How to Pack Water in Your Emergency Kit

How much water do I need? 

The general rule is to pack four litres of water per person per day, but there are a few considerations:

  • Children, nursing mothers and people who are sick may need more.
  • If you live in a warm region, hot temperatures can double water needs.
  • Pets need about 30 millilitres of water per kilogram of body weight per day. For example, an average-sized cat or small-sized dog needs at least 1/5 of a litre, or half a cup, daily.

How and where do I store my water?

  • It’s recommended you purchase commercially-bottled water and keep it in its original container in an easily accessible, cool and dark place.
  • Make sure you don't open the water until you need it.
  • Observe the expiration or “best before” dates.
  • Set a reminder in your phone or remember to check the dates when the clocks “spring forward” and “fall back”.

Can I purify my own water?

  • We recommend purchasing commercially-bottled water.
  • However, knowing how to purify water can help you if your regular water supply becomes contaminated or if you are in a place where clean water is not available.
  • The Ministry of Health has information on the steps you can take to purify and bottle your own.

What hidden water sources are available in my home?

  • In a pinch, there are hidden water sources in your home that can be made safe to drink.
  • Ice cubes in a freezer can be melted down into potable water.
  • You can also locate water in your hot-water tank and water pipes. However, as with all water of uncertain quality, you should purify it before using it for drinking, food preparation, or hygiene.
  • It’s recommended you DO NOT use water from toilet tanks or bowls, radiators, waterbeds, swimming pools or spas.

What about water filtration devices?

  • These devices are becoming more and more popular because they don’t take up as much room as several litres of bottled water.
  • There are a lot of available options. Different brands offer many filter types and sizes, ranging from water bottle-sized to 18-litre containers or larger.
  • If you choose to go this route, it’s still a good idea to store some bottled water as well.