All households should have a back-up plan for a water supply
Communities are currently dealing with a number of water main breaks and frozen water lines. The Northwestern Health Unit has the following suggestions for ensuring you have access to water, and the water you have is safe for drinking.
1. Be prepared. As part of regular planning, all households should have a 72 hour supply kit. The kit should include some basic items like a flashlight and non-perishable food, but most importantly – water.
Brian Norris, Public Health Inspector states “if you have access to safe drinking water now, or can get access to safe drinking water, store some right away”. He adds “you should plan on at least 4 litres per person, per day, and store at least a 3 day supply.
Water for drinking, washing fruits and vegetables, and brushing teeth should be stored in a food-grade container. Extra water for flushing toilets and cleaning can be stored in any type of container.
2. Make sure your water is safe. If you’ve got water, ensure it is safe to drink. Even clean-looking water can cause illness. If you aren’t sure your water is safe, bring it to a full rolling boil and let it continue to boil for 1 minute.
If you get caught without water you can look for hidden water sources in your home (for example, ice cube trays) and outdoor water sources (snow).
More information about treating and storing water, and a list of other items you need in your 72 hour kit can be found at www.nwhu.on.ca or by visiting your local health unit office.