In an emergency, water is important for drinking and for hygiene purposes. Authorities recommend storing a two-week supply of water or 14 gallons per person. This provides seven gallons of water for drinking and seven gallons for hygiene. People in hot climates, children, nursing mothers and elderly people will require additional water. Drinking enough water is critical. Even if supplies are running low, water should not be rationed.
There is hardly a preparedness topic that generates more conflicting information than water storage. National authorities are a good place to start when looking for reliable information. The pamphlet "Food and Water in an Emergency" has been put out by FEMA and the American Red Cross.
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