What Every Family Needs
to Know to Stay in the Flow. If disaster strikes, will you be Water-Ready?
Carpinteria Valley Water District Presents: "Water Lines are Lifelines"
Guidelines for Storing and Treating Your Emergency Water Supply
Water is essential to life, and in our modern society, availability
of water is taken for granted. But in disasters, the water flow
we all count on may not be there.
The Carpinteria Valley Water District, and other agencies responsible
planning and preparedness, urge you to be waterwise in disasters.
This means taking
steps now to store water for you and your family so you can survive
several days if the public water supply is disrupted by a natural
How much water do I need to store?
Store 1-2 gallons of safe water per person per day.
Store enough water to last each person at least three (3) days.
More is better. (Consider pets and the possibility that you might
have visitors present when disaster strikes.)
Store 1-2 gallons of purchased distilled water for any individuals
with chronic health problems including weakened immune systems.
Why do we need to store water for use
In the event of a major earthquake or other disaster, CVWD water
lines could be shut down for several days.
Your familys ability to survive depends on an adequate
supply of safe water for drinking and food preparation.
Water is safe only if it is tap water that has been
properly stored, or if it is store bought bottled water that has
been properly stored.
How long can water be stored?
Replace your stored water every six months. You can do it when
you reset your clocks to and from daylight savings time. Label
your stored water containers with the date it was stored.
Specially sealed, airtight pouches of water may be stored up
to five years (check the label).
These may be purchased where earthquake supplies are sold.
How and where should I store my emergency
Store tap water in airtight, clean, food-grade plastic containers.
(Do not store in glass or used
milk containers.) Place all containers (tap water, bottled water
or pouches) in a cool, dark,
easy-to-reach location, secure from animals. (Examples: in the
back of closets, under beds and tables, behind a sofa) Avoid storing
the water in garages or attics where it can get too hot.
Should I treat my stored water before
Water properly stored is safe to drink. Only treat your stored
Labels show the water has been stored longer than six months
The water has an unusual odor
The container is leaking
The seal does not appear to be airtight
You have any concerns about the waters safety
If my stored water needs to be treated
before using it in a disaster, how do I do it?
Be prepared to use either of two methods to make your stored water
safe. Include in your emergency / disaster supplies a heat source
such as a camping stove (do NOT use barbecues), a clean pot, measuring
spoons or a clean medicine dropper, and a sealed bottle of regular,
unscented liquid bleach. Bleach should also be replaced every
Treatment Option #1: Boil your stored water for at least
one minute, let cool, then drink or use to prepare food. Boiling
is the preferred treatment method.
Treatment Option #2: Add a measured 1/4 teaspoon, or 16,
drops, of bleach to each gallon of water. Shake or stir, then
let stand 30 minutes. A slight chlorine taste and smell is normal.
Are there other sources of water I can
use in an emergency?
Yes, for some purposes. Water from the water heater, toilet tank,
pool or hot tub can be used with soap for washing down surfaces,
cleaning tools, and washing your body. Your stored water is meant
to keep you alive; use it only for drinking and food preparation.
If you run out of stored drinking water, you can use the water
from your water heater for drinking after you strain it and treat
it. To strain it, pour it through a clean cloth or layers of paper
towels. Then treat this water following the directions given in
the previous answer.