Food Storage 101: Water, Water, Everywhere…

Everyone knows that water is essential to life, it covers up three-fourths of our Earth. Pure water has no smell and no taste, it also has a pH level around 7, this makes it perfect for an alkaline lifestyle! The human body is made up of roughly 70% water, when our bodies are sufficiently hydrated we’re able to defend against blood clots, keep our blood pressure from dropping to critical levels, it aids in bowel movements, helps with normal kidney function, keeps our skin from getting overly dry, alleviates fevers and the list goes on! Water is more important than we know and yet we take it for granted. I’m amazed at other countries who lack water and the lengths they will go in order to have a jugful or at the very least a cupful.

In developing countries, water access is a given. It would be a rare headline to see in the newspaper that reads “Water shortage in New York City”. We all know it’s a given the further west you go the more precious water becomes, droughts are already causing problems, producing conditions that are causing wild fires. We haven’t even hit the first day of summer yet and already things are burning up, but that’s the weather for you. With water being so precious in these areas, and not to mention in the aftermath of some natural disaster, what are you and your family doing to make sure you have an adequate supply of water?

Most of you know that we live in Alabama, two years ago when the tornadoes hit my state, my family and I were blessed to have been missed by some of the worst tornadic activity. We were pretty much in a bubble…there were tornadoes north and south of us, all we really had was some rain, high winds, and some stuff east of us. We lost power for a week and it was a true test of what little knowledge we had about survival, thrusting us in a state of mind where we were expecting the worst and how we were going to deal with it.

There was talk about water contamination and thanks to my Mom’s planning ahead, she had purchased some  water storage boxes from Be Prepared (click here). The morning after we lost power, I woke up from a bad’s nights sleep, hearing my parents fill up the water storage boxes as quickly as possible. As it turned out there wasn’t any contamination, but what about next time? We still have those boxes safely stored away and ready to use.

What would you do? How would you go about making sure that your family had enough water for each person and/or pet? Did you know that you would need 1 gallon of water per day per person and pet? Are you ready? Sounds scary I know, and I don’t mean for it to sound that way but the reality of it is frightening. Especially when it comes down to something so simple as water. You can go for weeks without food, however, you can only go 3 to 5 days without water. Longer if you are healthy, it’s even less for a child and pet.  What can you do to make sure your family will have enough water for whatever happens? Where to begin? Start with a plan.

Make a list of various ways to store water. Rain barrels are common, some states don’t allow them so please be sure you check first before you do anything (click here to read more about states banning rain barrels). You don’t have to go with a “barrel” style, in fact there are more modern designs that look more artistic.

Gardener’s Supply has quite an assortment to choose from, of course it depends on what you’re willing to spend. At least they offer more aesthetically pleasing rain catchers that will enhance your landscape rather than bring it down.

Be Prepared also has diverse selection as well and they offer sanitation kits, jugs, and water packs.

Sure Water Tanks offers some impressive water storage options as well. They are also accredited by BBB, that gets my stamp of approval! They offer water bricks, making it easier to decant a larger supply into for easier transportation!  Plus you can also use Pur or Brita purification systems to help freshen up your drinking water.

The Ready Store has an amazing 65 gallon bathtub water container at a very reasonable price! A huge bonus is that it’s also BPA free!!

Of course, if you’re more of a do-it-yourselfer, there’s a book (click here) that will help you to design, build, and maintain your water tanks.

Everyone in your family must have their own water bottle/canteen. The same goes for your pets, and there are some nifty water bottles for animals too! Check it out here.  We need to get something for our dogs as well and I’m personally leaning towards this particular kit. Anything that travels easily and is collapsible gets brownie points from me.

What about storing plastic bottles of water? Sure you could do that, but remember they have a shelf life of two years past the date printed on the bottle. So be sure to use them up and rotate your supply. FIFO: First In, Fist Out. That must become your “mantra” when stocking your shelves. Whatever you have recently purchased must go behind what already exists in your storage. Health and safety first!

Any reason is a great reason to start storing up for your family, take that first step to start planning for the worst. Stay safe!

Further Resources:

http://myadventuresinselfreliance.wordpress.com/2013/06/06/some-ideas-for-making-water-storage-easier-as-well-as-using-multi-taskers/

http://www.water-storage-containers.com/water-storage-blog.html

www.health-benefit-of-water.com/benefit-of-drinking-water.html

http://www.allaboutwater.org/water-facts.html

http://nutrition.about.com/od/hydrationwater/a/waterarticle.htm

http://www.enviroalternatives.com/waterdrinking.html

Amanda Gayle

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