The Do 1 Thing site won the Awareness to Action category of FEMA’s 2014 Individual and Community Preparedness Awards. It’s a 12-month program of small steps that you can take to increase your personal and household preparedness. Throughout 2015, DEM will feature Do 1 Thing items during our weekly blog post series of One Thing Wednesdays. Check back here every week for a new preparedness activity or tip!
Last week, we talked about storing water for emergencies and the minimum amount of water you’ll want in a disaster. If you don’t want to buy commercial bottled water, you also can save money and store your own with just a little effort.
Select the right containers: clear plastic bottles with tight-sealing caps. Milk jugs don’t make good water storage containers: they don’t seal well and water stored in them can sometimes develop a plastic taste. Only use bottles that originally had beverages in them (large plastic soft drink bottles work well). See last week’s post to determine how much water you should have for your household.
Before filling your bottles, sanitize them:
- Wash containers with dishwashing soap and rinse with water.
- Wash a solution of one teaspoon of liquid household chlorine bleach to one quart of water on all interior surfaces of the container.
- Let air dry for at least one minute.
If you get your water from a municipal water system, there is no need to disinfect tap water before sealing the bottle – unless you’re under a boil water advisory or you have reason to suspect that your water supply may be contaminated. If you get your water from a private well, you always should disinfect your tap water before bottling. To disinfect it, place six drops of bleach for each gallon of water, shake well, then let sit for 30 minutes.
Replace your water supply every six months if you bottle your own water. Always sanitize your bottles before refilling them. Store your water in a cool, dark place.