Do You Have A SHTF Water Plan?


The thing about water that most of us already know, but many ignore… You can’t live long without it! In fact, water will rapidly become a #1 concern following SHTF disaster.

Water Is SHTF Concern #1

Many or most people overlook the importance of water. Why? By making the assumption that water will always flow from the faucet. It is taken for granted. Plus, depending on where you live, water may appear readily accessible from lakes and streams which may be around.

There are several issues to consider though:

No Electricity

A major SHTF disaster will likely coincide with a loss of electricity. Not everyone associates the fact that most all flowing tap-water is dependent upon electricity (pumps). For nearly every home, you cannot have one without the other (water & electricity).

Pumps are required to move the water around the utility system’s infrastructure. These pumps supply the pressure necessary to ultimately ‘push’ it out of your faucet. There are some locations and systems that are gravity fed, but in most of these cases a pump is still required to move the water up into a big holding tank. When the power goes out, the system pressure will begin to reduce until there is no more – which could happen fairly quickly as people continue to consume the water in their homes.

Caveat: Municipal systems have backup generators for their pumps. Obviously the issue there is resupply of fuel AND generator functionality. Also, obviously, if you’re on a well – a generator will keep it going – until you run out of fuel…

Logistics Of Getting Water From Other Sources

People also tend to put the water issue out of their minds because they believe that if their faucets run dry, they could simply collect water from a nearby source – perhaps one that they pass every day in their travels like a pond, lake or stream.

There are several problems with this. One is that water is HEAVY, and weighs about 8 pounds per gallon! Another problem is transportation and the containment vessels to be used to collect and transport the water from the source to the home. How will the water be collected and moved?

Plus, once you have obtained the water, where and how will you store it at home? And do you have the means to purify it for safe drinking? If you will be relying on boiling the water, how long will your fuel last? Do you have a quality water filter capable of purifying many, many gallons over a period of time?

Without solutions to these problems put in place ahead of time, you might not be able to procure the water that you need, which may force you out of your home…

Storing Your Water

At a minimum, you should have some amount of stored water for use in case you need it. Surprisingly, I believe that many people do not have any more than a case of ‘water bottles’ at home. I wonder how long that will last? You might consider storing some water in bulk. There are a variety of ways to do so.

You could store many cases of bottled water, and/or you might choose to purchase larger water storage containers such as this one, 7 Gallon Rigid Water Container, which would weigh a bit north of 50 pounds each when full. Here’s a 5 Gallon water jug which might be a bit easier to manage.

You might consider stack-able water jugs.

You might also consider storing water in larger containers such as large water barrels (55 gallon, etc..). An issue to consider will be the weight, and the structural support of the floor that the drums will rest on. 55 gallons will weighs more than 400 pounds…

Also remember this… your hot water tank contains drinkable water. You may have 30 to 50 gallons of water readily available there. All you would need to do is open the drain valve for the water to pour out at the bottom of the tank. Caution though… these valves tend to become “stuck” over the years – and may not close properly after you’ve opened it (would need to replace it).

If the power goes out and you suspect it might be “long term”, you might proactively fill your tub with water. A bathtub can hold a-lot of water (between 40 and 60 gallons). You should not drink the water that you’ve saved in the bathtub without purifying it first. There are water bladders for bathtubs that will fit in your tub and will help protect and maintain water purity.

In addition to filling the bathtub you might also fill any other water vessels that you may have on hand – buckets, pails etc..

What If Your Water Storage Runs Out?

Having a water supply storage at home is one thing, but a problem is ‘what if’ it runs out (and it will if the disaster runs on long enough)? You will need a backup plan to procure more water.

If you are fortunate enough to have water nearby, you will need a way to get there and back, and buckets to scoop and transport the water. Consider having a wagon or cart to help transport buckets of water from a nearby source.

You might also choose to install a rainwater collection system to capture the rain that falls on your roof. It is stunning as to the amount of water that you could capture. For every inch of rainfall there will be 0.623 gallons of water falling on every square foot of roof surface area. If your roof measures 50×30 feet, you will capture more than 900 gallons of water per inch of rainfall!! There are rain gutter adapters available to divert water into storage barrels.

The same principle applies if using a plastic tarp, which you may set up on four poles and puncture a hole in the middle which drains into a barrel, or whatever. A 9×12 tarp will capture more than 60 gallons of water per inch of rainfall!

Always remember to filter / purify your water before drinking it. This can be accomplished by boiling it for at least one minute. And/or you might consider a quality drinking water filter:

Berkey Water Filter
(from USA Berkey Filters – the best on the planet…)

Having a natural source of water on your property is a HUGE asset. The further away you must travel to obtain water, the more difficult it will be during a post-SHTF collapse. Think about it…

[ Read: The Average Gallons Of Water People Consume Each Day ]

[ Read: How Many Gallons Can You Get From Rainwater Collection? ]


  1. Yes, I have a Berkey, and store lots of water. Got barrels of water, got 5 gal jugs, got lots of one gal jugs. I also have rain barrels. I can resupply from near by bayou. I have enough water to last for months.

  2. Remember to flush your water heater yearly to remove the sediment. Won’t kill you, but will taste better without.
    I like the Sawyer purifiers and filters.

  3. I think most people have no clue exactly how much water they use.
    We are out in the toolies so is a bit different, but in the heavily developed areas, whenever there is a tsunsmi warning or a hurricane warning and a strike is imminent the county shuts down their system because it is in the inundation zone, supposedly do it to prevent the sewer from overflowing, sounds like fun

    1. People believe the “gallon a day ” quote that most sites talk about but that’s not even going to come close. I used to store about 100 gallons till we had the water shut off one day that turned into 3. Even not washing cloths or using large amounts to re hydrate veggies or cook rice and beans the family of three went through closer to 3 gallons a day per person. I now store more like 600 gallons and have a rain catchment system also. I can’t even imagine how much we would have used if I had been watering the garden ect

      1. Yep,,,
        Simple stuff like washing dishes, washing rice, cooking pasta or steaming something.
        It goes quick,
        Has been a concern of mine since before we started doing this.

    2. Kula, don’t forget the great unwashed that flock to Costco or
      any other market to stock up on multiple cases of sodium and/or
      drug laden bottled water, just in time at the slightest hit of an
      emergency. “JIT” might just be “just to late.”

  4. I have a well, two a year round spring fed streams that runs through my property, a water capture system that collects rain water from my roof and stores it in a 325 gal. tote. I also keep several blue 55 gal water barrels filled and treated with aquamira.

    I would like to get a solar powered 12volt pump for the well so I wouldn’t have to rely on a generator to run the pump. Also I have another mountain spring that forms when the water table rises in the winter and early spring and producing pure clean water at around 10 gpm.

    1. Romeo Charlie,
      I ended up with an Aquatech 12vdc pump for my deep well. Only 1-2 gpm. The upside is no battery bank is required. When there is enough sun, it pumps. Not enough sun, it doesn’t pump. Requires (2) 100 watt panels. Can be wired to 12vdc or 24vdc. This set-up does need smaller piping (1/2 ” pex) with a check valve, halfway to the top of the ground.

      There are several brands to choose from. Most are low volume. Once it’s at ground level, another 12vdc booster pump could be added for pressure. Lots of options. Well worth a look, IMHO.

      1. Plainsmedic,
        Many thanks for the info. 1-2gpm would be sufficient as this would be primarily used for drinking water and the lift would be about 75-100 ft. I guess I could connect the panels to a battery bank for those overcast days especially in winter. I always appreciate getting recommendations from folks that have first hand knowledge and experience with products before I buy them.

        1. plainsmedic/Romeo Charlie,
          I worked on a couple of houses in Texas with low flo wells. They built a concrete cistern that held 3-400 gallons and built a shed around it . The well would flow in it and kept it fairly full so they could take showers/do laundry. They would just have to let it recover after heavy usage. They had a shut off valve similar to a toilet so it wouldn’t overflow the cistern and waste water.
          The same type of system would work with the 12vdc pump. You could build up a reserve for those cloudy days…

        2. Bill Jenkins Horse, Romeo Charlie,
          Yep, everyone’s situation will have it’s own needs and solutions.

  5. I have a water catchment system, but it was designed and intended to care for 3 people. For 2 people that water can easily last for a couple months if used carefully. For 8, at 5 gallons per person per day, less than a month. Even adding in the 75 gallon hot water heater, less than a month. Including our water bottle storage, less than a month.

    I have the Berkey and extra filters, pre-filters, and fuel to boil water if necessary, but we would be running out of water within a few weeks.

    The city uses gravity fed water, so I would probably have time to fill the water-bob and fill up the tanks to max capacity, but still…This area has no flowing water within half a mile, and even there it’s seasonal.

    Prepare for more people than you expect to be there. System redundancies, multiple sources. I planned for 2-3 adults, who know how to conserve and reuse a non-renewable resource. Now there are four kids who fill up the tub to the top, then let the water run out while they run the faucet so the water will stay warm. Run the water for five minutes to fill a water-bottle, and leave the faucet on the outside water tanks open so the tanks drain.

    Right now that’s just an irritation. In a true disaster, it could be a death sentence.

    1. My parents grew up during the depression. Both did not have indoor plumbing. My father explained that on bath day his mother would bring out the silver tub and heat water in a kettle and pots on the coal stove. She would pour the water into the tub and all the kids would get a turn at getting a bath. The youngest went first and he, being the oldest, would go last. He pleaded with the younger siblings not to pee in the water. When it was his turn, you can imagine the state of the water that he took a bath in. Different times indeed!

    2. Lauren, train them now. Don’t let them abuse water. When my grands some to stay with us they have learned how we do things and readily comply once they learned what was necessary. At their mom’s house, they respond differently. My house, my rules. It is important to learn not to waste water.

    3. -Lauren,
      Can you work out some way to be ‘out’ of water and make the kids responsible for getting the water they want? I remember running the water tower out of water at my grandparent’s house at about age 12 or thirteen. I also remember having to climb the windmill and turn the fan so there would be water for supper that night! Never ever ran the tower out again, LOL!

      – Papa S.

      1. On a different “resource,” but the portable phone was out for a few days and they suddenly discovered the wall phone! Quite amusing. And when the dishwasher was out (Still don’t know what was wrong with it, I pulled it apart and when I put it back together it worked) they learned to *gasp* do dishes by hand! Complained right down the line, but still funny.

        Not sure I could manage something like that on water. I just need to continue to talk to them when they waste it.

  6. “Water, Water everywhere na not a drop to drink”

    A few years back it was amazing the reaction of people when the EPA decided to turn the local river orange.
    People went absolutely crazy, even worse than the current C-19 craziness.
    A quick example, I spoted a man and two buddies completely filling 3 pu-trucks, so being the nut case I am, I wonder over and ask him where he lived, obviously he was buying for himself, “over in XYZ, I simply asked him “do you realize your water comes from a different river….right?” The look on his face was priceless, NOT a clue.
    Just walked away.

    Back to the Article,
    1. Get a Fliter, a good one.
    2. Store “gray water” for flushing the Toilet, AND know how without wasting a LOT of water.
    3. STOP washing dishes, use paper
    4. Learn how to bathe in a bucket.
    5. Store up 100 gallons of water per person per month.
    6. Practice limited water usage, try a week on 3 gallons a day.

    Good reminder Ken, thanks

    1. Should have added, those 3 guys and pu trucks, they were at Safeway filling up wity Bottled Water.

    2. NRP
      Yeah, that was bad. Our annual off-road adventure takes us right by the mine that got “fixed.” What a mess! Locals know not to eat the trout that comes from the streams in that area even before the spill. A good water filter is #1 on my list, too.

  7. We have Dalton water filters (5 gals each)…I say plural because of the ole one is none adage. Bought for each of our city kids households as well. They are on public systems, we are on a well. Keep additional water stored on property as well. Have generators for back up power. Ready as can be.

  8. I’ve got a fairly large pond, but I’d have to filter out the ‘Gators’ first !

    1. Deep South,
      Perhaps you have a protein source in your pond .Grilled gator,maybe.

      1. Every body of fresh water in Florida has at least one gator in it. If you find one without, wait a day. Gators get out at night and walk to the next pond in search of more fish and things, so just consider every pond has a gator. Just before I moved to Florida for the second time, they captured a gator which was 18 FEET long, less than a mile from my home. It must have eaten the horses and cattle from the local area.

        Monsters are real.

        1. – Years ago in Louisiana, guy that lived across the street from me in military housing bought a house and land. Asked us out (wanted me to help rebuild his dock in about 1 1/2 acre pond that was falling in) to look around. When he told me the previous owner had had livestock, I noted that the edge of the tank was all grown up in weeds. Just had trails down to the water. We walked around the whole thing, and I asked him where the stump was for the log out in the middle of the water. Just as we were looking at it, it blinked.
          “Stay here and keep an eye on it, while I go get the 20 gauge!” one punkin ball and a lot of work later, we had a 6′ gator ready for the kitchen. That night we enjoyed fried “poached” gator tail!

          – Papa S.

  9. We have 200 gal in barrels that would need to be purified and 50 gal potable in bottles. We have a water bed full that we don’t sleep in any more. We also have barrels on the gutters to catch rain water. If these run out there is a river about a mile away but yes it would be a real pain in the butt to haul water that far without a truck.

    1. You might think about getting a nice wagon, like a really good kids wagon, to pull for hauling water from the natural source. I guess you could even modify a wagon for your particular terrain, changing its tires…or seeing if a bike can be used…say with 15 gears.

      Here in Florida, water is never a problem… I am walking distance to drinkable water from springs, which have run constantly for the last 15k years. Besides, during the summer…it rains almost every day. In the winter, about once every week. It is green here all year long.

  10. We live on a year round creek. The house is 150′ from the creek.After we bought and moved in we found a good spring in the brush.PTL.
    We store 150 gallons in a tank and we have 15 gallons in freezer jugs.Our total is 165 gallons of potable water plus a couple cases of bottled water .We also have a Berkley filter.
    Potable water is our primary concern and also watering our large garden during summer.
    Water needs to be very high on our planning lists.

  11. (2) 55 gal barrels
    (2) 55 gal barrels ( non food grade) for flushing toilet
    Several water cooler bottles
    Several cases bottled water
    Life straws and life straw family
    Just put up 4 posts to use w/ hammocks and bought (2) new tarps and hardware to catch rain water

  12. We’re on a well and we don’t use well water for garden irrigation. We use our stored rain water.

    We have lots of stored rainwater because we have a cachement system. Our main tank is 1,000 gallons and we have 55 gallon drums as auxiliary storage. We’ve also got additional drums in one of the sheds. During Winter, we keep our large 1,000 tank filled and we insulate the base area where the on/off valve is located. We’ve not had any issues so far.

    We keep extra water stored in a couple of the 7-gallon hard-plastic totes (in the house). I had frozen half-gallon blocks of ice in the freezer but recently pulled them out to store extra meats. We have some bottled water, but not much because I’d rather use our water.

    Having been put through the real-life “drill” of a blizzard where we had no electricity, we learned just how valuable the 5 gallon buckets are. They hold melted snow!

    We use our Berkey water filter daily and have back up filters. Also have some Lifestraws in our GHBs. Since Berkey filters slowly, I keep extra 1 gallon recycled milk jugs handy so that we can have the means to store filtered water ready-to-use. The gallon jugs store easily because I run a rope through the handles and then hang them from a rafter, out of the way.

    A few pieces of equipment for water are helpful: a few 5 gallon buckets, a large pot to hold ice/snow for melting on top of a stove/woodstove, some 1 gallon plastic jugs to hold potable water for use.

    We max-out at 1,500 gallons stored. At times, during the Summer, we use our big tank for garden irrigation, and it takes no time to fill it back up. This Summer, we’ve only watered one time. Yeah, it’s been that wet! lol

  13. Like Ision, with 115 inches of rain a year here in coastal PNW, water is available. On a well. Have a separate pump that can be plugged into dual fuel generator and @ 600 lbs of propane. Have a pitcher pump to use if all else fails. 1250 gallon storage tank, largeish kiddie pool tucked away for catching rainwater from roof. River is about 1/2 mile downhill from house. There appears to be a spring in the slope, and there’s a couple acre lake back in the woods. Creek is uphill and across the road. A solar-powered fountain pump is still on the list. Would use it to bring creek water over edge then it’s all downhill from there. This is partly surface water and runs behind several houses. Would probably limit its use to animals and cleaning. Berkey with extra filters is on the shelf, as is a case of pool shock for making chlorine bleach to disinfect the water. Would like to put solar on the well house but that’s an expense for another year.

  14. If you have a residential well system (pump, pressure tank, etc.), you might want to get or make a torpedo bucket. It’s a long bucket that fits down inside a well casing and will have some type of check valve at the bottom to allow filling with water. Won’t work with your pump and wiring inside the casing so it would be for a long term disaster where you’d probably just pull the pump out of the well for the duration.

    1. Mikey,

      Built 2 of these not too long ago. Not as convenient as a hand pump but at least I know I have a way to get water out of the well if electronics are completely down.

  15. No rain for 15 weeks, then we got 3 inches in 12 hours, so it was a perfect time to test out the new tarp collection system. Surprising amount of clean rainwater captured but definitely needed the weights to hold the tarps at the right pitch and will need a larger stock tank to hold it. Rain off roof requires more filtration but we have the necessary items to filter it down through sediment barriers and sieves long before getting close to the Berkey.

    Movement of water from a stream or lake will require the bladder we have for the wheelbarrow, as well as collapsible bags that will fit into backpacks for the littler kids to carry. Shaker style tubing and the plastic hand siphon will aid with filling containers from a body of water or the 55 gallon drums to bring inside. Water bob for bathtub before we lose pressure and the water cubes with spigots that we’ll keep at each sink for hand washing. Since we got a camping toilet that will use water to clear the bowl, we also have buckets and dippers for the bathrooms.

    Kitchen use water with lots of dehydrated food on hand will rely on creativity. Water from a can of peas will wind up needed to boil rice, even though I have bottled water under every bed, sofa and place where it could be stuffed. Liquid from a can of fruit will go into a cake mix or pancakes. Nothing will be wasted. Nor will we get lax about staying ahead of gathering as we can, since there will be days when either it is unsafe to go out, or when conditions aren’t favorable to make the trek.

    We have rain suits and galoshes to not get soaked to the bone in winter, since we’ll have to go out into the rain to gather all we can capture as it flows. We have yellow safety vests to allow our neighbor to identify us from his house in case we trek to his pond per our agreement and bartering arrangement. And we have a wide variety of water filters from Life Straws to Hyrdo Blu, Sawyer, Berkey, you name it – because water is a whole lot more precious the cleaner it is.

  16. I live in the southwest desert and water is very much of a concern. Even more so than TP 😂

    1. T in TX:
      Say it ain’t so!!!!!!
      Water more important than TP…
      Seriously you are correct, even here in the “high desert” water is a big concern.
      100 gallons per person per month… at a minimum.
      AND don’t forget about the animals. Blue drinks about 1/2 gallon or more a day.

  17. If it happened during spring/summer I wold be OK as the irrigation canal is close. The rest of the year I would be in deep doodoo.

  18. Backpacking in the high country is about 1.5-2 gal/day/person. MSR mini works is essential as it screws to the nalgene bottle. Filter is ceramic and readily cleanable. Farm wise not as concerned as we have three solar wells for the cattle in the different pastures, 11gpm EA. Payback was 5 yr vs. coop elec. Ultimate backup is the 2″PVC Dipper with check valve.

  19. Depending on the shape of your property one can set different size tanks(275-6,000 gallon)on the ground. Fill them with potable water for the time you may require that additional well or rain water.
    If you are filling the tank off of composition roofing material, skip using it for a drinking source, think of it as a grey water-NON potable.
    We reside in what is considered a high desert area(no tumble weeds thank goodness) and as many know it is a high fire area. We keep one tank full of potable water for us, one tank for gravity fed to the horse. House tank which will not provide water without power, then there are the tanks for fire protection-non potable. In addition to this I keep 1 gallon good quality containers filled with water so that it is easy for me to move, those are stored outside in two different locations. Still worry that we would not have enough water.

  20. Gots me a bucket and a pond near an acre in size a few hundred feet from the house or the well pump that’s already wired to plug into a generator.
    5 gal gas would run that say 15 minutes a day giving something over 100 gallons each use..
    Easily do that for roughly 32 days, then switch over to the hand pump.

    Prefer well use, less effort than filtering and treating/boiling.

  21. Ok on water spring, summer and fall. Have a generator and enough fuel for a while to run the well pumps, have a deep well and a shallow one.
    Shallow well I can access with a bucket and rope. Deep well has a static level of 20 ft from top of casing, have a small gas powered pump that will draw that up.
    Problem is winter in NH, once temperatures get down and stay there forget outside tank’s, just don’t work. Almost lost a 300gal tote temps dropped so fast one night I had to use a small heater to thaw the drain valve!
    Once temps drop all surface water freeze over and now you are chopping a hole to get water and then get to a heated place to store it.
    Makes it a bit more difficult to deal with course you can always melt snow,now that is real fun!

  22. Our private well is 60′ deep and I’d really like to have a hand pump. What company or kind of hand pump would you recommend in terms of quality, price, and ease of use?

    1. NW girl,

      I researched hand pumps for white a bit. They were all pretty pricey especially once you started talking needing to go deeper than 50’. I ended up just building a bailer bucket for less than 10 bucks in the mean time. Figured it was a good way to have a plan in place until I could figure out the hand pump thing rather than just waiting and not having something good to go now. Just my 2 cents, if I do end up pulling the trigger on a hand pump I will certainly post and let you know!

      1. Rb308,

        Thanks for your input. Looks like I need to jot down some notes from the comments and do more research. Thanks again!

        NW Gal


      I highly recommend the Bison hand pump for your well. We had one installed in our previous house and loved it. It is made in the USA (Maine) and is all stainless steel and easy to use. It is also aesthetically beautiful, too, and has a lifetime guarantee.

      Our new rural house has a well, too. We moved in during the month of March when all the virus and quarantine craziness was starting, however, and we have not yet been able to order a Bison hand pump, as there have been a lot of other expenses associated with moving in to a newly-built house and stocking a pantry, etc. A bison hand pump is a top priority for us, as soon as we can save the money to purchase one!

  23. Our water system goes from primitive to complex.
    1) 2 hand dug shallow wells that we can use a rope and bucket or a hand pump
    2) 3 shallow-ish wells that each have their own solar panel and pump.
    3) One deep well with a Grundfos pump that runs on solar, battery or generator (cuz the grid is not nearby).
    We have two 10,000 gallon storage tanks, but a few families and livestock can go through that pretty fast without conservation.

    One thing that is imperative for us is a steady source of distilled water for our off grid solar system batteries. In January when we were getting hints of bad things on the horizon, we bought a water still. Good thing because in March and April there was no distilled water in the stores. Battery service uses 5 to 10 gallons of distilled water per month. Without distilled water, our ability to store power could have been jeopardized. I can make up to 3 gallons a day (when it’s sunny…the still is electric), and I no longer have lug gallons home from town.

    1. AZoffgrid,
      Do your online research for solar stills. I built one for making distilled water. Works pretty well. Produces around 16oz. per day. No power required. Works even in cold weather as the sun provides enough to keep things flowing.

      A piece of glass (got an old window?) and some lumber (I used scrap stuff) A short piece of pvc pipe, ripped length ways to use as a trough/gutter. It works.

  24. In addition to stored water in HDPE 1 gallon milk jug, 5 gallon “jerry cans”
    and 5 gallon bucket stacked in the loo, I live 40 feet above a mountain fed
    stream and I’ve got filtration set up. 1 55 gallon drum in storage locker for
    rain water gathering when the time comes. Rule of thumb, 4 days without water
    next day no life.

  25. – Where I live is considered high, dry desert. Fortunately, we are above the Ogallalah Aquifer, which is considered to possibly hold more fresh water than any of the Great Lakes. My water source is only 60 feet away from my doorstep. Currently, I have a submersible type well pump; I do have a generator capable of running it for a good while, if need be.

    I keep about 60 gallons of gasoline on hand for it; run at intervals, that should last for several months. If I cannot use the generator, I have a hand pump available which will fit in my well casing without having to pull the existing pump and plumbing. I also have my well guy, a friend, living about half a mile away. I also have a small home-built well bucket should I need it.

    I have 10 full five-gallon buckets stored in the garage, should I need them for toilet flushing. I have a roof that I can use for rainfall collection, if that is available. I keep three Sawyer water filters, and have a Lifestraw in each of my bags, as a backup for any necessary travel.

    There is a twelve-foot diameter above ground pool which is full during the summer; I also have a ten-foot stock tank, which is empty at this moment. I also keep a plentiful supply of garden-type hoses for basic firefighting, plus additional piping (Schedule 10) which can be modified for irrigation with pieces of hose, hose clamps, a drill and bits of old jeans for soaker irrigation.

    It’s not perfect, but it’s what I have got. I also have maps of other wells, and their depths, in my area and a garden cart should I have to try other sources of water. And, just FWIW, there is another aquifer underneath the first one.

    – Papa S.

    1. – NW Gal,
      My hand pump is the least expensive one I have been able to find. It is homebuilt; Look on Vimeo for the EMAS hand pump. My water is at 60 feet, and I spent a bit over $100 for everything, and can easily build another given the plastic pipe needed, which I do have on hand.
      – Papa

    2. – Small correction, should have been ‘more than ALL the Great Lakes’; also have more 2L bottles of R/O water stashed than I can count, in case of need for drinking water for sort term. We keep at least a flat of the smaller 16.5 and 20 oz bottles of drinking water per person in the house as well.

      – Papa

  26. I wanted to support you but the company you recommend, USA Berkey Filters wasn’t on the manufacturers list of authorized distributors. Any idea why or if we know theirs are legit?

    1. Sam, go to their website usaberkeyfilters dot com
      You will see their Authorized Dealer logo at the bottom left of their website.
      I have ordered direct from them for many years — great prices and very fast delivery. Jeff also gives personalized service — you won’t be disappointed.

    2. Sam, They’re the same company, same family, as

      He has several websites, including They’ve been advertising with us for a decade here on MSB. Completely 100% legit. He’s also known as “the Berkey Guy” at LPC Survival.

      1. I had found a list of online authorized dealers without them on it a while back. Couldn’t find same list just now but used store locator, did some digging. You’re absolutely right, of course, they’re totally legit. Sorry about that, I’ll use them for my next order!

  27. Somewhere from my youth, I heard a saying regarding water rationing in the loo. If it’s yellow let it mellow. If it’s brown flush it down. Had a few times with short term water concerns. Just kept the lid down between flushing it down.

    Good topic and one of our areas of weakness.

  28. Just this summer, finished the upgrade on water system. Have two 250 gallon propane tanks. two generators dual fuel. Two water wells plus co-op water. Will last a little while. Then manual labor with one well to have water.

    1. Good post Ken, know I get wrapped up in food preps and often times get lax on the water preps. Have a number of those 7 gallon Ridgid water containers, can say from personal experience they work great and are very easy to store/organize.

      Definitely need to get a Berkey. Was actually thinking about the travel size to keep in a travel trailer but for just a few more bucks looks like you can upgrade to the larger one. Any campers out there that keep one in their trailer? Have you gone with the travel or the larger version? Told myself I’d pull the trigger on one before fall time, any input would be much appreciated.

      1. I keep one for our camper. It’s the standard size Big Berkey, just like the one we keep in the house. But it all depends on available counter space in one’s camper! Alternately you could set it on a bar stool (Walmart for about 20 bucks).

        Anyway, if you do ever decide to pick up a Berkey, go through (a trusted source). Tell ’em you came from Modern Survival Blog… ;) Thanks.

  29. When hurricane Isaias passed through here a couple of weeks ago we got a good chance to test our water resources. We are on a well so we need to store water for such outages. During the six days without electricity we used our water storage for eating, drinking, washing dishes and flushing the toilets. Oh and sponges baths. We managed on a little less than 100 gallons for the six days. This is 5 people. We no longer have disposable plates, cups, etc. They were used up during the last extended outage.
    Some of the things we did, was first everyone used the same cup or glass for the day. No getting a clean glass every time you wanted something to drink. Then I have a small plastic tub that we used to wash the dishes. First I would heat the water and only put about an inch of hot water in the tub. The silverware went in first to soak, then washed, the rinse water was poured over the silverware adding more water to the wash tub. Then more dishes were put in to soak, then wash. This would continue until either the dishes were done or the tub was full. Then this water was used to flush the toilets. The same was done with the bath water, it was used to flush the toilets after bathing.
    I wanted to get a feel for how much water we use. The only thing we didn’t do was laundry.

  30. Papa, thanks for the information. I will definitely look into this. 😊

  31. We have “City Water” now but I still have our well…But it is just over 200′ deep. I am 60+ and not sure how many times I could pull or crank a bailer up. Suggestions?

    1. Team work with neighbors. It’s how it was done before electricity. You could look into a solar DC deep well pump direct drive from the solar panels into a basement IBC tote style cistern and thus a smaller DC sureflo pressure pump running off solar panels-controller-batteries.

      Then maybe you can supply safe drinking water to your trusted neighbors.

      Water your dead or dying after a lack of safe water in three days. It’s kind of important.

      Trusted neighbors, with out you can get killed off well before dehydration gets you. It’s REALLY Important.

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