Inside the home —
If a disaster catches you without a
If your tap water is safe to drink, so is the water in your pipes and hot-water tank, even if the idea seems unappealing. If you don't drink tap water, the water in your pipes and hot-water tank may still be useful for sanitation.
To use the water in your hot-water tank, be sure the electricity or gas is off, then open the drain at the bottom of the tank. Start the water flowing by turning off the water intake valve at the tank and turning on a hot-water faucet. Refill the tank before turning the gas or electricity back on. If the gas is turned off, only a professional can turn it back on.
To use the water in your pipes, identify and turn on the highest faucet in your home to let air into the plumbing. You then can get water from the lowest faucet.
If you are aware there are broken water or sewage lines in your area, tune in to your local media to ensure you are treating your water properly. In an emergency, regular household liquid bleach can be used to treat water that may be unsafe by using 16 drops of bleach per gallon of water. Do not use scented, color safe or bleaches with added cleaners. Water can also be treated by bringing it to a rolling boil for 1 full minute. Cool the water and pour it back and forth between two clean containers to improve its taste before drinking it.
In an emergency, it's vital to have a supply of clean water for drinking, food preparation, and hygiene.
In an emergency, drink at least 2 quarts of water a day, 3 to 4 quarts a day if you are in a hot climate, pregnant, sick, or a child.
Tips on water storage:
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Information courtesy of American Red Cross