|The new valve|
|The broken valve|
It occurred to me that maybe this was a sign that I should talk about water as it relates to emergency preparedness. If that had been a main water line that broke, and we were without water for a day or more, would we be prepared? I have been focusing on preparedness as it relates to a 72 hour kit, but I'm going to talk about general water preparedness as well.
Did you know that a person needs about 1 gallon of water per day? That is two quarts of drinking water, plus water for cooking and hygiene. Children may need even more, so for my family of five, I would need 15 gallons of water, at least. That's pretty hard to carry in a 72 hour kit. We do have enough water pouches for one person to last (supposedly) for three days and we have a canteen that can be easily carried, as well as water bottle holders on our backpacks, but we just won't be able to carry 15 gallons of water on our backs. Instead, I plan to purchase some water purification tablets. They are much easier to carry and will allow us to safely use whatever water we can find.
At home, it a bit easier to store water. There are big barrels designed especially for water. Just be sure you have them where you want them before you fill them because they are much too heavy to move once filled. Another option for ensuring clean water is a good filter system such as this Berkey water system or this British Berefeld system. As far as I can tell, they are basically the same thing.
If you are like me though, and don't have the money for a fancy filtration system and don't have the room for large barrels of water, there are other options. Many people rinse out and refill used juice or soda bottles. This is a cheap way to store water. My mother used to fill old vinegar bottles and store them under our beds so they didn't take up too much room.
Also, in instances of no water, remember that you can drain the hot water heater and use that water, as well as the water in the tank of the toilet. Keep in mind with this preparation that the one gallon/day is a bare minimum estimate. In actuality, a normal household uses 50 gallons of water per day for drinking, bathing, laundry, dishes, toilet flushing, etc.
What do you do to store water?
I'm linking up with Homestead Revival's preparedness challenge!