Keep Your Water Safe in a Storm

Keep Your Water Safe in a Storm

Floods. Wildfires. Earthquakes. They’ve been in the news lately—and Orange County is not immune. IRWD has multiple safeguards to protect the reliability and quality of your drinking water. But in extreme circumstances, it’s smart to be ready for disruptions.

The first 72 hours are critical, so prepare to be self-sufficient at least that long. Here are three ways to be sure water isn’t a worry:

1. Store it. Maintain several gallons per person, stored in clean, non-corrosive, tightly covered containers. Commercially bottled water is one option. Heavy, opaque plastic containers with screw-on lids are best if you bottle your own. Label it clearly and replenish it every six months.

2. Boil it. After a disaster, tap water may be tainted. Boil it for at least fi ve minutes before drinking. If boiling isn’t possible, strain water through paper towels, coffee fi lters or layers of clean cloth to remove sediment. Treat water with household chlorine bleach—eight drops per gallon of clear water, or 16 drops if water is cloudy.

3. Find it. Sources of drinkable water are hidden throughout your home. Melt the ice cubes in your freezer. Drink the liquid from canned fruits and vegetables. Save the water from your water heater. (Cut the power to your water heater, close the supply valve at the top, let the tank cool, turn on any hot water tap in your house to let air fl ow into your tank, then open the faucet at the bottom of the tank to drain water into a clean container.) You can even drink the water in your toilet tank (not the bowl!), unless cleaning chemicals have been added.

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