How Much Water to Store for Emergency?

Storing drinking water is an essential part of emergency preparedness. We never know when disaster will strike. So let’s learn more about how much water to keep for emergencies. In addition, this post also explains how to maintain and how to treat water for your reference.

How Much Water to Store for Emergency?

Each family member needs a gallon of water per day. This estimated amount includes drinking water as well as little cooking and personal hygiene water.

Don’t forget your pets! They also need up to a gallon of water a day. It is advisable to store enough water to last for 3 to 5 days.

For example, a family of 4 with a pet dog should always have 15 – 25 gallons of emergency water.

Why Is It Necessary to Store Water?

In daily life, no one thinks to store water. Clean water is everywhere: the water supply system, the grocery store, the mall.

However, when an emergency occurs, you will not have enough water to live.

The first case is a power failure. Yes! How does the water supply system work when there is no electricity? This case is not uncommon.

The second is a disaster. In some countries, earthquakes or droughts are common. For example, there are frequent earthquakes in Japan. It disrupts structures and can cause power outages for days. Or, as in African countries, they often have to face drought. Therefore, water retention becomes more and more paramount.

These are the reasons why it is essential to have an emergency water supply ready. It is to ensure that you and your family have drinking water even in a disaster.


Which Source to Store Water?

1. Tap water storage 

You can store tap water without any treatment. You can use plastic food containers to store water. You can also take advantage of previously used large soft drinks bottles to keep clean water. Alternatively, you can use a specialized water dispenser available at your local store or online.

One important note is that you need to store tap water in a cool place. Don’t forget to label the storage date of the containers and change the water every period of six months.

2. Bottled water storage

It is better to store bottled water in a dark place and its original sealed containers. You should not keep bottled water after opening the cap.

Please focus on the expiration date of bottled water products, and don’t forget to change them every six months. When you drink your reserve bottled water, you don’t have to handle it either.

3. Water conservation tips

You need to notice the expiration date and replace it every six months for your emergency water supply, whether tap or bottled. But instead of pouring out the old water, you can use it to water your plants. Water is precious.

What to Do If Your Emergency Supplies Run Out?

If you run out of water, don’t worry! You can treat water from several sources in your home. You can treat the water in the kitchen. Just be aware that not all water sources in your home are suitable for drinking.

How to Correctly Treat Water?

1. Use an antiseptic factor

  • Use ordinary household antiseptic factor (usually 5.25% sodium hypochlorite),
  • Add eight drops of antiseptic element per gallon of water.
  • Shake or stir them up. Then let it sit for 30 minutes.

For disinfected water, it is normal for water to have a slight chlorine smell or odor.

2. Boil water

  • Boil a pot full of water.
  • Maintain it at a temperature of 100 degrees Celsius for a minimum of 3 to 5 minutes. It will ultimately kill the bacteria.
  • After the water has cooled, please place it in a sealed container and shake. This action will contribute to adding oxygen back to the water. As a result, it helps to improve the taste of the water.

How to Store an Emergency Water Supply Correctly?

  • The 2-liter containers are very suitable for storing water.
  • Make sure the containers are clean. Add about 1/8 teaspoon of antiseptic drug and two glasses of water to the containers. Close the lid of the containers and shake them gently.
  • Please remember to wash the area around the cover of the container and the top of the containers.
  • Replace with new water, fill up to the mouth of the tank.
  • Screw the lid on the bottle and label it for emergency drinking water.
  • Include the date you filled the bottle with water on the sticker.
  • Store as much water as possible! Experts recommend storing six 2-liter bottles for each person in the family.
  • Empty the old water of the tank and add new water every six months.


In short, disasters like earthquakes can damage water supply systems. It would help if you stored at least three days’ worth of water for each family member.

Thank you for reading!

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