One of my biggest challenges with food storage, actually, has nothing to do with food. It's the water storage part.
My problem is a mixture of no space and basic marital discord. You see, Mountain Man doesn't see the need for water storage. His argument: we live near a large body of water and we own several water purifying systems. My argument: what if our legs get cut off and we can't walk to get the water?
Just kidding. But I do feel strongly about having some drinking water in the house, and so I'm finally taking steps to have a water storage.
Because space is an issue, I am diversifying the types of storage and spreading them throughout the house in different areas according to what will fit where. I plan on having my water storage in three types of containers:
1. Store bought bottled water, for convenience when traveling.
2. Some 7-gallon containers like these. I don't have a lot of space for these, but I want some anyway.
3. Mainly in 2 liter soda and juice bottles, because they are readily available (as in, free).
So, let's walk through how to prepare 2-liter soda bottles and juice bottles to store water. I encourage you to check out the Provident Living website about water storage and purification. I've noticed that they've updated it quite a bit and I found it very informative. Even if I found it after I had cleaned out my bottles.
What you'll need is water (ha ha), bottles, and household bleach. Make sure your bottles are PETE plastic, and rinse them out in soapy water when you've finished drinking whatever is inside.
Fill up your kitchen sink or a VERY large bucket with water and add bleach. I added about a cup of bleach to a full sink of water (I have shallow sinks).
Gently insert your empty bottle into the water. You want to fill up as much of the inside as possible so the bleach solution can kill any microorganisms inside the bottle.
You won't be able to keep the bottles completely full of bleach water, so whenever you think about it roll the bottles so the bleach water has time to sit on each side of the bottle. If that made any sense.
Yes, you should use gloves.
I filled a bucket with some water and a higher concentration of bleach for the lids because the juice/soda inside the lids can be harder to get out.
I used to run my juice bottles through the dishwasher then fill them up with water and call it good. Then I noticed things growing on the inside of the lid.
Let them sit for several hours. I usually let it go all day. I like the smell of bleach.
After several hours of soaking, let the water out of the sink and rinse the bottles and lids. It doesn't have to be completely rinsed, a little bleach won't hurt you.
Nothing on the inside of these guys.
Fill the newly bleached bottles up with water. If your water comes from a reliable source (chlorinated tap water) you don't need to add extra bleach (source).
Clearly label your water bottles. You still need to rotate these regularly and having the date on them with help you rotate in a timely manner.
Store in a cool, dry space, away from direct light. Like your daughters' closet. They can't have that many clothes right? You aren't supposed to store your water directly on the ground. Anyone know why?
Start all over again. My goal is a 2 week supply for each member of the family. Wish me luck.
If you don't drink a lot of soda or juice, ask around to your friends and neighbors. I inherited my soda bottles from a soda-drinking family.
For more information on water storage, check out our series here.