2 liter soda pop bottles but we seem to move alot lately and I am so tired of emptying out the bottles and filling them back up again. Thanks for the post as it has inspired me to go fill up all the bottles ONCE AGAIN! They will do me no good empty.

    Kellene · March 14, 2011 at 8:37 pm

    If I were you, I wouldn’t be emptying them out. My two cents.

Janet · March 14, 2011 at 7:09 pm

A friend of mine, when presented with this same argument, said that if it was summer, he would collect water from a teeny tiny seasonal creek a half mile from his house, and if it was winter, he’d just melt snow, and he didn’t need to worry about sterilizing water because all you have to do is put it in a milk jug in the sun for a few hours and the UV light will kill germs. “And what if it’s February 17, and the last time a fresh snowfall happened was January 20th, and the only snow available is hard crusts of solid ice which you then have to chip out with a crow bar, and then you have to melt it, which you have no facilities to do without power and heat, and you cannot sterilize it in milk jugs in the sun because it would just freeze solid?” “Oh, well, um, then I would just wait for the Red Cross to deliver water to my door.” Me: “Yeah, right, I’m sure the Red Cross is going to put your needs above all else.” His wife at least saw the light and stocked several gallons of fresh water in their garage.

Wayne · March 14, 2011 at 8:00 pm

Great points Kellene, I really like the 350 gal tank with the 55 gal footprint, I also have water filtering devices and I have learned how to distill water, I don’t expect my 350 gallons to last forever, and as any outside sources become contaminated I want to be able to properly purify those mud holes for consumption. People need about 1 gallon per day (2qt for consumption, 2qt for hygiene and cooking). so even a 350 gal tank for my family will only last about 3 months. Thus creating fresh, drinkable water becomes a valuable skill.

thanks again for a great article.

BRENDA L. HODGES · March 14, 2011 at 10:32 pm


S. Nelson · March 14, 2011 at 10:49 pm

Pool Shock is a great way to have the ability to purify tremendous amounts of water (sodium dichloro-s-triazinetrione ) at 99%. 4 lbs at Wal-mart for $14. It will treat about 160,000 gallons of water. 1/4 teaspoon for 55 gallons.

Having water stored in your home buys you time to sort out how best to get water from the outdoors. If contaminates are in the water, like nuclear fallout, then time to allow them to settle to the bottom of lakes/ponds, is one of the best courses of action. You need water in your house to allow you to wait the 2 to 3 weeks.

Dirt pre-filters will help in removing much of the contaminates, then you can use your ceramic Katadyn or Berkey type filter (you have one, right?) If not, you might look here to get some canisters and you can make your own Berkey type filter out of 5 gallon buckets.

Keep in mind that commercial, consumer drink containers, like soda bottles and water bottles, are not designed for long term storage. It is important to store them in a fashion that they will not ruin things if they leak, and this makes it even more important to rotate, or at least check, your water stores more regularly. I would check them monthly, and rotate them at least every 12 months. (Fall time change is a good time, you get an extra hour of work time).

Disclaimer: I am not affiliated nor do I profit from any of the links made above. Just sharing information. Be sure to do your own research on these items, to ensure your are confident they will work for you and your family.

    Kellene · March 14, 2011 at 11:38 pm

    Sorry, but there’s tons of misinformation in your post.
    First of all it is NOT advised that you plan on using a water source which has radioactive particles therein–even if they are settled to the bottom. Pool shock does not address e.coli sufficiently either.

    Next, you do NOT need to rotate your water any more often than every 8-10 years and the reason isn’t because of the water, rather to verify that the containers are good.

    Additionally, soda pop bottles (PET) will last 10 years easily…after all, that’s why they are villified so abundantly by the eco-folks is because they do NOT break down quickly–especially with water in them. However, any cloudy plastics such as you find in a milk bottle will break down and leak.
    Next, 3 weeks is NOT sufficient supplies for water storage inside the home. Don’t believe me folks? Go ahead and watch the time frame that the Japanese will endure.
    I recommend that folks do a search on the article entitled “Water Blogged” on this site and you’ll see some other water storage myths addressed.

Terrie · March 15, 2011 at 12:20 am

These are great we live in hurricanr country ..they are like a waterbed (bladder) for your bathtub..they hold a hundred gallons of water..this is a link to their site..I love it..am going to get another for the 2nd bath..and they are only $20.

    Kellene · March 15, 2011 at 12:32 am

    I have always thought the ingenuity to be brilliant, BUT…it does nothing to improve one’s self-reliance. It truly is “emergency preparedness” which simply gives a person something else to do. Also, it’s nowhere near enough water for the period of time that even a household of two would need.

Jamie · March 15, 2011 at 1:31 am

I did a combo of the Soda Bottle and 5 gal. camp jugs for 60 gal. for me and my pets. I can’t tell you how happy I was when we didn’t have to dump them every 6 months and refil 🙂

DENNIS BARES · March 15, 2011 at 1:40 am


Larry Jacobs · March 15, 2011 at 2:44 am

When I first got into storing water years ago, the advise on the street was to use empty bleach bottles. This was so common that the Utah State Extension Service even published this in their water storage instructions. The first thing that hit me was the risk of anyone mixing up and drinking bleach. The second was that these were not food safe containers.
I contacted the major bleach maker and they were shocked at the idea of using their containers that way and said so strongly. With this information in hand I contacted USU and they saw the light and scrubbed that suggestion from their pamphlet.

    Kellene · March 15, 2011 at 4:45 am

    Good on you Larry. I was at a church function last Friday and the person who was doing the water portion of the training suggested to use old bleach bottles. Of course he specifically said to use them for laundry water, but I agree. Unless they are clearly marked, they pose more hazard than help.

Kimberly @ We Call Her Momma · March 15, 2011 at 2:56 am

If possible I would also suggest storing water and supplies in multiple locations. In earthquakes floors collapse making it impossible to get to quickly, if at all.

I love the blue pedestal bed! I thought if I ever built a house I would make the kitchen counters tall enough to have some blue barrels underneath. Could work for the bathroom also so flushing water is nearby.

Suggestion for another post: Physically securing the contents in your pantry. I was in the 1994 Northridge earthquake (6.8 I think). Pantry doors opened and everything was on the floor. Everything in glass was broken. I don’t think the inch lips at the edge of a shelf would have helped. If you haven’t been through a natural disaster it’s hard to imagine the pervasiveness of the destruction. Even finding a can opener is hard when your drawers have been jarred loose and thrown on the floor.

    Kellene · March 15, 2011 at 4:47 am

    There’s an article I wrote on “Buckets of Preparedness” in which I discuss protecting foods in the event of an earthquake as best as is possible. All of my glass jar items I wrap in newspaper and store them in 4 gallon square buckets. I also store like products i.e. rice side dishes in 4 gallon square buckets. The buckets are all clearly marked. I then use my shelves for items that can fall without me worrying about them or for items that will sit more center on the shelves. If you look at some of the Japan footage you’ll see that there were still a great deal of items on the shelves, but they weren’t topsy turvy kinds of items.

Kathleen · March 15, 2011 at 3:17 am

OUCH! you hit the nail on the head, I live in the Pacific Northwest and have thought (incorrectly) I can just collect it outside. Not! Would I want my little grandchildren to drink contaminated water , heck no. Could I do it if I were hurt or weak ( oh this is your last article about physical preparedness)? No. But heck I don’t drink soda, better figure some ways to store water now. The information and stories from Japan is so painful to see, it makes my heart ache. Thanks again.

    kdonat · March 16, 2011 at 3:18 am

    If your friends or neighbors drink soda and recycle their 2Liter bottles, ask if they’ll give them to you instead. You can even reuse an old wine rack to store 10 or more depending on how you stack them. You can also use the PETE bottles that cranberry juice, gatorade, etc. come in for water storage. We have a varied assortment of them that we use not only for water but to store rice, dried beans, salt, sugar, grains, drink mixes, popcorn. Just make sure they are thoroughly dry before putting any dry goods in them.

Barbara · March 15, 2011 at 4:22 am

Thanks Kellene, Another great reminder. We had a beautiful spring in Ohio years ago which we always considered safe. Now I question whether or not I would have known if the water had been contaminated – before we obviously were sick from the contamination. Even then, if we couldn’t see/smell the contaminant, we might have assumed a “flu” and continuted drinking the water. Just a thought.

Nick · March 15, 2011 at 7:21 am

Thanks for posting this, Kellene. My wife and I have enough water for the two of us for a month, but we really need to stock up on more–at a dollar a gallon for Mountain House 1-gallon bottles, that’s pretty cheap when you consider the alternative. I’m curious, though, is there a theoretical maximum storage life for bottled water? I was chatting on another forum with someone who said that plastic bottles weren’t good for long-term storage because the plastic could leach into the water, but I told him I’d take that over chronic thirst! But should anyone worry about using plastic bottles for long-term water storage?

    Kellene · March 15, 2011 at 3:27 pm

    I personally say that this is a bunch of hooey. Mind you, when it comes to water storage I don’t take chances. I have heavy duty water jugs/barrels for everything. However I would not hesitate to store water in any clear, food-grade water bottles. And if that’s all a person can do, then so be it. Don’t let some gossip-passing know-it-all dissuade you otherwise.
    On one hand we have the environmental folks complaining about our obsession with bottled water because the bottles don’t break down for 50 years, and on the other hand we have misinformed water folks who say they aren’t suitable for long-term storage. Well, I’ve had a whole lot of water stored in diverse forms, including the clear water bottles, for well over 10 years, and they are still standing strong, the ounces in the water is exactly the same (meaning they aren’t leaking) and so forth. Now, having said that I would NEVER use milk jugs or the bottles from caffeinated drinks, aspertame, or from Aquafina or Dasanti to store my water in. Milk bottles are intended to break down quickly. Aquafina and Dasanti water is chemically cleaned with lye. If that’s in their water, it’s in my bottles too. And the same rationale applies to the caffeinated and aspertame drinks. I don’t want either contaminating my water.
    You will always get something to “leach” in the water over long enough periods of time.

Terrie · March 15, 2011 at 12:12 pm

This is true a water Bob is not enuogh water.. and they are out of stock right now..sorry for posting before checking.But it does help for a lot of water in a small amount of space..our bathtubs are made to slowly leak the water out so after a while the bathtub drains by itself so this is good for emergency water during hurricane season.

Dora Whisman · March 15, 2011 at 12:48 pm

I cringe when I see people(esp children)wading in flood water even knee deep. My Grandmother died after the floods in the 1930’s from Typhoid Fever from contaminated drinking water. My father was left Motherless at age 5 and his sister was 2. Sad

    Kellene · March 15, 2011 at 3:31 pm

    Yeah, that makes me cringe too.

razr · March 15, 2011 at 2:00 pm

Kellene…..when I first started prepping (thanks to you) I ask the two Tavern owners here to save me a certain brand of clear half gallon whiskey bottle….I generally picked up two to four cases a week….all the same size so they stack great!…I then found the blue stackable 5 gallon jugs….I now have 30 of these…as I can move them easily….even at my age…I store them along the walls of my living room behind couches etc. A lot of weight there…The very best thing I ever did was to buy the Berkey Filter!!!! My well water was so good before….but is so much better now. Again thanks for another first rate article.

stacy · March 15, 2011 at 3:39 pm

I see you have mattresses on top of the 55 gal containers. Do you sleep on them? Can they support the weight of a person?

    Kellene · March 15, 2011 at 3:46 pm

    Yup, we sleep on them as do house guests. (We do though if the guests are “VIP” enough. hee hee) There are 8 water barrels underneath that bed and it’s concrete and carpet below that.

Vi · March 16, 2011 at 6:06 am

I’ve also researched and found out how to get emergency water even if in smaller quantities from the outdoors (if safe to do so, of course), such as distilling over a camp fire, tying a plastic bag over a non poisonous plant, collecting dew, etc.

Weetabix · March 16, 2011 at 1:59 pm

Non aspartame, non caffeinated pop bottles? Does that leave just regular 7-up and root beer?

    Kellene · March 16, 2011 at 6:14 pm

    Sure does limit a lot! 🙂

Teressa · March 17, 2011 at 3:24 am

Why not caffeinated soda bottles?

    Kellene · March 17, 2011 at 5:08 am

    the caffeine begins to deteriorate the plastic… It’s a harsh chemical.

CharlieAnn · March 17, 2011 at 4:36 am

I use vinegar in my laundry and for household cleaning. When I’m finished with the vinegar I wash the gallon jugs out and fill with water for storage. This is in addition to my 55 gal blue barrels. The gallon vinegar jugs are in different locations in my house and are small and convenient to use.

Denise · March 18, 2011 at 12:39 am

I live in a mobile home and the one problem with mobile homes is the floors are not the strongest. I’m not sure my floors could support the weight of several drums of water. I could store it under my house or in my shed for most of the year, but it would freeze in winter. As it is, the shelves in our guestroom closet are about to crash with all of the weight from our stored food. We have all products in glass in an empty file cabinet and toiletries/first aid stuff in plastic underbed boxes. We’d like to store some water, but we don’t want our floor falling out, either. Oh, and since our home is in a park, we can’t build a second shed or bury underground. We’re running out of storage space. Does any other mobile home owner have any other ideas?

    Kellene · March 18, 2011 at 1:03 am

    Sounds like you need to store them outside. It’s critical that you use the heavy duty water barrels and that you do not fill them up all the way so that they can handle the heat and cold expansion.

Ellen · March 18, 2011 at 1:38 am

I was wondering about the possibility of storing water in 5 gallon buckets from the bakery with the Gamma Seal lids on them. they’d stack and are food grade, but easy portability. even thought about putting some type of spout on one for the kitchen. any thoughts on if this would work?

    Kellene · March 18, 2011 at 2:47 am

    My answer on that would depend on how and where you’re storing them. If outside, no way. If in a controlled, cool, environment, yeah, that would work. Be sure you get ALL of the oils from the bakery buckets though. That’s a DEFINITE source of rancid oils and free radicals…in other works your buckets could cause you heart disease.

Pam · March 18, 2011 at 4:07 am

I live in Arizona and have been thinking about getting some of the 55 gal. water barrels and storing them in my garage. My only concern is the Arizona summer is very hot and I am not sure how this would effect the quality of the water over time. Would it have any effect on the water if I stored the barrels or 5 gal containers in the garage?

    Jennifer W. · March 19, 2011 at 1:25 am

    Pam, I live in the part of Texas where Spring to Fall is very hot and humid. Most of my water storage is in the garage. The heat shouldn’t have any effect on the water. Just make sure the water containers aren’t in direct contact with the concrete. Put them on a piece of wood or a pallet or something. As long as the containers and the water are clean when you put water in, they should be fine. and if they’re not, when you go to use them…well, that’s why we have filters and and other ways to purify it. 🙂

stevesmitty79 · March 19, 2011 at 12:43 am

If you have a private supply of water and food, after a period of time due to the obvious attrition factors, you should be able to outlast the majority of those who are unprepared. Having said that, as a back-up you should have a list of reconned water sources, such as streams and fresh water springs in your area. I would also suggest looking at your local MLS and investigate homes and properties for sale that have advertised water sources and wells. Many of these places are unoccupied. You can always run a well pump from a generator with a few simple wiring modifications.

Pam · March 19, 2011 at 3:50 am

I wish I did have a stream or fresh water source by me…sigh. But where I live in Arizona that is not an option. Thanks Jennifer for the tip on putting wood or a pallet under the containers. I would have never thought of that. So much to learn it is a little overwhelming for me. I am very thankful I found this site with all of you who have been so helpful and especially Kallene. Thank you Kallene for sharing such valued and important information with us. I am learning slow but sure! 🙂

    Kellene · March 19, 2011 at 4:55 am

    Pam, there’s more explanation on the “why” for those suggestions in the article “Water Blogged” which you can easily find using the search bar on the site. Just FYI.

Pam · March 19, 2011 at 6:39 am

Hi Kellene,
Great information!! Thank you!! I have a question though. You said many items can be stored outside to use the most of the space you have. You included pasta and rice as two of those items. Would that still work for me in Arizona where it gets well over 100 degrees for several months out of the year? How much will the heat impact my food storage and shelf life? I am assuming the storage method can be 5 gallon buckets with diatomaceous earth like I would for inside storage. Sorry for all the questions but I am definitely a newbie and trying to learn as quickly as I can. Thank you.

B-rad · March 20, 2011 at 3:51 am

I keep seeing/reading that water & food storage containers, even if they are in #10 cans shouldn’t be placed on concrete. I always read that the containers and cans/food storage should be on a wooden board or on shelves. Why can’t water/contained food storage be placed on a concrete floor?

    Kellene · March 20, 2011 at 4:35 am

    I cover this in the Water Blogged article, but to put it simply, you don’t want to put your plastic water storage containers on HEATED concrete. A lot of people get this completely wrong and simply keep passing it on as fact. *sigh* If you have a basement, it’s perfectly fine to put the water containers on the basement floor as it won’t get heated and thus won’t absorb any of the concrete mixture into the water. The fact of the matter is, that’s not the end of the world either, as it would be mostly calcium and folks should be filtering their stored water anyway. However, when a person stores their water in their garage, which does get heated by the sun by nature of it being connected to the driveway which is outside, then that concrete will get heated. As such, it makes it easy for the plastic containers to absorb the concrete components.
    Food is another story. You don’t want the food to get heated for any reason in order to ensure maximum shelf-life. Thus I don’t recommend that a person stores thier food out in the garage or shed where it’s going to get wicked hot. You will lose so much of the nutritional value and even risk causing rancidity to set in.

B-rad · March 20, 2011 at 9:18 pm

Thanks. I have most of my food storage from the bishop’s storehouse in #10 cans still in the boxes stacked on top of each other on the basement floor. I just wasn’t sure why Augason Farms and other sites say to not put your food storage, even in a can on the concrete floor. Seems like (if I’m reading this right) that they don’t want you placing the food/water on a concrete floor even if its “cool and dry”. Am I reading this correctly?


    Kellene · March 20, 2011 at 9:58 pm

    You’re reading it correctly. However the information is WRONG. You only need to worry about HEATED concrete.

Kate · March 21, 2011 at 12:18 pm

I store water in empty 1 gallon plastic vinegar bottles that I wash multiple times and sterilize. We have two large freezers and I store a lot of the water filled vinegar bottles in one of the freezers – along with water filled plastic liquid coffee creamer bottles (also washed and sterilized before filled with water). The frozen water containers come in handy for use when going fishing. Also I’ve saved lots of money using vinegar in place of other cleaners. My biggest favorite and probably a huge money saver is using vinegar in place of fabric softener. Vinegar as fabric softener works well – no static – no fragrant smell – and it keeps my washing machine in good shape. Thanks, Kate

Pam · March 21, 2011 at 9:53 pm

Now I understand why I shouldn’t store my water directly on concrete. It would definitely be heated!! I could probably drop a couple eggs in and an hour later make an egg salad sandwich!! 🙂 Will definitely keep the dry goods in the house. Thank you again for all you do Kellene!

Chris · April 3, 2011 at 5:14 pm

Hello, This is my first visit to your blog and I’m pleased to have found it. Thank you for all this terrific practical information.

My question is in regard to storing this much weight on a standard wood framed floor. If it’s under a bed, the weight of the bed and the people on it have to be considered in the sq ft floor loading as well.

55 gallons of water is approximately 460 pounds. An empty plastic barrel is around 22 pounds. That’s approximately 482 pounds per barrel of water. A barrel I referenced is 23″ diameter. This works out to around 183 pounds per square foot.

4 barrels would be 732 lbs. 6 barrels is 1100 pounds! …in addition to the weight of the bed and possibly large American people on it. Another 500 pounds or more!

Is it advisable to place this much weight on the average wood framed floor?

Chris · April 3, 2011 at 10:18 pm

Opps! I used the pounds per sq ft (183)of a barrel instead of the pounds per barrel to arrive at the total weights. 4 barrels of water actually weighs 1928 pounds. 6 barrels weighs 2892 lbs. 8 barrels = 3865 lbs!! Add a bed and 2 people and you’re putting 2 tons in your bedroom where you may normally have 500 – 600 lbs.

    Kellene · April 23, 2011 at 3:53 am

    I haven’t done such on a wood framed floor. Mine are all on cement. If I was in an apartment, I would definitely spread the water barrels out throughout the floor space.

Say No to Corporate America · May 11, 2011 at 7:34 am

Most people forget but there are hidden water sources in the home; the hot water heater and pipes should be a safe source if not damaged by earthquakes. Just shut off the valve where it enters the home before you drain them (I save a few empty water jugs, just in case). I store baby wipes in the emergency supply so we can cool down and freshen up without using any water (it can get really hot after a hurricane).

Storing water takes up a lot of space but it is critical; I really don’t think we can store too much water so I’m always thinking of new places to stash it. I buy all sizes but always add to the supply with cases of 16 oz bottles for drinking water- they stack well and are easier to move if needed. the cost about $2.50-$3 on sale so not bad for over 3 gallons of purified, no cup needed water. Great idea about the barrels under the bed, thanks.

ann c. · May 30, 2011 at 4:57 pm

Questions on water storage. How long does it stay good? Do you need to empty and refill at any point? Do you use tap water or filtered water? I am new to your site and love what you write. Finally a practical, honest and Christian viewpoint and solution to these issues–thanks for what you do!!!!

    Kellene · May 30, 2011 at 5:15 pm

    Ann, Welcome. There are a lot of articles written on here about water. Just put water storage in the search bar and you’ll find plenty to answer your questions and perhaps help you come up with a few more. 🙂

ann c. · May 30, 2011 at 5:40 pm

Thanks so much–I look forward to lots of exploring and learning from your site! And I am passing on your site to our pastor, friends and family.

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