Hi All

Since water is the most important requirement for life, I thought I would lead off this website with my idea about how to store water and not have your neighbors think your nuts. Lets face it, to be really prepared, you need a lot of water and preferably a hand pump to get it out of the ground yourself without requiring electricity. While this is a great goal, it is also generally out of the reach of the typical guy living in suburbia. I get my water from the township water tower, and don’t have enough land to have a well. (Well, maybe I could, not sure what the laws are and how much land you really need. But I am pretty sure if everyone around me had a well, there wouldn’t be enough water in the ground. Someone let me know if I am wrong.)

So for the rest of us half normal people, we must satisfy our prepper nature by at least having the ability to store enough water to make it a while. Which can quickly mean, big water storage tanks. I have 4 X 6 gallon water containers that I was able to score at walmart. Looked around online for better prices, but eventually saw them at walmart for under 10 bucks in the camping section. That was the best price I found and least hastle. I am sure you can get them cheaper on craigslist.com or somewhere, do whatever fits your time vs money curve. At least when you buy new you know they are clean. I got 4 so that both me and my wife would have 2 to carry when transporting water. Any more than what you can carry, in this size, seemed like a waste to me at this time, I have lots of other prepper things on my list.

Now as many of you are surely thinking, 20 some gallons of water isn’t much. So I looked around for more storage. There are a couple natural storage devices in every home. First is the hot water heater, so thats 30-50 gallons depending how much calcium is in there. Then there is the bathtub. Since my home is served by a water tower, I figure I should always be able to at least fill the tub. I live in southern PA, so earthquakes are not really a worry (nevermind that one last year) and even if an Nuke gets lit off a couple hundred miles up, gravity and pipes should work, at least until government/army throw the valves in martial law or everyone else drains the tower to their bathtubs, whichever happens first. So that is another 30+ gallons. Not really drinking water, but good for toilets. They do make bathtub shaped bladders, http://www.aquapodkit.com/ but be aware these are typically single use items, you cannot really get all the water out, clean and dry them. So they may be worth it if you live in a hurricane zone but I haven’t bothered to get one. So I am probably at about 100 gallons of water in my house, not enough…

So I got to work scowering the internet/craiglist for water storage. You can buy big blue water barrels new, but cost quickly gets about 50 bucks each. I looked around on craigslist and found some nice cube shaped 250 gallon containers in a tube metal frame thing for only 100 bucks. Honestly this looked really great, but was just way too big for me. It wouldn’t fit anywhere but my garage/yard. I am not giving up that much garage room, and my neighbors don’t need to see my big water storage tank. So I kept searching. Finally found someone with 3 x 55 gallon blue drums for 15 bucks each. Said they used to hold tea. They were a bit dirty on the outside, and 1 seemed to have just a bit of sediment ?? in the bottom. It really wasn’t much at all, especially once I washed it out. Figured I never actually intend to drink out of these, and if the situation arises, I have a bit of Clorox to clean them and I won’t really care when the world is falling apart. These could also be used for gas in a pinch. Not the best idea under normal circumstances as static electricity can be a problem. (Evidently your regular gas cans are too small, but the large surface area of these barrels can pick up enough to be dangerous.) But if a nuke is air burst over the Middle East, I wouldn’t hesitate to make 20 runs to the nearest gas station and fill every one of them.

So now I have 3 big blue barrels in my garage. Where in the world am I going to store them. At first I measured to see if I could get them into the attic above the garage. Unfortunately they are 2 inches too wide, and honestly I think I would want quicker access to them, should I ever need them. Looking around it finally dawned on me to use some hooks and bungee cords and put them above the garage door. The 35 inch bungee cords worked fine and I was even able to get them up there by myself. (Wear eye protection, a bungee cord is ridiculously dangerous if it slips near your face. My dad knew someone who lost like 5 teeth to the metal hook. Yuk) I only got three, but four would easily fit up there. So they aren’t full of water, but I don’t want the hassle of keeping the water fresh, and they are half hidden from the neighbors. The few we know well enough to invite into our home we aren’t worried about. The rest of the neighbors rarely make it past my driveway, and even if they get half way into my garage for beer or whatever, they cannot see them, even if they were paying attention.

So this isn’t an absolutely amazing idea, but is a pretty cool way to store large water barrels without the nosy neighbors knowing. The guy living in the house across the street in the picture will probably never know.


Three 55 gallon water barrels stored above my garage door.