How to Can Water for Emergencies
Authored by Carol J. Alexander
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Authored by Carol J. Alexander
Don’t store your canning jars empty. Instead, fill them with water for emergencies. That’s right. Canning water in a water bath canner keeps it fresh for drinking or washing during emergency situations. And, it’s easy.
The Federal Emergency Management Association (FEMA) recommends storing at least a two-week supply of water that includes enough for one gallon per family member per day. In addition to needing water for food prep and bathing, the average person needs at least two quarts of water daily for drinking. Sick people, those who live in hot climates, breastfeeding mothers, and children require even more.
Of course, if you cannot store this much, you can do what you can by filling those empty canning jars–both pints and quarts–with water. Here’s how to do it safely.
Only can pure water you would drink. While the canning process kills bacteria, viruses, and parasites, it will not remove other contaminants like chemicals or heavy metals. Part of the process requires you pre-boil the water for five minutes. Boiling the water helps to ensure its purity. But, the canning process is still necessary to ensure the jars seal and remain sealed while in storage.
Read our Step-by-Step Guide to Water Bath Canning to learn more about how to use a water bath canner.
Before moving your jars of water to your storage location, remove the rings and check each one for a successful seal. If the jar didn’t seal, use the water right away and reserve the empty jar for the next canner round. Successfully sealed jars of water will keep best in a cool, dry place between 50 and 70 degrees Fahrenheit away from direct light. When processed and stored properly, canned water can last 30-50 years.
Read more about How to Store Canned Food.
Besides the fact that you don’t have to take up precious space storing empty canning jars, there are a few benefits to canning water.
Go into this winter storm season with peace of mind. Check out our latest canning equipment catalog to get all the supplies you may need to can an emergency supply of water. Because when your kitchen is fully stocked, you’re never caught off guard.
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