Drinking Water After a Hurricane

One thing that everyone needs to plan for after a hurricane is drinking water.  It goes without saying that water is the most essential item on your supply checklist.  If your water system is still working after the hurricane, you should be thankful.  However, you would be wise to plan ahead in case your water system is inoperable.

 

 

Most hurricane checklists will tell you to store at least one gallon of water for drinking purposes per person per day for three days to two weeks.  If you have a large family, that can be a lot of water.  For example, a family of five would need 35 gallons of drinking water for one week.  Extra water will be needed for personal hygiene and for food preparation.  And don’t forget that your pets will also need water!  I used to stock up on store bought water at the beginning of every hurricane season.  I still buy some drinking water, but I have finally wised up and have now acquired containers in which to store large quantities of water.  There are a variety of products out there, and several can be found by doing a simple online search on ‘hurricane water storage’.

 

 

Today you can purchase collapsible water containers that will fit in your sink or bathtub.  The ones that fit in your sink hold around 5 gallons and the bathtub version holds around 55 gallons.  The bathtub version will alleviate the concern of having toddlers in the house with an uncovered bathtub filled with water.  I have some of these collapsible containers on hand and will only fill them up when a hurricane watch or warning is issued.  In the long run, this will be more economical than buying gallon jugs of water at the store.

 

 

Of course, you should also freeze as much water as practical.  I like to use two-liter soda jugs for freezing water.  They are better than milk containers because the milk containers do not seal as well and sometimes crack.

 

 

The American Red Cross has an excellent web page on water storage and water treatment at http://www.redcross.org/services/disaster/beprepared/water.html.

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One thought on “Drinking Water After a Hurricane

  1. We had a relatively uneventful episode with Hurricane Ike this year. We filled a Watersafe bag in our tub and one in our sink. We also gave the in-laws a Watersafe tub bag. Houston water was not potable for more than a week, and we really appreciated having ready drinking water. Our neighbor brought us a story that added to our satisfaction with the bags. He was sitting his son’s pug dog for the week and could hear the dog whimpering somewhere in the house. He finally tracked the little mutt down stranded in their tub full of (formerly) drinking water! We were happy not to be in those shoes. But we had lots of clean water to share with them.

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