I'll be running a series on our water plan, and what we have been doing as a suburban family preparing for the future. While water is always toted as the number one priority for any preparedness exercise, it is often an over looked item. We are guilty of having the knowledge to prepare, but haven't fully acted on it. Granted, we are better prepared than most people.
Here is our current situation:
5 - seven gallon containers that are sitting in the garage since our move to the new house. They need to be taken under the house and filled with a water hose, and a drop or two of bleach added for the year long storage. I'll need to buy another container since the Dr. is another family member to our household. We usually have about 4 to 7 cases of water on hand at all times. Each case has two and a half gallons each, or about a half day supply for our family. Each person needs one gallon of water per day. This is rationing level. This doesn't include water to flush the toilet or take a bath.
We have two hot water tanks. One is 80 gallons, and the other is 20 or 25 gallons. Best case scenario is that only the power goes out, and I'm able to cut the water supply at the curb to preserve the drinkable water. Five humans and one dog equals six people. 100 gallons divided by six equals a little over 16 days drinking supply. If it really get to critical level, the dog will get drinking water from the creek.
We have located one open water source that is within easy walking distance. We have about 2 gallons of bleach on hand, so we can purify the water that way. This source would quickly become non-drinkable in a prolonged situation from pollution and sewage.
Our other option is rain water collection. We have a large pool that can be used to collect water from the downspouts. This is probably my preferred method since chemical or sewage runoff is very unlikely. More research will have to be done on this topic. The water can be purified with either bleach or boiling. The record for Arkansas without rain is 39 days. (Source) Any rain collection system should account for the longest days without rain versus storage capacity. I can not stress this last sentence enough. We have tarps that can be used to funnel water into several five gallon buckets (we currently have 8) to expand our storage capacity even further. Of course, a serious SHTF event would necessitate this drastic action.
I do have a white gas camp stove that can be pressed into water purification duty, and have about 4-5 gallons of fuel which should last quite a while. I'll have to calculate burn time at a later date, or buy another gallon.
Water storage is very unsexy in the preparedness world, but the most critical. Toledo residents that had a water plan could have assisted neighbors (if they had enough to spare) and had an easier time.
Questions: Do you have a water plan? Any other ways to acquire or store water that I hadn't mentioned? What things can you do today to improve your situation?