💧 Order of Operations: Water Preparedness

Depending on the situation, you may not have access to water from a faucet. Where else can you access water? Is there a public access spigot? A pond or a natural body of water? Gutter downspouts? A spring? Find all of the resources at your disposal before you buy anything or start planning your water prep.

The standard volume to plan for is 1 gallon per person per day, minimum. Clean water is more vital than food in an emergency situation, plan and prioritize it. Using that number, how many gallons do you need to have on hand to sustain all of the folks in your home for 2 weeks? 2 weeks will give you adequate time for service to be restored, or activate your other systems for water.

Start small. Look into personal water filters made for hiking and camping. A Sawyer filter or Grayl water bottle are excellent options. Prioritize a product that allows you to collect water and filter it into a container. LifeStraws work, but they generally require you to suck the filtered water into your mouth, meaning you can’t use it for cooking or sharing. Bleach and water purification tablets are great to keep on hand as well.

Containers are important here, don’t buy cheap containers. We will get to long-term containers, but you will want to have ways to quickly store or transport water. There is a large bladder you can put in your bathtub and fill before a storm that gives you a lot of water in case service is lost for a few days. Another container to seek is a bladder that fills a backpack and allows you to transport water that you collect.

Long-term requires a little more consideration. Food-safe plastic containers that block light are going to be the standard for containers, but also have a place within your home to store them that is dark and cool. This can be water just from your tap and reasonably should be cycled out yearly. A homesteader hack is to store clean water in any empty mason jars you have.

Depending on your housing situation, the most obvious solution is rainwater barrels to collect water from your gutter. If you don’t have access to gutters, you can use tarps or a good poncho to funnel rainwater into your storage containers. A good pump to draw water out of natural reservoirs is also a great option to collect water that is prefiltered for sediment.

Now that you have water, and systems for collecting more, now we need to make use of it. One thing that we need to consider is your garden and animals. If you rely on running water to keep your garden moist, a great way to distribute water from storage is using a manual pump. You can also stack water barrels in a way that will allow gravity to do the work for you and feed through drip hoses.

To protect against excessive water usage, make sure your gardens, raised beds, and any other plants are well-insulated with mulch and/or groundcovers. Strawberries are an excellent groundcover that helps moisture stay in your soil, AND provide tasty treats throughout the year. Conserve water by making sure it isn't just evaporating out of exposed soil.

Now that you have systems in place, you have consistent access to water. Now is the time to share what you’ve learned and what you’ve made. Most people are capable of carrying water, but most people don’t have space to store water in bulk, inside or out. Work with your community to develop the roles everyone can play in securing water for all, and don’t just plan to hoard.
Back to blog

Leave a comment

Please note, comments need to be approved before they are published.