International Bottled Water Association | IMMEDIATE RELEASE | February 28, 2014
IBWA Supports National Severe Weather Preparedness Week, March 2-8, 2014
Alexandria, VA – The International Bottled Water Association (IBWA) is encouraging consumers to take action during National Severe Weather Preparedness Week, which runs from March 2-8, 2014. This highlighted week is the ideal time for people to take a moment to re-assess their risks and update emergency kits and plans.
Last year’s unprecedented blizzards across the Northeast and Midwest, devastating tornado in Moore, Oklahoma, and destructive wildfires in the west, only reinforce the importance of always being prepared for unexpected and dangerous weather. Knowing your risk of severe weather, taking action, and being an example are just a few steps you can take to be better prepared.
When tap water is disrupted by anything from a power outage to a pipe breach during a hurricane, tornado, earthquake, or other natural disaster, bottled water provides a necessary and reliable source of safe drinking water. In addition, the sealed container provides consumers with a promise of quality. The bottled water industry has always been at the forefront of relief efforts during natural disasters and IBWA member bottled water companies have immediately responded to the need for clean water after devastating events.
“History teaches that awareness and preparation can reduce the impact of severe weather or natural disaster. Families, individuals, and businesses who know their vulnerability and what actions to take in advance can lessen the effects of a hurricane,” says Chris Hogan, IBWA Vice-President of Communications.
“IBWA understands that consumers must have access to safe, clean drinking water during emergency situations. Smart planning and preparations for one’s water needs can make a big difference in the ability to get through and recover from severe weather or a natural disaster.”
In recognition of the importance of preparation, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) have again partnered again to promote National Severe Weather Preparedness Week, and are calling upon Americans in areas of the country vulnerable to severe weather to Be a Force of Nature.
Here are the steps you can take to prepare for potentially damaging weather:
- Know Your Risk: The first step to becoming weather-ready is to understand the type of hazardous weather that can affect where you live and work, and how the weather could impact you and your family. Check the weather forecast regularly, obtain a NOAA Weather Radio, and learn about wireless emergency alerts. Severe weather comes in many forms and your shelter plan should include all types of local hazards.
- Take Action: Before storms strike, develop a family communication plan, create or purchase an emergency supplies kit, and participate in a local event on April 30 through America’s PrepareAthon.
- Be an Example: Share your preparedness story with your friends and family on Facebook and Twitter. Letting others know that you’re prepared will prompt them to prepare as well. Studies show that many people use social media in the event of a disaster to let relatives and friends know they are safe. This is an important trend because people are most likely to take preparedness steps if they observe the preparations taken by others. Social media provides the perfect platform to model preparedness actions for others.
- Being weather ready is a collective effort. It takes the whole community to prepare effectively for, protect against, respond to, and recover from damages caused by tornadoes, hurricanes, severe thunderstorms and other severe weather.
Learn more at www.bottledwater.org, www.weather.gov, and www.ready.gov/severe-weather or the Spanish-language web site www.listo.gov. Follow the National Weather Service @nws and FEMA @readygov on Twitter.
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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.