During an emergency, the water supply may be compromised or become contaminated. It is important to make sure you have enough water for everyone in your household for at least three days.
When storing water, consider using plastic containers such as soft drink bottles. Avoid using containers that will decompose or break, such as milk cartons or glass bottles. A normally active person needs to drink at least two quarts of water each day. Hot environments and intense physical activity can double that amount. Children, nursing mothers, and ill people will need more.
- Store one gallon of water per person per day (two quarts for drinking, two quarts for food preparation and sanitation use) in an easily-accessible, cool, dark place.
- Keep at least a three-day supply of water for each person in your household.
- Rotate your water supply every six months.
- Water should be stored in tightly sealed plastic containers labeled with the date they will expire (six months after storage).
- Keep a small bottle of unscented liquid bleach for purifying water.
If You Have Concerns About the Safety of Your Water Supply, Take These Precautions:
- Boil water for at least one minute at a rapid boil and let it cool before using.
- If boiling is not an option, add eight drops of unscented liquid bleach per gallon of water and shake or stir. Let it stand for 30 minutes before using. Only water that is clean in appearance and free of odor should be treated this way.
- To be safe, drink bottled water or juices.
If you exhaust your water supply, you can use the water in your hot water heater by straining it through paper towels or a clean cloth and treating it in one of the methods above.
For more information refer to Water Treatment from the American Red Cross.
Emergency management content on the Butte-Silver Bow website was developed drawing heavily from and updating the excellent resources offered on the Ready Illinois website produced by the Illinois Emergency Management Agency (IEMA) and partner organizations.