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#77213 - 11/17/06 08:10 PM minimum ONE GALLON per person per day??!!??!?
dandruff Offline

Registered: 11/21/05
Posts: 12
Loc: Singapore
hi folks im putting together a basic diaster-preparedness kit for my home.

in doug's article he recommends at least one gallon per person per day. now im not familiar with gallons but according to onlineconversion.com 1 gallon = 3.785 litres (there are actually several types of gallons!)

anyway, considering my household has 12 mouths to feed (6 human, 2 canine, 4 feline), that works out to 12*3*3.785 = 136.26litres for 72hours!!!!! thats an insane amount of water!!

granted, cats wouldnt need that much but still even if i round down to a 100litres its still a huge amount of space to occupy beneath the stairs...

is one gallon fairly conservative or am i just wholly ignorant of the true amount of water i consume a day? in fact doug actually recommends FIVE gallons, but i dont think that would be practical for my situation.

i havent even counted the many koi fish in my pond. poor guys if shtf i really dont know what i could do for them (animal lover as u can tell:)

another thing: what type of foods do you recommend? since complex carbs are recommended, will simple dry biscuits and some cans of baked beans be alright? i dont really want to spend much on specialized MREs and such.

thanks for help!

#77214 - 11/17/06 08:39 PM Re: minimum ONE GALLON per person per day??!!??!?
norad45 Offline

Registered: 07/01/04
Posts: 1506
As far as food goes I stock a mixture of canned and MRE's. Canned gives you a large variety to choose from and is relatively inexpensive. I'd start there.

I figure 1/2 gallon minimum per pet, but I'll admit that is an arbitrary figure on my part. I'm not familiar with your climate. Is it hot? Humid? I live in a desert so 1 gallon per person per day seems pretty minimal to me. I am in the process of doubling my stock to 2 gallons per day. Remember, it's a lot easier to get by without food than water..... <img src="/images/graemlins/frown.gif" alt="" />

#77215 - 11/17/06 10:13 PM Re: minimum ONE GALLON per person per day??!!??!?
Chris Kavanaugh Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 02/09/01
Posts: 3824
Part of daily water use includes essential hygiene. If you use canned goods, many will have a water % to factor in. Boiling or steaming foods will require water use. You could theoretically boil food and it again for hygiene or pet use.

#77216 - 11/18/06 12:40 AM Re: minimum ONE GALLON per person per day??!!??!?
ame Offline

Registered: 10/15/05
Posts: 162
Loc: Korea
Here in New Zealand's South Island we are told to store a minimum of 3 litres per person per day, for at least three days.

It may sound like a lot, but in fact it's a minimum, and really you should store more. If you have a water meter outside your house then try taking a reading every day for a week and see how much you actually use. I am sure it is more than the 'insane' amount you have quoted.

One thing we are tending to do in our house is to store canned and pouched meals. These are ready cooked, and do not require water to be added, so the store of water goes further. This only makes sense for 'bugging-in', since they are heavy. Bugging-out should dictate dried food for lightness of load, but then you are presented with the problem of where to get water at your destination.

Our major likely disaster is earthquake, followed by flooding. Our water is stored in plastic fruit juice bottles in a shed away from the house (with a combination padlock, so there's no key to lose). Each bottle holds 3l, and we also have some smaller (1l) bottles. If we had to leave in a vehicle we could grab some of these bottles easier than, say, a 50l drum. If we were on foot then all we'd have is the two 1.5l bottles in each of our BOBs.

There has been talk recently about increasing the recommendation for how much water and supplies you should store to 14 days. This came about after a recent extreme snowfall that cut off some towns and villages in the South Island for nearly three weeks. The roads were blocked and power and phone lines were down.

Your situation will differ from mine, so you need to look at the recommendations and alter them to suit yourself.


#77217 - 11/18/06 12:45 AM Re: minimum ONE GALLON per person per day??!!??!?
ame Offline

Registered: 10/15/05
Posts: 162
Loc: Korea
PS Don't forget, you might already have some water stored around you, for example, in a cistern for your household water supply; a hot-water cylinder; or a toilet cistern. If you know in advance something is going to happen you could fill your bathtub with water. Also, if it rains regularly you could have a water butt on your downpipe which collects rainwater which you can use.

#77218 - 11/18/06 02:19 AM Re: minimum ONE GALLON per person per day??!!??!?
haertig Offline

Registered: 03/13/05
Posts: 2025
Loc: Colorado
havent even counted the many koi fish in my pond.

Hmmm... How many liters does your Koi pond hold? A bit of filtratrion, chemical purification, or boiling, ... and you just might have a large amount of water already being stored!

#77219 - 11/18/06 03:40 AM Re: minimum ONE GALLON per person per day??!!??!?
Blast Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 07/15/02
Posts: 3561
Loc: Spring, Texas

Welcome to the equipped forums! Being here is definately a smart way to start your preparations.

You are right that 1 US gallon = 3.785 liters (let's round up to 4 L to make things easier). Singapore's temperature stays pretty steady between 24C and 32C all year long and monthly rainfalls of 10-25cm and a daily average humidity of 80-90%. So, fairly hot and wet all the time.

Under those conditions 4 L per day per HUMAN does sound like a bare minimum. Now, not all this water is for drinking. It also includes water used to cook food, wash yourself, washing your dishes and even occasionally washing your clothes.

Your weather is similar to Houston, Texas where I live. We sweat a lot here. When I'm working outside I've drunk more than 4 liters in one day. Plus, being all sweaty I need a lot of water to clean up myself and my clothes (one can put that off only so long). Let's say I need 6L (more likely 8L) to stay hydrated and clean. I still haven't included water for cooking or doing dishes. Add another 2L for that.

Now, I guessing in your situation not all six people will be working hard, sweating, etc... Let's say only two of your are and the rest are just sitting in a shady spot trying to keep cool. This suggests you'd need at least 8*2+4*4=32L per day for the humans or 96L for 72 hours.

Four of these will give you that plus a little extra. They are 35.56cm by 38cm by 28cm and hold about 26L each. That's not really much space. As Haertig mentioned, add the water from your koi pond (treated first) for cleaning and those water containers will last you even longer.

As for the pets, I don't know what sort of dogs you have but I do have two cats. I would say combined they use about 4L each per week, though probably a bit less. As for the dogs, measure how much water they drink to work it into your plans.

Now, on to food. Are there certian canned or boxed foods that you already enjoy, eat on a regular basis, don't require refrigeration and are easy to prepare? Things like pasta, dry beans, canned stews or soups, cereal, peanut butter, raisins, etc? Buy more of that. The trick with "survival foods" is to stock what you eat. To get extra calories add foods such as honey, peanut butter or plain sugar. Don't forget seasonings to spice things up. Make sure you do have a mix of carbs, fruits-veggies and protein. Also, if you are sweating you'll need to take in more salt so have a container of that on hand. Carbs in the form of oatmeal are a favorite in our household. With the right seasonings added you can make oatmeal taste like anything (I like it mixed with either peanut butter or barbecue sauce).

An easy way to build a stockpile of food is just buy a few extra cans/boxes/packages each time you get groceries. It'd be nice to get it all at once, but that's beyond the means of most of us. Oh yeah, it doesn't hurt to throw in a bottle of multi-vitamins.


p.s. Do you have any good way of catching rainwater off your roof?
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#77220 - 11/18/06 03:45 AM Re: minimum ONE GALLON per person per day??!!??!?
ironraven Offline
Cranky Geek
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 09/08/05
Posts: 4642
Loc: Vermont
One thing to remember is that pets will spill some water, so I would have some margin of error there.

As for 4L/day, that's not a lot. Sure, if you are sitting in an airconditioned office and pounding a keyboard every day, you'll sweat out less than that, but if the stuff hits the fan, you'll probably have to do "some" manual labor. For Singapore, typhoons, maybe some seismic risks? All of those will require a lot of grunt work, and I know from previous experince that even if you "acclimate" to it, you can burn through three quarts per day no problem. And that's just to drink. Add in cooking water, toothbrush water, a reserve for first aid needs, and you've got the four liters and maybe a bit more.

Also, keep in mind that a lot of shelf stable food uses salt as a preservative- it is going to increase your water intake.

When a man dare not speak without malice for fear of giving insult, that is when truth starts to die. Truth is the truest freedom.

#77221 - 11/18/06 04:32 AM Re: minimum ONE GALLON per person per day??!!??!?
Susan Offline

Registered: 01/21/04
Posts: 5163
Loc: W. WA
Six people x 3 days = 18 people-days = 18 gallons/72 liters.

I have one active 50-lb (110kg) dog that drinks 1.5 quarts/liters a day, probably more in hot weather.

I have six cats that probably drink a total of one quart/liter per day (a generous estimation, and they eat dry food).

So, you could probably add one full gallon per day (total) for all your animals.

18 gallons for 6 people for 3 days + 1 gallon per day for pets = 21 gallons.

In your climate, I would call those 21 gallons 'drinking water'. You would need more for washing people and clothes.

Look more closely around your home -- there are often unused or awkward spaces that could be used for water storage. Water stored in several places would be safer than putting them all in one place. And it would spread out the weight.

A fifty-five gallon rain barrel at each corner of your house could easily be the answer to washing water, if not drinking water. How much value do you think those 4 barrels would have if all drinking water stopped flowing from the usual sources?


#77222 - 11/18/06 04:38 AM Re: minimum ONE GALLON per person per day??!!??!?
ame Offline

Registered: 10/15/05
Posts: 162
Loc: Korea
havent even counted the many koi fish in my pond.

Can you eat them?

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