Water For Emergencies
A horse needs about 8 gallons of drinking water per day, depending on its circumstances. In an extended power failure such as might follow a hurricane or an ice storm we can get by for quite a while on the water stored in our water heaters, but our horses cannot. A pond is probably the best solution for equine emergency drinking water, but we don't have one here at New Avalon
Collecting and storing rain water is another great solution. If your barn or another outbuilding has a metal roof, like ours, the water it sheds in rain storms is clean and sweet (unlike the water from an asphalt shingle roof) and is easily collected by means of gutters and downspouts. The best place to store it would probably be an underground cistern, but we don't have one of those either. Instead, our cheap and easy solution uses a couple of 150 gallon troughs, one on each side of the barn and fed by the downspouts:
Two of these rain troughs hold 300 gallons – enough to water a few horses in an emergency for a week or more. They fill in minutes in any good rain, and later rains keep them fresh. To keep leaves, insects, and sunlight out, cover with any suitable lid, such as one cut from exterior grade plywood. If breeding mosquitos are a concern, add just one or two drops of mineral oil after each good rain.