How Much Water Storage Do I Need?

how much water storage do I need
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Now, water is just as important as storing food.  But how much water do I need to store for my family is the next question?  Good news!  This one is an easy one to answer!

*Updated November 2020* – This post contains affiliate links.  Read my affiliate link disclosure here


How much water you need

It is recommended to store 1 gallon per person per day.  But, I don’t agree with that.  I think you should store at least 2 gallons per person per day.  The reason why is:

  1. Do you like to eat?  Most cooking you will need water.
  2. Do you like to stay clean?  Storing enough water to wash hands, brush teeth, take a sponge bath, clean up little kids, and other personal hygiene activities is something we all rely on.  Having enough water to do that will increase our happiness in an emergency situation, as well as keep the sickness away.

When people say 1 gallon a day, that is minimum for drinking and cooking.  But there are other necessities in life we rely on as well.  The Ready Store has a water storage calculator for some quick math if you would like to use that.

You will want to store at least enough water for everyone in the household for at least 3 days, but preferably 2 weeks if best.  Then, if you choose to further that water storage, add in water filters and purification tablets to help clean rain water and such.  Read about how to treat and store water here.


Where should I store this water?

Anywhere.  Really!  The BEST place is in a cold dark area.  But if you are limited in cold dark areas (we prefer to use all that space up for our food storage), then it’s ok to store it in other areas as well.  Just be sure to rotate your water frequently to prevent it from going bad.

Hidden water storage in your home:

This is for when things become extreme, there are other ways to find water you may not know about.

Safe water sources:

  • hot water tank
  • pipes
  • ice cubes

Read page 10 of FEMA American Red Cross brochure for how to safely get water from your pipes and water tank.

Unsafe water sources:

  • toilet (flush tanks or bowls)
  • radiators
  • water beds
  • swimming pools or spas

Water options in nature:

  • rain water
  • streams and rivers (moving bodies of water)
  • ponds and lakes
  • natural springs

Read pages 11-12 of FEMA American Red Cross brochure for ways to treat water from these sources.


In Conclusion

Yes, water is VERY important for survival.  Many times we think we may only loose it from natural disasters.  But there are other local disasters that can contaminate your water. Not having enough water stored doesn’t sound bad until you think about playing outside on a hot, hot, day and you want to come in for a cool glass of water, only to find you can’t use it.  Making sure you have enough water stored for your family is important for your survival.

How much water do you have stored per person?  Comment below.

Further Reading:

How to Store Water

How Much Water Storage Do I Need?

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2 thoughts on “How Much Water Storage Do I Need?”

  1. I have about 3 weeks of water for us and the cats, and that’s without rationing (but none for toilet flushing.) With rationing, I’m sure we have six weeks of stored water. But I also have a Big Berkey filter with lots of black filter elements, and coffee filters to strain the water before putting in the Berkey. I also have calcium hypochlorite to make my own bleach if I need a secondary way of treating water. We’re lucky that we have a river less than half a mile down the road, so I got a heavy duty garden cart and can fill up some 5 gallon buckets at the river to then treat in the Berkey or with bleach if needed.
    I love that the calculator mentioned in the article takes into account rehydrated freeze dried food! So many people forget to include the extra water needed for rehydration into their plans. Not a problem if you just have wet packed food, but for LTS, dried goods are essential.

    1. Wow, I love how you have multiple ways to get water when needed. You are very fortunate to have a river close by. We tend to get a lot of rainfall (although I know we can’t always count on that), but when living in Arizona, it was very hard to have multiple sources of water. Agree, Freeze dried helps with a ton of space and nutrition for long term food storage, but you really need to plan for that extra water. Thanks for the comments and suggestions!

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