During and after a hurricane, there is always a possibility that the water supply to your home can become contaminated and unfit to drink. To ensure your household has a safe and adequate water supply after natural disasters take these precautions:
- Store enough drinking water for each family member and pet.
- Store in clean, non-corrosive, tightly covered containers.
- Store containers in a cool, dark location.
- Collect water in bathtubs for non-drinking uses.
As soon as landfall is imminent or evacuation notices are issued during a hurricane warning, you can further protect the water supply going into your home and minimize property damage by following the guidelines shown below:
How to protect your water heater
- Switch off the electrical circuit breakers.
- Turn off your water at the main valve.
- How to turn off your water meter
Your water can be shut off at the main valve. Everyone in your home should know where this is located. The main valve (usually with a wheel-type handle) is normally located either on the customer side of the meter box or just outside the point where the service line penetrates the foundation of the house.
It will be in line with your water meter, which is usually located near the edge of your property line near the street. The valve can be operated to provide water, if available, for sanitary services only.
To have water for non-potable uses:
- Fill up the bathtub.
- Use the water in the water heater.
How to purify water
A “Boil Water” notice may be issued after a storm because the water may have become unsafe to drink due to pipes breaking. If this occurs, you’ll want to have a safe and adequate supply of drinking water 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 and let cool. You can add a pinch of salt, or pour back and forth between two containers to improve the taste.
Purchase from drug store, follow directions.
How to store purified water
To keep drinking water safe from contamination, it should be stored in clean, non-corrosive, tightly covered containers.
Prepare two quarts 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.