Here's How A Full Bathtub Can Help You During A Power Outage

You have quite a few things to worry about when you suffer a power outage, including being unable to charge your smartphone. If you're in the middle of a severe storm, losing access to information can be frightening. Your appliances won't work, either, meaning you may need tips to save your food during a power outage that leaves the refrigerator inoperable. If you know that you may have a power outage coming, taking steps to prepare is important. One key preparation step is filling your bathtub with water. Doing so gives you access to stored water, so you can use it for things like flushing the toilet, washing hands, and providing pets with drinking water. You should rely on bottles of water for drinking for your family, rather than using it out of the bathtub, for safety reasons.

If you potentially will be without power for multiple days, such as during a storm, having extra water available is invaluable. An average bathtub has between 40 and 70 gallons of capacity, giving you a significant amount of storage in an emergency situation. If you have two or three bathtubs in your home, you can double or triple your storage capacity. On average, a single person uses about 60 gallons of water per day with no restrictions on usage. Certainly, in an emergency situation, you would use far less, so you and your family potentially could make it a few days on a single bathtub full of water until you receive power again.

Types of emergencies where you may want to fill the bathtub with water ahead of time

If you have an idea that a large storm is coming where you could potentially lose power, taking the time to fill the bathtub with water is a smart idea. If you are expecting a hurricane, winter storm, windstorm, or tornado, you could potentially lose access to electricity for your home. Power lines could be down for multiple days, or you could see damage to the infrastructure for the electrical grid, such as transformers and substations. The storm damage could block roads and leave you stranded in your home, which makes the extra water inside the bathtub even more helpful. It's also a good idea to fill the bathtub in case a big storm contaminates local sources of water, leaving them unsafe to use for anything.

During summer heat waves, you also could have a brownout that lasts for several hours. Or, if the power company will be working on your power line, you may want to prepare for the work to take a while, just in case. Filling the tub during these types of situations can be helpful as well.

If you use city utilities, your water may work during a power outage, as the city may have a tower that can gravity feed the system ... at least until it empties. At that point, you will be glad that you filled your bathtub ahead of time. If you're on a private well, though, no power means the well won't work.

Ways you can use the water stored in your bathtub during a power outage

One of the best reasons to have a bathtub full of extra water when you know you may lose power is to be able to flush the toilet even when you don't have running water. A toilet actually runs on a gravity system, where the water inside the upper tank fills the bowl and forces the water and the waste inside the bowl to go into the sewer system. After you use the toilet and flush it, you can use a 1-gallon bucket to refill the upper tank. You then could flush again the next time you want to use it.

If you want to be able to wash your hands while the power is out, use a bucket to scoop some water out of the tub. Take it to your sink and fill it, then wash up as you normally would. You can then drain the dirty water down the sink, as the system will work just fine without needing to have power available, unless you are using a pump-assisted sewer system, meaning the sewer pipes in some portions of your home don't run on gravity feed. Use toilets and sinks in the upper floors of your home if you're worried about needing to use a pump to assist the sewer system.