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Author of Be Ready for Anything and Bloom Where You’re Planted online course

September is National Preparedness Month and we’re going to have a quick daily challenge. I hope everyone will participate! Don’t worry – if you miss a day, you can go back and do two challenges on another day. 

Those who participate in the forum can win a prize. Go here to register and here to join the Challenge. If you don’t want to join the forum, you can also participate here in the comments section.
I’ll be posting the challenges every day. Be sure to jump in and end September better prepared than you were when you started the month.

Sept. 1 Challenge

Today’s challenge is to fill as many empty containers as possible with water.

This includes things like canning jars (why store them empty when it takes the same space to store them full of water), old water or soda pop bottles, and any other vessels you have lying around.

Report on this thread how many containers you were able to find and fill. Let us know if you had any unique ideas for containers for water, too!

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Daisy Luther

Daisy Luther is a coffee-swigging, globe-trotting blogger. She is the founder and publisher of three websites.  1) The Organic Prepper, which is about current events, preparedness, self-reliance, and the pursuit of liberty on her website, 2)  The Frugalite, a website with thrifty tips and solutions to help people get a handle on their personal finances without feeling deprived, and 3), an aggregate site where you can find links to all the most important news for those who wish to be prepared. She is widely republished across alternative media and  Daisy is the best-selling author of 5 traditionally published books and runs a small digital publishing company with PDF guides, printables, and courses. You can find her on FacebookPinterest, Gab, MeWe, Parler, Instagram, and Twitter.

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  • As another fan, on another post left a comment – some 1 gallon ziplock bags filled with water in the freezer. Don’t forget your water heater has 30+ gallons of water in it. Just make sure you refill it when safe water is restored, then apply the power or gas.

    • ^^Yes!.. We lose power a lot out in the country, so I’ve been saving frozen gallon bags for years! It’s such a great thing! You have water if you need it, but it keeps your freezer a little colder for longer.

  • I fill my laundry soap containers after I wash them out of course. They will be good for washing things. Good to take camping as well.

    • Good one! I just emptied a 2 gallon liquid laundry detergent bottle. Not all stored water has to necessarily be drinkable. I can just label this one for washing! Duh.

    • I have loads of drinking water, but i also fill my empty laundry, bulk soap, vinegar etc. containers with tap water and keep in the laundry room. I write “hygiene water” on the bottles so i don’t get them mixed up with potable water.

  • I live in southern AZ so, water is hard to come by if the normal channels are “out of order”. I have already in place 15-5gallon jugs, one 55 gallon barrel, and 2 waterbobs. I think my two best choices for improving our water preps would be to set up water catchment or to sell my suburban home and move further from town on acreage with my own well. I am certainly open to more ideas!

  • Thanks for the challenge! Because of today’s challenge, I pulled water bottles from the recycle bin, cleaned then filled with water and placed in freezer. My family has already named me crazy G’ma because of my prepping but I just smile when I get approached and ask if I have an extra this or that, because they are out. I hope the September challenge will help me stay focused.

  • I have a quarts and pints of normal saline solution, which I made from distilled water and non-iodized salt. I pressure can these and have them for washing wounds in an emergency.

  • Storing even “clean” containers with water for extended periods of time is dangerous. If you choose to store water, fill your freezer with clean canning jars that have been sterilized. Even using non-sterilized water for washing is dangerous. A better idea is to find a natural source of water and get a good Berkey filtration unit. Not a fan of stored water. Your just looking for trouble.

    • I’m not sure where you are getting the idea that storing water is dangerous. Tap water from a municipal source is already treated. If you are concerned (or on a well) you can add 2 drops of unscented, plain chlorine bleach per gallon.

      • Actually, I’ve found that a bottle of tap water left at room temperature will smell and taste funky in just a couple of days. Maybe it’s the way our water is processed, definitely if the containers are thoroughly scrubbed before being used it lasts longer before “getting weird”. That’s why for lts I prefer commercially packaged water.

    • Freezing full glass jars not made specifically for freezer use will fill your freezer with broken glass.

  • Just filled up….10 glass gallon jars, 12 gallon empty vinegar jugs, 15 empty instant tea jars, and 4 empty 2 liter soda bottles earlier today. Plus we have 80 bottles of store bought water in the house and 24 bottles in each of our vehicles. We’ve got about 60 gallons of water for two of us right now. Going to keep adding. Winter will be here before we know it in Central Illinois. Hopefully we won’t have a power outage and bitter cold temps to freeze all of our water! I still have some 1/2 gallon jars that I still need to wash up to fill later to add to our water supply. Going to get some 2 1/2 gallon buckets (IF I can find any) to put water in for bathing purposes, as 5 gallon buckets are too heavy for both of us to pick up and haul into the house safely.
    Also have several kitty litter jugs filled for flushing the toilets for the possibility of someone turning off the water for repairs or a water main break. It won’t matter if the sewer pipes are frozen as that is going to be a 5 gallon bucket WITH the kitty litter!!

  • I use empty 2 liter soda bottles, vinegar and bleach containers for water. I soak the caps in vinegar for a few days to get the smell out and then wash thoroughly. I put a piece of masking tape over the top of the container after filling with water and mark the date. (month and year, such as 9/19)

    After a year, I use the water for house plants or out in the garden and refill the containers.

    This stored water has come in handy a number of times when the power went out. The 2 liter containers are light enough that kids can pick up.

    I you don’t drink soda in your home, ask to take a few home when you are at a church function or party. Most will be glad to let you have them.

  • Some containers made of plastic begin to disintegrate within time. For instance milk jugs, water jugs, and water bottles do so. Bottles that don’t are soda bottles, juice bottles, and vinegar bottles.

    • Lipton Iced Tea jugs are really nice for storage. The handle is separate from the jug and very hand friendly. I had the experience with milk jugs that was quite a mess and clean up. The plastic degraded and crumbled. Thankfully it was a cement floor and not a closet floor. I like the tea jugs because 4 will fit in a milk crate.
      We also bought a stand along pump that goes into the well and one pump brings 5 gallons of water. We have animals and without the electric pump that would be quite a chore.

  • I’m glad you started with water. It’s my weak spot. I just cleaned 12 quart jars to make meal in a jar but put water in them instead

  • I had 10 water jugs, 5 gallons each, that I had salvaged from work that I finally got off my butt and filled. thanks to this challenge. Goes along nicely with the 2 – 55 gal drums, and the 350 gal tank I’ve already got filled.

    Thanks Daisy for motivating me

  • I already have 6 quart size jars of water put up from a canning challenge a few months ago. We also keep a 55 gallon drum full. I filled 3 camping jugs for another 15 gallons. I work 10 hour days and we are remodeling our bedrooms. I hope I can complete the whole month of challenges.

  • I have 4 x 60 gallon steel barrels (with food safe plastic liners) filled with water in the garage, and 3 more in the basement. along with the dozen or so coloured quart bottles with ‘water blessing’ labels I keep on the counter for daily drinking, and the 2 filter jugs and gallon size drink dispenser of citrus water in the fridge. I think I’m set for now! Since I will downsizing considerably in the coming year, I will have to come up with a new strategy for storing water in extremely limited space once I no longer have a basement and garage. But until I move, i’m in good shape.

  • Hi everyone,

    We have 12 x 20ltr BPA jerry cans of filtered water one for every month and 2 x 30ltr BPA jerry cans these are for changing over our 12 x 20ltr ones we pour a 20ltr into an empty 30ltr which we then use over the month and the other one is full waiting for the 20ltr jerry can to be cleaned, sanitized and left to air dry before refilling and putting away for another year

    We also have 2 x ceramic water filters which we are planning to upgrade to Berkeley’s when these stop working

    a 5000ltr rain water tank which we plan to add a second one as soon as we can get some garden pulled out to clear a path so we can bring the tank in

  • Great idea to store water. I save and milk cartons that are the square study ones ( like Costco milk comes in). Also, the square clear plastic juice containers (;Ike Welch’s). I leave a space at the top when filled for expansion. I have used these in an emergency and they are easy to handle and use.

  • I keep 375 gallons stored all the time. 2 120 gallon and 55 gallon water barrels.
    Today I added 3 5 gallon storage containers and filled 10 quart bell canning jars.
    If storms are heading our way I fill 2 50 gallon troughs outside to use as flushing
    water and drinking water for my dogs. I have well water so before I store it I treat it.
    All stored water is run through my Berkey filter before I use it for drinking.

  • I have several 1 gallon pitchers, tall smart water bottles, and at least a dozen gallon water jugs. I also salvaged a few vinegar jugs. I love the idea of the laundry soap containers. It never crossed my mind. I save the jugs because I am in FL and go thru the water thing at least once a year.

  • Since I only have a well for my water supply and loosing electricity means loosing water. I always have a back supply of water. I did empty and refresh all of my backup water supplies and froze a half filled bottle of water, lying sideways, then stored it upright in my freezer.

  • I have dry mouth, si I keep a bottle of Gatorade by the bed. I fill a 32 oz. bottle half full a d freeze it at an angle. I switch them every night so they stay cold when I top them off each night. I buy Gatorade by the gallon to top them off. Therefore, I end up with a lot of gallon bottles. After rincing them thoroughly with hot water, I fill them with fresh water and store them in an unused room. I currently have over 50 gallons in a corner of dark room.the bottles are more sturdy than milk jugs, and dont have the problem of residue. Plus, their square shape stores better with less wasted room.

  • Can anyone chime in with ideas on where to store the water? With 10 of us living in the house and both pantries full I am wondering where I can store jars or jugs of water… Maybe the back of the kitchen cabinets? I have some hard to reach areas I don’t have things in. How long will water last like this?

    • We hide our water jugs behind the furniture in the living room, which is mostly all positioned close to the wall. Just pull the couch out a foot or so from the wall and you can store lots of water. Also, my favorite “hidden” storage tip: If you step into a clothes closet or pantry closet, turn around and look up, you’ll see a section of wall above the door where you could mount a shelf or two. Totally unused space, may as well put it to work. As for how long it lasts, most websites I’ve read suggest turning your water over every 6 months or so. We’re not sticklers about that, I’ll admit. You can re-oxygenate water and make it less stale-tasting by pouring it from container to container for acouple of minutes

  • Old soap buckets (rinsed) for general use, pots, pans, thermal coffee cups with lids, old soda bottles (thoroughly cleaned), old plastic food containers ( ditto), ice trays, coffee cups, plus three commercially bottled (large) and one small. Plus two pots of brewed tea and one of coffee.
    How much? Not enough!

    • Forgot the kitty litter jug and watering can I use for the plants and a large glass pitcher I use for iced tea and punch.
      Still not enough!

  • Take used water bottles and fill with water. Freeze bottles and use them to keep food cool that you may need to travel with.

  • I believe I have 40 gallons of reverse osmosis water stored in every closet of the house. I use a dropper full of colloidal silver in each one and label it as such with the date. Our irrigation diversion off a constantly running creek is 20 ft below our house, downhill. The big Berkey with extra filters will be put to use if necessary. Water for flushing is easy to grab by the painful for each bathroom. The livestock drink out of the ditch now and would continue to do that.

  • We have empty Thrive food, food safe gold lined, filled with purified water, in reusable plastic bags, lining the bottoms and sides of our freezer. I stopped counting at 20. They serve a dual purpose of keeping things cold when the power goes off, and still have drinking/cooking water later.
    We have re-made “coffee tables” by just covering stacks of store bought water with a pretty cloth and putting a lamp/lantern on them. We know where the lights and water are in the middle of the night when lights are out and can easily load the vehicles as well if needed.
    We are still getting rid of junk and putting water in those spaces – it is a good goal and makes it easy to re-purpose stuff that needs dusting, away to other people.
    We continue to read other comments and use those too.

  • Please be careful storing water in any plastic container in the freezer. Many are not constructed for freezer use, and leach chemicals at certain temperatures.

  • If it’s a short term thing, like you have a little notice for a storm, garbage bags lining milk crates are pretty convenient. Manageable size, just large enough if you needed to submerge or wash something. Honestly I use them when I’m making a foot bath for someone. Being stackable is nice, too. Clearly not a long term option; it’s in the same category as filling the bathtub with water. .

  • I use the residual detergent in laundry soap dispenser, fill with water, label power outage hand washing station. I have one at each sink, and one in the RV. I fill 1 gallon bleach bottles, label for bathing water. I have maxed out my storage area for juice jugs. I am worried about leaking, I have them stacked in RV tub. But I don’t feel completely safe having them in other areas where even a small amount of water can be very destructive. I do plan to fill RV clean water tank, but I don’t have power hooked up to properly sanitize the system. We have a large family and live in a hurricane are coming up with the recommended amount of water has been a challenge. Does anyone have experience with deep we’ll hand pumps? I think Lehman’s sells them for $400-$500.

  • Filled all picters, water bottles, several 5 gallon water jugs, water blocks, canteens. Think I got most things covered.

  • Just getting in from trip with DH to CO and WY so I have some catching up to do these days! I have a BUNCH of milk jugs, clorox and vinegar containers I fill after having been thoroughly washed and air dried for several days then filled with water. I know the milk jugs are not ideal but I mark them as “clean” so I know the water is for drinking and I rotate the water by using it for my outside gardens and then refill as used. I have a water BOB for the bathtub, and two large garbage bags of milk containers (clean of course) in the attic if I need to fill them as well.
    I have several milk containers in my freezer to help keep it full and cold incase of a power outage; filled empty cat litter containers for the “gray water” to be used in toilets.
    As i’ve been canning, when I don’t have enough jars to fill my pressure cooker, I have sterilized water in quart jars as well to fill up the space.
    One thing I don’t have is a water collection system as hubby is not buying into this whole thing…not yet, anyway.
    Reading some of the posts, I’d not thought about filling the laundry detergent jugs…thanks ladies!

  • We were not at home on Day One. So yesterday I scrounged for bottles in the laundry room and basement.
    I prefer to remove the labels from, and bleach the interior of, vinegar bottles to use for drinking water. I have taken to putting a piece of masking tap over the cap with the date on it. Last week, we were asked to feed and water the neighbor’s goats; however, for some reason the water was off. So, we took a few gallons from our house for the goats, and to water their plants.
    For non-drinking water, we keep juice bottles. They are not a great plastic and will break down faster, so we just put them in an unused shower for flushing when we have no power for the well.
    I washed and bleached the used bottles and found some new ones that were waiting for use. That plus, filling two gallon sized jars that used to hold pickles and I keep for sun tea, we ended up with seven more gallons of water. I did not fill my quart jars that are waiting to be used this week.

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