The #1 Thing to Add to Your Emergency Supplies (Besides Food)
The Red Cross and other disaster preparedness sites have excellent advice they can help you get prepared for an emergency. In the past the Red Cross and FEMA recommended the households have three days of clean drinking water per person set aside for emergencies. At a gallon per day per person, and a little more for pets and hygiene, a family of four would need about 50 gallons stored water during three days (or the potential to purify that much using a water filtration system. That’s a lot of water.
However, it gets more complicated than that. During a hurricane or tropical storm, water main breaks and storm surges can interrupt or contaminate water supplies. FEMA and the Red Cross are now officially recommending the households keep two weeks of stored food and water for every member of the family. While three day of supplies may get you through the worst of the winter storm, geographies all over the United States have had so many incidents of long-term power and utility outages due to severe storms that two weeks only makes sense. Now we’re talking about 336 gallons of water to cover the needs of an average family of four during two weeks. If your emergency plan formerly involved three or four 10- gallon water dispensers, you’re going to need about 30 more. But how do you store that much water? The answer is you don’t, not long-term anyway.
One of our favorite solutions to the water storage problem happens to be super cheap as well. The waterBOB® is plastic bladder that holds up to 100 gallons of fresh drinking water. You just put it in your bathtub, fill it from the tap and put the plug in. It’s made of heavy food grade plastic and will keep water fresh for up to 12 weeks.
When you need water, you can use a siphon pump to easily dispense the water into jugs or pitchers. The best part? This ingenious little contraption costs under $25.
I know what you’re thinking: what if I don’t have a bathtub? The bathtub is just a nice- to-have. The tub helps the bladder retain its shape and sort of keeps it out of the way. However, you can fill the bladder with a garden hose and keep it in a shower, in a plastic barrel, or in a small closet. If you have more than one bathtub in your house, put a waterBob in each one so that everyone has plenty of water for drinking and hygiene, and you’ll likely even have enough water to share.
Clean drinking water is one of the first priorities for human survival. It’s not a good idea to go for more than a day without water, it’s very difficult to survive for longer than three days without water. As you are assessing your emergency kit this storm season, add enough waterBobs to contain at least one gallon of water per person, per day for a couple of weeks.