Are You Ready If Disaster Strikes? Test Your Emergency Preparedness IQ

Posted Friday, September 18, 2020

If a disaster strikes in our community, tap water may not be safe to drink or use. It is important to prepare for possible emergency situations ahead of time by preparing an emergency water supply for yourself and your family.

In emergency situations, use bottled water if possible; bottled water is the safest choice for drinking and all other uses. If bottled water is not available, it is essential to know how to make contaminated water safe to drink and how to find alternate sources of water.

Test your knowledge about water use and safety in an emergency:

(1) In a disaster, alternative sources of clean water can be found inside the home. Can you name three sources?

  • Melted ice cubes.
  • Liquid from canned fruit and vegetables.
  • Water from your home’s water heater tank.


(2) In a disaster, alternative sources of water can be found outside the home. Can you name three sources?

  • Rainwater
  • Streams, rivers, and other moving bodies of water
  • Ponds and lakes
  • Natural springs


(3) In a disaster, if you don’t have safe bottled water, you should do what to water make it safe?

A. Add chlorine
B. Add iodine
C. Boil it

Answer: C. Boiling is the surest method to make water safer to drink by killing disease-causing organisms, including viruses, bacteria, and parasites. Iodine and chlorine can kill most harmful organisms, such as viruses and bacteria, but are not as effective in controlling more resistant organisms such as the parasites cryptosporidium and giardia.

IMPORTANT: Water contaminated with fuel or toxic chemicals will not be made safe by boiling or disinfection.


(4) The minimum amount of water each individual needs per day for sanitation and drinking is?

A. 1 gallon
B. 5 gallons
C. 16 ounces

Answer: A. Store at least one gallon of water per day for each person and each pet. You should consider storing more water than this for hot climates, for pregnant women, and for persons who are sick. Store at least a three-day supply of water for each person and each pet (try to store a two-week supply if possible).


(5) If the water you’ve stored for an emergency hasn’t been commercially bottled, how often should it be replaced?

A. Every 3 months
B. Every 6 months
C. Once a year
D. Not until it starts to turn green

Answer: B. Every 6 months