Do you have questions about storing water?How much water do I store?
Then this is the page for you! To see a pdf version of this web page called "Water Storage" go here.
My church recommends that we store a 2 week supply of water for each person in the household. Water utilities will be the first thing turned back on in the event of an emergency. So a 2 week supply is a "good buffer" to have until water services are restored. At a minimum, for each person, store 14 gallons for a 2 week supply. This would provide for your drinking needs only and extra water would need to be stored for food preparations, basic sanitary needs, etc. Since we live in the AZ desert and we need to be able to prepare our food, drink extra water due to the heat, and wash our hands in a disaster, I recommend that we double this amount or store 28 gallons for a 2 week supply.
The basic rule of thumb for storing water in 55 gallon drums, or any other size container, is to make sure they are clean first. Rinse barrels with a dilute bleach water solution, swish around in the barrel, and then empty. Rinse drum with clean water until no odor is present. Empty all rinse water before filling. Make sure to use a "marine" water hose when filling barrels. Regular hoses can leach out lead so you don't want to use those! Go here to read more about lead leaching from regular hoses.
For short-term water storage, fill 55 gallon drums with 1/4 c. unscented bleach and fill up. (Water stored this way will be good for only a year). To read more about water treatment with just bleach go to the Water Storage and Treatment Short-Term Pages, created by local AZ preparedness company "Preparing Wisely," Page 1 here and Page 2 here.
You can store water outside as long as you cover the drums with a tarp to keep the tops clean from debris, leaves, bird droppings, etc. We store our barrels in a shady spot here in AZ! It is also recommended that you put the barrels on top of 2 x 4's (wood planks) to prevent radon and other gases leaching up from the foundation of your garage, or the soil, and these gases entering into your water barrels. I don't know what the "radon concentration" is in our soil here in AZ, but we do this step as a precaution measure.
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Days Saints' website also gives useful information on Water Storage go here.
There are many 55 gallon, siphon and water pumps on the market. The two I like the best are called the Siphon Pump and the Water Barrel Hand Pump. To see a list of other pump options available on the market read this pdf document called Water Pumps.
These are links where you can purchase water storage containers:Arizona Barrels, for local Arizona people only!