Household water supplies, including drinking water, could
be affected in a disaster so having a supply of stored
water is absolutely essential. You need at least three
litres of drinking water for each person each day. You
will also need water for washing and cooking. You can
purchase bottled water or prepare your own containers
of water. Purchase food-grade water storage containers
from camping or hardware stores or recycle plastic soft
drink bottles. Do not use milk containers as protein cannot
be adequately removed with washing, and may harbour bacteria.
TO STORE WATER SAFELY
* Wash bottles thoroughly in hot water.
* Fill each bottle with tap water until it overflows.
* Add five drops of household bleach per litre of water
(or half a teaspoon for 10 litres) and put in * storage.
Do not drink for at least 30 minutes after disinfecting.
* Do not use bleaches that contain added scent or perfume,
surfactants or other additives - they can make people
* Label each bottle with dates showing when the bottles
were filled and when they need to be refilled.
* Check the bottles every 12 months. If the water is not
clear, throw it out and refill clean bottles with clean
water and bleach.
* Store bottles away from direct sunlight in a cool dark
place. Keep them in two separate places and where there
is not likely to be flooding.
You can also fill plastic ice cream containers with water,
cover, label and keep in the freezer. These can help keep
food cool if the power is off and can also be used for drinking.
Your hot water cylinder and toilet cistern are valuable
sources of water. Check that your hot water cylinder and
header tank are well secured. Do not put chemical cleaners
in the cistern if you want to use the water. If you use
collected rain water make sure that you disinfect it with
household bleach. If you are uncertain about the quality
of water, e.g. from a well that has been flooded, or if
it might have been contaminated by smoke or volcanic ash,
do not drink it.