The second thing to prepare for your family is water. Truthfully, it’s the most important. As I know, you can’t mix formula for a baby without water. Most of the time when you cook, you need water for that as well. We all know how important it is to have a steady supply, not just for drinking, but for the sake of cleanliness as well.
FEMA, again, recommends having a three day supply. You can count on an average person drinking a minimum of half a gallon per day with age, physical condition and other factors applying to that number. Also, sick people, nursing or pregnant mothers, and children should drink more than their allotted half gallon. Another often forgotten need for water is your pets. Summer temperatures can also double then amount required. That’s a lot of information to take in, believe me. FEMA says to store one gallon per person per day. That includes any you would need for cooking or washing. Go look at a milk jug. Imagine that’s your water limit for the day. It doesn’t sound like a lot of fun.
My suggestion is to triple that just to be on the safe side. It’s always much better to have too much than not enough. So, my personal goal is three gallons per person per day for a minimum of three days. There’s still not much wiggle room, so don’t expect to be wasteful, but it will help. Storage can be done with bottled water you buy at the store, or by using other approved storage containers from bottles to 55 gallon drums. I prefer water cans (similar to gas cans) that can be found at stores (like Wal-Mart) which are intended for camping. Mine, in particular, hold seven gallons and they are square so they’re easily stackable and there’s a spigot included. Do your own research though and make choices that best fit your family.
Water purifiers are a whole new realm of information. I don’t know as much about them, other than it’s great to have as a back up. The market is flooded with purifiers, from Brita pitchers to the Life Saver system. They all have their uses and strengths and weaknesses but one thing they all do is give you clean potable water to drink so definitely consider adding a purifier of some sort to you preparations.
Having water available to you can not only keep you alive, it can also help ease the tensions of a disaster situation. Knowing that you have at least enough to get you through a couple of days should give you and immense peace of mind and it also helps you to remain self sufficient and not rely on the government for a had out.