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Sunday, January 2, 2022

 January 2022 - Water Storage!

“How are we to deal with both the somber prophecies and the glorious pronouncements about our day? The Lord told us how with simple, but stunning, reassurance: ‘If ye are prepared ye shall not fear’ [D&C 38:30]. What a promise! It is one that can literally change the way we see our future. Temporal, spiritual, and emotional preparation is our key to embracing this dispensation and our future with faith.” Pres. Russell M. Nelson, Oct 2020

Why is water so important to store?

Think about the kind of emergencies we may be faced with. Right now, many of us are having to quarantine from the spread of a virus. You may have an unexpected layoff. In these instances, as well as extreme weather, a chemical or biologic attack, or even most natural disasters, you would stay in your home. We would weather most emergencies in our homes, rather than be evacuated from our homes.

If you are confined to your home, you will need stored items to be able to survive for an unknown length of time. This is when the Survival Rule of Threes comes in:

The Survival Rule of Threes means you can live: 

• 3 minutes without AIR.

• 3 hours without SHELTER.

• 3 days without WATER.

• 3 weeks without FOOD.

Everyone stresses storing food, but you can live MUCH longer without food than you can live without water. That’s why Water Storage is January's topic!!

This video has been watched by people around the world - it's a great place to start to answer your questions and get you started on preparing for water storage!

Goals for this month:

  • To find the water you already have in your home–water heater, pipes, etc.

  • To learn an easy way to store at least 3 days of water, today.

  • To learn the difference between filtration and purification and store at least one way to do both.

  • To look around your environment to find water where you may not have noticed it before.

First steps to preserve water and protect your water during an emergency

If an emergency occurs that affects your water supply, you need to take immediate steps to preserve what you have in your home. What type of emergency would require this? Anything that moves or disrupts the ground, which is where all of the water pipes are. This means earth- quake, flood, and other natural disasters.

  1. Fill bathtubs with cold water, making sure you have plugged the tub with something that seals well like a bowl turned upside down.

  2. Turn off the water supply to the house so no contamination comes into your home.

  3. Drain your pipes. HOW TO: Turn the highest faucet in your home on to cold and collect all of the water that comes out of the faucet. Also turn the lowest faucet in the home on to cold and collect all the water that is coming out. All will drain from the top to the bottom so have the largest collection container at the bottom

  4. Drain your water heater using the instructions included below. You don’t have to do this immediately.  This is why you turn the faucets to cold so it doesn’t drain the hot water heater as well

How to Get Emergency Drinking Water From a Water Heater

Most water heaters hold 30 to 60 gallons of water that can be used in an emergency.


  1. Shut off the valve that leads to the hot water heater immediately after the emergency to prevent the water from becoming contaminated.
  2. Turn off the water heater’s electrical supply (or gas) for your own safety and to prevent the water heater from running without water.
  3. Allow the water inside the heater to cool before you attempt to drain any water from it.
  4. Disconnect the hot water line at the top of the tank. If you can’t get the line off, turn on a hot water faucet in the house to ventilate the water heat- er’s tank and prevent a vacuum from forming.
  5. Open the drain valve at the bottom of the tank and collect the water in a clean storage container. The gate valve does not have a traditional handle, but has a slot at the end of the stem where a handle would normally attach. The slot allows for operation with a screwdriver, or coin. Work this valve gently, as these valves are seldom used more than once or twice per year under normal service conditions, and could be damaged if forced.
  6. Check the first few gallons for rust and sediment. If the water contains rust and sediment, throw it out until clean water starts to drain.
  7. Treat the water by adding six drops of liquid household bleach for every gallon of water. The bleach should contain 5.25 percent sodium hypochlorite. Stir in the bleach and let the water stand for 30 minutes. If, after 30 minutes, the water doesn’t smell like chlorine , add another 6 drops of bleach and let it stand for 15 minutes. The water can now be stored.


  1. Store a short length of potable water hose (white hose) next to the water heater.
  2. Before disaster hits, mark which valve is for the water supply. Run some hot water from any sink. Go back to the hot water tank and feel the two pipes attached to it. The supply line will be the colder one. Somehow mark the valve as “supply”. This will be the one to close in an emergency so that contaminated water will not go into the tank as you drain the clean drinking water that is stored in it.
  3. It is a good idea to flush some water from the bottom of the tank once or twice a year. Sediment can collect on the bottom of the tank. Draining some water under pressure will clean out the sediment.  Regular flushing will keep your heater free of debris.


  1. Turn off the power supply to the tank first. Even if there is a power failure you must unplug, turn off the circuit breaker, or close the gas valve first. If the tank is empty of water when service is restored damage to the tank will occur.
  2. Allow the tank to fill before restoring power to the water heater. Open the supply valve and wait for the water to run out of the open hot water faucet.

Things You’ll Need

  1. A flashlight to find the circuit breaker, plug, and valves in the dark.
  2. Pliers to remove your garden hose.

Tool #1—Emergency Water Storage Inventory

It is recommended that you have 11⁄2 gallons minimum stored per person, per day. This is for drinking and hygiene.

  1. Figure out how many gallons you need to store for 1 week, 1 month, 3 months:

    • # people in your home x 1.5 gallons _________ gallons needed per day

    • Gallons needed per day x 7 = ________________ gallons for 1 week

    • Gallons needed per day x 30 = ______________ gallons for 1 month

    • Gallons needed per day x 90 = ______________ gallons for 3 months

  2. Discover sources of water in your home:

  • Pipe Water - turn on the highest faucet in your house. Then, collect water from the lowest faucet when you turn it on.

  • Hot Water Tank - turn off gas or electricity, whichever heats your water. Turn off the water intake valve to the heater. Follow instructions in Tool #2 in this chapter. Be careful not to burn yourself. You can wait to drain the water heater until the water has cooled and you need it. Do not heat the tank when it is empty.

  • Toilet Tank - the tank of water behind the toilet, not the water in the bowl.

  • Freezer - you may have a quart or so of frozen water in your icecube tray.

  • Bathtub- you can fill your tub if your water supply is not contaminated.  Fill with cold water so you don’t drain your hot water heater. You can use a WaterBOB to save all of this tub water and prevent the drain from letting it leak out.

3.Storage options:

  • Commercial water bottles.Typically 16.9 oz. and come in packs of 36. (Each person needs 11 per day. So a case of 36 would last for 3 days per person.)
  • 2 Liter soda bottles. (Each person needs 3 per day.)

  • 1 gallon jugs. DO NOT USE MILK JUGS! They will not last.

  • Water containers of various sizes – 2-5 gallons

  • 55 gallon water barrel

  • Larger water tanks

Water Inventory

# I have         


I Have

I Need

Pipes 1

Water heater 1

Commercial water bottles

2 liter bottles

Water containers

Water Barrels or tanks


2 gal

40 gal

11 = 1 gallon

2 = 1 gallon

2 gal

40 gal

What is the difference between water filters and purifiers?

You have to filter and purify found water. Filters strain out particles as water is forced through a filtration mate- rial. Purifiers chemically kill particulates.

Filters and Purifiers can treat for most bacteria. These bacteria are about 0.2 microns and larger in size, so the filters can catch them as long as the filter pores are at least as small as 0.2 microns. Purifiers can also kill bacteria. Some common bacteria that can be in the water are Cholera and Typhoid Fever.

Only purifiers can eliminate viruses. Viruses are so small (0.004 microns) that filters can’t reliably catch them. Some examples of viruses are Hepatitis A, Polio, and the Influenza Virus. Viruses can be killed by purification (chemical disinfecting) and boiling.

Only filters can treat for protozoa like the Giardia parasite, which is often in water and causes diarrhea. Protozoa are immune to chemical purification treatments because of their hard, protective shell. This is one reason that many purifier manufacturers choose to also have some sort of filter element on their purifiers as well.

Join us next month for Short Term Food Storage!

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