Humans can survive for much longer without food than water. It is what we need most for survival and it becomes vital to our food storage techniques.
But how much water do we really need? In food storage you should aim to store a minimum of two quarts of water per day for every person in the house. However, this is the lowest estimate and it is best to aim closer to one gallon of water per person for best results.
When you are building out your food storage, start by accumulating the first three days worth of water all at once. This will give you enough to keep you safe during short-term situations at a low upfront cost. After that, you can focus on building one week, one month, and potentially longer if needed.
Water is essential in every household and comes prepackaged making it easier to store. After consulting with plenty of certified resources, we can confirm the information in this guide is completely accurate and based on the best practices for humans and water consumption and storage.
How Much Water In Food Storage?
Water is a necessity for living organisms. Individuals need to stay hydrated and food storage needs water to grow. However, it is important to know how much water should be kept in food storage to keep you and your family well prepared.
It is recommended that you store your food in a container with a lid. The container should be able to store water with an airtight seal.
To calculate how much water to keep in your food storage, you must first know how much your family consumes. To figure this out, take the number of people living in your household and multiply it by their average daily water consumption.
The amount of water needed depends on the type of food being stored. Some foods typically require more water than others so it is best to consult a manual or use an online calculator to determine the amount of water needed for each type of food.
We recommend starting out by buying enough water that would last for three days if an emergency happened. This is enough to give your family a sense of security if there was a storm or situation that resulted in the lack of access to water.
After you compile three days, we recommend continuing to grow your storage up to at least one week and then eventually one month’s worth of water. By keeping this amount of water in food storage, you can ensure you’ll have enough in the future for any disastrous situations.
The CDC recommends that a three-day supply of water should be three gallons per person. This would be the optimal amount of water, but based on the average person this can be excessive.
Not everybody drinks one gallon of water per day in their regular life. However, it does not hurt to have a little bit of extra water. But consider the people in your home too.
At least one-half gallon of water per person would be plenty of water to get started if you are limited on storage capacity or money. The minimum water needed for a person to survive is only two quarts per day but that is based on limited activity too so it is best to increase this number to at least 3.5 quarts per day.
For a full week of water storage, we recommend compiling at least 3.5 gallons of water per person and a maximum of 7.0 gallons of water for each person in your household.
The objective is to aim for at least 0.5 gallons of water per day for everybody. However, it is always best to compile more than the recommended amount in case of further emergencies or someone in your house consuming closer to the 1.0-gallon mark.
The same rule applies to one month of water storage. Aim for 0.5 to 1.0 gallons of water per day for each member of the household.
Because water is different from food, we do not recommend trying to store one year worth of water. Instead, it is best to consistently rotate it and consume the oldest water first and then replace it with a new purchase.
How Long Does Water Last?
There is a misconception that water will always be the first thing to go in food storage. However, this entirely depends on the type of water and the storage method you used when storing it.
When storing your food for longer periods of time, it's important to consider factors such as humidity levels, temperature, light exposure, packaging material used, oxygen exposure, etc.
If you are storing purified water that has been packaged by a brand when purchased, you can expect to get up to and sometimes even longer than two years of storage. This can be extended by avoiding high temperatures and sunlight too.
However, this can be significantly decreased if the seal on any water has been broken. For example, open cup water will only last for up to two days. Meanwhile, self-sealed water from a tap in your home will only last for up to one year.
It is best to purchase your water to ensure you get the longest shelf life, but the next best option is using tap water and sealing it in your home with airtight containers.
How Much Water Does A Person Need Per Day To Survive?
As humans, we naturally lose water every day through sweat, urination, and physical activity. This means that if we did not drink any water, we would slowly wither away because we would burn more water than we consume.
We need water to survive and it is recommended that the minimum water per day needed to survive is 2.0 quarters per day. But if you assume any form of physical activity, this number is suddenly too low.
This means that the average person should consume at least 3.50 quarts of water per day to survive or else they run a serious risk of health issues and death. Water consumption levels this low could also lead to dehydration.
We recommend drinking a full gallon of water per day for optimal health, and a minimum of 0.5 gallons per day for the average person.
About THE AUTHOR
I have over a decade of experience in food and beverage management, including a ServSafe food safety qualification. As part of this qualification, I have been professionally trained in safe food storage.Read More About Mark Walker