Quality over Quantity – Does that apply to water?

Without a doubt, water is the one thing we all need to have in an emergency. Sometimes water quality doesn’t matter, and sometimes it is the difference between life and death. When you look at your emergency response plan, is there a section on water?
 
August brings us National Water Quality Month, which seems like something we’d want to celebrate, or at least remember each month. Some groups focus on water quality within our lakes, rivers, and oceans, but this month, we want to encourage you to look at the water around you, in regards to your preparedness.
 
The recommended amount of water per person, per day, is one gallon. This is a bare minimum. If it’s hot, if you are very active, if you’re providing for patients, you’re going to want more.
 
Water is certainly not infinite, and even stockpiling enough water for each resident will not be enough. Besides, water is a pain to store, and very hard to move in the case of an evacuation. Do you have other options?
 

Find more water

Sure, you have a beautiful stream behind your building, you can get water from there in an emergency. Yes, you could! But don’t let that be your only option. In fact, before you even put the stream on your list of options, you need to check the water quality. Changes to the water quality should be announced throughout the emergency situation, so make sure to check that frequently.
 

Buy enough water

If your risk assessment has your evacuation risk as low, you may want to look into purchasing and storing water. Remember that water not bottled commercially needs to be replaced every six months. Consider who is going to need water and who is going to be available to move water about when selecting the storage containers.
 

Treat the water around you

After drinking all the clean water, you may still need more. If you suspect that water may be contaminated, you should treat it. Some options include boiling, chlorination, or distilling the water to make it drinkable. When in doubt, even after attempting to purify the water, don’t drink it.
 
Water seems like a silly thing to put on a list of topics to address in your emergency response plan. But without a reasonable plan and step-by-step process to provide water to all those who need it, it will be overlooked.
 
Ready to work on your risk assessment or improve your response plan? Let us help.
Categories: Healthcare | Rebecca Alwine

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