Hurricane Season is coming. Are you “water ready?”

 

I grew up in lands where hurricanes are commonplace: first on the island of Okinawa, a gob of coral that’s so tiny it’s just a blip on most maps and could be seriously blasted by any size typhoon; and in Florida, a peninsula that puts millions of people out into the path of tropical storms every year.  And, I’ve worked in hurricane recovery efforts. So, I naturally think about prepping for hurricane season around this time of the year.

But, how many of people do?  Do you?  I’ll bet a bunch of people in New Jersey now think about it, when they never had to before.  But really, anyone living along a coastline can be affected and needs to make plans to ensure not only their comfort, but their very survivability as well.

One of the most important things to look at is WATER.

Looks pretty welcoming here, right? But all this saltwater can make access to clean water very difficult.

Looks pretty welcoming here, right? But all this saltwater can make access to clean water very difficult.

You can go for quite a few days – even weeks – without food. You can too without electricity and the ultimate gift of electricity, which in Florida, is AIR CONDITIONING. But you cannot go without water. Water is essential.

In the July issue of Water Technology Magazine, Assistant Editor Jake Mastroianni provides an excellent article on the water element of “Preparing for an emergency.”  I recommend reading the entire article, which isn’t long and includes tidbits like a reminder that the folks who went through Hurricane Andrew went without a safe water supply for over a month!  But, if you don’t have time to click over to the entire article, here’s a lowdown on the list of the 7 tips that Mastroianni offers from the book “WaterPrepper” by Glenn Meder.

1. Know what to do. Looooong BEFORE the power is knocked out, print a copy of the FEMA/Red Cross Booklet on treating water in an emergency situation. The FEMA/RED CROSS Booklet can be found at http://www.fema.gov/pdf/library/f&web.pdf.

2. Keep a minimum of two-week’s worth of bottled water. You should have at least two quarts (half gallon) per person per day. This should be commercially produced bottled water, preferably a well-known brand name. Keep the bottles sealed and stored in a dark, cool area. Rotate the bottles out at least every six months.

3. Also keep a bottle of basic bleach — unopened and non-scented. Do not use scented bleaches, colorsafe bleaches or bleaches with added cleaners, which can be used to disinfect water.

4. Get a stove and fuel for boiling and/or distilling water during an emergency. You should have a stove that can use different types of fuel, and that will allow you to make a basic wood fire.

5. And/or get a water purifier, ideally a non-electric water distiller, which is the best way to purify water during an emergency.

6. You could incorporate an emergency filter into your kit, which could be effective at filtering some contaminants out of the water, as long as you remember to additionally treat the filtered water with one of the FEMA/Red Cross recommended methods.

7. Educate your family and friends about being prepared.  If they aren’t, they will probably become a burden on YOU and your resources. Send each of them a copy of the FEMA/Red Cross Document that’s at http://www.fema.gov/pdf/library/f&web.pdf.

And, number 8 is my own tip.  Don’t wait. By the time weather forecasters say a storm is headed your way, you will have to contend with the mass hysteria and resulting empty shelves at your local grocery store.  

Again, don’t wait. Think about, and do something about, your disaster plan for water soon.

Hurricane Sandy: It’s Time to Re-Start the Conversation on Climate Change

Throughout this long summer and fall of presidential campaigns, we’ve been wondering where was even a mention of Climate Change?  The coal lobbyists have been running a lot of TV commercials advocating for the election of folks to the House and Senate that would slash at the EPA’s effort to regulate the use of this polluting, toxic fossil fuel. But where and when recently has anyone stood up to the elephant in the room – the obvious change in our climate that is going on?

Photo from Getty Images. Story in the Huffington Post.

Whether you believe it’s largely manmade or a historically natural recurring feat of our planet’s system, it’s hard to deny it’s happening. Let’s  just focus on how the human race is going to accommodate the changes in the climate that are happening.  What steps can be taken to mitigate the effects of stronger storms?  How can we improve our infrastructure and the way we build our population centers? Hey all you politicians: It’s time to start talking about Climate Change!

For more on this subject, read Mark Hertsgaard‘s article in The Nation, “Hurricane Sandy as Greek Tragedy.”  Hertsgaard has covered climate change for twenty years and is the author of six books, including, most recently, HOT: Living Through the Next Fifty Years on Earth. But don’t stop there. For another view, also read Nicholas D. Kristof’s comments in The New York Times, “Will Climate Get Some Respect Now?”  

Sending thoughts and prayers for those affected by Hurricane Sandy …

Video link to Washington Post of Hurricane Sanday

Queens, NY was hit with the one-two punch of not only water – but fire as well. About 80 homes were burned to the ground during the Hurricane. Hopefully, no one was lost in the blaze but it may be days before authorities are certain everyone got out alive. Click on the picture to see the video.

 

As dawn broke on the East Coast this morning, it was painfully evident that Hurricane Sandy (aka Frankenstorm) was unfortunately everything forecasters had warned it would be and sometimes more. IX Power will continue to send our thoughts, prayers and donations to the brave survivors of one of history’s most infamous storms.

NYC’s financial district really got a bath from Superstorm Sandy.

Here’s how you can help too:

 

Donate to the American Red Cross.  We have seen many news reports of the Red Cross whipping into action to mitigate the misery of people affected by the storm.

The Salvation Army had boots on the ground providing hot meals well before the storm even hit and they will be there long after. Donate directly to the Salvation Army specifically for victims of Hurricane Sandy by  texting the word “STORM” to 80888 to make a $10 donation through your cell phone. Or make a donation to the Salvation Army online.

Click here to read the Better Business Bureau’s advice on how to select a charity for your donations regarding Hurricane Sandy. 

Click here for more information on other charities assisting victim of Superstorm Sandy.

Click here for the FEMA site on how to donate and volunteer responsibly.