Long-term Water Storage for Survival
Jon Stokes 04.30.14
The Art of Manliness blog has a detailed article on long-term water storage options for disaster preparedness. This is a great piece to bookmark since water is one of those things that too many people neglect, but that’s critical in any kind of emergency.
Back when I lived in California, we lived right the Hayward fault. The zone literally ran behind our house in Berkeley. We always had two full 55 gallon water storage barrels on-hand, which we picked up from Costco. Specifically, we had the BPA-free Nutristore Deluxe barrels, and while we thankfully never had to use them, they were worth if for peace of mind. I actually hate that we didn’t have room in the moving trailer for them, so we had to leave them behind — not that we need them here, as our new house has a 1,000 gallon rainwater catchment tank in the back, courtesy of the previous owners.
As I said, the article is quite good, but there’s one trick that it doesn’t mention: most houses have a hot water heater tank that holds at least 30 gallons, often more depending on the house. Unless someone just took a shower, this tank is usually full. If disaster strikes, just turn off the heat and you’ll have access to about four weeks of water for a single person.
Water filtration options are something we’ve covered frequently here on AllOutdoor, and they should be part of anyone’s backup water strategy. In addition to a few Life Straws and some other random straw-type filters (people tend to buy me these things for Christmas, for whatever reason), I’ve got a Katadyn Pocket Water Microfilter. This is obviously an expensive, Cadillac filter, and it may be out of range for many, but for decades this Swiss-made filter has been the gold standard for compact, high-volume filters.
If you want a much cheaper, high-capacity option that’s less compact, check out our article on Water Filtration on a Budget. If you’re looking for even more options, a quick Google search will turn up a number of other water filter reviews we’ve done in the past year.