Imagine that you go to the kitchen and turn the faucet and nothing comes out. You are without water because there is no electricity. And how long before you run out depends on where you get your water from.
If you are on your own well or tank, it will all depend on how much is stored in the water lines and the tank before it is gone, but it will generally happen pretty quickly.
If you are on city water, it is generally pumped using electricity to large storage tanks you see around your town or area where it is disinfected and distributed through hundreds of miles of pipeline, booster stations and gravity and depending on quite a few variables (like broken water lines), your tap may continue to function for quite awhile (but cold water only and if you live in a high rise that has its own pumping system, you may be out of luck).
In today’s world with the possibility of electrical outages due to forced fire hazards, terrorism or quarantines of those manning the pumps, it always pays to have a little bit of water stored in containers at home where you can access it easily.
Survivalist literature always talks about the “rules of three” – 3 minutes without air, 3 hours without core body temperature regulation, 3 days without water and 3 weeks without food, so as a general rule, I’d look at having at least 25 gallons per person on hand at any given time.
The general rule of thumb is that you’ll need one gallon of water per person per day. Half a gallon is used for drinking and the other half is used for hygiene. That number will go up depending on a whole host of factors. If you live in a hot climate or have pregnant or nursing women in your group, you’ll want to store more water.
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