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Mrs. Peel

Emergency water containers for freezing temps...

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I'm slowly but steadily moving towards a bit of a "prepper" mentality. Blame @Zeke - who lent me that frightening damn book - "Lights Out" by Ted Koppel. (I'm expecting the grid to go down any minute now, people! :icon_lol:) Seriously though, I've been thinking lately about drinking water and, related to that, where to store it... my old Victorian house is presenting some rather unique challenges. In really brutal winter weather (like 10 degrees for instance), I'm sure the following areas of my house can fall below freezing: attic, mudroom, and basement. Well, those are my biggest storage areas! Worse yet, I have limited closet space (like most authentic Victorian construction). And though I have a decent amount of kitchen cabinets, I can't devote too much of that space to water!

Honestly, I'm not going to go crazy… my modest goal is 2 weeks worth of drinking water and 1 month's worth of food. Mind you, this is the OPPOSITE of how I operate now... I'm the sorry type that drags my sick self (w/swollen tonsils and sniffly nose) out to the store just to get a can of chicken noodle soup and a six-pack of diet Dr. Pepper - because the cupboard's always bare. I'm a seriously incompetent Girl Scout. So, this is a whole new mindset I'm attempting to develop.

Anyway, after online searches, I found this one product - flexible, reusable and most importantly "freezable" (as long as you only fill them only 1/2 to 2/3's full). These would open up these large, uninsulated areas of my house for water storage... so I could certainly carve out a little corner somewhere for a stash of emergency H2O. https://www.amazon.com/WaterStorageCube-Collapsible-Container-Emergency-Freezable/dp/B07V84LFPM/ref=sr_1_6?dchild=1&keywords=water%2Bstorage%2Bfreezable&qid=1575334399&s=sporting-goods&sr=1-6&th=1&psc=1 

The Amazon customer reviews looked good, I thought. But, before I click that "buy" button  - have any of you used similar products? If so, what did you think of them? Or, is there a better idea/product out there I should consider? Thanks, folks!!

 

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Your basement gets below freezing? Hmmm.

I don't think freezing temps for short periods will do harm.

Not the same, but I have at least 12 cases of bottled water in my garage at all times. That's about 36 gallons of water that's meant to be stored. I'm not so sure tap water is good for that. A case of (24) 16 ounce bottles costs $2 here.

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14 minutes ago, PK90 said:

Your basement gets below freezing? Hmmm. Yes, I mean I never put a thermometer down there, but I'm sure it does. Stone foundation - drafty walk-out basement door, drafty basement windows - if there's a few days in a row of temps in the single digits or teens, I'm sure any water in regular bottles would freeze and burst the containers.. 

I don't think freezing temps for short periods will do harm. 

Not the same, but I have at least 12 cases of bottled water in my garage at all times. That's about 36 gallons of water that's meant to be stored. I'm not so sure tap water is good for that. A case of (24) 16 ounce bottles costs $2 here. Again, I think bottled water would freeze and burst in these uninsulated areas of my house during a really wicked cold snap. Have you really been in Arizona so long... you don't remember winter:facepalm:

 

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1 hour ago, Mrs. Peel said:

I'm slowly but steadily moving towards a bit of a "prepper" mentality. Blame @Zeke - who lent me that frightening damn book - "Lights Out" by Ted Koppel. (I'm expecting the grid to go down any minute now, people! :icon_lol:) Seriously though, I've been thinking lately about drinking water and, related to that, where to store it... my old Victorian house is presenting some rather unique challenges. In really brutal winter weather (like 10 degrees for instance), I'm sure the following areas of my house can fall below freezing: attic, mudroom, and basement. Well, those are my biggest storage areas! Worse yet, I have limited closet space (like most authentic Victorian construction). And though I have a decent amount of kitchen cabinets, I can't devote too much of that space to water!

Honestly, I'm not going to go crazy… my modest goal is 2 weeks worth of drinking water and 1 month's worth of food. Mind you, this is the OPPOSITE of how I operate now... I'm the sorry type that drags my sick self (w/swollen tonsils and sniffly nose) out to the store just to get a can of chicken noodle soup and a six-pack of diet Dr. Pepper - because the cupboard's always bare. I'm a seriously incompetent Girl Scout. So, this is a whole new mindset I'm attempting to develop.

Anyway, after online searches, I found this one product - flexible, reusable and most importantly "freezable" (as long as you only fill them only 1/2 to 2/3's full). These would open up these large, uninsulated areas of my house for water storage... so I could certainly carve out a little corner somewhere for a stash of emergency H2O. https://www.amazon.com/WaterStorageCube-Collapsible-Container-Emergency-Freezable/dp/B07V84LFPM/ref=sr_1_6?dchild=1&keywords=water%2Bstorage%2Bfreezable&qid=1575334399&s=sporting-goods&sr=1-6&th=1&psc=1 

The Amazon customer reviews looked good, I thought. But, before I click that "buy" button  - have any of you used similar products? If so, what did you think of them? Or, is there a better idea/product out there I should consider? Thanks, folks!!

 

Have guns ....kill neighbors...take thier stuff....easy peasy....

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LOL. It's now in the 40s here at night, and I'm freezing.

But seriously, if it gets below freezing in your basement, your pipes would freeze. I would guess it is not that cold. Store your water there.

Just now, USRifle30Cal said:

Have guns ....kill neighbors...take thier stuff....easy peasy....

I like that.

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8 minutes ago, PK90 said:

LOL. It's now in the 40s here at night, and I'm freezing.

But seriously, if it gets below freezing in your basement, your pipes would freeze. I would guess it is not that cold. Store your water there.

I like that.

Especially if they r sheep   they cant help you if you need the necessities of life ...

 

*if* the grid goes out...and it WILL.....  if they r not prepared to support a defend the process to.live....  kill em.....sooner than  later....cause they will be a thorn in your side and drag you and your survivors down...by their ' feel good head in the sand optimism '

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23 minutes ago, USRifle30Cal said:

Have guns ....kill neighbors...take thier stuff....easy peasy....

Kinda follows, don't save silver or gold, just lead and brass, because with lead and brass, you can get all the silver and gold that you want! :mosking:

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1 hour ago, Mrs. Peel said:

and a six-pack of diet Dr. Pepper - because the cupboard's always bare.

You could always buy your Dr. Pepper in 2 liter bottles, and when they're empty, fill them with water.

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I do not trust plastic, no matter what the epa says,  for long term water storage.  For indefinite storage, I buy water in glass bottles every week and shelve them upright in the basement.  They are expensive, but won't become contaminated.

9 hours ago, PK90 said:

But seriously, if it gets below freezing in your basement, your pipes would freeze.

^^^This

For like ten, maybe fifteen bucks you can buy a digital thermometer that will tell you the high and low temps and humidity in a 24 hour period.  Put one in the basement and I'm sure you will find that it does not get as cold as you may think.  Back in 2015, NJ had several days where the temps were below zero.  If your pipes didn't freeze or burst then, I doubt bottled water would be a problem .  You could always put a bottle or two of water down there and see if it freezes.

10 hours ago, Mrs. Peel said:

, I found this one product - flexible, reusable and most importantly "freezable" (as long as you only fill them only 1/2 to 2/3's full)

If you are going to do that, then why not put two or three FDA approved 55gallon drums down there and fill them up to about 85%.  Water expands 9% when it freezes.

A few years ago I canvased folks who depend on freeze dried food while they are off the grid for extended periods.  The kind of guys that drive up to three hours off the closest major highway to get to their cabins.  Some of these guys go into the mountains for months.  The overwhelming majority recommended Mountain House.  I bought about 8 of their offerings that interested me.  They are actually very good.  The pasta meals are better than canned pasta.  The food is hella salty though.

10 hours ago, Mrs. Peel said:

my modest goal is 2 weeks worth of drinking water and 1 month's worth of food.

You got that backwards, sister.  Water is more essential than food.  If you run out of water, it don't matter one bit how much food you have.  Maybe, unless you have like 100 cans of sweet peas.  I guess you could get by for a while on sweet pea water.

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2 hours ago, Mrs. Peel said:

Honestly, I'm not going to go crazy… my modest goal is 2 weeks worth of drinking water and 1 month's worth of food.

 

7 minutes ago, Scorpio64 said:

You got that backwards, sister.  Water is more essential than food.  If you run out of water, it don't matter one bit how much food you have. 

The Survival Rule of Threes:

The Rule of Threes states, humans can survive three weeks without food, three days without water, three hours without shelter, and three minutes without oxygen. 

 

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28 minutes ago, Sota said:

12 and 16oz water bottles are pretty hearty items.

Take one, stick it in your freezer for a week, then thaw it out. I've yet to have one burst when I do that accidentally.

 

At any given time, I have 5 or 6 cases of Costco water stashed in the garage. I think a case of water is about $3. We freeze the bottles all the time to keep things in a cooler cold or when I am going to be on the road all day in the heat. We have yet to have one burst when frozen and thawed.

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8 hours ago, Sniper said:

 

The Survival Rule of Threes:

The Rule of Threes states, humans can survive three weeks without food, three days without water, three hours without shelter, and three minutes without oxygen. 

 

And 3 seconds without internet

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Bottled water won't burst when it freezes. When I have a summer match, I freeze half my water for the day and stage things so it's cooled and thawed by the back half of the day.

They are all built to survive freezing, worst case they bulge on the bottom. The cheap crinkly bottles they use for cases of water don't even really do that most of the time. 

Especially if you ever use bottled water, if just going for a short term reserve,  stack some cases in the basement, and cycle them out regularly through consumption and restocking. 

It's also cheap.

As a plan B, a lifestraw family purifier is pretty cheap back up insurance. It's a fine enough filter to filter out most viruses. It's disposable, but only costs about $60 if you can't catch a sale. 

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2 hours ago, fishnut said:

Your near the river just buy a few life straws or other portable water filter and your good to go

 

57 minutes ago, raz-0 said:

As a plan B, a lifestraw family purifier is pretty cheap back up insurance.

She doesn't have an extra can of soup in her house, but you're suggesting she goes and drinks water through a straw or filter at a local river? Really? :nono:  :facepalm: 

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A few follow-up points:

- Yeah, I've had frozen pipes but only in outside walls - never in the basement itself. So, duh, PK90 & Scorpio64 - your comments were spot-on! It gets super-cold in my basement, but now that I'm thinking about it - logic dictates it probably does NOT drop below freezing! I guess that was a real ditz moment on my part, lol. :facepalm:

- Also, I didn't know that those water bottles generally won't burst even if they do freeze! I didn't realize they would expand but remain intact. Thanks to those who pointed that out. Who knew?! That was my dumb assumption, I guess! :icon_redface:

- As far as the 2 week supply of drinking water - I was well aware that water is far more critical than food. However, I was thinking I'd have 2 weeks of clean drinking water coupled with some way to "make" potable water - some combo of river and/or rainwater treated with boiling and/or purification tablets, etc. (still looking into that). That water (for whatever reason) holds a certain "ick" factor for me, so I hope I would never need to actually use it, but I had already decided that having a method to produce potable water would actually be pretty smart. (I should have been more detailed in my original post... but in all fairness, I'm still investigating these things and trying to map out the details). 

- But, all in all, your sage comments have definitely made this water situation much easier - I'll just get bottled water!! I'll stash them in my basement, date-label them and just grab an older six-pack every month or so I rotate them out regularly and keep the supply replenished and fresh. Easy-peasy!

Wow, I'm glad I didn't hit the "buy" button on those containers. Thanks for all the great input... you guys are the best! :)

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22 minutes ago, Sniper said:

She doesn't have an extra can of soup in her house, but you're suggesting she goes and drinks water through a straw or filter at a local river? Really? :nono:  :facepalm: 

Water purification is a critical part of every prepper's kit.  Period.  Access to potable water is secondary only to security in the prepper's list of priorities.

 

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Another thing to keep in mind.... If you are really in need of water in an emergency situation, you can drain your water pipes and your hot water heater for drinking use. I have a 40 gallon hot water heater. I don't know how much water is in all the pipes.

Also, I have a WaterBob for use if a hurricane is ever aimed at me again. It is a sealed bladder with a spigot that fits in your tub. Fill it up pre-storm.

https://www.amazon.com/WaterBOB-Emergency-Container-Drinking-Hurricane/dp/B001AXLUX2/ref=sr_1_1?keywords=water+bob&qid=1575408981&sr=8-1

 

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6 minutes ago, dajonga said:

Also, I have a WaterBob for use if a hurricane is ever aimed at me again. It is a sealed bladder with a spigot that fits in your tub. Fill it up pre-storm.

Yep, I had seen the WaterBOB already in various places online. Such a clever idea! However, they're really only good for those times you have "advance warning" of an emergency (like the hurricane you referenced). Devastating storms in my western part of the state are fairly unusual - even during Sandy, we didn't lose city water as I recall.

Soooo... I'm leaning towards that LifeStraw Family water purifier that @raz-0 mentioned. I read up on it - it's a simple gravity-fed filtration system - even filters out viruses! It's recommended on many sites, not terribly expensive, ridiculously long-lasting - and it's even light & portable if I needed to leave the area for any reason. Right now, the combo of that plus several cases of bottled water is probably the direction I'm leaning in. And I might need to think through a rain collection system, too - rather than hoofing it down to the river like a farmgirl, lol. WIth all of that, I would feel "well-prepared" in terms of the potable water question - at a very affordable cost, too!

But, I think the WaterBOB is a great idea for people frequently in the path of big storms. If I lived down the shore, for instance, I would absolutely have one of those stashed in my house! Very smart.

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3 minutes ago, Mrs. Peel said:

But, I think the WaterBOB is a great idea for people frequently in the path of big storms. If I lived down the shore, for instance, I would absolutely have one of those stashed in my house! Very smart.

Agreed. We were 12 days without power and potable water from the faucets during Sandy. We learned a lot of lessons from her.

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9 hours ago, Sniper said:

 

She doesn't have an extra can of soup in her house, but you're suggesting she goes and drinks water through a straw or filter at a local river? Really? :nono:  :facepalm: 

Life straw is the brand. What I am recommending is not their straw filter but their gravity powered disposable water purifier. 
 

she should also probably hit up Lowe’s and get a food grade 5 gallon bucket to cart the water. 

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@Mrs. Peel you mentioned the bad taste of purified water.  I've had to drink some pretty raunchy purified water in my time.  We used presweetened Kool Aid back in the 60s.  Crystal Light would do the same today. Inexpensive and lasts almost forever.

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9 hours ago, Scorpio64 said:

Water purification is a critical part of every prepper's kit.  Period. 

Peel is finally approaching a possible prepper status... she's just crawling, and hasn't even stood up yet. So suggesting she go down to the river with a lifestraw or filter/pump to get water, at THIS stage, makes zero sense. Hell. I bet half the people in this thread, probably couldn't do it.

So, here's is the place for her to start:

9 hours ago, Mrs. Peel said:

I'll just get bottled water!! I'll stash them in my basement, date-label them and just grab an older six-pack every month or so I rotate them out regularly and keep the supply replenished and fresh. Easy-peasy!

This is the first baby step to start with, then add additional methods to supplement. Crawl before you walk, walk before you run.

After that, she should focus on alternative power, heat, cooking and food..... I believe she has the security part covered with her .22LR.

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So everyone knows the Life Straw product we're referring to, here it is: https://www.amazon.com/LifeStraw-Portable-Purifier-Emergency-Preparedness/dp/B00FM9OBQS/ref=sr_1_4?crid=PQKWNC8DA2AJ&dchild=1&keywords=life+straw+family+1.0&qid=1575428526&sprefix=life+straw+family%2Caps%2C317&sr=8-4

Kind of a neat gadget! @raz-0- The food-safe bucket is a really good idea, too. I mean, I don't have to "use" these... unless there's an actual emergency... but having these affordable items stashed away seems like a great idea, so I'm going to buy them both!

@Sniper - I'm very under-prepped in terms of foodstuffs, but I'm probably further along in other areas than I realized. For instance, several years ago I bought some 5-gall diesel containers and I do fill them at the beginning of each winter - just to have a little extra fuel on hand for the boiler (in case of ice storm, or other interruption in delivery).  Of course, the boiler is just a big paperweight without electricity - that's why a portable generator is my next intended purchase! I really should do that sooner rather than later...

I also have a free-standing woodstove. It's not big enough to heat the whole house efficiently, but it will certainly make the room where it's located nice & toasty... particularly if I curtain it off. It also has a flat top so I could cook on it. I only use it in the most bitter cold weather, but I stocked up on supplies for that, too, a few years back. I still have a nearly full box of fatwood, a full box of compressed sawdust fire starters, and plenty of long matches & long lighters. And I have a few big piles of hardwood lumber in my basement cut into lengths that fit into my woodstove, too. If I get that generator and a few gas containers - the whole heat & cooking issue is more than covered. More recently, I also bought a comfy folding cot - as a dual purpose item for camping, but also for setting it up in the room with the woodstove (if needed).

And, oh yeah, I have "guns & ammo" too - lol - I buy ammo by the case! :) Why pay more per round? 

Soooo, off the top of my head, I think I need to add: generator + related electrical work, couple of gas cans filled up, bottled water & canned goods, paper goods, batteries for my various flashlights, and probably a first aid kit & a fire extinguisher. That's my current "buy list" - to be refined over time. Again, I'm not going to be one of those "crazy preppers" building a bunker or anything. But, it would be nice (and quite sensible) to know: I can hunker down in this house/property for a couple of months - if needed - without having to venture out too far for food or water. They may call it "prepping" these days, but it's really just the kind of self-reliance most of our parents and grandparents took for granted.

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36 minutes ago, Mrs. Peel said:

Soooo, off the top of my head, I think I need to add: generator + related electrical work, couple of gas cans filled up,

Great start and thoughts about covering different situations. I'd suggest a propane generator instead of gas. Propane stores indefinitely and doesn't need to be treated. Plus, the carb on the generator doesn't foul up from old gas. And, you can also use the propane tanks for a outdoor grill, portable stove or portable heater, so it covers multiple situations.

Then, get some deep cycle 12 volt batteries, a battery charger and a inverter, and you can run basic electrical items (lamps, charge phones, small TV, charge laptops) from the batteries, and not run the generator continually, which saves fuel. This way, you just run the generator to charge the batteries, get the fridge cold again and cycle the furnace.

 

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1 hour ago, Sniper said:

Peel is finally approaching a possible prepper status... she's just crawling, and hasn't even stood up yet. So suggesting she go down to the river with a lifestraw or filter/pump to get water, at THIS stage, makes zero sense. Hell. I bet half the people in this thread, probably couldn't do it.

So, here's is the place for her to start:

This is the first baby step to start with, then add additional methods to supplement. Crawl before you walk, walk before you run.

After that, she should focus on alternative power, heat, cooking and food..... I believe she has the security part covered with her .22LR.

You really don't read about do you? Cycling bottled water was literally the first half of my suggestion with the purifier an affordable add on to the practice. 

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8 hours ago, Mrs. Peel said:

I bought some 5-gall diesel containers and I do fill them at the beginning of each winter - just to have a little extra fuel on hand for the boiler (in case of ice storm, or other interruption in delivery).  Of course, the boiler is just a big paperweight without electricity

 

7 hours ago, Sniper said:

I'd suggest a propane generator instead of gas. Propane stores indefinitely and doesn't need to be treated.

Propane (and NG too)  is a great alternative to gasoline for many reasons.  However, we are overlooking the fact that Peel has a 300 to 500 gallon reserve capacity of heating oil on hand.  While propane has a huge advantage for long term storage, that is not an issue when a constantly rotated stock of heating oil is available.

With propane, one would need a a dozen 20# tanks or couple 100# bottles on hand to ride out a major interruption.  The primary advantage of propane is that it can be stored for decades.  That's incredible shelf life, but fuel storage is not an issue in this instance, so we need to look at other pluses and minuses of the various fuel types.

One gallon of propane produces 84.000 BTU, compare that to the 124,000 BTU diesel puts out and diesel/heating oil wins hands down for efficiency.  Diesel is almost 75% more efficient than propane.  Additionally, diesel is already on hand, and heating oil companies will be able to deliver within 24-48 hours, after almost any major outage.  Unlike gas stations and propane refilling stations, home heating oil companies have an emergency delivery plan.  The same may be said for propane delivery, but why store 200#s of propane when there is already a big old oil tank available.

In my opinion, a 7.5kW to 10kW Kohler diesel standby generator with auto transfer switch is the way to go in this instance.

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