Water: you can live only 3 days without good clean water to drink. This is a bugaboo of mine since doing my water test back in April. I did not have enough water and it took a lot more physical energy to move than I had anticipated! Actually I did have plenty of water for the week. Heck I didn’t even use all my camp jugs. But figuring 1 gallon per day, per person. I was way over my ration for the week and all I was doing was a few dishes/pots and pans, 1 spit bath a day and cooking for 1 person. No, for a week or so you need 3-5 gallons per person per day and that’s just your needs, garden, pets, farm animals will need water as well as you. What about laundry? have you stored water for a 5 gallon bucket worth of laundry every week per person?
When I was doing training in the Army down in lovely Death Valley at the National Training Center or NTC and going 2 weeks without a shower. You come back to the rear and you can smell the clean on people and become very aware you are more than a little on the funky side even though you did take a spit bath everyday! There are stories from WWI of soldiers breaking down into tears simply because they were so filthy.
Do you have rain barrels hooked up and full? Can you collect and filter water? I’m not dealing in hyperbole when I say your life may depend on it. Do you think you will be the only one trying to hoist a 5 gallon bucket from your local creek, stream, pond or river? How safe will it be to drink if folks just start dumping all waste at the curb? Gosh, I hate to say it but OWS showed folks will simply dump waste in sewers and run off grates and never think about water from a toilet is a bit different from rain runoff and needs to be treated!
I live in hi desert and on average we will get about 1 inch of ran per month for 6-8 months. Now on a 1000 square foot roof and 1 inch of rain you could collect about 500-600 gallons of water. Even in a bad year you could probably collect about 3000 gallons per year. Oh sure it would have to be filtered or treated but you would have water! For 1 person that is over 9 gallons per day for a year! Just harvesting the rain water on a 1000 square foot roof. Plus you don’t have to leave home to collect water so it will probably safer than driving around looking for water!
You will need water and that idea of a gallon a day is not realistic long term. Simply because while your body may need only a gallon to survive your home, your cooking and you keeping clean takes a bit more water. Got a baby? shave, laundry. Trust me a gallon a day of water may keep you from dying but it is no way to live!
I just found a cool little collapsible 50 gallon rain barrel at Amazon.com for about $37.00 counting shipping
I know I want to get a couple of these as they would be terrific in a bugout situation or around the house collecting rain and it looks like you could daisy chain a few together and expand your storage.
Check your local farm store and if you have a bottling plant nearby you might get used food safe barrels for a great price. I’ll ask my beer lady where she is getting the 15 gallon water barrel for such a low price. Or you could call/send and e-mail to her as she’s in my Blog links under shopping, Nampa Brewers