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Disasters are on the horizon. But having a personal emergency plan and adequate supplies can boost your level of comfort or save your life when the unexpected occurs, whether it's an ice storm, flood, earthquake, hurricane, storm or other crisis. Bottled water is an excellent choice for emergency water storage and, of course, daily refreshment.
When putting together home emergency supplies, emergency preparedness guidelines issued by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security recommend that all households maintain an emergency supply of water – at least one gallon per person per day for at least five days –for drinking, cooking, and personal hygiene and enough canned or shelf-stable food for up to a week or two depending on your geography. The International Bottled Water Association (IBWA) advises consumers to store bottled water at room temperature or cooler, out of direct sunlight, and away from solvents and chemicals such as gasoline, paint thinners, household cleaners, and dry cleaning chemicals to prevent contamination.
- Store one four or five gallon bottle and several smaller sizes for easy handling. You may want to store bottles of water in different locations for easy access.
- Put supplies in a large container such as a plastic trash can with a lid and store it in a cool, dark place away from any chemicals or solvents.
- Label each food and water item with date of purchase or note the expiration date or "use by" date.
- For maximum freshness, rotate food and bottled water every six months.
Bottled Water and Emergency Response
In 2005, Mountain Valley Spring Company®, partnered with FEMA and Homeland Security on a disaster relief initiative for the victims of Hurricane Katrina; the costliest and one of the deadliest hurricanes in US history. The program was supported through countless local support agencies, churches and private citizens. Pulling together and accessing public support makes disaster stories on CNN become human and real to all our communities.
In addition, Mountain Valley shipped over 1.5 million gallons of water to the Gulf Coast States to directly support those hurricane victims. Our distribution system and truck drivers reacted to deliver that product to the "war zone" that was southern Louisiana and Mississippi, to execute their emergency response plan for the region.
IBWA also serves as a critical information source for members and the public who are seeking to provide bottled water emergency relief supplies to communities in the wake of natural disasters or other emergencies. The IBWA web site hosts the "IBWA Emergency Response Directory (ERD)," which contains a list of national, regional, and local organizations and government agencies. Individuals and organizations interested in providing emergency bottled water relief supplies can use the ERD to navigate successfully through the proper channels and help those in need. IBWA will work to update this document on a regular basis and welcomes updated or corrections to listings.
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