Why Do You Fill the Bathtub During a Hurricane? Safety Tips.

Filling the bathtub during an intense cyclone is an old way of emergency preparation. If you have faced any hurricane, you may have heard to fill the bathtub. So, why do you fill the bathtub during a hurricane?

A hurricane can stay for a long time, and you may encounter a power outage. Moreover, the storm may contaminate your water lines or turn off the water supply in your area. Filling the bathtub with water may work as a reservoir to pass the hurricane. And you can use the water to flush your toilet, wash your clothes and body, or even drink. 

Let’s learn more about this preparation and safety tips in this article.  

The Reason Why You Fill the Bathtub During a Hurricane

A power outage is a common situation during a hurricane or a heavy storm. You may experience no electricity in your home or the entire area.

Additionally, if the power outage sustains for a while, it will turn off your water supply. Some areas even experience power failure for three days or more. During this time, the water supply may stop temporarily for a long time. 

Moreover, a heavy storm can break the water supply lines or damage the existing plumbing in your areas. It can lead to mixing sewage water into the supply lines. The water will get heavily contaminated if that happens. 

Furthermore, when there’s a power outage, there’s no pressure in the main water lines as the pumps are shut down. And the water filtration system may turn off as well. In this situation, bacteria, microbes, and other harmful organisms can enter the water system. So, when the power is back, the water may not be disinfected. 

You can see that you are not getting safe and clean water from your tap during or after the hurricane. So, you can store some water by filling the bathtub before the hurricane strikes. Then, you can use the water to survive during and after the storm. 

A bathtub can hold about 40-60 gallons of water, which is a lot to survive 2-3 days. Also, you can use this water for your household and cleaning until the tap water gets pure again. 

What Can You Do With Bathtub Water During a Hurricane?

A medium-sized bathtub typically can contain 60 gallons of water, which is about 227 liters. A person needs about 65 liters a day for drinking and cleaning. So, a bathtub can fill your three-day water requirements and more. 

And if you get conscious of using water during a hurricane, you may need less water. That way, a bathtub can serve a family’s water requirements during a natural disaster. 

Let’s know what you can do with bathtub water during a hurricane- 

Toilet Flush

During hurricanes, your can still use your toilet flush. But if there’s no water in the supply, how can you use that?

You can manually pour water into the toilet bowl to clean and clear the odor. For this, use the bathtub reservoir water.  

Washing Hands and Teeth

We regularly need water to wash our hands and teeth. However, you can’t use tap water because of health risks if the main water line is contaminated. 

Take some water from the bathtub and use that for washing body parts. It’s safe unless you’re not consuming it. So be careful with the children in this case.


During hurricanes, do not use bathtubs to take a bath. As you reserved water in the tub, keep it that way. Instead, use a bucket or a container to take water from the tub. And take your bath in the shower area.

Try to save water as much as possible.


You can use bathtub water for cooking too. When you cook, the heat kills the bacteria from the water. So, there won’t be any health risks in using bath water. 

However, tap water contamination may be severe, so do not use tap water for cooking. 

Washing Clothes and Dishes

Again, you can use bathtub water to wash your dirty clothes and dishes. We recommend you use as less water as possible.  


Your bathtub faucet lines usually are connected with a separate supply. So, in many cases, bathtub water is not filtered, and it’s not generally safe to drink it directly. 

However, if you have a water filter, you can pass the bathtub water through to make it pure. Alternatively, you can boil the water and make it fresh and safe for drinking. 

We recommend that before the hurricane, fill all the bottles and jugs with kitchen tap water for reserving drinking water.  

How Long Can You Store Water in Your Bathtub?

You can expect to store and keep the water clean in your bathtub for 1-3 days. 

If the bathtub is open, dirt will fall over the water and make it lose its purity. Moreover, creatures like cockroaches or flies can fall and make the water contaminated. 

So, make sure to cover the bathtub with a lid or a large plastic sheet. And whenever you use water from that, ensure that you don’t make it dirty. 

You can add chlorine bleach into the tub in a minimal amount to purify the water. Another way to keep the water clean for longer is using a device like WaterBOB. It has a plastic tub, a pump, and a hose system that can purify the water in your bathtub. That way, you can store and use the water for months without contaminating it. 

Safety Tips for Using Bathtub Water During a Hurricane

Here are some safety tips you should follow when you’re using a bathtub as a water reservoir during a hurricane- 

  • Make sure to fill the bathtub before the hurricane starts. As a hurricane probably will contaminate your water supply, filling it during the storm may not be a good idea. 
  • Before filling the bathtub, make sure it’s completely clean. Also, remember to close the sink of the tub. 
  • Keep the bathtub close with a lid or plastic sheets. You don’t want the reserved water to get dirty. 
  • Make sure your kids or pets do not jump into the tub. They can ruin the water if you’re not cautious. 
  • Use a bucket or a container to take the water from the tub and use water from it. It’s better not to use water directly from the tub every time you need it.
  • Do not drink water straight from the bathtub. Filter the water, or boil it for drinking. 


You may experience a hurricane anytime if you live near a hurricane risk zone. And it will be wise to stay prepared for everything during the storm and cyclone.

During a hurricane, there will be power outages and defects in the continuous and safe water supply. So it will be wise and more practical to fill the bathtub during a hurricane to make it a temporary water reservoir. 

Some FAQs

Can I Drink Bathtub Water?

Water coming from the bathroom tap is often safe to drink. However, it is not advisable as microbial contaminants, and organic/inorganic material can be present in your bathtub tap. Furthermore, drinking water from your bathtub is not safe as well, as it can get dirty and infected. So ensure to filter the water before drinking.

Can I Lose Water Supply in a Hurricane?

A hurricane can damage or break your area’s water supplies and plumbing. Moreover, the sewer system may get mixed with your water supply, contaminating your tap water. Therefore, you can lose water supply during a hurricane.

Should I Fill All the Containers With Water During a Hurricane?

It’s wise to fill all the containers with tap water during a hurricane to sustain in an emergency. For example, you may encounter a power outage, or your water supply can get contaminated during storms. In any case, you may not get fresh water for days. Filling all the containers will give you a temporary water supply during this natural disaster.

How Long Do Hurricanes Last?

Hurricanes can last between 12 to 24 hours. However, it’s an average counting. In some places, a cyclone can even take a month before dying out completely. So, at least prepare for the next three days, and evacuate the area if the situation worsens.  

Is It Safe To Drink From Tap Water During a Hurricane?

You should not drink tap water during or after a hurricane. These storms can break or damage the water supply system in your area. As a result, the tap water can get contaminated with dirt, bacteria, or poisonous materials. So, always test the tap water before drinking during a hurricane.