More than 150,000 To Lose Water for Days: Would You Be Prepared?


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Water main repairs will continue for at least five days. Photo by Green Lane

Water main repairs will continue for at least five days, residents must stockpile water to prevent illness due to lack of hydration. Photo by Green Lane

More than 150,000 people just outside of Washington, D.C., in Prince George County have been told by authorities to stockpile water for at least five days.

One of the water mains in the area has to be repaired, and crews can’t wait until this heatwave is over.

The water main was taken offline on Tuesday, July 16, 2013 and the water should last for another 14 hours, reports ABC News, after that there won’t be any running water for at least five days.

Water Shortage: Would You Be Prepared?

Residents felt the effects of the damaged water line before it was taken offline; residents say that the water pressure began to decline and some say the water didn’t smell very good.

Lack of water is a scary experience, but combine it with the summer’s heat and humidity, when the heat indexes reach well over 100 degrees, you could have problems such as dehydration.

Residents in Maryland had advanced warning to stockpile water, but what if it were unexpected, as in a natural disaster that caused the water to be shut off? Would you be prepared if it happened today? If you are like most Americans, you aren’t ready. According to the USA Today Gallup Poll that was conducted in 2007, 41 percent of Americans don’t have a stockpile of food and water.

How Much Water Do You Need?

So how much water should you have? The American Red Cross and other emergency preparedness organizations agree that you should have at least one gallon of water, per person, per day and have enough for at least three days. For example, a family of four should have at least 12 gallons of water for the minimum three days.

One of the mistakes that people make is to try to ration the water. According to FEMA you should not ration water unless told to by authorities; you should drink what you need for today and try to find more water tomorrow. You can limit your physical activities and stay cool, but you should never drink less that a quart (four cups) of water a day.

However, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says that you should drink two quarts a day and drink three to four quarts a day if you are in a hot climate, pregnant, sick, or are a child.

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