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How to determine how much water you need to keep stocked

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Water is vital. Everyone would agree to that. But how much water should you stock? It is widely recommended that you should stock one gallon of water per person per day. This is for drinking, cooking, sanitation and first aid.

You should always keep on hand one gallon per person per day for at least three days. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency (PEMA) both suggest keeping a three day supply per person on hand. So if you have a family of five, you should have 15 gallons of water on hand. The National Terror Alert Response Center recommends storing a minimum of a 10 day supply. So my family of five, in that example, would need to store 50 gallons of water.

That may seem like overkill but you might want to actually consider having more on hand. Children, the sick and nursing moms will need more water. Warmer climates may need more than cooler climates.

Don’t forget your pets! Your pet will need fresh drinking water as well.

Importance of storing clean water

One important reason to prepare is that emergencies are by nature not scheduled events. You can not predict when your water could become contaminated. Consider the residents of Charleston, WV who could not use their water for drinking, cooking or even sanitation due to a chemical spill last month.

Ten percent of people worldwide do not have access to safe water, according to WaterAid America.

Nearly half of everyone in the developing world are suffering from one or more of the main diseases associated with dirty water and inadequate sanitation, according to the UNDP: Human Development Report, 2006.

Benefits of Water

Water regulates our body temperature and energizes muscle. This is the reason it is advised to drink before, during and after exercise. Water also controls calories and therefore helps with weight loss. Your skin looks dry and splotchy when it is dehydrated. Water therefore keeps skin looking good Staying hydrated also helps maintain your kidney and bowel functions.

Asthma can be relieved when you drink more water. The histamine level increases with dehydration and the body’s natural defense is to close down the airways, according to the Dorchester County Health Department.

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