With the explosion of Hurricane Matthew in the warm tropical waters of the Caribbean, we witnessed the power of these storms when they finally make landfall. Having access to potable water became a problem for those hit by the hurricane.
Devastation in every respect abounds where Matthew came ashore with its category 5 winds and storm surges.
Luckily for thousands in the Yucatan its path of destruction missed the higher populated areas of Mexico but still those winds will provide some discomfort for many…One of the main problems will be potable water. The water supply for the essentials each and every person needs to maintain life and comfort.
So I thought I’d share a few of the most important things you can do make sure you have enough water. Potable water to drink and wash for the days or weeks following a storm in the event your water supply is compromised to any degree.
Providing potable water for your family:
Start weeks before a storm is even on the horizon by filling up empty water bottles or containers with clean water and ice in plastic bags and put them in your freezer. This will provide potable water to drink when they defrost. It will also keep your food cold if you lose your electricity for about 2-3 days. Also avoid buying too many frozen foods during Hurricane season. I never fill my freezer with too much food in the summer…If you have ever thrown out tons of spoiled food, you will know the reason why I feel so strongly about this.
Have a two weeks supply of potable water for each member of your family….This is equivalent to about a gallon a day. I know it sounds like a lot but it really is necessary…and don’t forget water for your pets. They get thirsty too!
Bottle your own water in plastic containers, used water bottles, soda and juice. Anything that will hold water and that can be closed with a tight lid works. Make sure you wash each bottle carefully then store in a cool spot in your house, out of sunlight. Keep the water for 3 months and use all bottled water you bought within 6 months.
When a storm approaches, wash out your bathtub with a good disinfectant, or a combination of household bleach and water, then close your drain and seal with caulk, if you have it on hand, so the water doesn’t escape, then fill to ¾ capacity ….This water is not for drinking but to wash with or to flush toilets..
After hurricane Andrew we didn’t have potable water for a week, except for a small cold trickle in our shower, so I know the importance of these preparations first hand.
Related article: 20 Tips for Surviving a Hurricane
Just before the storm does hit, unhook and shut off your water heater from the main water source so your water will not become contaminated, should you have flooding near your house. If you have a well that has been flooded the water must be tested and disinfected after the flood water has receded before using any…call your local state health department for information if you are unsure of what need be done or how the water supply in your area was affected.
After the storm passes and, in the event you do not have bottled water, then boil whatever water you have to make sure it is safe….Boiling will kill most organisms…just boil for one minute, and let it cool in clean containers…If you can’t boil the water then disinfect it using household bleach…use 1/8 of a teaspoon of regular unscented bleach for every gallon of water…this process will kill off most, but not all, bacteria and if it looks cloudy you can filter it through clean fabric or just let the water settle.
Water is the staff of life, and one of our bodies most needed elements. Being prepared is essential and the key to making life a bit easier after a hurricane comes your way…..There is no excuse for not having the supplies needed during such crisis. Hope for the best, prepare for the worst!
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