Alexandria, VA – The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has predicted normal activity for this year’s hurricane season, which begins on June 1. The International Bottled Water Association (IBWA) is advising those who live in hurricane-prone areas to prepare their emergency kits now, in advance of any storm activity.
NOAA’s outlook for the 2023 Atlantic hurricane season predicts a range of 12 to 17 named storms, of which 5 to 9 could become hurricanes. Of those, 1 to 4 are estimated to become major hurricanes (Category 3, 4, or 5, with winds of 111 mph or higher).
“Checking and restocking your emergency kit now means you won’t be caught short when trying to find supplies at the last minute because store shelves are empty, which they often are as a storm approaches,” says IBWA Vice President of Communications Jill Culora.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) recommends people “buy commercially bottled water and store it in the sealed original container in a cool, dark place” as part of their emergency preparations.
Bottled water is the safest and most reliable form of drinking water following weather events, such as hurricanes, that could disrupt municipal water distribution and lead to contaminated tap water.
FEMA advises that people should stock at least 1 gallon of water per person, per day for several days, for drinking and sanitation. FEMA also recommends taking the following into account:
- Children, nursing mothers, and sick people may need more water.
- A medical emergency might require additional water.
- If you live in a warm weather climate, you may need more water. In very hot temperatures, water needs can double.
“People can save a lot of time and potential worry by just taking a few minutes now to check their emergency kits to ensure they have enough of each item on FEMA’s list to last several days following a major storm or emergency. It’s best to do this when there’s no immediate storm or emergency threat,” says Culora. “Because tap water systems can become compromised during and following hurricanes, due to power outages, pipe breaches, and other causes, having bottled water on hand is a necessity for you to meet any hydration and sanitation needs.”
To help you prepare in advance of any disasters, FEMA provides a checklist of items (such as a first aid kit, flashlight, and battery or hand-crank radio) that you should keep in any basic emergency kit. FEMA’s checklist can be found at bit.ly/FEMA_EmergencySupplyList.
“The bottled water industry has a proven record of being ready to help when disastrous events occur, and bottled water companies donate millions of gallons of their products every year to help ensure a reliable source of drinking water is available for the public during and after emergencies such as hurricanes.”
“The bottled water industry is there when people need it most,” says Culora.
You can learn more about the critical role of bottled water 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.