Water During Emergencies: Are you prepared?

Posted by
Colette McCullough

Water During Emergencies: Are you prepared?

A post in the New Yorker, entitled “The Really Big One” talks about the inevitability of a magnitude-9 earthquake off the Northwest coast. Reading this article really got me thinking, 'Am I (and my family) prepared if something like that were to really happen?'

Seismologists talk about this huge earthquake and subsequent tsunami that they believe will take place along the Pacific Northwest coast. They say it's inevitable and way overdue--not a matter of “if” it will happen — but when. And there are other parts of the country at risk, as well. Besides California and the Pacific Northwest, fault lines in Alaska, Utah and Missouri also put those areas at risk.

Is there need for concern?

Disaster Flood

While there is no scientifically plausible way of predicting the occurrence of earthquakes, the United States Geological Survey closely monitors earthquake rates and the places they most likely will happen. It’s the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) that has the tough job of disaster mitigation, preparedness, response, recovery, and education.

Kenneth Murphy, who directs FEMA’s Region X, the division responsible for Oregon, Washington, Idaho, and Alaska, is concerned about the lack of preparations for a large-scale earthquake. In fact, FEMA believes that thousand could die in this Northwest earthquake/tsunami and they project that roughly 27,000 people will be injured.

2.5 Million Without Food & Water

FEMA also expects that when the Cascadia earthquake occurs, it will need to provide shelter for 1 million displaced people, and food and water for another 2.5 million.

Even if you live thousands of miles away from an earthquake-affected area (or any type of disaster for that matter), you will probably still feel the effects in some way.

Damage on a single interstate freeway could thwart or at least slow down shipping supply lines which would translate to higher prices and scarcity of many commodities. We can’t all make a run for Florida and North Dakota (the parts of the country with the fewest earthquakes), but we can and should do things to prepareno matter where we live.

It is recommended that every household create an emergency supply kit that includes a three-day supply of food, water and other essentials.

Clean Water in Times of Emergency

Water Stream

Often during times of disaster, municipal water systems and water wells are contaminated and can result in unsafe water entering homes and businesses.

While we know that it we can survive for a number of days without food, we know we can survive only a few days without water. In the event of a disaster or emergency, your family’s access to clean, safe water could be compromised for many days. After a tsunami hit Japan in 2011, many were isolated and without help for a couple of weeks.

FEMA and The Red Cross recommend an emergency supply of at least one gallon of potable water per person per day. Since the average person uses 80-100 gallons of water on a normal day, one gallon of water isn't much!

In thinking through additional sources of water for times of emergency, many believe they would seek water from nearby streams and swimming pools. This is a great idea. But first, precautionary measures should be taken to ensure the water is safe for consumption. Even though water may look "OK" and have no unusual taste, it may still be contaminated and unsafe to drink.

Invest In Peace of Mind

Consider investing in water treatment drops, filtration water bottles, or a water purification system for use during emergencies.

Solution #1 Water Treatment Drops: A small 1-ounce bottle of chlorine dioxide droplets can effectively treat up to 30 gallons of water. This is an inexpensive way to treat water.

Solution #2 Emergency Water Purification System: When municipal supplies are compromised or are not available for longer periods, a small gravity-powered system may be the perfect solution for your household. One such system, The Outback, is capable of purifying water for up to eight people and can cleanse water from almost any fresh or moving water source. The Outback's design has been proven effective by rescue, relief and religious organizations in Latin America, Africa, the Middle East and Asia and is widely used by missionary and government organizations throughout the world.

The Outback effectively removes bacteria at > 99.9999%, cysts at > 99.99%, virus at > 99.99%, organic contaminates, pesticides, herbicides, chlorine, and more. Operation is simple, just poor water into the upper chamber through the pre-filter net and wait for the water to filter down to the lower chamber.

With treatment drops and emergency water purification systems, you can provide your household with clean, safe drinking water when it’s needed most. Learn more about emergency water preparedness: Emergency Systems

emergency water purification