I have to admit that I hate the term “hoarding”. It sounds so mean and selfish. However the term fits when it comes to a real survival scenario. Lets assume for a moment that you are prepping and that you are responsible for yourself, your spouse, and your 3 children. That is a huge responsibility. If you are anything like me then you would do anything within your power to make sure that your family was provided for and well cared for.
There is no denying the fact that water is extremely important to life and the well being of your family. So this begs the question of how much water do you really need? Is it even possible to correctly guess the right amount? When power outages happen, and they are very frequent, it often affects the water treatment plants. This can lead to seriously contaminated water. If you are in a situation where you are dealing with a sick child or loved one, water is needed to stave off dehydration as well as for cleaning and disinfecting the area. Water is crucial to our survival and we often use more than we realize.
Now if you follow the typical Internet guidelines you will learn that the average person will need to drink around ½ gallon of water everyday. If you have high temperatures or sickness you can almost double that number. Additional water needs to be set aside for activities such as cooking and cleaning.
The Internet gurus will also say that you need to store around 1 gallon of water per person, per day. They also say that you need to have a 2-week supply on hand. That is 28 gallons of water per week for a family of 4 and amounts to 56 gallons for a 2-week period.
All of this sounds awesome until you start doing further research. In the days of old, you know, the times when people would carry their water from lakes and rivers, it was not uncommon for a person to use as much as 2 gallons per day. That is double what the “experts” say. Obviously they didn’t wash themselves as much but you get the picture.
I am firmly convinced that 1 gallon per person, per day, is just not enough. It looks good on paper and it sounds good in theory, but the facts remain the facts. We as a society have become so accustomed to having running water that we rarely understand how much we use. When you add to that the possibility of cleaning up messes, washing your hands, cooking your food, flushing your toilets, etc. It becomes very clear that 1 gallon a day is just not enough.
My family has come to the conclusion that we need to store somewhere between 2-4 gallons, per person, per day. For a family of 4 like mine that means we need 16 gallons a day or 112 gallons per week. If you start planning for a prolonged period of needing this stored water you will realize just how much water you need. 500 gallons a month is a huge number and it is one that could overwhelm us if we were not prepared. Thankfully we are. We have several water containers that hold 350 gallons each. They are thick plastic containers that have a metal cage built around them. They are stacked on top of each other and they have been treated with a small amount of chlorine to ensure that they keep for a longer period of time.
However we have the space for this. What about people that do not have a garage or a basement? For those in this situation I would encourage you to store your water in 1-gallon milk jugs (that have been well cleaned) or even 2-litre bottles. You would be surprised how fast those things accumulate.
Whatever you decide to do please take the time to address your water supply. All the food in the world will mean nothing if you die from dehydration. Your body can lasts for a few weeks without much food but it can only last a few days without water. Carve out some time and some space to start storing your emergency water now.