Did you know that September is National Preparedness Month? During this time, FEMA encourages everyone to develop plans with their families, communities, and workplaces to be prepared in case of a disaster.
Water Crisis in Ohio
This summer, those in Northwest Ohio were faced with a water crisis and declared a state of emergency by Governor Kasich, with no availability of usable water to residents. This ultimately led to a bottled water shortage throughout the area as well. If you were faced with this type of emergency, would you be prepared?
Due to the presence of microcystin – a toxin produced by a harmful blue-green algae – more than 500,000 Toledo area residents were under “do not drink” and “do not boil” orders by the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). These toxins were from Lake Erie algae blooms, induced by excessive nutrient levels.
And as a company who assists clients with all aspects of planning and design for water treatment, storage and distribution improvements, we know the importance of an adequate and safe water supply.
Emergencies can happen at any time, due to anything from water contamination to a natural disaster. Below are a few tips from FEMA on how to be prepared for any emergency situation, including those that are water-related. (And, with winter just around the corner, it’s important to ensure you’re prepared for a winter storm!)
Assemble a Disaster Preparedness Kit
This kit should accommodate you and your family for 72 hours. FEMA recommends the following supplies:
- Water: one gallon of water per person per day for at least three days
- Non-perishable food: a three-day supply for each family member
- Battery-powered radio with extra batteries
- Flashlight and extra batteries
- Basic first aid kid
- Whistle to signal for help
- Dust masks to filter contaminants
- Moist towelettes, garbage bags, and plastic ties for sanitation
- Wrench or pliers
- Manual can opener
- Local maps
- Extra cell phone with chargers (preferable solar)
During an emergency, it is critical to manage your water use. This is particularly critical in a water emergency, such as the one declared in the Toledo, Ohio area. Follow the steps below to stay hydrated but also increase the length of your resources.
- Allow people to drink water according to their needs, based on age, physical activity, and physical condition
- Avoid unnecessary strenuous activities
- Never ration drinking water unless ordered to do so by authorities
- Drink only non-contaminated water
- Do not drink carbonated or caffeinated beverages instead of water as they will increase dehydration
Have a Plan
Ensure your family has a plan in case of an emergency. This plan should include who to call, where to meet, and what to pack.
For more education and tips on emergency preparedness and to see how you can get involved in National Preparedness month, visit FEMA’s Ready.gov.