Fresh water

If a disaster is imminent you may have time to fill containers for drinking and the bathtub for washing and cooking. But what if the disaster strikes without warning? What if the first place to be damaged is the water treatment plant?

In planning for the unexpected you should plan to have 2.5 to 3 litres of drinking water per person, per day. You may need more if someone in your family has a condition which accentuates dehydration, such as diabetes.

If you live in hotter or less humid climates, water loss through perspiration could increase dramatically, so plan what you will need and fill food grade jerry cans or bottles with drinking water. Every two or three months, empty the water onto plants and refill with fresh water.

Supermarkets also sell bottled water which is a convenient way of storing water in your emergency pantry.

If you have a pet, put aside some water for them as well. In heat events, animals can become dehydrated just as quickly as humans.

Need help with the mathematics? You may need more water depending on personal situations, animals and cooking and washing requirements but the table below can be used as guideline.

People in Household Water for per day (litres) Water for three days (litres)
1 2.5 – 3 7.5 – 9
2 5 – 6 15 – 18
3 7.5 – 9 22.5 – 27
4 10 – 12 30 – 36
5 12.5 – 15 37.5 – 45
6 15 – 18 45 – 54


Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q: What about other types of drinks? Will they be okay?

A: During a disaster, try not to drink alcohol as the alcohol increases fluid loss and, subsequently, increases dehydration. Water is a good all round product to keep in your kit as it has multiple purposes. Aside from drinking you can cook and wash with it. It is also more cost effective than other drinks – especially if you can take it from your own tap before a disaster event.


Go back to Step 2: Emergency and evacuation kits web page.