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Water storage essential for when disasters strike — are you ready?


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SALT LAKE CITY — It is often taken for granted, but in the event of an earthquake or major disaster, safe and drinkable water might suddenly be scarce. And a few simple steps could help ensure that your family is not left high and dry.

It is the lifeblood of existence, but don't assume that it will always be there.

"It's such a convenience," said Tony Wilde of the Division of Emergency Management. "We walk in the house and turn the tap. And how often is it ever gone?"

"So many thing revolve around is, so that if it's missing we really run into problems," assed Tim Pedersen of Emergency Essentials.

At the Emergency Essentials store in Orem, Pedersen and his staff preach the gospel of clean water. He says stored water should be replace every six months.

"The chances for contamination increase over time," Pedersen said. "So, if you flush all of that every six months or a year, then you know you're not dealing with new water that hasn't been contaminated."


We want each household to have one gallon per person, per day for five days. If you're just using it for cleaning clothes, if you're using it to bathe in, you don't need to worry about rotating it out.

–Tony Wilde


But how much drinking water will you need in the case of an emergency?

"We want each household to have one gallon per person, per day for five days," Wilde said. "If you're just using it for cleaning clothes, if you're using it to bathe in, you don't need to worry about rotating it out."

"In a disaster, your water heater is going to be a great supply of drinking water for you, so you'll want to make sure it's vertical," said Joe Doherty, of the State Emergency Management.

According to officials, the thing that makes water so scarce when a community is crippled by an emergency is the difficulty in distributing large amounts. Treatment plants may be shut down and water no longer flows.

"When outbreaks happen and our water sources are no longer available to us, that's when we're really put to the test," Pedersen said. "People that have more water will not regret it."

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Peter Rosen

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