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Water for drinking is the most important. Cooking, bathing and washing take additional water.

You already have some water stored. The hot water heaters are full of water. Ice cubes can be melted. If your toilets have holding tanks, and there are no chemicals in them, there are a few gallons of water that can be used. Do not flush toilets until you know the state of the sewers and the water availability.

Water can be safely stored in one gallon plastic jugs. Add 3-8 drops of chlorine bleach without additives. Change this water every six months and date the bottles. You can also purchase one to five gallon, sterile and sealed containers.

If you have water pressure after a quake, start running some water into additional containers. It can be stored and used for bathing and washing. It should be purified for drinking because the water from taps after a quake may be contaminated.

How To Purify Water:


Boil vigorously for 1 to 3 minutes. To improve taste, pour from one container to another several times.

Purification Tablets:

Available at any drug store. Follow directions on package.

Bleach Purification:

Liquid household bleach can be used. It must contain hypochlorite, preferably 5.25%. Add according to table below then stir and mix.

Amount of Water Clear Water Cloudy Water
1 quart 2 drops 4 drops
1 gallon 8 drops 16 drops
5 gallons 1tsp 2 tsp


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School Earthquake Preparedness Guide - State of Arkansas
Arkansas Office of Emergency Services, 1993