How Much Water Should I Store If SHTF? Simple and Easy!

You’re probably wondering how much water you should store if SHTF.



The answer is not a little.



Then the question comes about, “what is a lot?”.



Well, that depends on what kind of bug-out bag you’re packing, and where you’ll be going. If you’re traveling through the desert, you’ll need to carry more water than if you’re heading over snowy peaks. And if you have a tub at home, then maybe that’s all the storage space you need.


But what if your house gets burned down? Or flooded? Or both?


Do you really want to risk not having enough water for yourself and your family?


It’s hard to know exactly how much your family will need in an emergency situation… but we’ve got some tips for how much water to store if SHTF below!


It’s a question that’s pretty important! It will come down to a few different factors. One of those is where you are located. If you are in a hotter part of the world/area then you will have to estimate more water than in a colder part.

Think Of How Much Water You Would Need With Out Electricity


For example, you are living in Las Vegas and want to store enough water for 4 people for at least 5 months. You would have to estimate around 225 gallons per person, which is a gallon and a half for one person. So in total, it would be around 900 gallons for five months in the desert. You need a minimum of a gallon but estimating a little bit more is always recommended.


If you happen to live in Boston, I would estimate a gallon per day would be adequate. This means per person for 5 months you would want around 160 gallons and for all four people 640 gallons.


The first is where you are located.


Location plays a key role in determining how much water you will need. One gallon per person a day is a “golden rule” so to speak when it comes to how much water you will need a day to survive. That could be more, primarily due to where you are located.

How Much Water is Needed for Cooking and Washing?


When SHTF, you want to have estimated the other uses that water is used for besides drinking. The main ones are for cooking and cleaning. You want to maintain hygiene as much as you can to prevent getting sick and other unfavorable effects.


How Much Water is Needed for Cooking? When SHTF, you will need water to cook food and boil water. The amount of water needed will depend on what you are cooking and how long it takes to cook. For example, cooking rice requires less time and water than cooking meat. It’s good to have an idea of how much water you will need for cooking.


The average person needs at least 1 liter of water per day for cooking purposes. That being said, this amount may vary based on your cooking needs or depending on the situation where you live (e.g., desert climate). To calculate how much water is needed for cooking purposes, multiply the number of people who will eat dinner for example by .5 liters (or 500 milliliters) per person per day. This should give you a good estimate of the minimum amount of water needed.


Factoring in the amount of space you have


There’s one thing that we can all agree on: it’s important to have enough water on hand when things start going south.


But how much water? How many gallons of water should you have stored away? What kind of containers should you use? How will you make sure that your family has plenty of clean drinking water when SHTF?

The amount of space you have for storage will determine how much water you need to store. But even more importantly, it will determine what kind of container is best for your situation. Gallon jugs might be better than an IBC Tote, or vice versa!


So take stock of how much space you have to store water, and determine what the best course of action is for your situation.




Make sure to remember that things change and so does water storage. Things change over time, and you may need more or less depending on whether there is a natural disaster or other emergencies in your area.

My Recommendation for Water Storage For When SHTF


When it comes to water storage, my recommendation is diversity. It’s always better to have more than one option because as we all know, life is unpredictable. So I’d recommend 6-gallon water jugs that you can easily buy at Walmart and also having at least one IBC tote for holding large amounts of water is a good idea. They hold a lot of water and are relatively cheap. The main point is you want to have both options.


You may find yourself in a situation where you have to leave your home and need to have a plan B if that were to occur.




Water purification is a central aspect of being fully prepared and ready for when an emergency situation arises. It is key to have water stored but equally be able to purify it. There are many, the ones I would recommend would be the following: Platypus GravityWorks Water Filter System – 4 Liter, Sawyer Squeeze, and the Life Straw.


Multiple Options for Water Purification.


This will allow you to purify a little water or a lot depending on your situation. The Platypus GravityWorks Water Filter System – 4 Liter comes with a hose that allows you to pump water into this system and then let gravity do its job.


Gravity plays a key role in filtering out any debris or bacteria from your water source. This filter can produce alot of water and is best for large groups or families. It’s my go-to when it comes to purifying water, in larger quantities. !


The Sawyer Squeeze is another option that one could purchase if they wanted something more lightweight but still effective at filtering out debris from their drinking water sources.


Finally, if you need something more compact that doesn’t take up much room in your pack while also being easy is the Life Straw. 


To sum it up, it is important to have a plan for water storage and purification when SHTF. My recommendation is to have a diversity of options depending on your needs and situation. Having six-gallon water jugs, Platypus Gravity, as well as an IBC tote, will allow you to have different options for storing and purifying water.


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