The rule of three: 3 weeks without food, 3 days without water, 3 hours without sheltersand 3 minutes without air. If someone manages to meet any one of those criteria unfortunately that means they will probably be passing into the next life to meet their maker. In most SHTF situations air will still be abundant but water might not be, and since you can only survive 3 days without fresh drinking water that puts it near the top of the “must have” items on any survival inventory sheet.
Quite often we overlook water storage considerations because unlike food (which we have to go out and obtain) water is almost always available. It comes out of the tap with the turn of a knob, we use gallons of it to water our lawns and wash our cars without giving it a second thought. Water is everywhere and abundant and so we take it for granted. Yet if any number of very plausible SHTF events occur, from natural disasters to a grid down scenarios, potable water will instantly become a highly prized possession. Remember when the grid goes down the pumps stop working (the water stops flowing) and that is bad news for the family with a few bottles of sports drinks and half gallon of milk in the fridge.
So how much water should you have on hand? I’ve read estimates that state for every person you should plan on 1 to 4 gallons per day of consumption (drinking, cooking, sanitation etc). For the sake of this exercise let’s call it 2 gallons per person, per day and let’s assume you have a family of 3 and a pet dog. You’ve been pretty religious in your preps and have the following on hand when considering water storage:
- Twenty 1 Gallon Water Jugs.
- Four packs of water bottles (3 gallons each).
- Two 55 gallon barrels of treated water (5 year shelf life).
- One Water Bob which you can put in the bathtub, 60 gallons of storage space.
Total: 202 Gallons of Water for your family of 3 (and a pet).
The S Hit’s The Fan next week and you have to start digging into your stash. When you conducted your last inventory of your supplies you felt pretty confident about your water storage solution but now it’s time to start using what you have on hand (thankfully you were able to fill up the water bob before the taps ran dry) and it’s going much faster than you anticipated. It’s simple math really. 3 people X 2 gallons per person, per day = 6 gallons used per day. 202 gallons on hand divided by 6 = 33 days of water on hand. Factor in what your pet consumes and let’s round that down to 30 days of drinkable water on hand after SHTF. Seems pretty inadequate doesn’t it? After all if you only had 30 days of food storage on hand you would call that irresponsible, but somehow you overlooked the fact that you only had 30 days of water storage on hand.
While you might have several hundred dollars invested in water filtration/purification devices those have to be filled up from a local source, which means you have to hump down to the lake or stream and physically bring back the water in order to use it. Hauling water every day could get old very quickly, not to mention there would be hazards associated with going out to obtain water should T-SHTF.
Here’s the deal: Make sure you have enough water on hand! Do no underestimate the importance of having plenty of water stored in or near your home so that you will be able to access it if T-SHTF. I understand it is very inconvenient to store water as it is heavy and takes up quite a bit of space. Yet I would think that it would be even more inconvenient to realize that you underestimated your water consumption rate during a time when your family needed it to survive.