Why You Probably Don’t Have Enough Water Stored

September 20, 2014 by | Be the first to comment »

I’ve written about the importance of storing water as well as several ways to store it discretely, but while many preppers do store water, few store enough.

The accepted rule of thumb is to store at least one gallon of water per person for three days. A normally active person needs about three quarters of a gallon of fluid daily, but, individual needs vary, depending on age, health, physical condition, activity, diet, and climate.

I don’t think this is anywhere near enough for several reasons:

  1. Dehydrated or freeze-dried foods require extra water to reconstitute
  2. Dehydrated, freeze-dried, and canned foods contain higher sodium, which requires additional water to maintain a proper balance of electrolytes.
  3. When your power is out, you’ll have no AC or fans so you’ll sweat more, causing additional water loss.
  4. Lack of power and water services can lead to poor hygiene, which leads to illnesses. Diarrhea or food poisoning can cause dehydration in less than 24 hours.
  5. It doesn’t take into account pets or livestock you may need to support.

I recommend a minimum of two gallons of water per person for two weeks. That may sound like a lot, but it’s fairly easy even in small homes.

Under these guidelines, my family of four would need 112 gallons—we’ve accomplished this almost entirely with two 55-gallon drums filled from a rainwater collection system over our rabbit hutch. Add the water storage in our garage and we’ve got about twice that amount—and this is in the suburbs, not a huge ranch.

Melanie Swick (a.k.a. Survival Chick) grew up wanting to be a rocket scientist, but when she realized she that required way too much math, she took to her second dream—spending time in the wilderness. Today, when she's not hiking, camping, or hunting, she's blogging about it. You can connect with Melanie on Facebook.

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