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7 things you should have on hand in case of a water shortage

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Suppose every faucet in Utah had suddenly dried up. The grocery store shelves were bare because people panic-bought every case of water they could get their hands on. (Far worse than the toilet paper shortage of 2020.)

The only thing you’ve got to drink is whatever’s already in your house.

If you’re not adequately prepared, this scenario might strike fear into your heart. But it doesn’t have to be this way. By taking certain steps today, you can ensure that you and your entire family have everything you need in case of a water shortage.

When people think of water preparedness, they might imagine a drum of water and a dash of chlorine bleach. While anything is better than nothing, true water preparedness looks a little different. After all, if you aren’t water prepared, nothing else matters after three days.

Think you’re prepared for a water emergency? Check your pantry to see if you’ve done the following seven things.

(If you have, you’re doing better than most of the population.)

Enough water for your whole family

A few Utah cities have experienced two or three-day boil alerts in recent months, but a long-term shortage of potable water is always possible.

According to BeReadyUtah.gov, your water storage should include a minimum of one gallon of water per person per day. For higher altitudes and dry climates, you’ll need more. At the very least, you should store a two-week supply for each person (14 gallons each).

Ask yourself this: Could you and your family survive for six months without a drop of water from your faucet? If the answer is no, then you need to be more water prepared.

Should that sound overwhelming, remember that having one tank in an emergency is better than having none. Everyone needs to start somewhere!

Water purification tablets

Filters are great, but there’s nothing easier to use and lighter to carry for making clean water than a refillable canteen and a bottle of water purification tablets. These are inexpensive and widely available, but many people underestimate their value. Water purification tablets should be a staple in every pantry, bug-out bag, or long-term storage plan.

Something for water collection

Replenishing your water supply is easier than most people realize, but often a last thought when considering their water preparations. Catching the rain running off of your roof is one way to replenish your supply, and it’s easy to set up. All you need to do is purchase a standard rain barrel online or at your local hardware store.

Just remember that rainwater might not be safe for drinking unless it’s properly treated beforehand. For tips on how to treat and store rainwater, visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website.

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Flavored drink mixes

Why not mix things up (literally) with your water storage? Your kids might appreciate some flavored drink mixes to keep their spirits high during an emergency. And of course, there’s always Tang—the preferred drink of astronauts in the days of the Apollo missions. (It’s still available for a bargain at local grocery stores, so stock up.)

Don’t forget the hot cocoa! That will be a lifesaver if things start to get cold.

Travel containers

If 2020 taught you anything, it’s that unexpected things do happen. Avalanches close roads, fires cause evacuations, and emergencies may send you packing to your nearest relative’s house. When you’re on the move, make sure you take water with you. Invest in travel containers or a pack or two of bottled water so you’re always prepared for the unexpected.

Disposable plastic cups

Red Solo cups aren’t just for parties. They can also come in handy during an emergency. Disposable plastic cups are great when water conservation is at a premium, so you should set some aside just for emergencies. These cups can also serve many different purposes when survival is important. A quick rinse and they’re ready to use again!

Rotating your water

Water storage is an ongoing process. The CDC recommends rotating your stored water every six months. (For commercially bottled water, just check the expiration date.)

This task usually falls to whoever draws the short straw in the family. Emptying a big barrel of water with a hand pump, only to fill it up again, often feels like wasted work. With the right storage tank, though, this is a breeze. Utah Water Vaults has a tank that makes it easy to fill the tank with a standard garden hose, thanks to the two spigots located on the outside of the drum.

How do you know if you have enough water?

You can see that the word “enough” is prominent on the list. A two-liter bottle of water is technically water storage, but it’s not enough for more than a day for one person.

So how do you know how much is enough for you? It depends on your individual needs. The size of your family, where you live, and what you can reasonably do will all determine how much water is enough.

Get help with your water storage

Water storage might sound complicated but it’s more simple than you think. All you need is the right materials.

If you need help with your water storage, Utah Water Vault is here for you. Their mission is to prepare every Utah household for disaster, and the first step is to set aside a clean, safe supply of water for each member of your family. Utah Water Vault carries only the highest quality tanks to ensure your peace of mind.

For more information, visit www.utahwatervault.com or call 801-797-3362.