Hurricane Preparedness Message from NAWASA
Clean water is essential to safeguard health before, during and after a hurricane. Unfortunately hurricanes often worsen the conditions necessary for a safe supply of drinking water through:
- Broken mains and pipes due to earth movement, fallen trees, boulders or rocks;
- Damage to our treatment plants and siltation of our dams mainly by landslides; and
- The contamination of water by dead animals trapped within the catchment area and rotting plants.
- During and after a hurricane, the water supply to your home may be temporarily interrupted. To ensure your household has a safe and adequate water supply, take these precautions- before, during and after a hurricane.
Before A Hurricane
- Collect and store water in clean, non-corrosive and mostly tightly covered containers both in and out of your refrigerator. To increase shelf life of water, group bottles in dark plastic trash bags to keep light out.
- Store enough water for each member of your family and pet. Have at least a minimum of three days supply, of three gallons per person, per day.
- Store water in bath tubs, drums, pails and buckets for flushing of toilet, washing and general cleaning.
- Store containers in a cool, dark location.
- Adhere to public advisories from NAWASA with regards to shutting off water tanks and individual property connections. Your water can be shut off at either the water valve or the water meter. Everyone in your home should know where these are located.
- CAUTION: Ensure children do not mistake bottles containing hazardous substances with bottles used for drinking water.
During A Hurricane
- Avoid going outdoors to collect water from any source
- Secure tightly closed containers, they may be retrieved if blown away.
After A Hurricane
Stay tuned to your radio stations for official information do not listen to rumours
- Listen for NAWASA updates on the water situation in your area
- Water collected from any source must be boiled for not less than 5 minutes before drinking
- Report all broken water and sewer mains and overflowing manholes to your nearest NAWASA office or radio station as soon as possible.
Making Water Safe
If and when a precautionary water safety notice is issued, you'll want to have a safe and adequate drinking water supply in your home until service can be restored. To do this you'll need to purify the water by using one of several methods:
- Boil vigorously for 3 to 5 minutes to sanitize it and let cool.
- Use regular liquid bleach from the home laundry or grocery store.
- DO NOT use a bleach that has a fragrance or scent.
- Read the label to find the percentage of chlorine available. It should be 5.25%.
- Add 16 drops to a gallon of water, stir and let stand at least 30 minutes. If the water does not have a little smell of bleach repeat the dose of 16 drops per gallon and allow it to sit for a further 15 minutes. If it smells of bleach now it is okay to drink. If it does not smell of bleach after two treatment, the water is too dirty for human consumption.
- If the water has a strong chlorine smell after 30 minutes, pour back and forth between two clean jugs or containers until the smell has dissipated.
- These can be purchased from a drug store. Keep them with your hurricane supplies and use according to directions on the package.
How To Store Purified Water
- To keep drinking water safe from contamination, it should be stored in clean, non-corrosive, tightly covered containers.
- Prepare three gallons of water per day for each family member and any family pets.
- To increase shelf life of water, group bottles in dark plastic trash bags to keep light out. Store containers in a cool, dark location.
- CAUTION: Make sure children don't mistake bottles containing hazardous substances with bottles used for drinking water.
Amount of bleach for every day containers
- 1 Quart, 4 drops of bleach
- 1 Litre Soda Bottle, 10 drops
- 1 gallon, 16 drops or 1/8 tsp.
- 2 Gallon cooler, 32 drops or ¼ tsp.
- 5 gallon bottle, 1 teaspoon.