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Store at least 1 to 2 gallons of water per person per day

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Fresh, clean, drinking water is one of the most important supplies you need to have in your hurricane kit if you decide to hunker down and ride out a tropical cyclone. There are two approaches to take, and as depicted in the photo in this post, we decided to do both:

  1. Buy distilled water bottles at a discount or dollar store. If you do this before everyone goes bonkers and empties the shelves, you can save a lot of money. We usually buy it before storm season and keep in back of a closet. If we don’t need it for survival, we just use it for cookouts and beach trips AFTER the hurricane season.
  2. Fill up pots and pans, flexible water storage bags, and other clean containers with lids ( or cover with plastic wrap). You need to get all your containers cleaned out and ready, but it is best to wait until right before the weather starts getting bad. Sometimes the path changes and you don’t need to go the whole way.

“Experts” are always repeating to have at least 1 to 2 gallons per person with a 3 day supply. I think the amount per person is a good estimate, if you factor in cooking needs and drinking extra water in a VERY hot, non-air-conditioned world. However, I would consider a 3 day supply a very minimal amount.

I would consider a 3 day supply a very minimal amount – go for a longer supply

Jamie, Your Hunker Down Guide

If you have followed real disastrous storms the past decade (Katrina in New Orleans, Maria in Puerto Rico, etc), you might remember the pitifully slow official response in some impacted areas. Countless people have lost their lives form lack of water or from getting sick from poisoned water. Water in ditches and ponds can carry all sorts of germs and chemicals. I for one do not want to be reduced to those conditions if I can help it.

I would say a week’s supply would be enough for help to reach most areas, except perhaps very remote, cut-off places. You have to make the ultimate judgement, based on your situation. But water containers and even big jugs of water are pretty inexpensive items.

Water purification devices for extreme situations

Although it isn’t necessarily effective with chemical contaminates, a hand held water purification device could be a life saver for a group in dire conditions. Let’s say the worst case scenario happens and such a large area is destroyed that help doesn’t reach you for longer than 3 to 7 days? A passive, hand held filtering bottle could be used to scoop up rain water from ditches, rivers, ponds, and even puddles. They all have filters with holes smaller than the smallest virus, so bacteria and other germs can’t pass from the dirty side to the clean side.

These are pricey items ($25 – $50) that hopefully you never have to use in an emergency. They could be dual use items, good for camping and hiking trips the rest of the year. Here is the type of filter bottle I have had experience with on hiking trips. I remember one trip where there was a well at a remote primitive site with very “rusty” looking, but drinkable water. The filter container we used produced clear looking water.

Keep your peace of mind knowing that you have enough water.

Tropical Scan for August 20, 2019

The NHC forecasts shows an area in the Atlantic with possible development over the next 5 days.

Hawaii looks clear too. Still some activity off the southern coast of Mexico in the Pacific.

Stay prepared, Jamie

For more weather details, visit our Tropical Weather Briefing for NHC forecasts, weather maps, and links.

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