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How do I store my bottled water stockpile?
Don’t stack your water bottles, as this might cause them to leak. It’s best to store your stockpile somewhere that is easy to access during an emergency. The ideal location is a cool, dark place away from any solvents or cleaners that can leak or transfer fumes. Be sure to keep your supply in an area of the house that is not at risk for flooding.
Look for the “use by” date on your drinking water for best quality. Rotate your stockpile at least twice a year and replenish any bottles that may have leaked. A good reminder is to check your emergency supplies when you change your clocks for daylight saving time.
When should I use my emergency water supply?
You’ll definitely need to use your emergency water supply if your tap water stops working, but there are also occasions — such as floods or contamination — when tap water becomes unsafe to drink. In the event of an emergency, follow advice from local officials. Your health department or public water authority may issue alerts advising you not to use tap water for drinking, eating or brushing your teeth.
In an emergency where your only option is to use water that may not be safe as is, boiling the water or disinfecting it with chlorine bleach or tablets may be an option. The Environmental Protection Agency offers instructions for safely treating water on its Web site, www.epa.gov.
If there’s no water, how do I clean my hands?
When our hands are dirty, most of us grab some soap, turn on the faucet and scrub away without even thinking about how easy it is. But if you don’t have running water, you’ll quickly learn to miss that flow from the tap. To keep your hands clean during an emergency, include some alcohol-based sanitizer and moist towelettes in your emergency stockpile. Look for a sanitizer that is at least 60 percent alcohol, and save your bottled water stockpile for drinking.
For more tips on creating an emergency preparedness stockpile, visit www.getreadyforflu.org/clocksstocks