Simple & Easy – Emergency Preparedness
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LDS Preparedness Exercise – Storage for Water pt2

LDS - Emergency Preparedness

Well, the answer – you need large barrels. I happen to have a selection of ways to store water. Each of them has their advantages and their disadvantages. So to store water, you need to put into a food-grade container. Something that has been made and purified and able to store water. You take a container like a 55 gallon drum that I have over here and fill it up with standard household tap water. The question is: how much chlorine should I put in – the answer is none. The water that comes out of your tap is already chlorinated – right out of the tap will store in a sealed container for about 2 years, without doing anything to it.

The cost of the barrels are expensive. Brand new they’re about $65, depending on where you’re getting them from – shipping on top of that, but there’s some places where you can get them for less of that. Let’s say they’re about $65 – even that price is more expensive than going out and buying two gallon bottles somewhere else. Maybe even 5 gallon bottles. But I have a chart that shows that over a 10 year period, this is the cheapest way to store water. Cause the water you put in that, using LA’s district highest water rate costs 8 cents to fill that barrel up, as opposed to going somewhere spending 2-3 dollars for a gallon of water. In fact, if you buy water like this in these bottles, it’s more expensive than gasoline. They’re very convenient, but they’re very expensive. But they have their place – I don’t mean to say you shouldn’t buy these – I’ll cover each one.

The large 55 gallon drum – they are good because they’re storing a lot of water. Is it mobile? Not a chance – it weighs more than 200 pounds. You might throw that in the back of the car and drive off. If you have to leave your house, you’re not gonna take a 55 gallon drum and take it with you, it’s not gonna happen. So if you have to leave your house, you should have something to transport water with you. And one of the best ways to do that is to go out and buy a 5 gallon basic water jug. They’re about $6 at Wal-Mart. You can pay more or a little less, but they’re about 6 dollars at Wal-Mart. Holds 5 gallons of water – it’s really nice cause it’s not a 55 gallon drum, you can hide them just about anywhere. I hide them in the back of my closet, the back of my children’s closet.

So you can hide them just about everywhere. Almost every refrigerator has some room spec on it that you usually put the broom somewhere out there –well, in the very back corner, stack a couple of these in that back corner. You can also use two liter bottles. These are made from food-grade plastic that will not disintegrate over time. You take a 2-liter bottle, take the cap off, rinse it out, rinse it with some bleach, some salty water, clean it out really well, fill it full of water, cap it off, stick it away – it’ll sit like that for at least two years before you have to rotate it. And if you have to leave, this you can carry. With a little effort, but you can haul a couple of those and stick them in the back of your car. These are easy to carry as well.

The downside of these and these is, when you go to make rotations, the big water barrel – you take out the water, put the water back in. With these, you have to hunt them down through the house and remember where you put them. When you fill these full of water, write the date on them “filled on whatever day it is” so that you know how old the water is. So when you’re going to the back of your cupboard and trying to get rid of that pan you use once a year when you’re cooking the Christmas turkey and you find one of these, you go “I filled this in 1980 – I don’t think this is good anymore”.

The other way that you can store water is in these kinds of containers – buying cases of these. Or the 1 gallon bottles that you can buy at the store – those kinds of things, those are also handy and will store for about 2 years as well. But each, as we go up, from the smaller the container, the more expensive way to store the water. If you aim for the very bottom one, you get one of these – this is not a lot of water, easily transportable – the upside of this is that this water is sterile. You can use it for cleaning wounds and dressings, as well as drinking it. But this water stores in this package for 5 years. Just like this – it has an expiration date on it. So if you have this and throw it in the back of your car and forget about it for 4 years, you’ll go “Is this any good?” It’s still good! This will be bad and not good to be drunk in about 2 years.

If you see on this one – this one’s been in the back of my car and the plastic’s starting to break down on this. Well, the plastic, some of this, reaches into the air. Where do you think the rest of the plastic goes? Into the water. So, they are advantages and disadvantages to each way of storing the water. That being said, you should probably store a little bit of each. Should you put all of your water in 55 gallon drums? No. Because if you have to leave, you’ll have to carry it. Should you put all of your water in these 5 gallon drums? You certainly could, but think about if you’re gonna store 5 gallons per person, per day – per 5 days, you’re gonna have these everywhere. You’re gonna start making lawn furniture out of them.

So there is a trade-off of good versus bad. There is no utopia in water storage. There’s always a full trade option. Now, your question was: can you shower with it? That’s an excellent question. Any water you can drink can be used for showering, washing clothes, washing dishes or more importantly, flushing the body. One of the things I want to talk about is how much chlorine you have to add. The water here does not require chlorine – it comes out of the tap chlorinated. The one time you need to chlorinate water is when the water’s tainted or you’re not sure about it. Okay? So let’s say you take this 5 gallon and you stick it behind your refrigerator like I suggested and you completely forgot about it and suddenly, one day you wake up and there is no water. So you go and pull out this jug and there’s a piece of tape on it that says “Filled in 1980”. Is that water good? Probably not for human consumption. How can you make it good?

There’s basically 2 ways. 3, really – but we’ll cover 2 and then one for something completely different. The two ways that you can make it safe to drink is that you can boil it. Put it on the stove, put it in pan, bring it to a boil and hold it there for 5 minute and it will kill everything there is. The downside is that it takes a lot of fuel. If you have gas, you have to use the gas. If you have fuel, you have to take that fuel to bring it to the boil. Then, after you boil it, it really doesn’t taste very good at all. You’re gonna have to pour it between two pans to put back air into it.

The other way of purifying water that you’re not sure of is by adding bleach to it. How much bleach should I put in? You put in 1 tablespoon of bleach for every gallon of water that you need to purify. Okay? Five drops of water for every two liter like this – so about half a table spoon – a teaspoon, not a table spoon. So very little. And then your water will take a little like chlorine. So how do you get rid of that chlorine taste? How many of you live in the city and you got a letter recently that talked about our water supply? We just found out, for those of you who don’t live in this area, we just found out that in December that they tested the water supply in various areas and they found it had 2 forms of bacteria – but the water’s been taken. So they’ve been really chlorine the water lately. The water tastes terrible coming out of our tap – it doesn’t taste very good at all. It doesn’t take a catastrophe for something to affect your water supply. So having water around is a necessity almost because none of us have wells in our backyards.

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