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Water Part II
(Because Water Is So Important!)
Last month’s tip regarded the minimum amount of water you should have safely stored for an emergency. But what if you get caught flat-footed? Now what?
Unless you have a tankless water heater, your heater’s tank is usually full of clean, drinkable water, but ALWAYS turn off the electricty or gas to your heater before tapping into this emergency reservoir. Also, close off the cold water source going into your heater to prevent contaminated water from flowing into the tank.
Your toilet’s tank (but not the bowl) has several gallons that are perfectly usable unless you place toilet bowl cleaning tablets inside.
Ice cubes in your freezer and even the liquid in canned vegtables provides a small amount of water in an absolutely dire situation, but these sources are obviously not up to the task of hydrating a person for any length of time.
Finally, there is the issue of swimming pool water. While you can find web sites with advice about how to make pool water potable (and many of these sites are in the business of selling products to make it so), the process is tricky and the Los Angeles Fire Department through its CERT program advises against it.
If none of these options sound simple, pleasant or practical, this is because they aren’t. The best plan of action is to have an adequate supply of water on hand for each member of the household (including pets) for a bare minimum of 3 days.
Be prepared, Del Rey!
A new CERT (Community Emergency Response Team) course is starting on May 5th, 2015 at the MOA Wellness Center, 4533 S. Centinela Avenue. The course is free.
Starting at 6:30pm , the 7-week course (one class per Tuesday) covers such wide ranging topics as disaster awareness, fire suppression, medical operations and light search and rescue. If you miss a class, you can make it up during a following CERT course and obtain your certificate without retaking the entire course.
Volunteers who wish to help Ballona Creek Renaissance’s effort to pick up litter along Ballona Creek are welcomed to assemble at the entrance to the bike path at Centinela and Milton, between 9AM and noon. (In the event of rain, the event will be take place on May 9th, 9AM to noon.)
There is also an April 25 cleanup scheduled along the underpass near the Garden at Mesmer Avenue between Beatrice and Hammack Streets between 9 and 11AM.
Volunteers to this event are asked to bring one or more of the following items (if possible): push brooms, dust pans, rakes, weed-eaters and/or blowers. The organizers have dusk masks and some gloves but if you have your own, please bring them as well.
The Del Rey Residents Association is happy to help promote both these worthwhile community efforts.
There is no single item among your emergency preparedness supplies that is more important than clean water. With rationing now a reality in our state, it seems like a good time for a brief reminder regarding how much of this precious commodity you should always have on hand.
- Store at least 1 gallon of water per person per day for a minimum 3-day supply. This means a family of 4 needs at least 12 gallons.
- Be sure to account for pets. A large dog will obviously need more drinking water than a cat, but don’t shortchange your companion animals. Under stressful conditions, many pets consume more water than usual.
- Store water in a cool, dark place in your home, office, and car.
- Replace water every six months and be sure to check expiration dates on store-bought bottles. An easy way to keep to this twice-a-year schedule is to swap out your water when we go on and off daylight savings time.
If you use your own containers for storing water, make sure to sanitize them before filling. To sanitize:
- Wash containers with dishwashing soap and rinse with clean water.
- Swish a solution of 1 teaspoon of liquid household chlorine bleach to a quart of water on all interior surfaces of the container.
- Rinse thoroughly with clean water before use.
One final tip:
Learn where the water intake valve to your home is. If you hear reports of broken water or sewage lines, you’ll need to shut off water to your house to avoid the prospect of contaminated water entering your home. Listen to local warnings for more instructions.