International Bottled Water Association | News Release | May 24, 2021
Consumers are advised to prepare emergency kits early for this year’s Hurricane Season
Alexandria, VA – Tropical Storm Ana formed off the U.S. coast before the start of Hurricane Season, which officially begins on June 1. For the past six years, such storms have formed well ahead of schedule and, as a result, the National Hurricane Center has decided to issue tropical weather forecasts early. Because of this, the International Bottled Water Association (IBWA) is advising the public to check their emergency supplies earlier than they normally would to ensure they are prepared for any severe storms.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) just announced its 2021 Atlantic hurricane season outlook predicting another above-normal season, with a projection of 13-20 named storms this season.
When preparing an emergency supply kit in anticipation of severe weather or natural disasters, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) advises the public that commercially purchased bottled water is the safest and most reliable drinking water following events, such as a hurricane, that may lead to contaminated tap water. FEMA also recommends that people store at least 1 gallon of water per person, per day for at least three days.
“Having safe, reliable drinking water during and after emergency events can be critical,” says IBWA Vice President of Communications Jill Culora. “It takes just a few minutes to check your emergency kits and ensure that you have enough of each item to last at least 72 hours following a major storm or emergency,”
Bottled water plays a pivotal role in ensuring that survivors have their hydration and sanitation needs met following severe events, such as tropical storms and hurricanes. Those potentially life-threatening events can compromise tap water systems, with the reasons varying from a power outage to a pipe failure, among others.
“It’s also important that people have non-perishable food, batteries, and other supplies in their emergency preparedness kits.” To help prepare, FEMA has a checklist of items that should be in any basic emergency kit, and can be found at bit.ly/FEMA_EmergencySupplyList. For 2021, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is also recommending that emergency kits include items to help prevent the spread of coronavirus and other viruses, such as masks, soap, hand sanitizer, and disinfecting wipes.
“The bottled water industry has a proven track record of being on call and ready to help during these situations, and that’s only possible when the bottled water market is strong and viable during the year,” says Culora. “There are millions of gallons of bottled water donated by the industry every year that help ensure the public has a reliable source of drinking water during a crisis.”
New this year, NOAA has begun using 1991-2020 as the new 30-year period of record. Updated averages for the Atlantic hurricane season have increased to 14 named storms and 7 hurricanes, with the average number of major hurricanes (Category 3 and above) remaining unchanged at 3. The previous averages for Atlantic storms (from the period of 1981-2010) were 12 named storms, 6 hurricanes, and 3 major hurricanes. Last year there were a record-breaking 30 named storms, with 12 making landfall in the continental United States, according to the NOAA. It was also just the second time in history that the Greek alphabet was used for the remainder of the season, extending through Iota, which was the ninth name on the list.
Learn more about bottled water’s vital role during emergencies and other natural disasters, in this video: “Bottled Water: Always There When You Need It.”
For more information about bottled water, visit www.bottledwater.org.
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.