Power outages can occur at any time. A truck could take out a telephone pole or a hurricanes could knock out a whole power transfer station. A power outage could last a few hours, a few days or a few weeks.
Is your family ready with enough to survive a power outage? If a flood takes out the power, you may be faced with the irony of being surrounded by water and yet not a drop to drink.
Water Considerations during Power Outages
#1 Is your water system robust to a power outage?
If you are connected to city water, likely the pipes will maintain pressure for a few days. Especially if you live below the water tower to central water facilities. If you expect the pressure to hold for a short period, try to store as much water as you can before the pressure gives out.
One option is to fill a WaterBOB, a liner for your bathtub to fill it was clean drinkable water. These water bladders can hold 100 gallons of water; enough drinking water for 25 days for a family of 4. They are inexpensive and can be found here: Water Bob.
#2 Is your hot water system electric?
The power outage may not affect your water supply however it may effect your ability to heat the water. Perhaps it is tied into the heating system of the house. Either way, hot water might be a luxury.
#3 Do you have a manual way to pump the water?
If you rely on a well, a power outage means the pump is no longer operational. A back-up generator could provide the power to pump water for a short period of time.
Try to pump as much water as you can hold then turn the generator off. The WaterBob mentioned above could hold 100 gallons in your bathtub. You never know how long the power outage will last, and will need to ration the generator's fuel.
#4 If you water becomes contaminated, do you have a power-free way to purify it?
Boiling all your drinking water sounds like a good idea, but in a power outage you will need to conserve fuel as well. A water filter like the family LifeStraw or community LifeStraw could provide clean drinking and cooking water during power outages.
These filters are expensive, but the small Sawyer filter can provide drinking water for your family at a much lower cost.
#5 Do you have enough water stored to last a few days?
To prepare for a water crisis, try to store at least 3 days worth of water for your family. Water can be stored in recycled juice or soda bottles or in specially designed containers for small apartments: water bricks. Aim for 1 gallon a day per person for drinking and cooking.
Actions this week:
- Evaluate your water situation if the power goes out.
- Store 3 days worth of water. (1 gallon per person per day)
- Invest in a water filter even just the small Sawyer filter.
Water is a valuable resource and abundant most of the time. We may think nothing of going to the sink and getting clean fresh drinking water. During a power outage, that ability may be hindered. Having a plan to provide clean drinking water for your family will give you insurance again the next local power outage. Create a plan today and sleep better tonight, knowing your family is protected.
For other water storage recommendations, check out:
Did you miss our other articles in the power outage series?
- 5 Steps to Evaluating Water Security during a Power Outage
- 8 Steps to Evaluating Food Preparedness for Power Outages
- 7 Steps for Maintaining Proper Sanitation during Power Outage
- 7 Steps for Heating Your Home During a Power Outage