Town Square

Post a New Topic

Emergency Water Storage

Original post made by JJames, Midtown, on May 14, 2008

The China earthquake has gotten me fired up to get prepared for an inevitable disaster here. Of course, geologically speaking, inevitable could be in 100 years, but just in case its within the next few, I want to get ready.

I've been collecting ideas on water storage from the internet, but I'm still confused. It seems like 2-liter soda bottles are one of the most durable methods, and from what I understand, that type of plastic is very safe. So, my first question is mostly about treating the water. The Red Cross website says that as long as you rotate the water every 6 months, you don't have to pre-treat the water with bleach (unless your water comes from a questionable water source). That is, here in Palo Alto, we could just store the water right from the tap, but rotate every 6 months. Other websites give various amounts of bleach for treating the water before you store it. Some say 8 drops per 2 liters, others 4, other say to do it until the water smells like chlorine.

Any opinions on this? Also, How much do most people store? 50 soda bottles would yield about a 1 week supply using the 1 gal/person formula (I have a 4 person family). 50 is do-able, but I don't think I could logistically store and rotate 100 bottles. Of course if we have no water for more than 1 week, I would probably be wishing I figured something out sooner.

Since I have to buy all those bottles of soda, could I initially buy something like club soda and use that as my drinking water supply until it expires? I know club soda has a little sodium in it, but is there any reason why it could just be used for emergencies?

Comments (9)

Like this comment
Posted by qq
a resident of Barron Park
on May 14, 2008 at 11:29 am

I hope you also have sufficient firepower to protect this water from all the roaming mobs that didn't prepare.

Web Link



Like this comment
Posted by JJames
a resident of Midtown
on May 14, 2008 at 12:11 pm

Agreed, but first I have to have a water supply to defend, so perhaps we can take up your issue in another thread.

Like this comment
Posted by Jed Cooper
a resident of Barron Park
on May 14, 2008 at 2:03 pm

LOL- Another amazing dumb liberal.

When it all hits the fan sport it won't be peace and harmony....

or did you miss the events a while ago in New Orleans?

Like this comment
Posted by JJames
a resident of Midtown
on May 14, 2008 at 4:40 pm

Easy Jed. I'm not sure if you can read, but I specifically said I "agreed" with "qq." I'm an NRA member, and have been since 2002.
I'm merely trying to get a question about safe water storage answered, and thought that getting tangential into survival firearms would be a distraction.
Go easy, bro...

Like this comment
Posted by Anonymous
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on May 14, 2008 at 5:50 pm

The rule of thumb is 2 gallons of water per person per day. It used to be recommended that you keep a 3 day supply of food and water. That has been changed to 5-7 days based on the Katrina experience. Here is a link to the SF Emergency Rescue Team Training material. You can find the number of drops of unscented bleach you need per gallon in it.

Web Link

Like this comment
Posted by a
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on May 14, 2008 at 8:28 pm

There's an army supply store that sells water purification tablets for a little cheaper than EMS. I've also read in wilderness survival books that wiping dew off the morning grass with a sponge can produce a lot of water. You can also order home delivery of those large 5 gallon bottles and store them. I'm also storing wine, juice, chocolate, dry food, a tent, and bunch of other stuff.

You can tell I've been thinking about this natural disaster stuff a lot. Some people have called me chicken little in other threads, but I take this seriously, because it's serious.

I watched a couple of earthquake videos and the USGS say that the water pipes that come to Palo Alto would probably be severed in the case of a large earthquake. So water preparedness is key. The most important thing, however, is to stay calm.

There are four (4) basics to survival. Shelter is most important, second is water, third is food, and fourth is fire - in this order. You can live for three days without water. That would give you enough time to use your sponge to gather morning dew. It's a good thing we live close to a bay because we get the condensation from it.

I'm not too worried about an earthquake per se, because I think I'll survive it. I'm more worried about tsunamis. If a large earthquake happened and a part of California fell into the ocean...but I hope it will not happen. You just never know these days.

Like this comment
Posted by JJames
a resident of Midtown
on May 14, 2008 at 8:32 pm

Thanks, Anonymous. That's a useful document for the water and much more. Its quite sobering - there was a table prepared by FEMA in there that estimates that a 7.4 magnitude earthquake on the Hayward fault at 2pm would result in a staggering 8,000 dead and 30,000 injured. That's nuts and/or bananas. Hopefully a lot of people are getting ready for this event!

Like this comment
Posted by Quit Panicking
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on May 15, 2008 at 8:49 am

The most efficient way to acquire a lot of water quickly is to purify sewage effluent.

Like this comment
Posted by Walter_E_Wallis
a resident of Midtown
on May 15, 2008 at 11:37 am

You never miss the water until the well goes dry, and the corollary is that you never miss the infrastructure until the balloon goes up. Fools who fight needed improvements with trivial objections need to be listed somewhere and put at the back of the line.

Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

Burger chain Shake Shack to open in Palo Alto
By Elena Kadvany | 17 comments | 4,464 views

The Cost of Service
By Aldis Petriceks | 1 comment | 986 views

This time we're not lying. HONEST! No, really!
By Douglas Moran | 5 comments | 578 views

Couples: When Wrong Admit It; When Right; Shut Up
By Chandrama Anderson | 0 comments | 486 views

One-on-one time
By Cheryl Bac | 0 comments | 423 views