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Disaster Preparedness News
Too Much of Anything Can Be a Bad Thing
The world watched as the tragedy unfolded. One of America’s greatest cities had become a virtual Atlantis as storm water breeched levees, backed up city drains and sewers, and nearly destroyed a historic and enduring city. The residents waited in, and then, waded through water up to six feet. During the initial days of shock it may have been hard to imagine that there could be a shortage of water. However, one of the risks faced by victims of Hurricane Katrina was that there was potential for a shortage of usable drinking and cleaning water. This risk could have deadly consequences. According to experts, emergency water is the most import disaster preparedness item.
Like in the tsunami in Asia, the water that Hurricanes Katrina and Rita brought into the areas they devastated posed several risks to the people affected. The Center for Disease Control proclaims that the water after a tragic event may not be adequate for more than just drinking, “Water may not be safe to drink, clean with, or bathe in after an emergency such as a hurricane or flood”. Never mind being able to drink, you may not even be able to clean your pots and pans with it. The water is substantially damaged. It can “become contaminated with microorganisms, such as bacteria, sewage… waste” and other things that can result in death (The Center for Disease Control). Keeping a supply of several gallons of emergency water is a key to surviving a catastrophe that leaves one surrounded by water. Dehydration due to a lack of a reliable water source is a significant threat.
Many people still keep emergency water supplies in the form of bottled water. However, it is important to note that bottled water has a shelf-life of only 6 months which means that it becomes dangerous to drink after sitting around...not to mention a pain to replace all the time. This is why you should keep US Coast Guard approved emergency water rations which have a 5-year shelf life.
One should not use the contaminated water around them in any normal function, so only fresh water should be used for tasks as diverse as emergency sanitation needs. Therefore, you should store at least a liter of emergency water per person per day. However, a gallon of water is the standard survival recommendation. The cheapeast, easiest, and safest way to store a large amount of emergency water for you and your family is with a 55 gallon water storage barrel.
When disaster strikes, it can have ironic, deadly effects. It seems odd that in the event of a flood there could be a shortage of water. However, as recent events have proven, it can be the difference between life and death to keep separate stocks of the very thing that has put your life in danger…water.
By Casey Kozoll