Earthquake Supplies Kit and Emergency Preparedness (cont.)

Unsafe Water Sources

Never use water from the sources listed below for drinking.

  • Radiators

  • Hot water boilers (home heating system)

  • Water beds (fungicides added to the water or chemicals in the vinyl may make water unsafe for use)

NOTE: Remember that carbonated beverages do not meet drinking water requirements. Caffeinated drinks and alcohol dehydrate the body, which increases the need for drinking water.

Water for Drinking and Cooking

Safe drinking water includes bottled, boiled, or treated water. Your state, local, or tribal health department can make specific recommendations for boiling or treating drinking water in your area. Here are some general rules concerning water for drinking and cooking. Remember:

  • Do not use contaminated water to wash dishes, brush your teeth, wash and prepare food, or make ice.

  • If you use bottled water, make sure the seal has not been broken. Otherwise, water should be boiled or treated before use. Drink only bottled, boiled, or treated water until your supply is tested and found safe.

  • Boiling water kills harmful bacteria and parasites. Bringing water to a rolling boil for 1 minute will kill most organisms.

  • If you can't boil water, you can treat water with chlorine tablets, iodine tablets, or unscented household chlorine bleach (5.25% sodium hypochlorite). If you use chlorine tablets or iodine tablets, follow the directions that come with the tablets. If you use household chlorine bleach, add 1/8 teaspoon (~0.75 milliliter [mL]) of bleach per gallon of water if the water is clear. For cloudy water, add 1/4 teaspoon (~1.50 mL) of bleach per gallon. Mix the solution thoroughly and let it stand for about 30 minutes before using it. Treating water with chlorine tablets, iodine tablets, or liquid bleach will not kill many parasitic organisms. Boiling is the best way to kill these organisms.

Containers for water should be rinsed with a bleach solution before using and reusing. Use water storage tanks and other types of containers with caution. For example, fire truck storage tanks, as well as previously used cans or bottles, can be contaminated with microbes or chemicals.


Patient Comments

Viewers share their comments

Earthquake Preparedness - Your Experience Question: Briefly, share your earthquake experience, including any prep or supplies that may have helped.
Earthquake Preparedness - Evacuation Plans Question: Discuss your earthquake evacuation plan, including practice drills and equipment.
Earthquake Preparedness - Indoor Safety Question: If an earthquake strikes while you're indoors, do you know where to take cover? Please discuss your plans.
Earthquake Preparedness - Supplies and Kits Question: Describe what's in your earthquake emergency kit. Where do you store your emergency supplies?
Earthquake Preparedness - Water Safety Question: When an earthquake hits, your water supply may be at risk. What back-up plans have you made?

STAY INFORMED

Get the Latest health and medical information delivered direct to your inbox!