5 Tips to Securing Your Drinking Water Supply for a Natural Disaster

5 Tips to Securing Your Drinking Water Supply for a Natural Disaster

A natural disaster can have a devastating effect on your community. There may be property damage, power outages, an interruption in services and the infrastructure could be compromised. This may also affect your access to clean water that’s safe to drink. Preparing for extreme weather is worthwhile, but having access to clean water until normal services are resumed should be at the top of your list. Here are five tips that you can take to secure your drinking water supply for a natural disaster.

1. Evaluate Your Water Needs

The Center for Disease Control (CDC) recommends that you need to store a minimum of one gallon of water per day for each person, child, and animal in your family. If you have family members that are pregnant or suffer from illness, you may want to stock even more. If you can, store a two week water supply or at the bare minimum at least three days.

2. Storing Drinking Water

It’s vital that you consider how you’re going to store your drinking water supply. When you’re pre-filling a container with filtered or tap water, use sanitized food grade containers made of glass or plastic. Milk containers may seem to be a good option, but they can be hard to clean, and bacteria can easily grow on the surfaces. If you want to use milk containers, ensure that you take extra care to make sure they are thoroughly sanitized. Bottled water is a great option, they are easy to store, and they must meet or exceed all state health and federal water regulations.

3. Water Storage

Store your water in a location that will offer some protection to your water supply during a natural disaster. Flooding could be a major problem that could compromise your water safety so try to store your water above ground level. If you’re storing water in plastic containers, make sure they are kept away from sunlight and direct heat that can affect the containers. It’s a great idea to store your water in a dry, dark and cool place.

4. Maintaining Water Quality

There are natural disasters that can damage or flood wells and affect municipal water supplies. This can lead to contaminated tap water, but there are some warning signs to look out for. If you water has a rotten odor, a foul taste or a cloudy appearance it should not be consumed. There are other dangerous contaminants that cannot be detected by taste, smell or sight. For this reason, it’s a good idea to avoid tap water during and just after a disaster, and get your water tested at a laboratory when normal service has been resumed.

5. Boiling Water

Boiling water is a common way to treat water to eliminate contamination by destroying dangerous pathogens. This is why you may see a boil water advisory or notice when your local water supply has been compromised in some way. Any water used for drinking, washing food and brushing teeth, should be boiled for at least a full minute.

By Mark Williams (NicMar President Mark Williams holds degrees in Applied Science and Industrial Thermodynamics, along with Agricultural Mechanization and Systems Engineering from Ohio State University.  He also holds the highest possible industry ranking, being WQA (Water Quality Association) LEVEL 6 Certified.

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Nicmar Water
999 Baltimore Road York SpringsPA17372 USA 
 • 800-542-8649

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