M4S 077: Long Term Water Storage for Emergencies
01.22.2019 - By The Mind4Survival Podcast
Long term water storage isn't a glamorous topic. It's sure not as interesting as debates on gun calibers and freeze-dried foods. But long term water storage should actually be one of your number one preparedness concerns.
Why Should You Think About Long Term Water Storage?
Without clean drinking water, human life expectancy drops to around three days. Most of us in first-world nations take clean water for granted. However, circumstances may happen in which your household water faucets no longer deliver the precious life-sustaining liquid. When that happens, you'll need long term water storage to tap into while you figure out your next steps.
While we purchase insurance for unexpected accidents or disasters, many don’t consider taking action to ensure our personal water supply. Fortunately, having a supply stashed away is insurance against unexpected water loss due to natural or human-made disasters.
Tornadoes, earthquakes, tsunamis, and other disasters can conceivably knock out a pumping station with a direct hit. Ironically, flooding due to strong storms can also cause shortages of potable water supplies if it contaminates local wells and municipal water supplies. Typically the impact of these events lasts only a few days and rarely directly disrupts the flow of water into your home. However, if your water continues to flow, you may be instructed to boil water to cleanse it of impurities for several days while they resolve the problem.
Earthquakes, perhaps the worst natural disruptor of water flow, potentially could destroy pumping stations, pipelines, and sewer lines. Under such circumstances, household plumbing could be rendered useless for a lengthy period of time. Events like that necessitate that people take long term water storage more seriously.
Human-made disasters can include system failures caused by operator error, on-site accidents, an act of terrorism, war, or civil unrest. Recently, a plant operator at a Florida water facility discovered that someone had accessed the system and increased the amount of a dangerous chemical into the water supply. Fortunately, the hack was detected before there was any risk to residents, but it just goes to show how vulnerable our water supplies can be.
In yet another human-made disaster, a chemical spill rendered the water in West Virginia unusable for a couple of weeks, causing an instant shortage in bottled water being sold locally.
These are just two examples out of many. Depending on the severity of the damage done, these events could render you waterless for extended periods of time.
Health Impact of Drinking “Dirty” Water
Flooding is one of the most common reasons for water contamination, especially after natural disasters. Floods occur worldwide, and while most are a matter of inconvenience, the worst-case flood scenarios can bring life-threatening diseases to your water.
Some of the diseases that may accompany floods and disasters include typhoid fever, dengue fever, malaria, West Nile virus, cholera, yellow fever, leptospirosis, and hepatitis A. These do not always occur due to drinking the flood water but simply from being exposed to it. Learn more about the health hazards from floodwater here.
How Much Water Do You Use?
The classic rule of thumb is one gallon, per person, per day. But is that really accurate?
On average, most people drink less than a gallon of water per day. But it’s important to remember that we use water for more than drinking. Our extra water use needs to figure into our long term water storage on a larger scale than many people currently do.
You will have to determine your daily water usage based on your personal needs, along with your speed and efficiency of getting tasks done. These estimates below are based on one person’s typical water use.