Another earthquake issue – Water

Water.  Water supply could be an issue after a quake.  Water lines, typically buried, could be broken or cracked, leading to H2O absence or contamination.  

We  have received boil water recommendations following the Northridge quake, which was some distance away.  Along with food and other essentials, I keep about thirty gallons dispersed around the property, along with means of water purification.


  • Comments (7)

    • 4

      Also know how to shut off the water to your house at the street and house level. It can save you thousands if you can shut water off asap versus waiting until the water company comes out and does it for you.

    • 3

      I just don’t know how prepared you can be.  We have a 3000 gallon rainwater tank that is typically full (although I’m going to have to quit watering the horses with it as we’ve had no rain in weeks).  But it could rupture.  We have a 320 ft. well, and a generator  big enough to pump it, with enough fuel to run for ???  The well could collapse. We have a seasonal stream that usually runs Nov-May, but it’s probably completely dry at the moment due to drought.  We have water filtration, that could be destroyed in a house collapse.  We have probably 30 or so gallons stored in jugs here and there.  All other accessible water is a very long walk from here.

      • 2

        You are doing the right things by having multiple layers of redundancy. If one fails, you have a backup, if that fails, you have another….

        If they all fail, well at least you gave it your darnedest. 

    • 4

      Remember The Prepared recently put out a great course on Water Essentials. I haven’t finished it yet, but it’s definitely worth the money. I thought I knew a lot about water stuff — but I learned a lot more. 

    • 3

      I grew up in the Sierras and feel your pain. Last time we lived there, in Sonora, 5 or 6 years ago, we had an 1880s house with either a high crawlspace or a low walk-out basement. Tuolumne county only has a 1/100 chance of a 7.0, nothing like along the coast. I found a source for 50 gallon barrels in the Valley and filled 20. I stored them on their sides in that “basement” using some crude curbs I made from concrete and cinder blocks. I also used ratchet straps to tie them together. I figured if they broke loose and tore the kitchen off the house it was probably going anyway.

      Now I live in the Ozarks (after a while in Cascadia, LOL) and when I went to Red Cross training here, come to find out that the number one threat on their radar is refuge outflow from a New Madrid earthquake! That’s it there in the Missouri bootheel. Point is, most everywhere folks should pay at least a little attention to ‘quakes.

      earthquake map

    • 2

      In an arid area (like mine in southern California), do the best you can.   I strongly recommend multiples of these products to filter water:

      Sawyer mini-filters (buy whenever on sale and have multiples)  —  Also Lifestraw (buy whenever on sale and have multiples)   FYI, the multiples are for cars and other people like friends and neighbors who are NOT prepared if everybody suddenly needs water.   They are also perfect barter and small enough and inexpensive enough to have a lot on hand.   The Sawyer mini’s are the best and don’t have shelf-life expiration.

      Water BOB – one for each bathtub –our family of 5 used 3 WaterBOB’s (with separately purchased, battery powered siphon pumps) for 2-1/2 weeks when the water line to our rural property was broken.   Took showers, did laundry, re-filled 5 gallon jugs at niece’s home nearby during the 2-1/2 weeks.  Not fun, but worked.

      Berkey Water filters (you may need to be sneaky and purchase from Texas or a state that will actually ship it to California).   These can be used to filter pool water, dirty water, etc.

      Store extra bottled water.   Although it may go against other preparedness advice, I personally feel comfortable storing bottled water for years and would absolutely let my family drink it no matter how old it was IF I have a Sawyer or Berkey to filter it.   If it’s an emergency, I’m not gonna say, “Oh heck!   This bottled water’s been in my garage/trunk/attic/pantry since 2010.   I better not drink it and die of thirst because it might have some plastic chemicals that have leached into it.”   

    • 1

      I live in an area which is prone to earthquakes. I know the fire department have  water tanks under their building and that a local community group has done research and knows where the local bores are. We also have a large river near by, although it could get contaminated if we experience flooding. I ha the Hydroblu pressurised Jerry can which can filter out viruses for that reason. Still boil water, but it will allow mevto get extra water for animals etc.