Safe water is absolutely essential for survival. You can live several weeks without food, but only three days without water. Drinking contaminated water can result in serious illnesses such as dengue fever, gastroenteritis, cholera, typhoid, hepatitis, and dysentery to name a few.
We live in a country where safe drinking water is abundant. In the event of a disaster that clean water supply may be suddenly disrupted. Surface water will likely become contaminated. Diseases from contaminated drinking water frequently kills more people than the initial disaster.
Providing safe drinking water for your family is one of the most important preparedness steps and fortunately the least expensive. However, storing water can take up a tremendous amount of space. If space is limited you will need to get a little creative. We recommend that you store at least a two week supply for your family and more if you are able. One gallon per person per day is the minimum. Two quarts for drinking and two quarts for food preparation and hygiene.
Many people may need to drink more than one-half gallon each day depending on their age, physical activity, physical condition, and the time of year. Do not ration water unless absolutely necessary. You can reduce the amount you need by limiting activity and staying cool. Under no circumstances should a person drink less than one quart each day. Drink what you need today and find more tomorrow. Watch for symptoms of dehydration which may include some or all of the following: headache, extreme thirst, dry mouth, little or no urine, urine that is darker than usual, sleepiness/fatigue, feeling dizzy or lightheaded.
Drink from safe sources first. If the water source is suspicious (cloudy water from regular faucets, rivers, lakes) purify the water before drinking, washing dishes, brushing teeth, washing and preparing food, or making ice. If it is not possible to purify the water, put off drinking it as long as possible, but DO NOT become dehydrated.
We challenge you to learn how to correctly store water, how to find different water sources, and how to make water safe to drink. Then store enough water and purchase the tools that you need to provide your family with clean, safe drinking water. It just might save their lives someday.