In the event of a major disaster, roads will be cut
off, mass transit will shut down, and it’s likely that power and the main water
supply to your workplace will be compromised. Your building’s header tanks will
probably have shifted and they will be empty. You and your colleagues could be
isolated for several days, requiring you to be self-sufficient. During this
time, the emergency water supply you have will likely be the only safe water
emergency water do I need?
NZ Civil Defence recommendations have always been
to store a minimum of three litres of water, per person, per day, for at least
three days. In simple terms, this
equates to storing a minimum of 9 litres of water per person in your workplace
This is a recommended minimum as your
emergency water may be used for a variety of other uses in an emergency, such
as cleaning wounds and rinsing dust from eyes. So, aim for 10 litres of stored
water per person to be on the safe side. Remember to account for potential
visitors to your workplace when calculating your needs.
Solutions for storing water
An excellent solution for your home is to install a
large outdoor water tank that captures rain water. Or, store bottled water from
the supermarket if you have only yourself to worry about – it’s an easy solution
for your home, or a small office.
Defence provides guidance on preparing your own containers of water:
If you want emergency water at your workplace,
guaranteed to be fresh when you need it, here’s what works best:
- Water stored
in BPA-free plastic containers
- Water stored
in dark containers (or out of direct sunlight)
maintained every six months.
managed and unmanaged water storage solutions for workplaces. The
difference between managed and unmanaged is simple – if you want to guarantee
that you have safe, drinkable water, you probably need a managed water
solution. This involves hiring a specialist to install, secure, refill, and
treat your precious emergency water supply. A variety of containers and barrels
are available for water storage.
Why maintaining your own emergency water isn’t a
If you have
a system whereby people in your office change the water containers regularly,
then an unmanaged water storage solution might work for you. The problem is
that everyone will need water after a disaster but no one wants to maintain it!
Self-managed water solutions usually start with the best of intentions, but
often are forgotten about or ignored because emptying and refilling water
containers is time-consuming and tedious.
Should we use specialised storage containers?
It’s crucial that your containers be “food grade” and not used for any other
purpose prior to storing water. This ensures that no residues from previous use
will impact on the taste and health of your water. A container of “food grade”
quality will ensure that no harmful chemicals will leach into the water from
the plastic. The best containers are BPA-free and manufactured from
Is it better to treat water during storage rather
than at the point of use?
straight from the tap in New Zealand is generally very clean. But store that
water at room temperature over a long period and it can become a breeding
ground for a variety of potentially nasty bugs. At the very least it may taste
really unpleasant from having sat around for too long. In a crisis, you’ll have
enough to worry about without the added problem of having to treat your water
before you can drink it. We recommend
changing the water every six months, and lightly treating the water at the time
of each refilling, to keep it fresh and bug-free.
For peace of mind, get in touch with us today to talk about managing emergency water storage at your