When the main breaks, what can one do? How much water should be stored? I remember, from my childhood, fallout shelters.

Families would have a fallout shelter in a basement or outside of the house, where the, uh, nuclear family would sit and chill in true fifties and sixties style, until the radiation levels dropped sufficiently enough to offer some modicum of safety.

We never really learned how well they would work. But having a lot of stored water on hand seems like a good idea, be it for post-apocalyptic hygiene, cooking and drinking, or merely enduring water main breaks that happen with at least annual frequency around my particular county.

Henrico County was an original shire, formed in 1611. It is one of the first political subdivisions of the Virginia colony. So our water system could be 409 years old. I wouldn’t rule it out.