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Water Storage

You can only live three days without water. Knowing that, water becomes the number one priority in our storage program.

It is suggested by the CDC that you store fourteen gallons of water per person in your family. You can purchase five-gallon jugs of water at the grocery store, but make sure you rotate them. We made the mistake of storing several in our pantry, and the plastic started breaking down and leaked, making a mess of our shelves. Next, we stored two of the fifty-five-gallon blue water barrels in our garage. This gave us a little over one hundred gallons of drinking water, but it was difficult to rotate. For a Mother’s Day gift this year, I asked for a 250-gallon Storm Tank. We also purchased a bottle of Nano-Silver to add to the water, allowing us to store the water for five years before needing to replace it. The tank has a hose hook up at the bottom for easy disbursing and filling, and it has a spigot about a third of the way up the tank to easily fill a pitcher for consumption. Unfortunately, the manufacturer only sells wholesale, so you will need to find a retailer who sells the Storm Tank in your area if you are interested in purchasing one. If you live in Las Vegas or Utah, Family Still Matters in Saint George sells the Storm Tank.

In an emergency, it is nice to know where you can find water you can drink right in your own home.

Your hot water heater contains thirty to eighty gallons of potable water, depending on its size. The video at is a great resource for learning how to access the water in your hot water heater. Below is a summary of the information shown in the video. Make sure you put these instructions in your Emergency Preparedness Notebook.


  1. Know where your hot water heater is located (usually in the basement or garage.)

  2. Turn off your water heater. It will either be natural gas or electric. If it is electric, go to your electric panel and flip the breaker for the hot water heater. Make sure you take the time to label the circuit breaker before an emergency. If your hot water runs on natural gas, turn the on/off knob to pilot.

  3. Turn the water shut-off valve to the off position. If you have a gate valve (like a hose-bib outside) turn it clockwise until it stops. If you have a ball valve, turn it clockwise a quarter turn.

  4. Place a clean container underneath the spigot to collect water or attach a potable water hose to transport the water from the hot water heater to the container.

  5. Allow air into your hot water heater by opening the relief valve. Flip the handle so it sticks out. Next turn the handle of the drain valve to the left with a screw driver. The water should start pouring out. Use gloves as the water may be hot. When the container is full, turn the handle of the drain valve to the right with a screw driver to turn off the flow of water.

  6. Treat the water before using it for drinking or cooking.

Another source for water in your home is your toilet tanks (not your toilet bowls!) Newer toilets carry about one and a half gallons of water in their tanks. Make sure you boil or treat the water from both of these sources with chlorine bleach before drinking or cooking with it.

The CDC has excellent guidelines for making water safe to drink at They recommend:


  1. If water is cloudy, filter it through a paper towel or coffee filter.

  2. Boil for one minute (at 6,500 feet or above, three minutes).

  3. Let water cool.

  4. Pour it from one container to another to improve the taste, or add a pinch of salt for each quart.

  5. Store in clean containers with tight fitting lids.


Use unscented household liquid disinfecting bleach with 5-6% sodium hypochlorite.

  1. If water is cloudy, filter it through a paper towel or coffee filter.

  2. Add two drops of bleach to one quart of water or eight drops (1/8) teaspoon of bleach to one gallon.

  3. Stir.

  4. Let sit for thirty minutes.

  5. Store in clean containers with tight fitting lids.

Print up these directions to put in your Emergency Preparedness Notebook.

If you have the presence of mind, filling your bath tubs and sinks with water will also give you additional water during an emergency.

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