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Emergency Preparedness: Water

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The Survival Rules of 3: To survive an emergency you must not go;

  • 3 Minutes Without Air
  • 3 Hours Without Shelter
  • 3 Days Without Water


These are the 3 needs for survival and you’ll be surprised how many people forget about storing enough water! Water is important.


Although PackFreshUSA specializes in food storage, we believe it is important to remind our customers and followers to store enough water along side their food storage.

You need a minimum of one gallon of water per day, per person for drinking and food preparation – a total of fourteen gallons, per person for a two-week period. Another half-gallon per person, per day for bathing, brushing teeth and dishwashing.

A family of four would require a minimum of 56 gallons of water, and preferable 84 gallons for a two-week period. Do not overlook the water supply in the hot water tank and toilet tank. (Be sure to shut off the incoming water valve in case the local water supply is not safe).

Store water reserves in thoroughly washed, clean containers. Plastic containers with tight fitting caps are best. Glass jugs may be used but plastic has the advantage of being shatterproof and lightweight. Metal containers tend to give water an unpleasant taste.

Clean water stored in clean containers with tight-fitting lids will remain palatable for an indefinite period. If purchased water, follow expiration dates or rotate water every six months. Check the containers occasionally doe leaks or cloudiness. If the water starts to look or taste bad, change it. If you have any doubts about the safety of the water to be stored, purify it before you store it.

To Purify Water

  • 1.The safest method of purifying water is to boil it vigorously for 1 to 3 minutes. To improve the taste of the water after boiling, pour the water from one container to another several times.
  • 2.You may also purify water by adding any household bleach solution that contains 5.25 percent of sodium hypochlorite. (Most common bleach solutions contain this amount). Add the bleach solution to the water in a clean container. Mix thoroughly by stirring or shaking. Let stand for 30 minutes. The following table shows the proper amount of 5.25 percent solution to add to water.

Amount of Water Amount of solution to add to:

Clean Water


Cloudy Water

1 quart – (1/4 gallon) 2 drops 4 drops
1 gallon 8 drops 16 drops
5 gallon ½ teaspoon 1 teaspoon



  • 3.You can use ordinary 2 percent tincture of iodine, which you may have in your medicine cabinet, to purify small quantities of water. Add 3 drops of tincture of iodine to each quart of clear water or six drops to each quart of cloudy water, and stir thoroughly.
  • 4.You can safely use water purification tablets that release chlorine or iodine to purify water. They are inexpensive and available at more sporting goods stores and some drugstores.


For more information:

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