Oh my goodness. Most of the preparedness sites talk about stock piling large amounts of bottled water. Or using 55 gallon drums etc... um, if you have to bug out, how are you supposed to lift that 55 gallon drum up a hill? Empty, it would be tedious, full it would be impossible.
Now I have been thinking about getting some 55 gallon food safe drums (the BPA FREE plastic ones) to use to catch rain water off the roof. For what???? Watering the animals, the garden, flushing the toilets.. BUT there is a down side to these. Freezing temperatures. Will they freeze through? Will they crack and break? You have to have a pump or spigot on it to get the water out the bottom, and you'll want a filter at the top so you don't have a lot of biomass, bird droppings, insects, and etc.. entering the water and ruining it. IN an emergency this water could be boiled for cleaning wounds, drinking, sanitation. But I would not use it strait for any of those.
Now if the power is out and you are on a well, without a hand pump.. what will your water source be? Rain water.... only if it is raining.. Snow? Only if it is snowing.. Bottled water... how much have you stored?
There are other ways to obtain water. You will need plastic, a rock, a container, a shovel, some twine. You dig a hole, preferably by NON poisonous plants, and you put your container in the middle. Spread your tarp over the top, tight enough to keep it off the dirt, but not so tight that when you put rock on the middle of the top it doesn't sink some. Yes, you are collecting clean water by condensation. And yes it works.. during certain times of year. This will not work in freezing temperatures.
River, creek, puddle.... Any and all water sources can be contaminated by anything. You need to have ways to clean the water (filters), boil the water, and hold the CLEAN water. Do not combine dirty and clean water containers. Why bother boiling the water if you are just going to put it back into the bottle you carried it to the pot for boiling in. The dirty containers need to stay dirty, and clean ones clean. Cross contamination in water is NOT a good thing. Giardia, cholera, amoebic dysentery... gross way to die.
Ways to boil water
Hmmm.... which to use? Well, when our power was out last year. I sent the kids to the river with the Katadyn water filter to get me some water. Then I poured it into a pot and boiled it. Let it cool, then we had safe water for drinking. How did I boil it? Kelly Kettle, AND on my gas stove. BUT, what if I didn't have the gas stove? I would have used my Stove Tec Rocket Stove to boil in the pot. The Kelly Kettle is a stove in itself. Only takes 3 to 5 minutes to boil water after you have the fire going. It is truly a great tool to have, no matter what. You can get them from KellyKettleusa.com or amazon. I ordered my direct from Kelly Kettle. I LOVE my KK.
Ok, I have also collected rain water and used that, during the power outages around Thanksgiving. Because it was raining, I had water. And I still put it through filters, and I still boiled it.
Now mind you if we have a nuclear attack, nothing will make your water safe. EVEN if it is bottled. As soon as you open the bottle the water is contaminated with radiation. Radiation permeates everything. And it scares me to pieces! It is in the air, the water, the soil... everything.
So what do you have to help you for water? Do you have a GOOD water filter? Do you have a way to boil water? Do you know how to use the equipment you have bought? No reason to have it if you don't know how to use it.