10 Emergency Water Solutions for When the SHTF


Water is our most important resource. Don't be caught without it in an emergency! Here are 10 emergency water solutions to help you become more water secure and prepared for a water emergency. #emergencywater #waterstorage #waterprepping #watersecurityWater. Clean, fresh, drinkable water. Besides air, it’s absolutely the most crucial element for survival.

To many people around the world who have trouble accessing it, water is their most valuable commodity. In fact, fresh, accessible, potable drinking water makes up less than 1% of all the water on the planet. Without it, we’ll literally die in a matter of days. And yet, in the western world, we take it completely for granted.

We waste it, pour it down the drain, leave the taps running, water our lawns with it, and even flush it down our toilets. We rarely think about what life would be like without it because all we need to do is turn on our taps and an infinite amount of it pours out! But what if we went to turn on the taps one day and nothing did come out?

What if we couldn’t flush our toilets or water our gardens? What if we couldn’t bathe or brush our teeth or cook or wash dishes or do laundry or have a drink?

Food security tends to hog the conversation when we talk about prepping. But water is often overlooked despite how vitally important it is.

Yes, canned goods and other provisions are also necessary, but water is THE most essential thing to have on hand. You can live without food for quite a while if need be, but not without water. This is why bottled water is the first thing to fly off shelves when an emergency (or perceived emergency) situation hits.

 

Related: 15 Emergency Items You Need to Have Packed and Ready to Go

 

Of course, we need drinking water, but for long-term survival, you may also need to grow, raise and cook your own food, which also requires water. Medical supplies like bandages and antiseptics can be improvised or made from materials on hand. Water cannot. A heat source can be created with found fuel and tools. Water cannot.

It is absolutely necessary to think about emergency water whenever we think about being prepared, otherwise all of the other best laid plans may mean nothing when the proverbial “shit hits the fan.”

The good news is, it doesn’t take much to vastly improve the state of your water security should disaster strike. Honestly, even if we’re just talking about the electricity going out and leaving you without access to well water for a few days (this happened to many people near us over Christmas), you will be so thankful to have a backup emergency water supply on hand.

I’m a little embarrassed to say this, but a few weeks ago our water was shut off for less than 24 hours because they were upgrading the water lines and although we do keep a few bottles of backup drinking water on hand, we didn’t have enough water to flush our toilet. Needless to say, things can get, um, unsanitary pretty quickly without water, and that was a wake-up call for us to get our emergency water in order as fast as possible.

If you’re stumped on where to start, here are 10 steps you can take immediately to ensure you and your family have access to clean, drinkable water in the event of an emergency.

 

1. Always carry a water bottle with you

It’s a small step, but keeping a bottle of water on you at all times is a great first line of defence should disaster strike unexpectedly, especially if you’re in your car, in the wilderness or just away from home.

While any water bottle will do, if you want to up your security, consider investing in a LifeStraw Go  water bottle. These water bottles allow you to not only store water, the Lifestraw filtration system  ensures that you are able to safely refill your bottle and filter the water from almost any source.  

I bought 3 LifeStraw water bottles to be used in case of emergency. I keep one in my emergency bag in my car, one in the emergency bag in my husband’s truck, and one for everyday use on hikes, etc. It gives me added peace of mind knowing that if I drink all my water, I can refill my bottle with water from just about anywhere and it will be safe to drink. 

 

2. Properly store bottled water in your car

Statistically, you’re more likely to run into an emergency while in your car than when you’re at home or on foot.

Your car might break down. You may get lost, stranded or run out of gas, maybe in a very hot, dry area. Not to mention you might be in your car the moment a major disaster strikes, throwing people into panic mode, creating traffic madness and mayhem in the streets… Wherever you get stuck, you may get stuck there for a while, so always stash some fresh drinking water in your car.

If you’re going on a family road trip, bring at least a litre for each person in your family (including pets) in addition to fresh water bottles and you should be well equipped to handle being stranded for at least a few hours.

Because of changing temperatures and the potential for chemicals in plastic to leach out into the water, you should change up the water in your trunk once every couple months or so. I personally carry a 1.5 litre bottle of water in my car that I rotate regularly, as well as my empty LifeStraw water bottle, which I can use to filter out any water I come across, even if it’s dirty . I talk more about water filters further down.

 

Related: How to Prepare Your Kids for an Emergency At School

 

3. Store water in jugs

Storing plenty of water at home is important to ensure your family’s survival for a few days or even weeks. While storing water alone is not enough to provide for you indefinitely or even longterm, it could mean the difference between life and death should something major happen that cuts you off from your usual source.

FEMA recommends that you store at least a gallon of water per person per day and aim to store enough for a two-week supply.

The more the better. Remember, you need water for so much more than drinking, so store as much as you are can. You should use food-grade plastic water bottles or glass bottles to ensure the chemicals in standard use plastic bottles doesn’t leach into your water supply. We use swing top glass bottles and webreuse growlers and other large glass drinking bottles to store our emergency drinking water.

If you’re tight on space, you can get creative and stash your stockpile under the bed, in closets, cupboards or even purchase shelving like we did. Store close to the ground if possible to reduce loss or damage in the event of a natural disaster. Even plastic jugs are more likely to break and spill if they fall from higher shelves.

 

4. Always make sure your kettle is full

Aside from what you intentionally store, there are other places in your home where you can always keep a little bit of extra water on hand. Your kettle is one of them. I keep mine on my stovetop at all times and it’s almost always full. It’s more convenient for me because when I want to make a cup of tea all I do is turn on the stove, but it’s also an excellent emergency drinking water source.

The average stovetop kettle holds between 6 and 8 cups of water. That’s half a day’s worth of water for one person, and would get you through the day if need be.

 

5. Always keep ice trays full

Just like keeping your kettle full, it helps to keep your ice cube tray full too. You can also freeze the ice, transfer it to a plastic bag and refill your tray over and over again. I know these things seem insignificant and maybe even laughable, but if and when the shit truly hits the fan, every drop counts.

 

6. Know how to access water from a hot water tank

There is another source of hidden water in most people’s homes that can provide a substantial amount of emergency water. If you have a hot water tank, you may have access to an additional 50 gallons of fresh water or more! At a gallon per person per day, that’s enough water for a family of five for at least 10 days. Check out this guide to accessing your hot water heater in the event of an emergency.

 

7. If the SHTF, fill every sink, tub and bucket while you can

If the SHTF and you are lucky enough to get a bit of warning, stock up on as much water as you can right away. And I don’t mean head down to your nearest big box store and fight to the death over the last bottle of Dasani. I mean turn your taps on and fill every sink, tub and bucket you can while you have the chance. Even if the water isn’t clean enough for drinking, it can be used for bathing, cleaning and watering the garden.

 

8. Invest in rain barrels

If you want to take water storage one giant, practical step further, invest in some rain barrels for your property.

A typical rain barrel holds around 50 gallons of water, but it is possible to purchase barrels that store hundreds or even thousands of gallons of water. While this water isn’t filtered for human consumption, it’s a great, free source of water for watering your garden and your livestock or for cleaning, bathing and flushing the toilet.

You don’t want to waste any of your drinking water on these things, so having lots of rain water stored up helps to relieve some pressure by taking care of everything else.

 

9. Invest in some form of water purification

I’ve mentioned it already in this post, but I can’t stress enough how much I highly recommend investing in a LifeStraw for every member of your family.

A LifeStraw is a personal water filtration system that filters contaminated drinking water and converts it to safe drinking water. Each personal LifeStraw filters up to 1,000 litres of water safely.

I bought three LifeStraw water bottles a few years ago after hearing about the families that were fleeing from wildfires in Fort MacMurray up in northern Alberta. They hardly had any time to prepare and evacuate, and it made me much more conscious of the fact that emergencies can strike without warning at any time.

I chose to invest in the water bottles rather than just the filter because you can collect water in the bottle and take it to go rather than having to drink straight from the source. This way you can filter and store fresh drinking water while on the go.

Whether you’re bugging out, bugging in, hiking, camping, boating or travelling, having a LifeStraw with you offers some major security. Plus, through their Follow the Liters program, for every LifeStraw product sold, a child in a developing country receives clean, safe drinking water for an entire school year!

 

10. Buy property that comes with its own freshwater source

My final tip for ultimate water security is definitely the ultimate longterm solution: Invest in property that has its own freshwater source already on it.

Having access to a supply of fresh water off grid is a massive step toward water security. If you can, consider buying property with a personal well or a freshwater stream that runs through it. Although one potential risk is that your water supply might run dry in the hottest months when you need it most, if you are taking the other steps I’ve already mentioned to store enough water, you can plan to have enough to get you through the drought season by storing water in the wetter months.

 

Sleep Soundly Knowing You’ve Got Your Emergency Water Supply Covered

There you have it: 10 simple steps you can take to ensure water security for you and your family. The majority of them cost little to no money and can be done with supplies you already have on hand. Pick and choose which steps work for you in your situation.

And remember, you CAN and SHOULD take steps to ensure your family’s water security whether you live on 10 country acres or in a tiny downtown apartment. Start wherever you are. Don’t wait. Take steps now. You never know what tomorrow may bring, but you can prepare now for whatever may come.

Got any other emergency water solutions or tips? Share your knowledge in the comments section below!

SaveSaveSaveSaveSaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave


CATEGORIES
HOMESTEADING
REAL FOOD
NATURAL LIVING

1 Comment

  1. Rodney W Moorman

    Thanks Anna for the helpful information about water storage.

    Reply

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

ABOUT ANNA
Hi! I’m Anna, and I’m a city girl turned modern homesteader who’s passionate about growing, cooking and preserving real food at home, creating my own herbal medicine and all-natural home and body care products, and working toward a simpler, more sustainable and self-sufficient life each and every day. 
You Might Also Like
What to Stock In A Home Apothecary

What to Stock In A Home Apothecary

* This article contains affiliate links. For more information, please read my Affiliate Disclosure.   Having a home apothecary full of medicinal herbs, tinctures and infusions of all kinds is many a homesteader’s dream! In fact, as far as goals and dreams...

read more

What does it really mean to be self-reliant?

What does it really mean to be self-reliant?

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about what it really means to be “self-reliant.”  We talk a lot about self-reliance (or self-sufficiency) in the homesteading community, and outwardly it may seem as if the goal of “achieving” self-reliance is what ultimately...

read more

40 years on this Earth.
11 years together.
8 years married.
6 babies, one living, 4 in heaven and one more hopefully on the way.
20 fur (and feather) babies in our time together.
5 homes (plus a couple tents).
6 countries.
About 5,000 pounds of homegrown tomatoes, among other things;)
Too many good times to count.
Enough hardships to shape our characters.
One beautiful life together.

To my smart, talented, strong, kind, selfless, handsome amazing husband… The day I met you everything changed for the better. Sure, we’ve weathered some storms, but knowing I always have you to turn to has helped me through my darkest hours. The laughs, deep conversations, goals, dreams and unconditional love we share make each day worth living. And the family, home and life we’ve created together are more than I could have ever hoped for.

Happy 40th birthday to my one and only @thehumblehandyman. I can’t imagine doing life with anyone else. ❤️
...

66 8

And then there were 3 😔

Despite fending off an eagle attack the other day, a sneaky raccoon got into the chicken run early this morning and took out one of our girls.

Having animals die is definitely the hardest part of homesteading, but it’s a reality of this lifestyle that everyone must come to terms with sooner or later.

While we care for our chickens and want to give them the best life possible while they’re here, we understand that they’re livestock, not pets, and that we’re not the only creatures who see them as a food source.

Luckily we have a new flock of up-and-comers who will be ready to lay in a few months. Until then, egg production around here is gonna be pretty scarce.
...

19 2

So this is 35…

I decided to read my horoscope today (since it’s my birthday and all). I don’t really buy into the horoscope predictions, but I do think there’s something to be said for the personality traits we’re born with when the stars are aligned just so. Here are a few snippets that I found to be almost eerily on point:

“Tauruses born on May 18 are characterized by love of freedom and independence…They possess extraordinary creative energy, and they are never without an important cause to champion. They enjoy taking risks, but only when they believe the risk really matters.

As a rule, most decided early in life what they wanted to do and are not likely to deviate from that path. Their independent spirit makes them ideally suited to careers where they are their own boss, or are at least autonomous within a larger structure.

May 18 people want to make it on their own. No matter how successful they become, they never forget their roots and may even draw upon them for inspiration.”

Every year on my birthday I reflect on where I’m at, where I’m headed and where I’ve come from, and all I can say is that each year I’m only more grateful to be living life on my own terms, doing what I love most next to the people I love more than anything else in the world.

I’ll never forget where I came from and I’ll never have any regrets, because I wouldn’t be right where I am now without all of the experiences -good, bad or otherwise- that I’ve had along the way.

I knew when I was a little girl that I wanted to be a writer and a content creator. Homesteading came a little later in life, but when I knew, I knew.

I hope to be doing what I love and sharing it with you all for the next 35 years too! (Well, actually, if I’m being honest, I’d like to retire and throw my phone in the river long before that;) But until that day comes, thanks for being here to celebrate life with me today and every day. Cheers to another turn around the sun 🍻
...

58 10

My daughter stayed overnight at her grandma’s last night, and this morning when I talked to my mom she said “Evelyn told me she’s never been to the doctor before.”

Proudly, I replied “no, she hasn’t, because she’s never needed to.” This is thanks in large part to the fact that we keep a well stocked natural medicine cabinet at home and do our best to treat everyday illnesses and ailments ourselves.

Having a well-stocked home apothecary (and the know-how to use herbal and natural medicine at home) is yet another important piece of the self-sufficiency puzzle, and one that we’re working on a lot right now, both in our home and in my membership program, the Society of Self-Reliance.

If herbal medicine and building a home apothecary is on your to-do list as well, I’ve got some great tips and a printable checklist of items you’ll want to start stocking up on now so you’re prepared to make all sorts of medicinal preparations in time for cold and flu season later this year.

This is also a great time to plant certain medicinal herbs so that you’ve got a personal, sustainable supply of herbal medicine at home, because who knows what supply chain issues are gonna hit next!

To help make building and stocking your home apothecary or natural medicine cabinet a little easier, I compiled a list of all the ingredients I like to keep on hand for making my own medicinal preparations, as well as a suggested list of herbs to start growing or stocking up on, and some other great resources to help you get started preparing and using your own herbal medicine at home.

Link in bio @thehouseandhomestead to read the full article and download the checklist, or go to https://thehouseandhomestead.com/stock-a-home-apothecary/
...

34 1

Stinging nettles are one of my favourite things to forage for in early spring. They’re ready to harvest well before just about anything is ready in our garden, and they’re a superfood as well as a medicinal plant packed with antioxidants, vitamins and minerals including vitamins A, B, C & K, calcium, magnesium, potassium, phosphorus and iron, plus they’re super high in protein.

As a medicinal plant, nettles are a natural antihistamine and can help with season allergies, they have properties that reduce inflammation and especially joint inflammation and arthritis, they can be used to treat of urinary tract infections and enlarged prostate symptoms, the e been shown to lower blood pressure and control blood sugar and more!

Some people even swear by harvesting stinging nettles with their bare hands as the sting itself is said to help with muscle and joint pain/arthritis!

I, however, am not that brave. I definitely recommend wearing gloves, long sleeves, long pants and boots when harvesting stinging nettles! But the good news is that once you cook or dry the nettles, they no longer sting you. My favourite way to prepare them is to dry them and enjoy them as a herbal tea! But they’re good sautéed in stir fry or added to soups (in place of spinach or Kale) too. Whatever you do, just don’t put them fresh into a salad!

Stinging nettles grow wild all over North America (as well as other places), and spring is the best time to forage for them. To learn how to safely identify them, harvest them and prepare/preserve them, check out the link in my bio @thehouseandhomestead or go to https://thehouseandhomestead.com/harvest-and-use-stinging-nettles/

Have you ever foraged for stinging nettle before?
...

89 14

If you're looking to increase production in your own home garden, you know how important bees and other pollinators are to your overall yield.⁠

Honeybees get a lot of the glory, and for good reason: It's said that honeybees alone are responsible for pollinating 80% of our fruits and vegetables! Not to mention, they make honey... Sweet, glorious, highly nutritious and DELICIOUS honey!⁠

In this day and age of global food shortages, we need to do whatever we can to help increase food production at home and abroad, and helping honeybees is one of the best ways to do just that.⁠

Click the link in my bio @thehouseandhomestead or go to https://thehouseandhomestead.com/3-easy-ways-to-help-save-the-bees/ to learn what you can do at home to help save the bees, and the many, MANY reasons why it matters!⁠
...

25 1

I don't know about you, but around here spring officially marks the beginning of what we call "busy season."⁠

I always remind myself, though, that the payoff from the work we put in at this time of year is so totally worth the extra elbow grease and long hours.⁠

The seeds we sow now will provide us with food and medicine to stock our pantry and apothecary with in the summer and fall.⁠

The projects we start now will (hopefully) be finished and ready to serve us later in the year.⁠

And the deep cleaning and organizing we do now in our homes will set the stage and the tone for the rest of the season.⁠

Personally, I don't operate very well in a disorganized, messy or dirty environment. Whether I'm working or just relaxing, if my home is in disarray I feel like I can't fully concentrate on or enjoy whatever I'm doing.⁠

For most of the year this means sticking to a daily routine of tidying up and light cleaning when necessary. But in the spring, I like to take a few days to deep clean our home so that the rest of the season runs smoother; So that when I'm in the thick of gardening and harvesting and preserving season, I'm not also contending with dirt and stains and pine needles from Christmas!⁠

That being said, I don't like to use any commercially produced chemical cleaners, so I always make sure to keep a few natural ingredients on hand to get the job done.⁠

Over the years I've tried a lot of store-bought "natural" cleaners, and honestly I haven't been impressed with most of them. In fact, I find some white vinegar, baking soda, dish soap, water and a few essential oils are all I really need to clean most of my house!⁠

If the spring cleaning bug has bit you too, be sure to check out my DIY Spring Cleaning Recipes via the link in my bio. Every recipe is made with simple, natural ingredients that you probably have on hand already. I also like to add essential oils to my cleaning products for their scent and natural cleaning and disinfecting power, but you can omit them if you like:)⁠

Link in bio @thehouseandhomestead or go to https://thehouseandhomestead.com/spring-cleaning-recipes/
...

26 0

If there's one thing we should all be doing to hedge against looming food shortages and inflation right now, it's growing some of our own food at home.⁠

I've been preaching the many benefits of homegrown food for years now... Long before any of the madness we're currently experiencing took hold.⁠

A couple years ago when I launched my first gardening course, I mentioned in my sales video that we were just one emergency situation away from grocery store shelves being cleared out entirely. Within two weeks of that video, the pandemic hit, and the rest is history.⁠

The fact is, whether you're worried about shortages, the skyrocketing price of EVERYTHING, or you simply want to eat better, healthier foods free from GMOs and chemical sprays, learning how to grow even a little bit of your own organic food at home puts power and food security back in your hands.⁠

That's exactly why I’ve teamed up with 16+ other speakers for the Backyard Vegetable Gardener's Summit: A free, 3-day online event where you can learn how to get started or get better at growing food and creating your own personal grocery store, right in your own backyard!⁠

Here are just a few of the presentations coming up this week:⁠

🌱 7 Ways To Maximize Space In Your Urban Garden⁠
🌱 Creating a Personal Seed Bank⁠
🌱 How to Generate Income From Your Garden⁠
🌱 Easy Ways to Quickly Improve Your Garden Soil⁠
🌱 Indoor Container Gardening⁠
🌱 Growing Turmeric & Ginger at Home⁠
🌱 How to Use Succession Planting for Higher Yields⁠

And more!⁠

Plus, don't miss my masterclass where I teach you everything you need to know to grow a BUMPER CROP OF TOMATOES in your backyard! 🍅🍅🍅⁠

From starting your seeds to planting out and caring for your tomato plants all season long, I'll show you the exact method we use to grow hundreds of pounds of tomatoes at home for fresh eating and preserving each year.⁠

The summit officially starts TODAY! If you haven't registered yet, click the link in my bio @thehouseandhomestead or go to https://thehouseandhomestead.com/bvgs to save your seat and start watching and learning right away!
...

83 3

“When I think of self-reliance, I think of any ability to rely less on ‘the system.’”

I sat down with Ashley Constance from @dirtypawshomestead and the @alittleselfreliant podcast to talk about what it means to be self-reliant, if it’s even possible to be 100% self-reliant and why it’s a goal worth striving for even if complete and total self-reliance isn’t possible.

Be sure to check out the full interview in the latest issue of Modern Homesteading Magazine!

Subscribe @ modernhomesteadingnmagazine.com

I’d love to know, what are you currently doing to become a little (more) self-reliant? Let me know in the comments!👇
...

27 2
This error message is only visible to WordPress admins
There has been a problem with your Instagram Feed.

© The House & Homestead | All Rights Reserved | Legal

[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]