Survival for the Common Man – Your Water Storage Solution

Don’t Fear the Unknown! Get Prepared!

Water is one of the most important preps. As you plan for survival, you need to be purposeful about having enough water for you and your loved ones. The good news is that you can acquire a water supply for survival with little or no money. With the simple steps below, you can feel confident that you will have a water supply to keep your family safe in an emergency.

Why Is Water So Important

The body needs water. According to the Mayo Clinic, water regulates body temperature, moistens body tissue, like in the mouth, eyes and nose, lubricates joints, protects body organs, prevents constipation, flushes the kidneys and liver by pushing out waste, helps to make minerals and nutrients available to the body and carries nutrients and oxygen to cells. Water is tied to health. Without clean drinking water, you and your family will be unhealthy.

How Much Water Should I Store

The number that you will always hear floated in preparedness circles is 1 gallon. But you need to understand that is a minimum amount for drinking and cooking only. You will need clean water for hygiene purposes; washing your body and hair, brushing your teeth, washing clothes and simply washing your hands. Start with the minimum amount for every family member for 2 weeks and then build from there.

1 gallon of water x 14 days x ___ family members = Your starting amount of water storage!

You also need to know that water is heavy and it is going to take up space. You will have to be purposeful about where you will keep all of this water. Depending on the storage container, you can’t just put your water storage in the garage or other areas that will experience extreme temperatures throughout the year. If you have spare closets and bedrooms, this is the best solution for you. If you have limited space, you will need to be creative!

I have prepared a free resource for you to download to help walk you through how many gallons and liters you will need to store for your family. To download the worksheet – CLICK HERE. [DROPBOX LINK]

Storing Water – On the Cheap

As you begin your water storage, the easiest and simplest solution is to fill 2-liter plastic bottles that once contained soda (or POP). 2-liter bottles hold carbonated drinks under pressure for a long time. Many feel this makes 2-liter bottles a perfect FREE container to hold water.

Acquiring 2-liter bottles is fairly easy if you let people know you are doing a “project.” You can also load up during parties if you keep an eye out for them.

The procedure for washing and filling water bottles varies depending on which articles you read. I will provide you with a few ideas. You’ll have to decide on how far you want to go with your water storage.

To use these bottles, you need to make sure you wash them thoroughly with hot water and bleach. You don’t want to leave any of the soda or sugar behind. This can cause bacteria to grow in your water bottles.

Common advice among preppers is to mix 1 teaspoon of unscented bleach per 1 quart of water and use the water to clean out the soda bottles. Some people will tell you to let them dry and then do it again to be safe. You need to decide on that for yourself. Most don’t do the second washing.

After you feel comfortable with how clean your 2 liter bottles are, you can then fill them up using regular tap water. Here again, you will find various schools of thought. Some will tell you to fill the bottles up with tap water and then seal them up for storage and others will tell you to put two drops of unscented bleach into each 2-liter bottle for safety purposes. You have to make and live with the final decision.

Lastly, the water in the 2-liter bottles will need to be rotated. AGAIN, ideas vary. Some will tell you this needs to be done every six months. Others will say this needs to be done every year. And then some will say that if you did a good job of cleaning them in the first place, you don’t ever have to worry about rotating out the water. You have to feel comfortable with your decision, so do what you feel is right here!

NOTE – If you do rotate your water out, use the water to water your plants or yard.

Other Water Storage Solutions

One term that is very common to know in survival is redundancy. You’ll often hear the phrase, “two is one, one is none.” This phrase refers to the fact that sometimes things don’t go as planned and you need a back-up. When you are talking about something as precious as water, you need redundancy.

I suggest that every household have at least one, if not two WaterBobs. A WaterBob is a one time use, 100-gallon plastic bladder that sits in your bathtub and is filled with water from your tap. In the onset of an emergency, you would deploy the WaterBob and fill it up. The WaterBob comes with a pump that allows you to pump water out of the bag and into your container. A WaterBob costs about $70 and is well worth the peace of mind that you can quickly deploy this device and store up 100 gallons of water for your family.

You might be asking, can I just fill up my tub with water and not purchase a WaterBob? Yes and no! Yes, you can fill up your tub with water. But you can’t use that water to drink or for hygiene purposes. The reason is that you can never get your bathtub clean enough. No amount of scrubbing and cleaners will ever get all the nasty crud out of your tub! You can use the water in your bathtub to flush your toilet though. So if you have multiple bathtubs, you might want to consider using one to fill for flushing purposes.


Another option that you might want to consider is a Lifestraw water filter. This is the easiest type of water filter on the market. You basically put one end in dirty water and the other in your mouth and then suck the water up like a straw. If you have little ones, this might be an important solution for you. There are no moving parts or ways you can mess this up. It is easy for a young child to understand how to use. 

My first experience with the Lifestraw was at an expo. The guy behind the counter was using the water in a nasty gallon jug of dirty water. He would suck up a whole mouth full and then spit it out in a clear cup. The water was clean. It was pretty amazing to watch. After that moment, I was sold.  I always suggest Lifestraws to anyone wanting a water filtration system for their family. Are there others? Yes. But this is by far the easiest. Again, it is easy enough for a young child to use.


Water is life. You need water! This is the reason that I have chosen to write about this topic as my first topic, after planning, for this series. Take a moment to download the FREE PDF resource to help you calculate how many 2-liter bottles you will need to store up enough water for your family. Then put this information into practice!


Action Steps:


Survival for the Common Man is a series of articles for those who are new to prepping or those who never really felt they had a good foundation to start.

Why Survival for the Common Man? I love to gain experiences in wilderness survival, bushcraft, homesteading and “tactical” preparedness. But the truth is, most preppers are regular, everyday people (the common man). We live in the suburbs, go to our day jobs, and attend school and family events. But we also see the world around us and see the need to be prepared, to make sure our family is safe and able to thrive in times of uncertainty. There are more of us than you might realize! This series is for you!

Other Articles in the Survival for the Common Man Series:


This article first appeared on Ed That Matters.

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Todd Sepulveda

I'm the owner/editor of Prepper Website, a DAILY preparedness aggregator that links to the best preparedness articles on the internet. I'm also a public school administrator and a pastor. My personal blog is Ed That Matters, where I write about preparedness and from time to time, education. Connect with me on one of my social media outlets below.

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One Response

  1. Will Bongers November 9, 2017

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