International Bottled Water Association | NEWS RELEASE | May 30, 2013
Bottled water industry provides clean, safe drinking water to Oklahoma tornado victims
Alexandria, VA – The International Bottled Water Association (IBWA) is working with its member bottlers to deliver critical supplies of bottled water to victims of the devastating tornado that ripped through the town of Moore, Oklahoma, last week. As with past disasters, IBWA member bottlers began responding immediately to provide substantial supplies of bottled water to those affected.
Working in coordination with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA); state, county, and municipal emergency management agencies; and emergency relief partners including the American Red Cross and AmeriCares, IBWA’s members have so far supplied nearly 400,000 bottles of clean and safe drinking water to the disaster’s victims. However, this figure captures only what member companies have so far reported; the actual amount of bottled water supplied to recovery efforts is likely much larger. “Our industry will continue to provide bottled water as needed to the ongoing relief efforts,” said Chris Hogan, IBWA vice president of communications.
“IBWA member companies are working around the clock to get bottled water to impacted areas in several ways. In coordination with AmeriCares, one member company has already delivered nearly 250,000 single-serve containers of bottled water to food banks and shelters in the region and to support first responders,” he said.
“An Oklahoma-based member company coordinated two deliveries of bottled water totaling nearly 36,000 containers to Feed the Children in support of their disaster relief efforts. Even a small member company from Northern Texas donated a pallet of 1,800 containers of bottled water as part of a locally coordinated donation that was sent to Moore,” he said.
“Other IBWA members are working through Convoy of Hope, which has mobilized a rapid response team, complete with emergency relief supplies, to the hardest hit areas of Moore,” said Hogan. “A member company that has worked with Convoy of Hope on disaster relief efforts since 2005 has already provided more than 100,000 bottles of water to Moore relief efforts. The company actually had water on the Convoy trucks the night of the event and in Moore ready for distribution early in the morning, the day after the storm.”
The bottled water industry has always been at the forefront of relief efforts during natural disasters and other catastrophic events. Throughout the years, bottled water companies have immediately responded to the need for clean water after disasters such as hurricanes – most recently when Sandy extensively impacted the Northeast, earthquakes, tornados, wildfires, and flooding, he said.
Having access to safe, clean drinking water is important to everyone’s survival, but this becomes paramount during disasters such as this when municipal supplies may become compromised. During these times, bottled water is a necessary and reliable option to deliver clean, safe drinking water, he said.
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The International Bottled Water Association (IBWA) is the authoritative source of information about all types of bottled waters, including spring, mineral, purified, artesian, and sparkling. Founded in 1958, IBWA’s membership includes U.S. and international bottlers, distributors and suppliers. IBWA is committed to working with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), which regulates bottled water as a packaged food product, to set comprehensive and stringent standards for safe, high-quality bottled water products.
In addition to FDA regulations, IBWA member bottlers must adhere to the IBWA Bottled Water Code of Practice, which mandates additional standards and practices that in some cases are more stringent than federal and state regulations. A key feature of the IBWA Bottled Water Code of Practice is a mandatory annual plant inspection by an independent, third-party organization.
IBWA is proud to be a partner with Keep America Beautiful and a supporter of Drink Up, an initiative of former First Lady Michelle Obama and the Partnership for a Healthier America (PHA), which encourages Americans to drink more water more often – whether from the tap, a filter, or in a bottle. Choosing water is always the healthy choice.