Alexandria, VA – The International Bottled Water Association (IBWA) reminds consumers and government officials that during a natural disaster (e.g., flood, hurricane, wildfire), emergency, or other event that causes tap water to be unsafe or unavailable, the bottled water industry is committed to ensuring that safe, reliable bottled water is provided to emergency-support organizations, city and state governments, relief centers, retailers, and other points of distribution.
September is National Preparedness Month, and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and Ready.gov are encouraging all Americans to plan how to stay safe and communicate during the disasters that can affect your community and to participate in the national day of action: National PrepareAthon! Day.
IBWA understands that consumers must have access to safe, clean drinking water during emergency situations. Smart planning and preparing for one’s water needs can make a big difference in the ability to get through and recover from an emergency situation or natural disaster. When preparing for a natural disaster or other emergency, FEMA specifically recommends that store-bought bottled water be part of your supplies; at least one gallon per-person, per-day for three days. Storing bottled water is a safe, convenient, way to ensure that you have an adequate supply of water on hand.
The bottled water industry has always been at the forefront of relief efforts during emergencies or natural disasters. Throughout the years, bottled water companies have responded to the need for clean water such as in 2014 when Toledo, Ohio’s, public water system was contaminated by a toxin from an algae bloom in Lake Erie; the 2013 chemical spill in Charleston, West Virginia; Hurricanes Sandy and Katrina; and numerous floods, wild fires, tornadoes, and earthquakes.
To help focus people’s attention on the importance of being ready for the unexpected, each week of National Preparedness Month is tied to a specific theme that could affect anyone at some time: floods, wildfires, hurricanes, and power outages.
“While catastrophic situations are thankfully rare, boil alerts and other types of public water system disruptions are frequent occurrences across the country. In addition, continued volatility in weather across the nation only reinforces the importance of always being prepared for unexpected and dangerous weather,” said IBWA president and CEO, Joe Doss. “These events serve as stark reminders for people to take a moment to re-assess their risks and update emergency plans.”
The bottled water industry also supports a strong public water system, which is important for providing citizens with clean and safe drinking water. In fact, many bottled water companies use public water sources for their products. Once that water enters the bottled water plant several processes are employed to ensure that it meets the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s purified water standard. These treatments may include one or more of the following: reverse osmosis, distillation, micro-filtration, carbon filtration, ozonation, and ultraviolet (UV) light. The finished water product is then placed in a bottle under sanitary conditions and sold to the consumer.
More information about bottled water can be found at www.bottledwater.org.