Home > Emergency Management > Hurricane Guide > Before a Hurricane > Prepare Drinking Water

Prepare Drinking Water

Rather than buying bottled water, invest in plastic water containers for your family.

  • Fill aluminum or plastic containers with potable water once a hurricane warning is announced. Plan for at least one gallon per person per day for 3 to 7 days. Keep other containers two-thirds full with potable water and place them in your freezer for ice after a storm.
  • Before filling your water containers, wash them out with soap and water and rinse them well. Next, fill the container with a solution of one tablespoon of unscented household chlorine bleach — the kind used for laundry — per gallon of water. Let it sit for 10 minutes, then pour out the solution and rinse the container.
  • Keeping water stored for too long could attract harmful bacteria and make the water taste stale, so wait until a hurricane warning is announced.
  • Plastic water containers are available in a variety of sizes, from four to 10 gallons or more, and some are collapsible or can be folded easily for storage. They're built to last for years, so you'll save money in the long run.