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emergency preparedness

  • Water Safety Tips for Extreme Weather Events

    With Hurricane Harvey recently leaving a trail of destruction in Texas, Hurricane Irma barreling through the Caribbean and Florida, and finally Hurricane Maria devastating Puerto Rico, it is clear that hurricane season can be extremely difficult for many. During extreme weather events such as these, access to clean drinking water can be a serious and life threatening issue for hundreds, or even thousands of people. Disaster management agencies recommend taking the following steps to ensure you have access to water that is safe to drink.

    Before the Storm Hits

    When preparing for a hurricane or any other extreme weather event where there's a good chance that the power may be knocked out, take the following steps to ensure you are adequately prepared, making use of your current supply of safe drinking water while it is still available.


    Store Water

    Fill up clean plastic containers, such as empty milk jugs or soda bottles, with tap water ahead of the storm. Steer clear of containers such a glass bottles or cardboard cartons that are not durable. It is also a good idea to fill up your bathtub so that you have a supply of water to flush the toilet in the event your water gets cut after the storm hits.

    Ensure that you'll have enough water stored to meet your family's needs for at least three days. Each person will require about one gallon of clean water per day. On average, each person will require a minimum of two quarts of fresh drinking water daily, but possibly twice as much to prevent dehydration due to physical exertion or if temperatures are high. Children, nursing moms and people that are ill also require more water to remain adequately hydrated. Furthermore, each person will require an additional two quarts of safe water daily for personal hygiene and food preparation/cooking.

    Freeze Water

    Put some of the filled containers in the freezer so that they can be used to keep frozen or refrigerated food cold for longer. Also fill up ice trays and frozen ice-packs, which can both be used to treat minor injuries such as bruising that may occur as the storm passes through.

    Bottled Water

    Purchase bottled water and store it in an area that is not likely to be affected by rising floodwaters

    During the Storm

    As the storm passes through, take the following safety measures to ensure your water is safe to drink while you ride it out.

    Refrain from Rationing Water Unnecessarily

    Unless a water rationing order is issued, drink as much water as you need to stay hydrated. To keep this to a minimum, try to remain inactive and keep cool, and refrain from using your backup water supply for making coffee, as coffee and other caffeinated beverages are dehydrating and will increase your water requirements.

    Boil Water

    Flooding from heavy rainfall or storm surges can cause municipal water treatment facilities to be overwhelmed, which can result in your water supply becoming contaminated with E.coli, or other common pollutants. If the safety of the water supply is compromised you may be issued with a boil-water advisory. In this event, you will need to boil any water you use for drinking, food preparation, or cleaning your teeth. Even if the water looks clean, bring it to a rolling boil and boil for at least a minute to ensure invisible viruses and bacteria that may be present are killed.

    Treat any Suspect Water

    Consume water from your safe water supply first. Once this is exhausted, treat any suspect water — including cloudy tap water — adequately to ensure that it is safe before drinking. If you have a good quality water filter like a Berkey, this will come in really handy in events such as these to ensure that your water supply is safe to drink.

    If you don't have a water filter at hand, you will need to disinfect the water. Pour the water into a container and let any sediment settle to the bottom before treating the water. Once the sediment has settled, pour the water into a separate container, straining the sediment with a coffee filter, tea strainer or layered cloth. Then either boil the water or treat with household bleach. When using bleach to disinfect water, use only non-scented bleach, adding 1/8th of a teaspoon of bleach per gallon water. Mix well and leave to stand for 30 minutes. You should be able to detect a faint odor of bleach, if not, then put another 1/8th teaspoon of bleach into the water and leave to stand for 15 minutes. If you still can't detect a bleach odor, discard the water and look for a different water source.

    After the Storm

    Once the storm passes, you will still need to take precautions to ensure that your water supply is not tainted.

    Test Your Well

    If your drinking water well was flooded as a result of the storm, once the floodwaters recede, the water will need to be tested for contaminants and disinfected to ensure that it is safe for human consumption. For more specific advice on the measures you need to take, you should contact the local health department in your area.

    For more safety tips visit

  • Puerto Rico's Water Crisis Highlights Need to be Prepared

    After Hurricane Maria smashed into Puerto Rico last month, pummeling the island with winds of up to 155 miles per hour and dumping a deluge of rain, most of the island has been reduced to rubble. As a result, the majority of the island's 3.4 million inhabitants have been left without power and nearly half the population without water, and it will likely take months before either are restored.

    The category 4 storm has left 16 people dead, with those that survived the initial brunt of the storm now trying to survive in "near-death conditions", according to Carmen Yulín Cruz, the mayor of Puerto Rico's capital, San Juan.

    Note:  We have been making system donations to charities involved in relief efforts.  Pls contact us if you are part of a organization looking for donations.

    Puerto Rico's drinking water quality has always been questionable. Mother Jones reported that in 2015 99.5% of the population was served by water systems that did not meet Drinking Water Safety Standards. This devastation left by Hurricane Maria is testing the islands already strained water infrastructure, leaving around 1.5 million residents without access to safe drinking water and thus dependent on bottled water for drinking, cooking and cleaning. FEMA has delivered around 6 million liters of bottled water to residents affected by hurricane damage in Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands (following Hurricane Irma). But as humans require at least two liters of water a day just for drinking, these water rations are not going to go far, especially considering that safe drinking water supplies are not likely to be restored anytime soon.

    A Puerto Rico National Guard soldier helps transport food and water to Jayuya, Puerto Rico, Sept. 27, 2017, while supporting Hurricane Maria relief efforts. Army National Guard photo by Sgt. José Ahiram Díaz-Ramos A Puerto Rico National Guard soldier helps transport food and water to Jayuya, Puerto Rico, Sept. 27, 2017, while supporting Hurricane Maria relief efforts. Army National Guard photo by Sgt. José Ahiram Díaz-Ramos

    The power outages caused by Hurricane Maria caused water pumps at treatment facilities throughout the island to fail. The resulting reduction in water pressure makes the water supply vulnerable to contamination by bacteria as well as other contaminants, which can easily seep into the water supply lines, especially given the fact that they are old and leaky. Furthermore, drinking water sources may become contaminated with floodwater and raw sewage, and because officials are not able to effectively treat the drinking water, this poses a potential health hazard to inhabitants. In many of the affected areas, residents won't have access to safe drinking water until power is restored, which may only be in six months time.

    While they wait for assistance, residents are dependent on bottled water as their only safe supply. FEMA is doing their best to deliver water that has been shipped into the country to those in need, but with roads blocked with debris and bridges badly damaged, they cannot get to some communities who are running out of water.

    Some grocery stores have reopened and are rationing limited supplies of food and bottled water. But residents who can't get to a grocery store that is open have been forced to collect water from leaking or broken pipes — a source that has the risk of being contaminated.

    Now that President Trump has finally waived the Jones Act, loosening shipping regulations for Puerto Rico for 10 days, neighboring countries, such as the Dominican Republic and Cuba who are willing to help but have been hindered by red tape, can provide assistance such as much needed supplies of bottled water of drinking water filters to the desperate residents of Puerto Rico.

    But environmental experts warn that residents may still not be safe once water services are restored, as the water supply will most like contain a concoction of pollutants and toxins.

    According to Erik Olson, a lawyer for the Natural Resources Defense Council: "You don't have to have a huge water upset to create a very serious problem. In 1993, Milwaukee's water supply was compromised after the system's filters stopped working properly. More than 400,000 people were sickened and 69 people died. This is the kind of thing that happens when a source water becomes contaminated," warns Olson.

  • Scientists Question Guidelines for Treating Water in Emergencies

    In the event of a natural disaster or any other type of emergency, clean drinking water may not be available, so it may be necessary to treat water to kill any pathogens that may be lurking in order to prevent yourself or your family from becoming ill. The EPA's current guidelines for treating drinking water in emergencies recommend that chlorine bleach should be added to the water to kill any pathogens that may be contaminating the water. However, a new study has revealed that the recommended doses are not only much higher than necessary, they are also not very practical to carry out. The authors of the study, which was published in Environmental Science & Technology, suggest that the EPA needs to review their current guidelines for treating water in emergency situations, and revise them accordingly.

    Flooding pic3

    When the study was conducted, lead author, Daniele Lantagne, who is now based at Tufts University, was working for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), who funded the research. Lantagne and his co-authors note that following a natural disaster, such as earthquakes, floods or tsunamis, clean water can be hard to come by. Yet people still need to drink water in order to survive. Currently, the EPA recommends that people use the “bottle, boil, bleach” approach to treat water in the event of an emergency if they wish to protect themselves from water-born diseases. This approach implies that people should use bottled water as the first option where possible. If bottled water is not available, they should boil whatever water is available to kill any pathogens. And as a final resort when the first two options are not available (i.e. there is no bottled water, and no electricity or other means of boiling water), people should disinfect water by adding “1/8 teaspoon (or 8 drops) of regular, unscented, liquid household bleach for each gallon of water.” However, the scientists have pointed out that 8 drops does not equate to 1/8 of a teaspoon, and both these amounts are higher than those recommended by the World Health Organization and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

    In order to assess the guidelines for water treatment, the researchers tested different concentrations of bleach treatment at six homes across the country, using various sources of water.  Their results showed that the range of bleach doses recommended by the EPA (ranging between 8 drops to 1/8 of a teaspoon) were higher than what was needed to kill disease-causing pathogens in the water samples. The authors also note that even if the recommended dosage were lowered, for many of the households they surveyed it would still be impractical to carry out, as none had the type of bleach necessary for safely disinfecting water in the house, and/or they lacked the necessary measuring devices. The scientist thus recommend that the EPA revises it water treatment guidelines and conducts further research into alternative water treatment methods and products that are more practical to carry out in the average household.

    To prepare your home in the event of an emergency, we recommend a high quality gravity-fed drinking water filter that does not require electricity and is capable of removing bacteria and viruses, as well as other contaminants that can readily pollute drinking water and pose a risk to your health. This provides a simple, yet effective method of ensuring that you have access to safe drinking water in the event of an emergency.

    Journal Reference:

    Daniele Lantagne, Bobbie Person, Natalie Smith, Ally Mayer, Kelsey Preston, Elizabeth Blanton, Kristen Jellison. Emergency Water Treatment with Bleach in the United States: The Need to Revise EPA Recommendations. Environmental Science & Technology, 2014; 140409120313005 DOI: 10.1021/es405357y

  • Safe Drinking Water Provisions in the Face of Disaster

    When disaster strikes, the number one priority in ensuring the health and safety of survivors is the provision of safe drinking water. The stark reality of a large inhabited area being wiped out by a natural disaster is currently evident in the Philippines, where thousands of people have been left dead, and hundreds of thousands have been displaced without access to adequate shelter, food or drinking water in the wake of Typhoon Haiyan.

    The horrific scenes that we are witnessing on our news channels are nothing short of apocalyptic. The situation in areas that received the brunt of the storm is pure hell. Help is slow in coming due to roads and airport infrastructure as well as other transport routes being inaccessible, making accessing the area a logistical nightmare. Desperate survivors are forced to loot shops for food, and drink whatever water they can find, regardless of the consequences. Considering the level of destruction, the fact that there is no power to boil water, and that water sources are most likely contaminated with all manner of toxins and pathogens, if victims are not provided with safe drinking water soon, this is very likely to lead to disease outbreaks, such as cholera and other life-threatening illnesses on a scale similar to that experienced in the aftermath of the 2010 Haiti earthquake. The situation on the ground is becoming more dangerous as there are fears that people may soon resort to violence in their desperation to get food and water.

    Typhoon Aftermath

    Water Missions International, a nonprofit Christian organization that provides sustainable safe water and sanitation solutions for people in developing nations and disaster areas, has mobilized water treatment equipment and support staff as phase one of relief efforts to provide safe drinking water to victims of Super Typhoon Haiyan.  Two disaster response water treatment systems sponsored by FedEx, 20 safe water treatment systems funded by The Pentair Foundation and 10 potable water chlorinators will be able to provide safe drinking water for the daily needs of 160,000 people in communities surrounding Cebu, Philippines, one of the most severely affected areas.

    “Safe drinking water is the number one need in the aftermath of a disaster. Deadly waterborne diseases spread rampantly in contaminated and untreated water and can be fatal in a matter of hours,” said George Greene IV, PE, president and chief operating officer at Water Missions International.

    Water Missions International has the capacity to provide even more assistance to victims, but limited funding is restricting their ability to provide ongoing relief. If you wish to assist the victims of Typhoon Haiyan by contributing to relief efforts, please visit Water  International disaster response page, or the World Food Program, who are providing emergency food assistance.

    “Our specialty is water and sanitation. In addition to our own efforts, we're coming alongside other major aid organizations as their implementing partner for the water component of aid relief. We are in dialogue with UNICEF about partnering with other organizations providing aid as we actively carry out our own response,” said Greene.

    Water Missions International is also providing back-up solar powered water treatment options that will not be affected in the event that fuel becomes unavailable.

    “We are fortunate that our extensive experience working in Indonesia, another country of island chains, brings an understanding of the unique logistics requirements to move equipment and people across multiple islands,” said Greene. “It will be challenging. There could be isolated pockets of people all over the place, but Water Missions International has unique experience in these types of conditions and we are working to provide as much relief as possible.”

    Water Missions International is also monitoring the situation in other countries that may become affected by Typhoon Haiyan and will respond where necessary.

    In the past, Water Missions International has provided relief to some of the largest natural disasters to strike the planet, including assisting victims of the tsunami that struck Southeast Asia in 2004, Hurricane Katrina in 2005, the Sichuan China earthquake in 2008, Haiti earthquake in 2010, and to victims of the recent floods that swept through southern Mexico in September this year.

    We just donated to Water Missions to try to help and if you'd like to learn more and donate to their International disaster relief efforts yourself, please visit

    Natural disasters are becoming more frequent and more destructive, and can strike anywhere, anytime. It is advisable to prepare for any eventuality by putting together an emergency plan and preparing an emergency/disaster kit, making provisions for food and water requirements for you and your family. A drinking water filter that is capable of removing bacteria and viruses should form an essential part of that kit.

  • Emergency Preparedness: Planning for Natural Disasters & Emergencies

    After witnessing the deadly tornadoes that devastated Oklahoma recently, we are once again reminded how destructive natural disasters can be. As we are coming into tornado and hurricane season, individuals are cautioned to plan and prepare in advance for severe weather or any other emergency situation they may find themselves in.

    Following a natural disaster or major emergency, services that we typically take for granted, including running water, electricity, and telephone communication services, may be knocked out. It is therefore wise to plan for these inevitabilities by preparing an emergency kit that will allow you and your family to be self-sufficient for at least 72 hours after disaster strikes. This emergency kit should be stored in a large, watertight container, and stowed somewhere accessible so that it can easily be moved in a hurry should the need arise.

    emergency preparedness

    Prepare an Emergency Kit

    Obviously every family's emergency kit will vary depending on the needs of family members and pets. To help you plan for a disaster and prepare an emergency kit that meets your specific requirements, offers an excellent interactive online resource that caters for various family situations and disaster scenarios to assist with your planning.

    Food and Water

    Every family will need food and water as basic requirements – you will need to store enough food and water for each member of the family (including pets) to last for three days (minimum). Your water supply may become contaminated, or may even be cut off, following a disaster, and it is essential that you have access to safe drinking water during this time. It is recommended that an emergency kit contains at least 1 gallon of drinking water per day for every person, or if you wish to include water for cooking and washing/bathing this should be increased to a minimum of 3 gallons of water per day for each member of your family (don't forget the pets).

    Storing Tap Water

    It is safe to store municipal tap water in food-grade plastic containers, without any further treatment or additives. Make sure the bottles are labelled and stored in a cool, dark area. Water should not be stored longer than six months – replace with fresh water once six months has passed.

    When storing commercial bottled water, ensure that the water is stored in its original sealed container, in a cool, dark area. Keep an eye on the expiration date, and if this is not indicated on the bottle, make sure that you mark the date of purchase on the bottle and replace annually.

    How to Treat Water Following a Disaster

    Should you run out of drinking water before you water supply is restored you can use the water in your water heater or toilet cistern as long as you have not added chemical additives/cleaners, and the water is treated following the guidelines below before you consume it.

    Treatment Process:

    Filter the water with a home drinking water filter, or pour the water through a home-made filter constructed from layers of clean cloth or paper towels to remove any sediment or dirt particles that may be suspended in the water.

    Boiling: If you do not have a top end home water filter that removes bacteria and other pathogens to high degrees during the filtration process, you will need to purify the water after you have filtered it. If you have power or some other method of cooking at hand, this can be achieved by boiling the water. You will need to bring the water to a rolling boil and keep the water on the boil for between 3-5 minutes. Once the water has cooled down, you can improve the taste by oxygenating the water. This can be achieved by agitating the water by pouring it between two clean water containers.

    Disinfecting: Water can be disinfected by adding unscented, regular household bleach (as apposed to ultra/color safe bleach) to kill any pathogens. Using an eyedropper add 16 drops (¼ teaspoon) of bleach per gallon of water if the water is cloudy, or 8 drops of bleach per gallon of water if the water is clear. Agitate the water before letting it stand for half and hour. The water may taste and smell faintly of chlorine, however this is normal.

    Swimming pool and spa water should not be used for drinking using the treatment process outlined above, but if required, it can be filtered with a top quality drinking water filter, such as a Berkey Filter, to remove chlorine to render it fit for drinking. If a home water filter is not available swimming pool water can be used for non-drinking purposes only.

    Be Prepared

    To ensure the safety of your family when disaster strikes, heed the boy scouts motto: “Be Prepared”.

    For more information on preparing for hurricanes visit or download The Official 2013 Hurricane Survival Guide developed as a community service by the Capital Area Chapter Red Cross.

    To get started preparing an emergency plan or kit that meets the needs of your family visit or Ready to prepare, plan and stay informed.

  • Drinking Water and Health Hazards After Hurricane Sandy

    A week after the disaster of hurricane Sandy struck, the states of New York and New Jersey are still warning some residents not to drink their town's tap water until contamination of the public water system can be eliminated. There are still many residents without power and this is contributing to the suffering that many are still experiencing.

    Mayor Bloomberg and other New York City authorities assure residents that water across the city that if they have water, it is safe to drink. "The genius of the New York City water supply is that we have ample reservoirs located away from the city that are not groundwater based," deputy commissioner for environmental health at the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene Dan Kass told National Public Radio.

    New York and New Jersey Drinking Water Compromised by Hurricane Sandy

    Residents on hard-hit Long Island and in Nassau, Queens, Orange, Rockland, Suffolk, Sullivan and Ulster counties are not so lucky. Many of their water supplies have been contaminated by bacteria or chemicals in floodwater or compromised by power outages at treatment plants. See the full list of boil water and do-not-drink advisories on the New York State Department of Health website.
    In neighboring New Jersey, that many consider to be hit the worst, 12 water systems or municipalities have issued such warnings.

    "Disruptions to water supply treatment due to power outages and flooding can lead to serious health issues," said New Jersey Health Commissioner Mary E. O'Dowd. "It's important that our residents continue to stay informed so they can take measures to protect themselves and their families." The state posts details about advisories on the New Jersey Office of Emergency Management's Posterous blog.

    The New Jersey Department of Health reminds residents that: "Consumption includes brushing teeth, washing fruits and vegetables and making beverages and ice. Tap water that has not been boiled may be used for showering, bathing, shaving and washing, so long as care is taken not to swallow or allow water in the eyes or nose or mouth."

    Emergency Drinking Water and Other Storm Relief Supplies

    As of November 4, Governor Cuomo waived bottle-deposit law requirements for companies wishing to donate drinking water to affected areas. Even the most prepared New Yorker may have run out of his or her 3-5 day supply of emergency drinking water by this time and stores are having trouble restocking shelves with bottled water or other emergency supplies.

    For the nearest emergency shelter or supplies distribution center, consult Google's New York City Crisis Map.

    Preparing for the Next Emergency

    Berkey customers can confidently filter their water with gravity-driven Berkey systems, even without electricity. FEMA recommends keeping a minimum supply of drinkable water "3 gallons per person" on hand in case drinking water becomes compromised or unavailable. With Berkey water filters, your water supply is not limited to what you can store or carry. The black berkey filters have been shown to remove common contaminants, bacteria, and other microorganisms down to log-7 and non-detectable levels turning any available water into potable drinkable water. We may not be able to avoid this type of disaster again, but we can learn by preparing ourselves, our towns, and our states so that we better withstand such a devastating blow in the future.

    For more tips on preparing for hurricanes or other natural disasters see our posts:

    • National Hurricane Preparedness Week with Berkey Filters and Wise Food Productsand
    • How Do Hurricanes Affect Drinking Water?
  • National Hurricane Preparedness Week with Berkey Filters and Wise Food Products

    U.S. hurricane season runs from June to November and NOAA is kicking off the season with a public awareness campaign around National Hurricane Preparedness Week from May 27th through June 2nd.

    Hurricanes can be extremely dangerous. A large hurricane can release the energy of 10 atomic bombs every single second.

    The 2011 hurricane season was among the United States' costliest and deadliest. "Hurricane Irene killed 45 people and caused at least $7 billion in damage, the National Climatic Data Center reports, making Irene the USA's most lethal and financially damaging hurricane since Ike in 2008. Torrential rains from Irene led to catastrophic flooding in the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast," reported USAToday.

    Severe Weather Affects Everyone

    Every U.S. state experiences dangerous severe weather from hurricanes to tornados or floods. Despite improving advance warning systems, people die. In 2011, there were more than 1,000 weather-related fatalities and more than 8,000 injuries.

    Participate in the Force of Nature Campaign for Hurricane Week

    To protect people and property during the 2012 hurricane season, NOAA is asking citizens to take the following steps this week:

    1. Know your risk: The first step in protecting yourself and family is to understand how hurricanes and tropical storms can affect where you live and work, and how the weather could impact you and your community. Check the weather forecast regularly and sign up for local alerts from emergency management officials and consider purchasing a special NOAA Weather Radio.
    1. Take action: Pledge to develop an emergency plan and put together your hurricane preparedness kit. Practice how and where you will evacuate if instructed by your emergency management officials. Post your plan in your home where visitors can see it. Download FEMA's mobile app so you can access important safety tips on what to do before, during and after a hurricane.

    1. Be an example: Once you have taken action and pledged, share your story with your family and friends. Create a YouTube video, post your story on Facebook, comment on a blog, or send a tweet. Or you can even post a NOAA disaster preparedness widget on your social media profiles.

    Make Berkey Filtration and Wise Food Storage Part of Your Hurricane Preparedness Kit

    FEMA recommends each person's hurricane preparedness kit contain
    the following supplies:

    • Water. Set aside one gallon of water per person per
      day for at least three days, for drinking and sanitation.
    • Food. Each family member needs at least a three-day
      supply of non-perishable food.
    • Battery-powered or hand crank radio and a NOAA
      Weather Radio with tone alert and extra batteries for both
    • Flashlight and extra batteries
    • First aid kit
    • Whistle to signal for help
    • Dust mask to help filter contaminated air and
      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, inverter or solar charger
    Berkey and Wise Food products that make preparing your kit easy: Water. Your Berkey Water Filter provides an unlimited supply of drinkable water from almost any source.

    • Food. A single Wise Foods 56 Meal Grab and Go Bucket provide 2 servings of food per day
      for 1 adult for 4 weeks, or 4 adults for 1 week.  Alternatively,
      the Wise Food Camping Meals - 72 Hour Emergency Kit provides 4 servings per
      day (total of 12 servings) of 20 ounce lunch and dinner entrees.
    • The Wise Deluxe Survival Kit provides and most of of FEMA's supply recommendations:
      • Food for 1 person for 2 weeks
        or 2 people for 1 week
      • Water Filtration Bottle
      • 4-in-1 Dynamo Flashlight
      • Deluxe First Aid Kit
      • 5-in-1 Survival Whistle
      • NIOSH N95 Dust Masks: Qty 2
      • Deluxe Hygiene Kits: Qty 2
      • Waste Bag: Qty 2
      • Swiss Army Knife

      No can opener needed for Wise Food Packets.

    The deluxe survival kit also

    • Pocket Tissue: Qty 6 packages
    • Deck of Playing Cards
    • Water Proof Matches: Qty 50
    • Note Pad
    • Golf Pencil
    • Mylar Sleeping Bags: Qty 2
    • Leather Palm Work Gloves
    • 36 Piece Bandage Kit
    • Portable Stove
    • Stove Fuel Tablets
    • Metal Fork Knife and Spoon
    • Sierra Cup
    • Aqua Block Water: Qty 9 at
      8.5 oz per container
    • Compact Multi-Function Shovel
    • Emergency Ponchos: Qty 2
    • Hand and Body Warmers: Qty 2
    • 2 Person Tube Tent
    • 12 Hour Bright Stick
    • 30 Hour Emergency Candle

    More Safety Tips from NOAA's National Hurricane Center

  • Only 9 States Prepared for Impact of Climate Change on Water Resources, Are You?

    According to a new report issued by the Natural Resources Defense Council, state governments are woefully unprepared for the ways climate change will affect water resources. While 9 out of 10 states can expect more frequent or more intense storms or flooding, 29 states "nearly 60 percent" have done little or nothing to prepare for this growing threat.

    Scientists are already seeing warmer temperatures, changes in rainfall and snowfall patterns, and rising sea levels. NRDC's state-by-state analysis of preparedness plans is both a wake-up call and a roadmap for all communities to understand how vital it is to prepare for climate change so we can effectively safeguard our most valuable resources. "Preparing for the impacts of a changing climate requires that states confront reality, and prioritize climate change adaptation to reduce local water risks and create healthier communities", explains NRDC Water & Climate Program director Steve Fleischli.

    Watch Steve Fleischli, Director, NRDC Water & Climate Program, Talk About the Risks of Unpreparedness

    NRDC calls out 6 states "Alabama, Indiana, Kansas, North Dakota, Ohio, and South Dakota" for doing virtually nothing to address climate pollution or prepare for growing climate-related water risks. Another 6 states "Arkansas, Iowa, Missouri, Montana, Texas, and Utah" have done so little that they also fall in the groups least prepared category. 
    Water Readiness MAP hr

    Click to enlarge image. <EDIT LINK> See the NRDC website for an interactive version of this map.

    Is Your Family Prepared for an Emergency? Berkey Water Filters Can Help

    Power outages from heavy storms, flooding from excessive or sudden rainfall and other extreme weather events can be frightening and dangerous. Sometimes power can be disrupted for days, tap water can be compromised, and communities can even be evacuated by authorities.

    For that reason, the Federal Emergency Management Agency recommends that every household develop an emergency preparedness kit that includes food and water for each family member for several days. In addition to water filters, Berkey sells long-term food storage and an entire line of preparedness products. We even sell solar electric chargers for when you are off the grid but need some power.

    Long Term Food Storage the Easy Way with Wise Food Storage

    FEMA recommends setting aside a 3-day supply of nonperishable long term food storage for every family member. Wise Food Storage emergency backpack kits and/or lightweight grab-and-go food storage buckets are the perfect companion to a Berkey water filter for family preparedness. Wise meals cost only about $1.60 per serving, have a shelf life of 25 years, are easy to transport and prepare in an emergency, and taste great.

    Big Berkey Water Filters Are Your Portable Safe Water Solution

    FEMA also recommends keeping a minimum supply of drinkable water "3 gallons per person" on hand in case drinking water becomes compromised or unavailable. With Berkey water filters, your water supply is not limited to what you can store or carry. Gravity filters don't require a power source and Berkey's have been shown to remove common contaminants, bacteria, and other microorganisms down to barely or non-detectable levels. Berkey customers can rest easy knowing that their filter will make any available water into drinkable water.

  • How To Prepare For A Hurricane

    With Irene still fresh in our minds, much of the East Coast was made very aware of just how unprepared they were for a potential disaster like a direct hit from a hurricane. Hurricanes can cause monumental destruction and just because you live inland from the coast does not mean you are protected. This has been re-discovered in regions like Central/Northwest NJ, Vermont, and NY state. Flooding from a massive influx of rain in these regions resulted in 100 year floods and resulted in severe river flooding, broken dams, and power outages that are still existing now 8 days later! While some headlines in NYC read "Irene, The Great Hurricane Hype", this is disconnected from the flooding that severely affected over 5 million people inland.

    Many of those who are most affected were unfortunately the least prepared and are understanding first hand how some basic supplies and planning could have made this hurricane destruction much more manageable. While I'm hoping many of our readers are very familiar with the basics of disaster and hurricane preparation, I think it is important to revisit this subject. We're still at the beginning of hurricane season and paying attention to the Atlantic Ocean over the last week, I'm sure this will not be the last of the effects felt on the East Coast.

    First and foremost, choose a location that is considered the safest place for when the storm hits. Any location that does not have windows is preferred to protect you and your family from high winds even if that means avoiding the basement so as not be to be exposed to flooding. If your home does not have a safe area, then you should make yourself aware of any emergency shelters near your home. If you have special medical needs or you know of family members or friends that do, please contact the local town and county to set up arrangements.

    Critical - Food And Water

    You should have enough non-perishable food and water in your home to last the family for at least 2 weeks. Two days before Irene made landfall, many supermarkets were brimming with folks stocking up and laying claim to some of the most valuable items. Rather than waiting for the last minute like the majority of the population did, purchase these items beforehand and choose items that have a long shelf life so that your investment is retained for years to come. The Wise food storage that we carry has a shelf life of 25 years and only requires water prior to consumption.

    Having fresh water is also essential and we recommend having at least 1/2 gallon per person per day on hand. A berkey water filter is an inexpensive way to purify any water in or around your home, on the go in case you are forced to evacuate. The filters that come standard with the berkey systems will filter 6000 gallons per set of 2.

    Supporting - Essential Supplies

    Once you have the food and water straightened out, you'll need additional basic items like batteries, flashlights, etc.  These are vital, especially in the likely event that your power goes out. Here's a list of some of the top items we recommend:

    Shortwave/Weather Radio - For weather status and emergency recovery operations
    Batteries - Power devices such as radios and flashlights
    Medication for all family members - These sometimes get overlooked, but forgetting a simple item as an inhaler can be very dangerous during stressful times
    First aid kit
    Cash - Credit cards will not process when power is out.

    Other Things To Consider For Your Home

    Whether your hunkering down at your home or leaving it to fend for itself, you'll want to make sure it can weather the storm as best as possible. This means boarding up windows, placing sandbags around the home, silicone sealing doors, windows, and crevices that may be prone to floodwaters, and making sure your sump pump (if you have one) is operational. A home generator is also very nice to have in the event of prolonged power outages like many Irene victims are still experiencing. They've come down in price and basic ones can be bought for under $500.

    Finally, have a plan to take care of your pets. Depending on how many you have, this can become a cumbersome responsibility and should be thought through. One of the easiest options is to ask a friend or relative who is a safer place to watch them during the storm.

    Proper preparation for a hurricane is not difficult, is relative inexpensive, and can make all the difference in the event of such a disaster. Don't hesitate to spend a little time planning today for dangerous events that may take place tomorrow.

  • How Do Hurricanes Affect Drinking Water?

    As we all now, a hurricane is like a giant tornado, with winds circulating around a calm center at 75 mph or more. Yet even though we've seen the devastation of a hurricane like Katrina, how many of us are fully prepared? Given we're well into the hurricane season, there's no better time to discuss the importance of preparing you and your family for the dangers.

    2010 Hurricane Season

    The hurricane season starts June 1st and ends November 30th, and again this year (2010) the National Hurricane Center has predicted an above average number of storms in the Atlantic. The first, category 2 hurricane Alex, appeared less than a month after the season began. At the rate of one a month, the Atlantic Ocean will surely reach its predicted quota.

    Initial fear that Alex would strike Florida proved unfounded. Instead the hurricane moved across the Gulf and slammed into Mexico, leaving several dead and millions of dollars in damage. That was good news for the United States, but of course bad news for Mexico.

    However, it was not all good news for the U.S.. The storm hampered cleanup progress of the BP oil disaster that started on April 20th and there is still serious concern that oil could be blown and stretched out across the Gulf of Mexico and it's beaches over the next couple months. This would obviously make cleanup much more difficult than it already is.

    Hurricane Katrina


    The destructive power of a hurricane is in the wind, but also in the amount of water it drops. Katrina, for example, dropped 15 inches of rain in some regions in less than a 24 hour period. An inch of rain drops 65,000 tons of water per square mile, and the average hurricane covers 8000 square miles! That much water inevitably has the potential to be very destructive!

    Extreme Weather and Our Drinking Water

    Why do weather extremes like this affect drinking water? Hurricane rain is not just unadulterated distilled water. It can often contain chemicals similar to acid rain yet also churn up undrinkable salt water from the ocean that causes corrosive damage. This water essentially has a negative impact on any source of drinking water it touches. This is particularly noticeable in rural areas where high volumes of run-off from fields containing fertilizers and other chemicals can quickly contaminate  karsts and private wells.

    In more populated ares, polluted floodwater is typically an even bigger concern as it mixes and contaminates the water supplies of municipal water systems. Damage to municipal water pipes is often a part of storm destruction, and this means that safe drinking water is unable to get to homes and individuals on that pipeline for days, weeks, and sometimes months.

    Make Sure You Are Prepared


    Prepare Yourself and Your Family

    Knowing all this, how can one be prepared for a possible hurricane disaster? Of course, some parts of a disaster are unavoidable and they must be endured until the crisis is over. But other foreseeable problems can be a part of the preparation. For example, if you live in a flood plain, or along the coasts where hurricanes (or typhoons on the Pacific coast) may occur, it would be wise to stock up on food, clean water or a water filter, and at least a 2 day responder pack for your family. These are just the basics, but every family should begin with this foundation for preparedness. Do you research as many disaster survival companies have just the sort of supplies you would need.

    For water security, we recommend purchasing a gravity fed water filter like the Berkey water filter. These are very efficient in removing virtually anything that may threaten your health such as pathogenic bacteria and chemicals. The berkey filter will provide clean drinking and cooking water you could trust for the duration of the disaster that you experience. There is a peace of mind in knowing that you have water security for you and your family in the event of a potential hurricane disaster.

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