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2023 Preparedness - Wednesday's Wisdom: Week 41

October 11, 2023

Beginning prepping #2, water. (A good refresher for the props too.)

Store all the containers upright in a cool, dark, dry place. Because direct sunlight and heat gradually weaken plastic containers, store them away from heat and light to prevent possible leaking. Water is heavy, so store the containers on a strong shelf or in a cabinet.

A freezer is also a good place to store water for a long period. Freeze water in plastic bottles only; the glass will break. Fill containers leaving two to three inches of space at the top to prevent bursting as the water expands and freezes. You probably won't have enough freezer space to store all the water you will need in an emergency but storing at least some is a good idea. If you lose electricity, the frozen water will help keep foods in your freezer frozen longer until power is restored. Foods will stay frozen longer during an outage if the freezer is full so if your freezer is partially empty, fill it with containers of water. A full freezer also uses less electricity. Store water and solve three problems, water storage, preserving foods longer in an outage, and reducing power costs.

Water may be stored in a variety of containers:

1. Heavy-duty plastic containers with a spout or a pump for dispensing water. Water is heavy and you need to consider this when choosing containers. Five gallons of water weighs 42 pounds. Containers should be manageable for one adult to lift or equipped with a pump. Make sure when using plastic containers that they are approved for food use.

2. Bleach bottles - Water may be stored in well-rinsed bleach (hypochlorite) bottles when bleach does not have color-safe additives or is scented. Begin by cleaning bottles with hot, soapy water. Completely clean the inside and the outside of the container, including the handle, and lid. Rinse well with plain water. Once you clean and sanitize the container, fill it with water you know is safe.

3. Single-use water bottles- There are two types of bottled water containers. The bottles that can be easily squeezed and collapsed are not safe for long-term water storage. They will degrade and leak. Harder plastic bottles may be refilled and used to store water.

4. Vinegar bottles – These are perfect for water storage and will not degrade and leak. Even after thoroughly washing the water will take on the taste of vinegar making the water good for all uses but if drinking you may need to add a powdered drink mix to cover the taste.

5. Soda Bottles - Liter soda bottles with screw-on lids work well for storing drinking water. Colored bottles are the best as they filter the light. Sanitize by rinsing inside and out with a solution of one-half teaspoon of household bleach per pint of water. Finally, rinse with clean water. Once you clean and sanitize the container, fill it with water you know is safe.

6. Mylar water storage bags - These are impermeable to gases and are usually sold in bulk, cases for easy stacking. These pouches are not rodent proof so check them often and place small pouches in a rodent-proof container.

7. Glass jars – As you empty your canning jars sterilize them, and the bands and lids, and fill with water until you are ready to refill them with the “fruits” of your gardening efforts. Used lids may be used to close your jars. Turn the lids upside down so the metal part, not the rubber gasket is touching the glass jar. This will prevent mold from growing.

8. Picnic coolers – Sanitize and fill with water between uses.

For a more complete discussion and advanced information see your Totally Ready binder. Or

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