International Bottled Water Association | News Release | January 19, 2022
Prepare now for the next winter storm so you’re not left in the dark and cold
Alexandria, VA – You never know when the next big winter storm will hit, so don’t get left in the dark and cold; prepare now by putting together an emergency kit for your home, office, and car, says the International Bottled Water Association (IBWA).
If recent history has taught us anything, it is to expect the unexpected—and that doesn’t apply solely to the global COVID-19 pandemic. Last February, a winter storm in Texas and Louisiana surprised many people with the amount of snow and damaging ice it spread. Millions of people lost electricity and 12 million experienced water disruptions and boil-water notices. More recently, a heavy snowfall earlier this month stunned motorists on Interstate 95 in Virginia just south of Washington, DC, causing nearly 50 miles of the highway to shut down and leaving hundreds of drivers, including Virginia Senator Tim Kane, stranded in their cars for more than 24 hours in freezing temperatures.
These are just a few recent events that highlight why having a winter weather emergency preparedness kit is so important.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) recommends commercially produced bottled water as part of your emergency preparedness kit—at least 1 gallon per person per day for several days, for drinking and sanitation.
“Life-sustaining bottled water is a necessity during a crisis. Having bottled water on hand can make a really tough situation more manageable,” says IBWA Vice President of Communications Jill Culora.
As Texas residents experienced last year, the availability of water from public water systems can become compromised during and after a natural disaster. Often, tap water supplies to the home are cut off or water boil alerts are issued. During such times, bottled water is the best option for clean, safe drinking water.
According to FEMA’s public service campaign, www.Ready.gov, a basic disaster supply kit includes the following items:
- Water (1 gallon per person per day for several days, for drinking and sanitation)
- Food (at least a three-day supply of non-perishable food)
- Battery-powered or hand crank radio and a NOAA Weather Radio with tone alert
- First aid kit
- Extra batteries
- Whistle (to signal for help)
- Dust mask (to help filter contaminated air)
- Plastic sheeting and duct tape (to shelter in place)
- Moist towelettes, garbage bags, and plastic ties (for personal sanitation)
- Wrench or pliers (to turn off utilities)
- Manual can opener (for food)
- Local maps
- Cell phone with chargers and a backup battery.
- Masks (for everyone ages 2 and above), soap, hand sanitizer, disinfecting wipes to disinfect surfaces
In addition to the items above, you should consider adding the following to your car emergency kit:
- Jumper cables
- Warm cloths and blankets
- Snow boots
- Sleeping bag
- Sand or cat litter (to provide traction for car wheels in icy conditions)
For a complete list of additional items to include in an emergency preparedness kit (e.g., prescription medications, food and water for your pets, and infant formula), visit www.ready.gov/kit.
When disaster hits, it may take several hours or several days for first responders to reach you. FEMA recommends that you place all survival items for the home, office, or car in “airtight plastic bags” and store them in “one or two easy-to-carry containers such as plastic bins or a duffel bag.” Assembling an emergency preparedness kit is just the first step; you also need to remember to maintain your kit, making sure the items you include are up to date and appropriate for your family. It’s a good idea to set a reminder on your phone to review your kit every six months, so you can replace expired items and include new necessities as needed.
To learn more about building your emergency preparedness kit, visit www.ready.gov.
To learn more about healthy hydration and the importance of bottled water during crisis situations, visit www.bottledwater.org.
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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.