ALEXANDRIA, VA — The International Bottled Water Association (IBWA) today is providing consumers with tips for bottled water and drinking water supplies at the opening of the 2011 Atlantic Ocean hurricane season. IBWA draws upon the many lesson learned from previous hurricanes and disasters to underscore the critical need for clean drinking water for affected communities.
The bottled water industry has, over the years, provided hundreds of millions of servings of bottled water to victims and rescue personnel during natural disasters (e.g., floods, tornados, wild fires, hurricanes, boil alerts) and other emergency situations. IBWA members also delivered tanker trucks of fresh water and 5-gallon water cooler bottles to those in need.
IBWA works with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) and assists in producing the annual National Preparedness Month activities. This national recognition, which is held each September, encourages all Americans to prepare for emergencies in their homes, businesses and communities.
According to DHS guidelines, all households should maintain an emergency supply of water — at least one gallon per person per day for three days — for drinking, cooking, and personal hygiene — in the event that public drinking water service is interrupted or if its safety is compromised during an emergency event.
IBWA provides the following tips to consumers to help ensure the safety and quality of emergency water supplies:
- Store bottled water at a constant room temperature or cooler, if possible. Room temperature is defined by the US Pharmacopeia as being between 59-86 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Store bottled water out of direct sunlight.
- Keep the water containers, as you would any other food products, away from solvents and chemicals such as gasoline, paint thinners, household cleaners and dry cleaning chemicals.
- If consumers choose to store tap water in their own containers, select appropriate containers and disinfect them before use. Never use a container that once held toxic substances. Rinse the container with a diluted chlorine bleach solution (one part bleach to ten parts water) before use.
- The same bottled water storage recommendations (items 1-3) also apply to tap water stored in containers.
- You should replace stored tap water every six months. The American Red Cross and the U.S. Federal Emergency Management Agency offer tips for treating water at www.redcross.org. According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), which regulates bottled water as a packaged food product, there is no shelf life for properly stored and safety-sealed bottled water.
The International Bottled Water Association recognizes that consumers must have access to safe, clean drinking water during emergency situations. Smart planning and preparations for one’s water needs can make a big difference in a person’s health and well being and their ability to recover from an emergency situation.