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Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Boil water advisory would catch me unprepared!

International news last night featured a story on how Japan is dealing with water shortages in the aftermath of the quake and tsunami...then I caught the local news about a neighboring town that is currently under a boil water order.
   The newscaster related that a Boil Water Advisory meant that all drinking water must be boiled 5 minutes before use. If washing dishes in unboiled water, 1/8th teaspoon of regular, unscented bleach should be added per gallon of water; the bleach water should then be allowed to stand 30 minutes prior to using. Found some good additional info at this San Diego.gov site.
   Of course, these news stories caused me to think about our own situation and just how unprepared we are. According to Fema, people should keep on hand enough water to last for THREE days, with one GALLON per person per day.
   We have only 2 1/2 gallons of water in the form of ice in the freezer. (Right in there with 20 lbs. sugar, a container of rice flour and several pkgs. of wild turkey breast.)
   We do wash the containers prior to freezing, so this ice could be thawed and BOILED and used for drinking, if need be. According to Fema, containers that once housed juice or milk are not suitable for storing drinking water, as they cannot be cleaned well enough to ensure against bacterial growth.
   I rarely use bleach and found that my container has only about a tablespoon left it it! So, my grocery list now has 2 new entries: 6 gallons of "commercially bottled water" and 1 gallon bleach. (And if the DD will let me, I'll be buying more of the same for her household.)
   Thing is, years ago I had this house stocked with such things...but I'd grown complacent & didn't replace the bottled water when it expired. Hope you are better prepared for a water crisis than we are??! 

7 comments:

BLD in MT said...

I have gallons and gallons stored in the basement, but alas, in old juice bottles. So, not up to FEMA standards. I guess I will have to work on that. I read once that my town's water supply was 100% from the Yellowstone River and that a we only have enough water stored for 48 hours...providing no one hordes...should the river be tainted or inaccessible. This motivated me to keep the water in the basement.

Practical Parsimony said...

Water you have stored in freezer or basement that is not suitable for drinking can be used to wash hands or flush the commode, water plants, or to water an animal. Their innnards can handle bacteria that we cannot. Remember, animals eat poop.

I wonder if vinegar or Clorox jugs will safely store water. Anyone know?

It would be feasible and cheap enough to get a filter that would serve just a few people or larger if need be. I am going to look into that for myself and for daughter.

MegSmith @ Cooking.In.College said...

I would definitely be caught off guard...completely. Thank you for such an informative post! I also love the contents of your freezer :-)

Mel said...

We have had so many boil water advisories over the years I have lost count. We only drink bottled water anymore. We have a 5 gallon jug on the water cooler in the kitchen and 2 more jugs downstairs. Probably wouldn't hurt to have more.

singlemama said...

it's amazing what I learn from you... I had never thought of storing water...
but maybe here in italy things are different...

Tracey said...

I have a well that supplies our water so I'm not dependent on an outsource. I do store water as we are prone to hurricanes [almost every year]. We have always stored extra water in old clorax bottles. I now have a collection of old glass clorax bottles that I fill and add a few tablespoons of bleach to. I change out the water every June and Oct. With living as isolated as I do, I do not want to be caugth unprepared.

Warmly,
Tracey

6512 and growing said...

I was JUST thinking about this (I guess a lot of people are). Thanks for the info.

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