Friday, January 30, 2009

Water, Water, Everywhere...

You need it, I need it, we all need it.
But water storage can be a challenge for even the most prepared.
We all need to store water, regardless of our living circumstances.
If you live in a town, power disruptions can halt the flow of water.
Ditto for rural areas.
Pipes can freeze, water supplies can be contaminated
Prepare for this.

The average household should have a MINIMUM of 150 gallons of water stored for emergencies.

Currently, I live in town. My water comes from the municipal system.
During Hurricane Ike, the sea surge made our water unusable, even for washing dishes, bathing, etc.
I was not worried as I had ample water to last 3 weeks.
I don't have a lot of room, nor a lot of money, so I had to go for the simplest system possible.

I use 2 liter soda bottles.
Here's my method:
Wash out the bottle with scalding hot water. Remember to wash out the caps as well.
Fill the bottle with cool water and add 3 drops of chlorine bleach. Do NOT use a bleach that has scent or other additives! Cap tightly.
Store in a cool, dark place. I store mine in the bottom of my pantry closet.
The bottles can be stored upright or on their sides, whatever is most effective in the space you have for storage.
I strongly suggest you use a *Sharpie* or *Magic Marker* to date each bottle.

I re-do my water storage every three months, although I have been told my method would be effective for up to six months.

Once a year, I re-purpose my water storage bottles to store rice, lentils and other small grains in. I re-scald the bottles and dry out them out COMPLETELY. Not kidding. COMPLETELY. It is quite necessary to have them bone-dry for this!
Put an O2 absorber in the bottom. Pour in rice/whatever to within 1 inch of the top. Put in another O2 absorber. CAP TIGHTLY! I usually put plastic wrap on top, then screw the cap on as tightly as I can to get the best seal possible.
Store in dry, cool, dark place.
I have stored rice, small beans, lentils, flour, cornmeal and wheat in this manner. Tested FIVE YEARS later, it was still good and cooked up the same as freshly stored foods.
A friend of mine stored some in this manner and tested it last year. She had it stored this way for a little over FIFTEEN YEARS and it did just fine!

So, before you toss those 2 liter bottles in the trash (or any other food grade good sized bottle), stop yourself and think of another use for it!

Check your water supplies this week.
Look over on the Heathen Homemaker for some great organization tips for January!

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