Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Emergency Preparedness

Hopefully some people have taken note and have assembled an emergency kit after seeing how helpless Katrina has left the gulf coast. After... half a dozen hurricanes we have a decent one but I still found a few more helpful tips:

Do not store plastic water containers on concrete. The concrete will leech chemicals into the water, contaminating it and also degrading the plastic bottle, causing failure. Stored water should be refreshed every 6 months. Keep the clear containers out of sunlit or in black garbage bags.

Use up all your potable water first:
Hot water heater. Every water heater has a drain valve near the bottom. Just be sure to let the water cool, turn off the supply line to prevent contaminated water from coming in and shut off its power.
Water Trapped in Home Piping: Water can sometimes be removed by locating and shutting off the main water valve. Open the valve at the highest point of your property, then when you open the valve at the lowest point, gravity will force the water from the pipes.
Toilet Water. Use the water from the storage tank - NOT the toilet bowl.

How to purify water:
Drain through a paper towel or coffe filter to remove sediment.
8-16 drops of chlorine per gallon (mix and let sit for 30 minutes). Water should smell/taste slightly of bleach, if not add more.
or
12-24 drops of iodine per gallon.
or
Boil the water vigorously for 5 minutes at sea level (+1 min/1000' above.

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