The television camera focuses on hundreds of tired, hungry and thirsty people standing in line near a large tanker truck. The truck holds thousands of gallons of pure water---the people are holding empty plastic water jugs.

These are the lucky ones.

The unlucky ones are stranded after an earthquake, without electricity or potable water. What to do?

ACTION LIST FOR EMERGENCY WATER SUPPLIES

Prepare ahead of time---water is an absolute necessity, the body can go without food much longer than without drinking water.

Store at least 2 gallons of pure water per family member for at least 5 days(a family of 4 should have at least 20 gallons of pure water on hand). This is for a short-term emergency such as earthquake recovery.

Store water in unbreakable containers(polycarbonate is best, polyethylene is also good). Glass is a no-no. 55 gallon containers are available at reasonable costs. Do not use 55 gallon drums which have been used previously for perishable food product storage. Obtain new units.

Sterilize containers carefully before storing water. Use a few drops of clorox per 5 gallon jug or rinse with a couple of ounces of hydrogen peroxide before filling. An entire 1-liter bottle for rinse with 55 gallon containers.

For drinking and cooking water, start with purified/distilled water if possible. Use only distilled water for emergency storage. This ensures no bacteria or materials in water for bacteria to grow and multiply on. Spring water, reverse osmosis and so-called "drinking" water as purchased in stores or vending machines are poor choices for long term storage.

Do not attempt to use home use carbon filters or reverse osmosis systems to purify raw water. These filtration systems are not adequate to ensure completely safe drinking water during emergencies. Ceramic/carbon filtration systems are available which can provide purified water rapidly if needed.

If power is not available, boil water over cook stove for 20 minutes. This will kill any bacteria and parasites such as Giardia. Boiling water also will vaporize any liquid, toxic chemicals which may have gotten into water supplies.

If electricity is available, use a steam distiller to produce water for the family. The distiller can use any type of raw water, even water from your spa or swimming pool.

If no electricity or heat source is available, use ceramic filters . These units will filter any biological contaminants out of the water.

If water is contaminated, you may have to get used to poor taste, but at least the ceramic filter will remove bacteria which would cause illness.

Do not use so-called "bacteriostatic" filters which contain silver to purify non-potable water. These systems are unreliable under emergency conditions and according to the EPA are even questionable under day-to-day, non-emergency operation.

Contrary to what you may hear, do not attempt to store emergency drinking water supplies longer than 3-4 months---unless you have a distiller or ceramic filter to process the water before use. "Cycle" your emergency water supplies every 3-4 months at the most. Mark your calendar as a reminder.

When storing several water jugs, such as 5-gallon polycarbonate jugs, tie jugs together with rope or cord to prevent tipping and breaking of individual jugs. Store in cool, dark place.

Work together with one or more neighbors to ensure that at least one of you is storing water. Remember, your neighbor will still be your neighbor after the emergency is over. He or she will probably be a BETTER neighbor if you plan and work together and share your resources during the emergency.

Plan now. Don't wait until it's too late. Pure drinking water is a valuable commodity today---even without an emergency! If you don't believe it, visit one of our water stores during the day and see the long line of people with jugs. After the last earthquake, the waiting line was out the door and across the parking lot.

But water stores such as ours and supermarkets only have a limited supply. Also, vending machines operate on electricity and rely on city water pressure and will not be operating after an emergency.

That means you will have to plan to provide for your own family. Use the guidelines listed above to prepare.

Go to Emergency Water Systems

Go to Ceramic Emergency Water Systems

Go to Emergency Water Storage Systems  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



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