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Nebraska’s abundant domestic water supply is generally taken for granted. However some situations can reduce the availability of safe drinking water, including tornadoes, floods, winter storms, earthquakes, or even bio-terrorism. Such disasters may interrupt the water supply for only a few hours or up to several days. In these situations an emergency water supply is helpful, if not essential.
One option is to purchase bottled drinking water or distilled water at the time of need, or store for future use. Another option is to safely prepare and store water from your daily drinking and cooking supply.
In general store at least one gallon of water per person per day. Needs will differ depending on age, physical condition, activity, diet and climate, but most people need to drink at least 2 quarts (8 cups) of water each day. Hot weather will increase the amount needed. Children, nursing women and ill persons also will need more. In addition to drinking water, water for food preparation and hygiene are needed.
Emergency management agencies generally suggest storing at least a 3-day supply.
If an emergency supply is unavailable, it is possible to treat a limited amount of water for drinking purposes.
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UNL Extension Publications
Drinking Water Treatment: Emergency Procedures*
Guide discusses situations requiring an emergency or short-term drinking water supply and methods that can be used to treat limited amounts of water for human consumption.
Drinking Water: Storing an Emergency Supply*
Taking a little time now to store an emergency water supply can prepare for all types of disasters. If your water supply is disrupted, you will be able to provide for your entire family and possibly others.
* Documents are in PDF format. Download the current version of Adobe Reader