How do I handle water emergencies?
Water is vital to everyday life, necessary for health and should never be taken for granted. It is very important to be prepared for water emergencies before they occur. Earthquakes, floods, high winds, droughts and forest or brush fires are events that can create water emergencies. Likewise, broken water mains, power outages, treatment plant breakdowns, and failure of storage tanks or equipment are considered "water system" emergencies.

Learn how to shut off the main water valve to your house. Make sure you know the location of the valve; have the necessary tools to operate it; and mark it with fluorescent paint or tape for locating the valve in the dark.

Purchase bottled water or store water in clean, unbreakable containers that can be properly sealed or capped after filling. It is recommended to have at least one gallon of water per person and per pet per day, and store enough water for three to five days.

Keep water stored in a cool areas away from direct sunlight. Water should be replaced every six to eight months.

If you must use tap water during an emergency, make sure your water has been disinfected by boiling it for 5 minutes or you can use water-disinfecting tablets (4 per gallon), tincture of iodine (12 drops per gallon) or liquid chlorine (8 to 10 drops per gallon). After treatment, mix the water thoroughly and let it stand for 30 minutes before use.

Show All Answers

1. What is done to purify the water before it comes out of the tap?
2. Who is making sure that my water is safe and healthy to drink?
3. Who should I call if I have a problem with my tap water?
4. How do I treat water during an emergency?
5. How do I handle water emergencies?
6. How do I flush my household pipes?
7. Is there lead in my water?
8. Is there fluoride in my water?
9. Can pregnant women drink tap water?
10. Can people with HIV/AIDs or weakened immune systems drink tap water?
11. Do I need to purchase a home treatment device to make my tap water safe?
12. Should I boil my water?
13. Do I need a water softener?
14. Should I buy bottled water or water at vending machines or water stores?
15. Why does my water sometimes look dirty, cloudy or have a strange color?
16. Why does my water leave spots on my glasses, coffeepot and showerhead?
17. How can I find out what's in my water?