Water Bladders – Safe Water Storage for All Seasons
Did you know that in times of crisis the first safety item is clean drinking water? Fema, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, suggests that at least one gallon of water per day, per person be kept on hand for events that can disrupt the normal supply of water. In addition, they suggest that at least three days of supply be stored. Depending on the size of the household, the amount could be substantial. If there are pets or livestock, that amount continues to grow.
So for safety’s sake let’s calculate the requirements, 3 gallons at minimum per person. This does not include what is needed for washing, very hot temperatures where there are significant dehydration factors, the young, the elderly or nursing mothers. So to be extra cautious, it might be prudent to double Fema’s number. If there are four people in the household, and the minimum number of days to store water is three, then a safe storage amount is going to be 12 to 24 gallons of clean drinking water.
The next order of business is what kind of water storage containers are available. Water bottles are readily available; however, they are not environmentally friendly and are a large part of the landfill problem currently. There are large plastic containers that can hold the amount needed for emergency storage, but they are bulky and take up space when not needed. Water bladders are an alternative that provide any size requirement needed and have a small footprint when not in use. Water bladders are used in a variety of applications and emergency water storage is one of them. Bladders are used in the lining of packs that hikers take into the field, bladders are used to haul and store liquids worldwide. Water bladders make a perfect emergency storage unit as the bladder can be tucked away in a small space until the need arises for it to be filled and placed in action.
There are some important considerations when purchasing a water bladder. First, the bladder must be food grade, or NSF-61 certified. Without the certification, the bladder may contain harmful chemicals or may not be reliable. Ask for the certification, and when in doubt, check to see where the bladder is made. If it is made in the United States, there is a way to verify the material the bladder is made of. Nothing is more important than the cleanliness of the water and the water container. Due to the very nature of water security, it is important that manufacturers and suppliers be extremely confident that the water bladder be food grade and certified.
When an emergency is imminent, pull the water bladder out of storage, place on a stable surface anywhere, fill, and know that your household can weather the event with a level of safety and security. Being prepared with clean water is the first task in any emergency.