When preparing for an emergency, one of the most important things to store is water. Humans can live up to 20 days without food as long as they are well hydrated. However, humans can only live up to 3 days without water. The human body is 60% water, and the internal organs take up a significant percentage of this water. Therefore, when storing water, a question that can arise is – how long does emergency water last?
The need to be consistently hydrated is vital for survival. Storing water requires preparation, and we need to know the factors that affect how long emergency water lasts.
Water Storage: Shelf Life And Storage Options
Water does not have an expiration date, but the moment water is stored, it has a shelf life. Different factors can affect the length of time water can be stored and still be safe to consume. The goal is to be able to save water long enough to last a possible emergency. In this article, you will be learning how long does emergency water last and what are the factors that affect water’s shelf life.
Food grade water containers – plastic #1, #2, and #4
Stored tap water in plastic containers can be only be consumed within six months without risks to the consumer’s health. However, if you are planning to store tap water for emergencies, it is suggested that you use UV resistant food-grade water containers with a blue color. These types of containers are the safest containers to store water. The color blue limits exposure to light and indicates that it is safe for human consumption. Food grade water containers can be bought in camping supply stores. Some of them even come as stackable containers, which will be easy for you to store. Ideal storage conditions would be in a cool place, without exposure to sunlight, and away from hazardous items and fumes.
How long does emergency water lasts in food-grade containers? It will last up to six months to a year. You have to replace the water every 6-12 months as well as if you notice damage in the plastic containers.
Other important things to note:
- Do not use food-grade containers that were used for anything other than water. Even if you think you have thoroughly cleaned it, it is tough to remove retained taste and other particles in the container that could contaminate your water.
- Plastic bottles used for soda or Gatorade bottles can be used to store water. But as mentioned above, any taste can be absorbed by the water. It would come as a surprise to you if you tasted cola in the stored water—whether it is pleasant or not would be entirely up to your palate.
- A quicker way to store water would be to buy bottled water in the grocery. Buying bottled water is convenient, but it can be expensive. If you have the extra money, this can save you time.
Glass Storage Containers
Glass storage containers are a sure and safe way to store water. They are graded GRAS (Generally Regarded As Safe) by the FDA, but several disadvantages come along with it. Glass storage containers can be bulky and fragile. And bringing fragile items with you in the face of an emergency is counter-intuitive. If you still choose this option, you may wrap it in cardboard, bubble wrap, used newspaper, or paper to avoid breakage. Consider these things carefully before choosing a glass to store your water for an emergency.
How long does emergency water lasts in glass storage containers? If stored and sealed well, it can last a long time, but to be sure, be reminded to replace it at least once a year.
Food Grade Stainless Steel Storage Containers
If you have some money to spare, this option is an excellent way to store emergency water.
How long does emergency water lasts in stainless steel storage containers? If stored well, you need to replace it once a year. A stainless steel storage container usually comes in a 55-gallon drum size, which can be sealed. Since it is stainless steel, there are no risks of chemicals seeping into the water.
Because of its size, it may be challenging to move it to another location in case a crisis requiring movement ensues. An important thing to note when choosing this type of container is the water you are planning to store. If the water you store in this container is treated with chlorine, it will damage your container’s stainless steel surface. This corrosion will damage your stored water and make it extremely hazardous to consume.
Things To Consider When Storing Emergency Water
Understanding how storage affects the shelf life of consumable water is essential for a survivalist. And when planning to store water for an emergency, here are certain things to keep in mind. These things will guide the decisions you make in storing water for an emergency.
- People you will be providing water for – It is ideal to prepare 1 gallon of water each day for each person. This number does not take into consideration the other factors that could affect consumption, such as a pregnant member in the household or members with existing ailments.
- How long should the water last – It is ideal to store water that is good for at least a week for the whole household.
- Environmental factors – When storing water, you have to consider the climate in your area. If you live in an area with a hot climate, consider storing more water than you would usually do. You also have to consider how often natural disasters hit your area.
Being prepared and ready for an emergency will help you and your loved ones survive. A basic need that a prepper should never forget to store is water. Now that you know how long does emergency water last, all that is left to do is a careful assessment of your situation. After all, the best cure for fear during uncertainty is the right amount of emergency preparation. Get more tips on emergency food.