Basic Water Requirements for Survival
Water is essential for survival. The human body can continue to function for several weeks without food, but without water the average human would last only three or possibly four days. After one day without water, you and I would be incredibly uncomfortable and would begin to suffer severe limitations in our ability to function. For most people, one quart of water is the absolute bare minimum that is required for survival. That is drinking water only. And that means no activity and reasonably cool weather. Add some level of activity, say moderate, and some heat to the equation and suddenly two quarts is barely enough. If you have 1 gallon of water per adult for drinking, cooking, and some extremely limited washing (more like wiping yourself down occasionally) you could get by for an indefinite amount of time. With this in mind, when planning and preparing your water storage, it is vital to store at least 14 gallons of water per person in your household. This will give you two weeks worth of water. About enough time to identify an alternate source of water in the case of an extreme breakdown in society as we currently know it.
The easiest way to store water for 4 people for two weeks is to buy a food grade quality 55 gallon drum and fill it with water. In buying your water drum, get one of dark, opaque construction. It will keep your water in better condition for a longer period of time. Fill you drum with water and add about a quarter of a cup of bleach. I know, a lot of people don’t like the sound of this. For keeping water in drinking condition, it needs about 2 to 4 drops of water preservatives or bleach per quart. That equals about 1/4 cup of bleach for 55 gallons. Then seal your drum and leave it alone. Every six months or so, drain the whole drum and then refill it. Some people say you should do it every three months, others say a year is fine. I just refill mine every six months.
If you don’t want to go this route, you could also fill old bleach containers with water. For instance, Clorox containers are opaque and hold about a gallon of water. They probably have enough bleach in them so you don’t have to add any. Be careful when going this route. It is probably better to clean them out thoroughly and then start over. Remember, two to four drops of bleach for every quart–that means eight to sixteen drops for a gallon.
Do the math today. Take the number of people in your household and multiply it by 14. Whatever number you come up with is how many gallons of water you need for bare minimum survival for two weeks. If you are wise, you may double it and have a month’s worth of water. Go get your containers and get them full today. You never know when you will need them.
In a later post we will discuss what to do the minute disaster strikes to increase your water supply significantly.Tags: basic water needs, minimum water, water