How much water should I store?
Store one gallon per person per day, with at least a 14 day supply.
- This will provide for minimum water needed to hydrate, cook, and provide the most basic sanitation needs, such as hand washing before food preparation and consumption.
- Do not forget water for your pets.
Where is the best location to store my water?
For proper water storage:
- Store water in a cool, dark place in your home, office, or car.
- Do not store water containers in areas where toxic substances such as gasoline or pesticides are present.
- Do not store water containers in direct sunlight.
- The blue opaque containers are colored to prevent the growth of algae, but the heat will still affect the palatability of the water.
- Label container as "drinking water" and include storage date.
How long will my water storage last?
It is recommended by CDC to replace stored water every six months. For commercially bottled water, use the expiration date.
Can my emergency storage water be tested?
We can test for bacteria (Coliform, E. coli, or a Heterotrophic Plate Count (HPC)). See Drinking Water FAQ for information regarding these test and the fees associated with the test.
What kind of container should I use for water storage?
Unopened commercially bottled water is the safest and most reliable emergency water supply.
Food-grade water storage containers, such as those found at surplus or camping supply stores, are recommended if you prepare stored water yourself.
If you use your own containers for storing water, make sure to sanitize them first. To sanitize:
- Wash containers with dish washing soap and rinse with water.
- Rinse thoroughly with clean water.
- Sanitize by swishing a solution of 1 teaspoon of liquid household chlorine bleach to a quart of water on all interior surfaces of the container.
- Cover the container and shake it well so that the sanitizing bleach solution touches all inside surfaces of the container.
- Wait at least 30 seconds and then pour the sanitizing solution out of the container.
- Let the empty sanitized container air-dry before use OR rinse the empty container with clean, safe water that already is available.
What containers shouldn’t I use to store water?
Two liter plastic soda bottles are recommended by FEMA. Avoid using the following containers to store water:
- Containers that have ever been used for any toxic solid or liquid chemicals (includes old bleach containers).
- Containers that can break, such as glass bottles.
- Containers that cannot be sealed tightly.
- Plastic milk bottles or cartons.
- The fat and protein from the milk is very difficult to remove from the inside walls and the containers are not durable.