Water Storage Availability

Water storage or availability for up to 1 month.

Level 2 preparedness will be a bit more challenging in a few areas. One that could present some difficulty is the water category.

Water Availability For 1 Month

I titled this subheading using the word ‘availability’ rather than ‘water storage’. The reason I did this is because it becomes challenging to store enough water for a longer period of time beyond just several days or a week.

Reference: Prepping & Preparedness Level 1

The disaster or disruptive scenario under which you enter Level 2 will dictate to an extent your water options. A Level 2 disruption may be a ‘Katrina’ type event or similar whereby a large region is affected. On the other hand it could also be a local event whereby just you or your neighborhood is affected. The former scenario presents much greater challenges than the latter!

The way I see it, here are your water options:

– Faucet tap still running, so you’re okay.
– Drive out of the region to get it.
– Store LOTS of it.
– Find a source nearby.
– Rainwater collection.

Not all disaster or disruption scenarios will result in the stoppage of water flowing from your faucet. In fact lots of scenarios will leave water untouched. However it is prudent to plan for water disruption because it is one of the most crucial (and overlooked) aspects of survival and preparedness. 3 days without any liquids and you’ll likely end up horizontal.

Get a good water filter! This will enable you to safely drink from water sources other than your faucet (as long as the source is not chemically contaminated).

As a bare minimum recommendation in Level 1, please buy yourself (or save up for) a good quality water filter. I recommend the Berkey Countertop model. It will last a lifetime.

Big Berkey
5 Berkey Accessories For Your Countertop Filter

Drive Out of the Region to get water

When you run out of water storage, you could simply (maybe not so simply) drive out of the affected region to get more. There are problems with this however. Do you realize how much water you might need to last one month in your household? It could be staggering.

The Average Gallons Of Water People Consume Each Day

After you read the article above, you will see how water consumption adds up fast in a typical household. Now granted that during a major disruption event your consumption will be curtailed to an extent.

Probably won’t be running the dishwasher or washing machine for clothes like you used to. Similarly you won’t be showering/bathing like before. Conserving toilet flushes will help lots. Your typical consumption will drop quite a lot. That said, you will still need quite a lot…

How To Flush A Toilet Without Running Water

Bare minimum quantities of water storage will be 1 gallon per person per day for basic survival. Realistically double that, and even that will be exceedingly challenging!

Other additional uses for water will include toilet flushes and general washing (yourself, utensils, etc..). A modern toilet still requires about 2 gallons to flush.

So if you need to drive out of the region to get it, you will be loading up your vehicle for sure. And you will be returning again when you run out (again).

Note: How many others do you think will be emptying the store shelves of water? That’s right, lots of others! So plan on having to travel out a ways to find it.

Store Lots of Water

Yes you could store it. Lets figure it out for one month.

1 gallon/day/person plus 2 toilet flushes/day/person:

5 gallons/day
150 gallons/month
Wow! That’s three 55 gallon drums!

As you can see, it’s the toilet flushes that’s consuming most of the water. What I would recommend that you do is find a pond, river, stream, or lake nearby your home for a water source. Have a means to gather up enough water to take back home for flushing (buckets, water jugs, etc..). You may have to return every day to collect more. But you do what you have to do…

Regarding the toilet situation. It’s a no-brainer for us guys to #1 outside somewhere. It’s the gals, and that #2 issue for all of us…

For a Level 2 event, it is possible, although unlikely, that your municipal sewer system might back up. This will negate flushing in your home as it will be backing up. Chances are though that the system will still accept wastewater via gravity water flow, and generators will be running to keep treatment plants operational. But what if they’re not?

Well, you will be adapting and overcoming the situation. Say hello to the great outdoors. Hopefully it’s not winter and you have some woods around you… Dig a hole for multiple ‘uses’. A makeshift latrine or trench. Do your duty, cover it up with some dirt. Repeat.

Without having to store toilet flush water, you could get by with one 55 gallon drum of stored water per person per month.

A Nearby Water Source as your Water Storage

Ideally you will have a source of water near your home. The closer the better because water is heavy at about 8 pounds per gallon.

This was something on my prerequisite list when I was looking for our latest home and property. We did end up with a natural year round spring producing about 7 gallons per minute…

I suggest (if you don’t already know) that you look around your area for water sources. Look at a topographical map. There might be a stream you don’t know about. Look at Google Earth satellite view. You might discover a number of swimming pools around the neighborhood. While you might not use it for drinking it will be great for flushing and other such uses.

You will need a way to transport the water. Do you have water jugs? If your vehicle is not able to get directly to the source you will need something to help you transport it. A wagon of sorts?

The following water containers are manageable and stackable at 3.5 gallons each (about 28 pounds filled), Water Brick

I have a number of 55 gallon ‘food safe’ drums that I use for water storage. Augason Farms sells this kit: Augason Farms Emergency Water Supply Kit, 55 gallons

Rainwater Collection

It is remarkable how much water will come off your roof during a rain event. Or even a tarp! Here’s an article that discusses this concept:

Calculate Gallons Of Rainwater Collection From A Tarp


A 0.25″ rain event will yield 17 gallons from a 9 x 12 tarp.
A 0.25″ rain event will yield 174 gallons from a 28 x 40 roof footprint!

Apparently the most popular on AMZ,
Rain Wizard Rain Barrel 50 Gallon

There are lots of articles here on MSB having to do with water preparedness. Use the ‘Search MSB’ function at the top to find more.

When it comes to ANY level of preparedness, you should shore up your water plan first. We take it for granted. But we can’t live long without it.


LEVEL 1 – 4
Preparedness Level 1 – 4 OVERVIEW
Preparedness Level 1 OVERVIEW
Water & Food
72 Hour Kit
Kids & Pets
First Aid & Medical
Seasonal Considerations
Safety & Security
Consumable Supplies
Planning & Documentation
Preparedness Level 2 OVERVIEW
Water Storage & Availability
Water & Food
Electrical Grid Down For 2 – 4 Weeks
Security & Situational Awareness (Level 2 Preparedness)

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