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Water- The Key Essential to Preparedness

Water is the most important component of any preparedness program. A healthy adult can only live three to four days without drinking water. Water is the cheapest preparedness item to acquire and the easiest to store, it is also the most overlooked item when preparing for an emergency and one of the hardest to obtain in time of crisis. In case of a natural disaster; hurricane, earthquake, flood, etc., the water wagons are the first to arrive. Next comes food and warmth. That tells you the importance of drinking water. However, in the case of a large scale disaster only a fraction of communities that need water will get it.

Whether storing water for emergenies or have the need to bring along a portable water container for camping purposes, Safety Central carries the largest selection of water storage containers available. From one half quart bota bags to multi-gallon containers to canteens and water containers with wheels for easy portability. From disaster relief drinking water containers such as those used by FEMA and The Red Cross to portable water containers used by campers, hikers, hunters and most all outdoor adventurers. On this site you will find colored container such as green, blue, red and even clear that are collapsible for easy storage.

At we stock water drums, water barrels, and other water storage containers in sizes from 55 gallons, 30 gallon, 15 gallon and 5 gallon folding or rigid portable water storage containers and all the way down to emergency water ration pouches containing just a few ounces of purified drinking water. We also offer water pumps, and emergency distilled drinking water system, and other water storage accessories such as water barrel spigots, faucets and water treatment tablets and liquid drops in addition to water filters and water treatment chemicals. Reliance Camping water storage containers, collapsible container holds 5 gallons of water natural or clear, Built-in handle makes lifting easy. Great for camping or your emergency supply. Water barrels and drums are wonderful storage and shipping solutions. We offer plastic water containers in a large selection of both open and closed head drums in a variety of colors such as opaque, blue and clear. From water storage drums that are UN approved for shipping, stackable/nestable drums, to small portable water carriers, we have it all. We also offer accessories for your water storage drums such as liners, bung wrenches, faucets, "Spigots" siphon pump and water preserver treatment.

Be sure to find our small water storage containers such as our plastic "Poly" approved containers for emergency drinking water and our canteen water carrier out bota bag water jug and our water barrel drums for storing emergency drinking water. Our small containers have a built-in handle to carry your water easily. We sell the standard five gallon water containers and the 2.5 gallon water containers and the even smaller 1.5 gallon water carrier. Our small water containers include a easy 0n/off spigot. Nalgene Water Flexible Collapsible Water Bottles. Pocket Canteens, Fold A Carrier by Reliance, Reliance Fold-a-Carrier Water Container - Clear by Reliance

The easiest way to store the bulk of your water is in small portable 1.5 gallon, 2.5 gallon and 5 gallon polyethylene (plastic) water container. These can be obtained from the Safety Central online store. It is important that you use only food grade, good quality containers like the kind they sell. Most water containers come in 5 gallon, 15 gallon or 55 gallon water drum sizes. I always suggest that a family stores between two and six of these smaller containers along with their 55 gal. drums. This is a prudent suggestion in situations where you might need to transport water, in the normal course of events or in a situation where your normal water source might be disrupted, such as after an earthquake, hurricane, etc., and you might have to go to a secondary water source such as a water truck, stream, etc. to refill. Water weighs approximately 8 lbs. per gallon. Fifty- five gallon drums are much too heavy to handle (440 lbs.) and awkward. Smaller containers don't hold enough water and would require too many trips, especially if you have to go on foot. Five 15 gallon containers are more practical and can easily be put into a wheelbarrow or child's wagon and wheeled to and from an area.

Studies show that if water is bacteria-free and is stored in new clean containers it will stay safe for several years. It is a good idea, however, to periodically check your water for purity and taste. And every few years it's a good idea to change it. One of the things that affects the taste of water is it "going flat". This occurs because of the oxidation that takes place as it sits. You can improve the taste by pouring the water back and fourth between containers to aerate it or by beating it with a hand egg beater. You also may want to store some flavorings such as fruit drink powders, kool-aid, etc. to add to your water if you find the taste objectionable. One of the other benefits of Ion is the oxygen remains suspended maintaining its good taste for much longer periods of time.

Storing water can be a problem if it is not done properly and not in the proper containers. Not all containers are safe for water storage. Collapsible Water storage containers are constructed of an advanced FDA approved, food-grade material. Many other containers will leach chemicals and other undesirables into your water supply which may contaminate it or affect it's taste and/or smell. Most authorities recommend storing at least two to five gallons of water per person, per day, for drinking, cooking, food preparation, sanitation, etc. when preparing for an emergency. The purity of the water in your water storage container is only as good as the water you put into it. Be sure to fill your Aqua container with clean, potable water to keep stored water contaminant-free. Your body needs water much greater than it needs food. A person can survive without food for a week or longer, but without water, after only a few days, one can be faced with serious, life-threatening problems. Virtually every bodily function requires water. As you may know, many people and counties' water supplies have been contaminated by recent natural disasters (such as hurricane Katrina) and are often without clean water for quite some time. water storage containers help you be prepared for the unexpected.

If an earthquake, hurricane, winter storm or other disaster strikes your community, you might not have access to clean potable drinking water and electricity for days, or even weeks. By taking some time now to store emergency water supplies in Collapsible portable containers, you can provide fresh water for your entire family.

Having an ample supply of safe, clean water is a top priority in an emergency. A normally active person needs to drink at least two quarts of water each day. Hot environments can double that amount. Children, nursing mothers and ill people will need even more. You will also need water for food preparation and hygiene. Store a total of at least one gallon per person, per day in a plastic approved portable water container. You should store at least a two-week supply of water for each member of your family.

If supplies run low, never ration water from your approved portable water container. Drink the amount you need today, and try to find more for tomorrow. You can minimize the amount of water your body needs by reducing activity and staying cool.

Amount of Water to Store
Whereas a quart of water or other fluid daily will sustain life, according to the Department of Defense and the Office of Civil Defense, it is recommended that a gallon of water per day per person be stored for food preparation and drinking. A gallon provides added comfort and accommodates increased fluid needs at higher altitudes or warm climates. An additional one-half to 1 gallon per day is recommended for bathing and hygiene, and to wash dishes.

How much water should I store? The rule of thumb is to store at least one gallon per person per day for at least 3 days (for earthquake preparedness). That's 2 quarts for drinking and 2 quarts for food preparation and sanitation. A family of four should store a minimum of 12 gallons of water in approved portable water container. Personally, I recommend at least a 10 day supply of water and a 30 day supply if it all possible.

Use the following guidelines when storing water:

1. Store drinking water in carefully cleaned, non-corrosive, tightly covered containers.

2. Store the approved portable water container in a cool dark place. DO NOT store in direct sunlight. Polyethylene plastics (prepackaged milk and water bottles) are somewhat permeable to hydrocarbon vapors. Keep away from stored gasoline, kerosene, pesticides, or similar substances.

3. Stored tap water in approved portable water container should be rotated every 6 months. Prepackaged bottled water should be rotated once a year. Check the pull date on the container. Be sure it didn't sit on the store's shelf for a year before you purchased it. Self Serve Bottled Water should be rotated once a year, as long as the water treatment process includes ozonation.

4. Rotate your stored water with the water you use on a regular basis. This practice helps insure you don't have water stored longer than one year.

Containers That Can be Used for Water Storage
Food-grade approved portable water container or glass containers are suitable for storing water. One-, three- and five-gallon water containers can be purchased from Any plastic or glass container that previously held food or beverages such as 2-liter soda bottles or water, juice, punch or milk jugs, also may be used. Stainless steel can be used to store water which has not been or will not be treated with chlorine; chlorine is corrosive to most metals.

55 gal drums, designed specifically for water storage can be difficult to transport, if the need arises, but are of a tremendous value in an emergency .When looking for additional food grade containers, the bottom will be stamped with HDPE (High Density PolyEthylene) and coded with the recycle symbol inside. HDPE containers are FDA-approved for food. Containers without these designations aren't OK because of possible chemical interactions between the water and the plastic. You should purchase new approved portable water containers from

Clean used containers and lids with hot soapy water. Once the containers have been thoroughly cleaned, rinse them with water and sanitize the containers and lids by rinsing them with a solution of 1 tablespoon chlorine bleach per gallon of water. Leave the containers wet for two minutes, then rinse them again with water. Remember to remove the paper or plastic lid liners before washing the lids. It is very difficult to effectively remove all residue from many containers, so carefully clean hard-to-reach places like the handles of milk jugs. To sanitize stainless steel containers, place the container in boiling water for 10 minutes. Never use containers that previously held chemicals.

Do I Need to Treat Water?
Once you properly clean containers, fill them with potable, or safe, drinking water. All public water supplies are already treated and should be free of harmful bacteria. However, as an additional precaution, it is recommended that you add 5-7 drops, about 1/8 teaspoon, of chlorine bleach per gallon of water stored. This precaution protects you against any lingering organisms in storage containers that may have been inadvertently missed during the cleaning process.

Where to Store Water
Clearly label all water containers drinking water with the current date. Store the water in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight and heat sources. Do not store it near gasoline, kerosene, pesticides or similar substances.

When potable water is properly stored, it should have an indefinite shelf life; however, it a good idea to use and replace the stored water every 6 - 12 months. Rotating water this way provides you with an opportunity to experiment and check the amount of stored water against what you require. It also serves as an additional precaution against bacteria or viruses growing in containers which may not have been thoroughly or properly cleaned and sanitized.

If you have freezer space, storing some water in the freezer is a good idea. If you lose electricity, the frozen water will help keep foods in your freezer frozen until the power is restored. Make sure you leave 2 to 3 inches of space in containers because water expands as it freezes. Collapsible Water storage container.

Emergency Sources of Water
In an emergency, if you have not previously stored water and commercial or public sources of water are not available, drain water from your plumbing system. Unless you are advised that the public water supply has been contaminated and is not safe, open the drain valve at the bottom of the water heater and salvage the water stored in the heater. A typical water heater holds 30-60 gallons of water. Discard the first few gallons if they contain rust or sediment. Let the water heater cool before draining it from the heater so it does not scald you. Turn off the electricity or gas to the water heater to prevent the heater from operating without water. Once water has been drained into clean, sanitized containers, add 5-7 drops of chlorine bleach* per gallon of water, and stir or shake the solution to mix it. Let it set 30 minutes before use.

Emergency Outdoor Water Sources
If you need to find water outside your home, you can use these sources.

Be sure to treat the water first. Additional sources include:

Rainwater Streams, rivers and other moving bodies of water Ponds and lakes Natural springs. Avoid water with floating material, an odor or dark color. Use saltwater only if you distill it first. You should not drink flood water.

Hidden Water Sources in Your Home
If a disaster catches you without a stored supply of clean water, you can use the water in your hot-water tank, pipes and ice cubes. As a last resort, you can use water in the reservoir tank of your toilet (not the bowl).

Do you know the location of your incoming water valve? You'll need to shut it off to stop contaminated water from entering your home if you hear reports of broken water or sewage lines.

To use the water in your pipes, let air into the plumbing by turning on the faucet in your house at the highest level. A small amount of water will trickle out. Then obtain water from the lowest faucet in the house.

To use the water in your hot-water tank, be sure the electricity or gas is off, and open the drain at the bottom of the tank. Start the water flowing by turning off the water intake valve and turning on a hot-water faucet. Do not turn on the gas or electricity when the tank is empty.

Using Swimming Pool Water
You should always view your pool as backup water; keep the water treated; you never know when it will be needed! The maintenance of the free chlorine residual will prevent establishment of any microorganisms. The maintenance level should be kept about 3-5ppm free chlorine. (See Water Purification for detailed information on purifying pool water.) If other stored water stocks are not available, remove the necessary pool water and boil it or just treat with chlorine to the normal 5ppm. It is best to err on the side of caution.

Covering the pool at all times when not in use is a very good idea. Try to keep the cover clean and wash the area you put it on when removing it from the pool.

When and How to Treat Water for Storage
In an emergency, if you do not have water that you know is safe, it's possible to purify water for drinking. Start with the cleanest water you can find and treat with one of the following methods:

Boiling and chlorinating: Water can be purified by boiling. Boiling times may vary from state to state, depending on altitude. Water is safe to use once after it has been boiled for three to five minutes and has cooled. If you plan to store boiled water, pour it into clean, sanitized containers and let it cool to room temperature. Then add 5-7 drops, or 1/8 teaspoon, of chlorine bleach* per gallon of water (1/2 teaspoon per 5 gallons). Stir or shake the solution to mix it. Cap the containers and store them in a cool, dry place.

Filtering and chlorinating: You can filter water if you have a commercial or backpack filter that filters to 1 micron. These are available in sporting good stores and are recommended for use when back-packing. They are not recommended to clean large volumes of water. Filtering eliminates parasites such as giardia and cryptosporidium, but it may not eliminate all bacteria and viruses. Therefore, it's recommended that 5-7 drops (1/8 teaspoon) of chlorine bleach* be added per gallon of filtered water (1/2 teaspoon for 5 gallons). Stir or shake the solution to mix it. Wait 30 minutes before using the water, or cap the containers and store them in a cool, dry place. *Use liquid household bleach that contains 5.25 percent hypochlorite. Do not use bleaches with fresheners or scents as they may not be safe to consume. The above treatment methods use a two-step approach so less bleach is needed, yet giardia and cryptosporidium are destroyed through boiling or eliminated by filtering. Chlorine may not be effective against these parasites. Since adding too much chlorine to water can be harmful, it's important to be as accurate as possible when measuring.

Distillation Distillation involves boiling water and then collecting the vapor that condenses back to water. The condensed vapor will not include salt and other impurities. To distill, fill a pot halfway with water. Tie a cup to the handle on the pot's lid so that the cup will hang right-side-up when the lid is upside-down (make sure the cup is not dangling into the water) and boil the water for 20 minutes. The water that drips from the lid into the cup is distilled.

Most water filtration devices are designed for use on microbiologically safe water. Don't assume they are safe to use on contaminated water. Check with the manufacturer to be sure.

Get life-sustaining, potable water when you need it! Renown for its compact, space-saving folding portable water containers and their innate ruggedness, has achieved a solid reputation as the preferred water container supplier to government and private sector relief agency personnel. The Standard folding or Collapsible 5 Gallon water container and a folding 2.5 gallon water container easily stores on a shelf or is free-standing and can dispense stored drinking through an included tap "Spigot". Our 5 Gallon water container features cap along with a Quick Serve Tap attached screwcap opening. Containers That Can be Used for Water Storage. Storing and Treating Emergency Home Water Supplies.

Nalgene Cantene - 32 oz. Nalgene Cantene - 32 oz. Wide-mouth flexible container, nalgene water bottles. The original 32oz Nalgene water bottle is still the best, and still number one. This is the bottle that got it all started. Made of super-tough Polycarbonate, with an attached loop-top cap that won't come loose. The large opening easily accommodates ice cubes, fits most water purifiers and filters, and makes hand-washing a breeze. Dishwasher safe. Withstands temperatures from -135C (-211F) to135C (275F).Extremely durable Resistant to staining Resistant to retaining odors Recommended for "extreme" adventures and everyday use Dishwasher Safe (top rack only) Withstands temperatures from -135C (-211F) to 135C (275F)

5 and 6 Gallon Jerry Can Water Container and water carrier
No matter where you are or what you're doing, fresh, clean water is always a necessity. Jerry Can Water Containers are just the ticket, lightweight and super tough so you'll have water wherever you go. With a capacity of 5 or 6 U.S. gallons, these Jerry cans water carriers feature a single carrying handle and screw top cap that stays securely in the closed position. The small spout on the Jerry can water container makes it easier to fill water bottles, and a vent provides great airflow for easy pouring. Water storage Jerry cans feature seamless all-plastic construction. They're tough, lightweight, permanently colored and will never rust. Manufactured from food-grade materials, they will not add taste, odor, or any chemicals to the water.

A Jerry can water carrier is an essential item to carry when venturing off-road and into the wilderness. Be sure to purchase the jerry can water carrier jeep mount base. Store fresh water for all your outback adventures with our 5 and 6 gallon jerry can water containers.

Buy Collapsible Water storage containers from Safety Central for all of your water storage needs. A folding water jug or container with a carry handle is an essential item to have on-hand for emergency preparedness, camping, weekend park outings, boating, fishing and hunting trips. Water drums, water barrels, water rations and poly water storage container. Non-Leaching Polycarbonate Bottles. Expandable Water Container, 5 gallon collapsible water containers, Reliance Fold-a-Carrier Water Container - Blue, Aqua-tainer, Reliance Aqua-Lux Water Container by Reliance, Fold A Carrier by Reliance. polyethylene collapsible water carrier with convenient top handle and back grip for ease in carrying and pouring. Gallon size drinking water containers with handle for use to store purified water. Emergency purification concentrate for treating large amounts of water for emergency storage. To be used with a 55 gallon water storage barrel. emergency drinking water boxes. Bung Wrench for Cap Seal removal on 55 Gallon water storage barrel. Blue 55 Gallon Water Storage Barrel. Coleman 5 Gallon Water Carrier. PolyCarbon Water Bottle.

Drink when thirsty! That's the rule of thumb for any survival situation. Ration sweat not water! Carrying and storing your own water for drinking is the surest way to be able to drink when thirsty. These drums and carriers allow you to store and take along a water bottle or water barrel. take along enough water when Camping to Supply all camp needs. Roll up and fold up or collapsible water bag. Collapsible Water Camp bucket. A small camp bucket for transporting water from the river to your campground. We also sell western canteen and the ever popular poly-carbonate orange fire service. Look for our large selection of outdoor deluxe western canteens with a shoulder strap for easy carrying. For centuries outdoor adventurers have carried a canteen that they were able to refill in a stream. like the US GI Water Canteen and the insulated Sport Canteen. 1, 2 ,3, 4 Quart Aluminum Water Canteen for camping. Camping and hiking canteens, Oasis Deluxe Canteen, Oilcamp Flasks, Bota Water Bag. The water canteen is used to carry drinking water. GI style military Collapsible bladder canteen, Collapsible Water Canteen and US GI plastic water canteen with insulated cover attaches to belt. The Platypus Platy Bottle is a portable fluid container that's perfect for backpacking or travel. Nalgene wide mouth water bottle or the large Nalgene Lexan Wide Mouth Water Bottle.

Plastics that are safe to use for storing water

Polypropylene, designated "#5 PP".
High-density polyethylene, designated "#2HDPE".
Low-density polyethylene, designated "#4 LDPE".
Use containers that are made from safe plastic. These can be found at