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Gathering emergency water

Put a water rationing plan in place in the event of a water shortage.

Serious droughts can result in water shortages that could last weeks or months. With proper rationing and conservation, however, you and your household can hold out for several weeks on stored drinking water. If you live in a drought-prone area, it would be a good idea to have a plan in place for what you’ll do in the event of a drought. By drawing up a plan, you and your family can be prepared for when a drought does hit.

  • Humans require about 3/4 gallon of water daily just to live. Including water usage for sanitation, you should plan on each person in your household using a gallon of water per day. Keep this figure in mind when stocking or gathering water.
  • Also bear in mind that certain people will require more water than others. Usually children, nursing mothers, and people with chronic illnesses need more than a gallon a day. If you have any of these particular cases in your household, plan accordingly and stock more water.
  • Also keep some extra water stocked in case of a medical emergency. If someone gets sick or injured, they’ll need to drink more to stay hydrated. You also will need the water to clean any wounds.
  • Make sure everyone in your house knows the limits on water usage in the event of a drought.
  • If a situation gets dire and drinking water is getting scarce, don’t ration to the point of dehydration. Lost hikers have been found dying of dehydration when they still had water left because they were trying to conserve. Drink what you need to stay alive.

Stock your home with bottled water.

Remember that each person in your home will require at least a gallon of water daily. To be properly prepared, have enough bottled water to last your entire household at least a week. This water should be used as a last resort in a drought. Use it only if drinking water gets cut off entirely.

Install a rain catch system.

Thousands of gallons of water fall on your property every year. Take advantage of this by harvesting some of it. You can stock this rainwater for drought-conditions by using it to water your lawn and cleaning. In the meantime, you can use it to take a good chunk out of your water bill. Installing one is easy.

  • Get a large drum (55 gallons is usually standard) from a hardware store. Get several if you plan on storing the water.
  • Place the drum under a downspout gutter and run the gutter into the drum.
  • If you don’t have gutters on your house, place the drum under a section of your roof where water usually runs off.
  • Rainwater must be thoroughly filtered before drinking. You should generally only drink it in an emergency situation after boiling for three minutes.

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