September 15, 2008
ALEXANDRIA, VA— International Bottled Water Association (IBWA) members have so far donated more than one million bottled water servings to assist with Hurricane Ike relief efforts in Texas and Louisiana. This number is expected to grow this week as IBWA bottlers, many of which are small mom and pop businesses, continue to dispatch their product to fulfill the growing demand for safe drinking water in storm ravaged coastal areas.
IBWA President and CEO Joe Doss said that truckloads of donated bottled water began heading to Coastal Texas in advance of the storm to ensure the water was in place the moment it was needed.
“Taking the initiative prior to the storm making landfall, IBWA and the bottled water industry continue to produce, coordinate, and distribute critical bottled water supplies. The donated bottled water is being sent directly to affected communities throughout the region and through official relief agencies and organizations such as FEMA, the American Red Cross and others,” Doss said.
“Hurricane Katrina was a tremendous eye-opener for government officials, emergency response professionals, communities, and industry, alike. We saw how critical bottled water is for disaster-stricken communities and the importance of a coordinated, effective response to get drinking water to people in need.”
“In the past week, IBWA members have donated at least one million bottled water servings–and counting–ranging from small half-liter bottles to five gallon bottled water cooler containers. This is in addition to the unreported quantities of bottled water from other IBWA members and non-members who are taking action.”
The IBWA donations are in addition to 800,000 gallons of bottled water distributed by FEMA since hurricane Ike hit the gulf coast on the weekend.
These donations follow similar efforts when hurricanes Hanna and Gustav slammed the US coast earlier this month. IBWA members gave almost one million bottled water servings to residents in affected areas.
The bottled water industry has, over the years, provided many millions of servings of bottled water to survivors and rescue personnel during natural disasters such as hurricanes, earthquakes, floods and forest fires, and in other emergency situations such as September 11. IBWA members have also delivered tanker trucks of fresh water and 5-gallon water cooler bottles to those in need. IBWA has developed an online IBWA Emergency Response Directory (ERD), which contains a list of organizations and government agencies responsible for emergency and disaster response activities. IBWA members and other interested parties can successfully navigate the proper channels and help provide bottled water and other resources to those in need by downloading the ERD at http://bottledwater.org/wp-content/uploads/attachments/erd.pdf.