Water Storage Mistakes

The other day I was in DisasterStuff.com a preparedness store that is located within a reasonable distance from my home.  While there, we were discussing water storage.  In California, this is a big subject due to the drought.

People are looking for all types of containers to store their water; fifty gallon barrels are very popular as well as IBC totes and many types of smaller containers.  One person said that he was going to use Water Bobs to store his water. He said he had two and they would give him enough water for him and his wife for ninety days.

For those of you who don’t know what a Water Bob is, it is a plastic container that holds up to a 100 gallons of water.  It fits in your bathtub and you fill it from the faucet.  Now I have a Water Bob and I think it is a good product.  However, I plan to use it to supplement my existing water storage.  Filling this at the last minute will give me an extra 100 gallons of water.

In further discussion, it came out that his plan is based on the idea that he could fill the Water Bobs at the last minute.  This shows two mistakes that he is making, one that he will have warning.  What about earthquakes or other events that knock out or contaminate the water system.  Second, that he and his wife can go for ninety days with two Water Bobs which would give them each a gallon a day.

Now he did have a backup plan, which was to go to a river about a quarter mile walk from his house and carry water home.  Now this was a step in the right direct, he is thinking of a backup plan.  But to my way of thinking, he has missed the first step, which is to always have water stored on site.  So his plan for ninety days should be.

  1. Have enough water stored on site for ninety days and to me this would be more than the minimum one gallon a day.  Your kids or other family may show up.
  2. Fill the Water Bobs at the last minute if possible for a reserve supply.
  3. Last resort, you can go to the river, but think about how you can maximize the trips by bring as much water as possible in one trip.  Maybe something as simple as using a wheelbarrow to carry several five gallon cans at a time.

Training and awareness are always important and as I have been writing this article, I have been wandering where my Water Bob is.  My wife has been rearranging things, so off I go to look for it and guess what I can’t find it.  Failure, I had to go and ask her where it is.  She knew right away, but little good would that do if she was down the street when something happened.

So while it is easy to criticize other plans, we should always take a look at our own.


7 thoughts on “Water Storage Mistakes”

  1. Better find your WB, Howard. Good points and a good read.

    I have a 30 gallon plastic roto molded container with a spigot in my closet that is always full. I empty and refill it every 3 to 4 months to keep the water fresh. If the SHTF event occurs I do expect to have at least 4 to 6 person’s I trust living and working together from my home and that 30 gallon tank won’t last long to keep us hydrated and clean.

    My plan is to use the 3 5 gallon water tanks I have in storage and wheel barrow them to a creek a 100 yards from my home, fill the tanks and transport them home where I can filter the water because there are not only bugs but herbicides and pesticides contained in there.

    The only other concern I have about my water storage is this: where I live in N Ohio the creeks and lakes freeze over with 4 + inches of ice every winter. Going out in the extreme cold and hacking thru the ice seems to me to be a waste of energy. Melting snow is a tremendous waste of energy as well so I’ve come up with alternative plan. I’ll take our gathered water and put snow or ice into heavy duty black plastic bags and place them on the south side of my home out of the wind and let Old Man Sol melt the snow or ice. I can always bring them inside as well if it’s too cold and put them in the dining room which has a southern exposure with lots of windows.

    As you can tell Howard, I try to think things thru and have a back up plan to the back up plan. I’m sure I’m falling short in other prepping areas but hopefully water is fully covered.


  2. I don’t store much water, me bad?

    But like Patrick I also live in Northern Ohio and have a small river only 100-yards away. I also partially heat with wood so it’s no extra energy expense to throw water into a large canning pot and let the wood stove melt it. I have numerous water filters to make good cooking / drinking water and can also boil it on the wood stove. I also have a Thermette to boil water if needed. And it rains a lot here so there is almost always rain water to catch.

    1. As look as good properly treated water from a municipal system is put in clean containers it will stay good for many years. I have drank out of water bottles that have been stored for years without any problem.

  3. We, too, have a creek about a quarter to half a mile from our home but I’ve always worried about whether this should be counted on as a really reliable source. To get to it, we’d have to travel down a street lined with homes and through some woods. In time of disaster, I wonder what kind of resistance we’d receive from the people whose land we’d have to walk through to get to the water. We have four food-grade 55 gallon drums and a downspout diverter at the homestead but that relies on the weather as a source . . . Water is just so important that we would like back ups for our back ups. Our preps are oriented toward a long-term outage.

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