What do we need to survive? Food & water are at the top of that list. Water is crucial to our survival and that makes it super important to have resources on hand in case of an emergency. What you keep on hand is going to be largely based on what you have available to you and how many mouths you are trying to get water to. The good part is there are a lot of ways to prepare water! Some of them are very cheap and others might be more of an investment. Prepping your emergency water supply can change the outcome of a life or death situation.
Manual Well Pump
There are really cool conversion kits that you can get to make sure that your well will work even if there is no power. The cost is dependent on how deep your well is so you’ll need to do your research to find out what that looks like for you. They are definitely the most expensive of the methods we will discuss today. We haven’t personally gotten this far into our emergency prepping. I have heard wonderful things about Bison pumps and apocalypse well pumps as well. Thankfully we have running water by us so this falls a little lower on the priority list. We are definitely looking into getting a Bison pump when the time is right for us to do so.
Gravity Water Filters
The Berkey water filter is one of the more preferred versions of water filters to have on hand. The big draw is that it doesn’t require any sort of electricity. It’s completely non-toxic and is guaranteed to get all the particles or debris out of your water. The big thing to remember here is that although you may still have water coming to your house that water could somehow become contaminated. Have you ever seen a boil water notice? They advise boiling to remove contaminates so this is highly possible. To be honest, I recommend you have some sort of water filter for daily use as well and this is one of the very best options. If you do opt for the Berkey make sure that you have back up filters in your emergency prep supplies as well.
Bag Gravity Filter
This is a little more primitive version of the gravity fed water filter. I wouldn’t mind the Berkey being on my counter every single day but this type of system is not meant for that. For one, you have to actually hang it up to get the gravity portion of it to work. Katadyn is a high end brand, but they do make a lot of these that are non-name brand options which is what we purchased. I got it on ebay for $25 and I think Amazon had one for $35. We have a small stream by our house so it wouldn’t be difficult to refill this often for us. If you don’t have water near you, you might want to opt for a bigger system like the Berkey.
I will mention a brand here because this Therasage Pitcher is the one that I personally use. It makes water taste so amazing! It’s a more expensive option than just the Brita water pitchers at the store because it filters more out. Those Britas are still an option if you aren’t looking to spend a lot of money. Remember if push comes to shove you will be thankful that you have any sort of filter. We currently use an under the sink option for daily use but I still keep this with some back up filters in my basement. At minimum- I would recommend that you have some sort of larger filter like a pitcher so you can make sure you have enough water to drink.
The Life Straws are designed for true emergency and wilderness use. Someone who is camping off grid might use one of these to filter their water. If it gives you any sort of indication of the anticipated use they have a man laying down drinking water through the straw directly out of the river. I imagine, if we have to use these, it will be because we are getting water from some wild water source. These are perfect if you are one of the people who is going to bug out if SHTF because they are lightweight and small enough to put in a backpack. It might not be feasible to carry a Berkey around but you can carry these. It’s best to keep at least one on hand for each member of your family.
Filtered Water Bottle
I’m not recommending a brand here because I don’t have experience to be able to do so! This is one of the things that we don’t currently have on hand. *adds to cart* I do see that Lifestraw has some great options for water bottles that filter. They come in all different shapes and sizes and it has the same great filter as the straw. Another good brand that I’m seeing is GRAYL. These are the higher end version of the water bottles and will be a larger investment if you opt for this route. Either way you go, make sure you buy extra filters so that you can replace them when needed.
Stored Gallons and Bottles
The easiest way to prepare water for emergencies is to store extra gallons and water bottles. These are super simple to pick up at the store and guarantee that you will have clean water without the filter. These are especially important if you don’t live near an area with water. An emergency could make roads impassable so it would be important to have something in your very own home. This is one of the cheapest and most quick ways that you can get water prepared.
There are different levels of storage containers that you can keep on hand to help. Again, this is going to be largely based on how accessible water is to you and how much space you have to keep things on hand.
As a kid, I remember before a big storm my dad would drag out these big barrels and let them fill up with water from the rain. If we needed to flush the toilet and the power was out we’d grab a bucket of water out of the barrel to be able to refill the toilet. This water could be brought in by the bucket for you to put in your filter of choice. There are some systems that have a barrel that filters the water for you but I think it’s important to note that these require diligent upkeep to make sure that the barrel doesn’t get bacteria in it. If you have room for one, this is a great resource to keep on hand.
There are larger plastic (box-like) containers that you can keep on hand. The important thing about these is that they are smaller and will hold smaller quantities of water. If you don’t have the space to store an entire barrel or two, these are a great option. They store less water but no matter what system you are looking at you will need to think of a way to refill whatever it is that you have depending on how long the emergency lasts.
We opted for these because they take up the least amount of space. They are basically bags that fold up when not in use to save space. When needed you can fill them up with water to use. They come in a ton of different sizes, too. There are bags as big as your bathtub and others that are purse sized. I love that you can personalize them as needed for your situation.
Water Purification Tablets/Kits
The last form of emergency water supply that I want to mention is water purification tablets or kits. There are emergency kits out there that teach you how to make your bathtub water drinkable. One of the pieces of advice that is given before a hurricane is to fill your bathtub with water. This kit would make that water useable for more than just washing. There are also little bottles of purification tablets that you can find right on Amazon and they are super cheap and easy to stock up on.
In Summary: Emergency Water Supply
The best thing about water is there are a lot of paths to the end goal. I would recommend that you have multiple methods on hand because we just don’t know what type of situation we are going to be in. If there’s a major storm outside I can’t count on being able to get to the stream for water, I need to have it in my house. If the electricity is out I can’t rely on my under the sink water filter system. Thankfully some of these are fairly cheap to get and worth having sitting around just in case. What does your water system look like? Are you prepared for an emergency? We’d love to hear if you are using methods that we haven’t mentioned above!