Do you know how to be prepared with water before a disaster hits your city? I teach classes at various churches, subdivisions, and businesses on food storage and emergency preparedness.

I decided I could no longer haul all of my emergency items to these classes showing what is needed if a disaster hits my neighborhood. It took two full days to set up the photoshoot and we will be doing videos together sooner than later.

I am a visual person; so I hope these help you see what storing a few containers of water can do for you and your family in case of an emergency.

We Take the Faucet for Granted

Sometimes we take for granted that we can walk into the kitchen and just turn on the faucet and water comes flying out. We have to be prepared for the day when those faucets don’t work. Maybe the water lines are down because power is lost, or the water is contaminated from an unknown source.

You may wonder why I talk about water storage so often, well it’s because we sometimes need a little nudge to get more water stored. I went to get my hair cut today and I asked the girl cutting my hair if she had any water stored at her home.

I didn’t want to be too personal, but she’s been cutting my hair for years and I’m old enough to be her grandfather. Sometimes I will ask her if she is prepared with water and food storage, etc. She said, “No, not yet.” She is newly married and living paycheck to paycheck.

Start With Cases of Water and Bags of Beans/Rice

I suggested she start with just a case or two of water and a few cans of beans and a bag of rice. It’s a good start and she can sleep at night knowing she at least has a day or two of water and a little food in her home.

The shop had a television showing the Hurricane Michael catastrophic events unfolding before our eyes. May God bless all the workers, the first responders, and the families that are being affected by this terrible storm. They reported it’s a 500-year storm, unbelievable. It’s the worst storm in American history. My heart aches for all involved.

Of course, I then pointed out to the girl cutting my hair that where we live is far away from the ocean for any threat of a hurricane or tornado, but we had a 500-year flood in 2013. I left it at that.

Please remember to always use a lead-free hose to fill your water containers if you fill the outside with a hose bib.

How To Be Prepared With Water

I suggest 4 gallons of water per person per day, some may think that’s too much. It isn’t for me, we need water to drink, cook, wash clothes, or at least wash our underwear. And we may have neighbors that have zero water in their homes.

I used to think I was ok since I have my water heater filled with 50 gallons of water. But we shouldn’t count on that water anymore. If it becomes contaminated by terrorists or some crazy group or just Mother Nature compromises the integrity of our water lines, we’ll be in big trouble.

Lead via Water In Flint, Michigan

We have seen it in Flint, Michigan for example what happened to their water based on bad decisions by the local government agencies. It was lead poisoning.

Calculate Water Needs

You can figure out the number of cases of water to buy for the needs of the people in your home for a week, 2 weeks, or a month. Some cases come with 12-ounce bottles, 16-ounce or 20-ounce bottles. Those work great for water storage if a disaster hits. They aren’t the most cost-effective, but they work in a pinch.


I love WaterBricks, the 3.5-gallon ones weigh about 26-27 pounds depending on how full they are filled. You need only 1/2 teaspoon of Water Preserver for this container and it’s great to know you only have to rotate them every five years.

Milk Jugs

Some people just fill-washed milk jugs. They may leak after a bit, but at least you will have water.  If you are lucky, they may never leak. If nothing else, you can use this water for personal hygiene.

55-Gallon Barrels

You can buy the 55-gallon blue barrels with a pump and fill them, but leave room for expansion if you get a freeze in your city. I have seen these at Walmart for less than $50.00 in Southern Utah. Please remember you need a Bung and a Siphon Pump. Check them out.

Berkey Sports Water Bottles

I have talked to you about the Berkey Sports Bottles, these are great for camping or traveling. In some countries or cities, you may need to be careful about drinking the water. These can be refilled up to 640 times with municipal water. Mark and I gave these as Christmas gifts one year to our family members.


This is another way to purify your water with a LifeStraw. These are small and compact and will purify up to 1000 gallons.

Big Berkey Water Purifier

I have one of these and have tested it many times. The red food coloring test works, I never saw red water coming through the spout! If you have trouble testing it, please make sure all the filters are correctly installed. These are awesome and may save our life if our water becomes contaminated.

High-Capacity Water Tanks

If you can afford the large high-capacity tanks they are awesome. I finally saved the money to get one last December. I bought one that holds 250 gallons for about $350.00. Yes, they are very expensive, but I can sleep at night knowing I have water. Lots of water.

Do you know how to be prepared with water before a disaster hits your city? I teach classes at various churches, subdivisions, and businesses on food storage and emergency preparedness. I

We’ve all heard the news reports of seeds discovered in ancient tombs that germinated when they were planted; even the seeds you purchase are labelled with dates of expiration or seasonal use. What is the reality regarding the viability of plants, and how long will it last? Here is what we know.

Seed Expiration

Seeds don’t necessarily die, but they might not germinate. You will be very near to maximum germination the first year. But the germination rate will decrease each year that goes by. How long they stay viable depends on the seed form you have, and how it is handled.

How to Save and Store Seeds for Best Viability

Do Seeds Really Expire

If you store surplus seeds from year to year, or seeds from your heirloom plant, storing them in a cold, dry place is safest. Put the seeds in an airtight container like a tight cover pot, an old-fashioned movie tub, or like I do, wrapped in mylar. Mark and date the seeds, and provide the initial seed packet details with the seeds if appropriate. You should dump all the packets into a pint jar with a desiccant packet or a little rice in the bottom for seeds in packets to remove moisture and securely seal the container.

Harvesting Seeds from the Garden

If you save seed from your greenhouse, wait until the fruit or vegetable is completely mature until the seeds are collected and extracted. Make sure the seeds are fully dried until they are placed into the containers.

Then hold the seed containers in a cold, dry place which is regulated by temperature. I’d like to put my seeds on a basement rack, but I’m working for the time being on a refrigerator rack. My downside to the fridge is that most refrigerators are very warm, and if your jar seal is not secure, seeds may have molding issues.

Save seeds from the heirloom varieties only when saving seeds from your greenhouse. Hybrid seeds don’t produce true from generation to generation and you could end up with a poor crop the following year.

How Long Do Seeds Keep?

If you’ve stored your seeds in a safe, dry place, the next year they’ll likely be viable. Plant any earlier than normal however, so others may not germinate. It depends on the sort of seeds you hold, in addition to storage. Some seeds need to be immediately planted, and some need to hold for several years.

Related –  A terrifying disaster is upon us (What you can do to keep your loved ones safe during the coming chaos)

Seed Viability

This chart shows how long you should anticipate your crop seeds to attain reasonable viability. Seeds can germinate for a longer period of time, however they are hit or skipped, so you should usually only begin with fresh seed. This chart does not ensure durability, note that there are a number of variables. Those periods are normal, but under optimal conditions can be much longer:

Seed Viability Over Time

0 to 1 Year – Plant Now

2 Years

  • Corn
  • Leeks
  • Okra
  • Peppers
  • Swiss Chard

3 Years

  • Bean seeds of all kinds
  • Beets
  • Carrots
  • Lettuce
  • Melons
  • Oriental greens
  • Peas
  • Rutabagas
  • Squash

4 Years

  • Collards
  • Fennel
  • Kale
  • Mustard
  • Pumpkin
  • Tomato
  • Turnips
  • Watermelon

5 Years

  • Broccoli
  • Brussels sprouts
  • Cabbage
  • Cauliflower
  • Celery
  • Cucumber
  • Eggplant
  • Kohlrabi
  • Radish
  • Spinach

Storing Seeds in Less Than Ideal Conditions

Even if the seed is kept in less than optimal circumstances, after several years, I have known seeds to germinate and yield a successful harvest. A neighbor once purchased a large number of corn seeds one year, kept them in his garage, and used them with good results for over 10 years until he ran out. If I had done so, they would definitely not have germinated at all, his thumb is greener than mine.

Live plants are crops. Against all odds, some will develop, others will not germinate even though held in ideal conditions. In addition, in adverse environments, many plants perform better. It’s an impossible rule of nature. So, before throwing out some seeds, plant some or check them as I describe below. They might be viable for another year.

Test Your Seeds

There are many ways you can check the plants. You can plant 5 or 10 and see how many germinate, but for most plants, planting many seeds on a pad of moist paper towels is likely easier. Turn them over and growing them in a plastic bag. Put them in a warm place (but not extreme, room temperature is ok). Test them for germination every couple of days. If the seeds are sprouting, you are good at planting. If not, throw them out and start with fresh crop.

What About Survival Seed Vaults?

You’ll notice other online survival seed products packed for 20 to 25 years to keep. Can they still hold those seeds for 25 years? Unfortunately, “maybe” is the best answer I can offer. So much depends on how the seeds are processed. The producers of such sets of seeds bundle the seeds into mylars or cans to keep it dry and cool. If you store them in a cool environment, then you are likely to have viable seeds when you need them. Buy more seeds than you’d plan to need for extra insurance.

Another consideration when seed vaults are considered is that many are filled with popular varieties of seed that may not develop in your neighborhood. Look for vaults containing heirloom seeds which are well established to thrive in your soil and environment.

I prefer to select my seeds individually, because many of the seeds in the common vaults in my location will not grow. If you reside in certain areas of the world, a large-variety vault will fit well for you.

Packing Your Own Seeds

My seed vault consists of packets of heirloom seeds that I have explicitly selected for getting successful results in my region with them. I cover them with a desiccant solution in a mylar bag, since it’s just too hot here. I don’t use an oxygen absorber but other gardeners do. My hypothesis is that seeds are alive and do need some oxygen. I keep them in the fridge. I’ve only stored them this way for around 5 years, but the ones I’ve tested this year have been germinating well. I’m hoping to upgrade them after 10 years but they may last a lot longer.

Related: A Gold Storm Is Coming  (Even the most prepared Americans will be blindsided by what’s about to happen.)

Other Self-sufficiency and Preparedness solutions recommended for you:

The Lost Ways (The vital self-sufficiency lessons our great grand-fathers left us)
Survival MD (Knowledge to survive any medical crisis situation)
Backyard Liberty (Liberal’s hidden agenda: more than just your guns…)
Alive After the Fall (Build yourself the only unlimited water source you’ll ever need)
The Lost ways II (4 Important Forgotten Skills used by our Ancestors that can help you in any crisis)
The Patriot Privacy Kit (Secure your privacy in just 10 simple steps)

We’ve all heard the news reports of seeds discovered in ancient tombs that germinated when they were planted; even the seeds you purchase are labelled with dates of expiration or