Friday, October 16, 2009

Getting Water

Disasters such as earthquake, flood, severe weather, power outage, or contamination can result in a shut-down of the community water supply to your home. If the outage happens during hot weather, the problem becomes serious in a hurry because everyone needs to maintain adequate drinking water intake to prevent dehydration.

The best course of action is to have several days of drinkable water stored in your home or garage. One-gallon containers are easy to store and light enough for anyone to carry. Smaller water bottles are easy to pack around during activity. Aqua Clip ( is a small hook for the individual water bottles that allows you to hang the bottle from your belt or pocket when you need both hands for another task.

Plan for each member of the family to have about a gallon of drinking water per day. Actual intake will vary depending on the ambient temperature, activity level, age, size and physical condition of the individual. If you have a gallon per person, that's a safe quantity.

In the event of a prolonged water shut-off to your home, you might be able to extract some water from the plumbing. To do this, go to the highest faucet in the house and open it. Use a container to catch any water that comes out, until no more water drains from the faucet. Leave the faucet open and go to the lowest faucet in the house. Place a container beneath the faucet and turn on the water. Whatever water is in the plumbing will drain from the lower faucet.

Collect water from the water heater by first turning off the electricity or gas to the water heater, then open the drain valve at the bottom of the tank. The water will start to flow when you turn off the water intake valve and open the hot water faucet at a nearby sink. After the water tank has been emptied, remember to refill it before turning on the power or starting the gas burner again.

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