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Emergency Water Purification in Times of Disaster

Emergency Water Purification in Times of Disaster

One thing you probably don't think about on a daily basis is the importance of emergency water purification in times of disaster. Without water, our basic and most essential need, we would not be able to survive. But are you aware of what it actually takes to purify water? Keep reading to discover this and more... During 2008, floods ravaged many parts of the United States. People in the devastated areas faced the loss of property, livelihood, and went without power for weeks on end. Flooding can be particularly hard on the supply of fresh water, and it may become difficult to find water to drink or cook with. There are four things that could be in unpurified water that anyone faced with a situation like this needs to think about: bacteria, viruses, parasites, and poisonous chemicals.

You probably already realize that drinking water filled with these things could be hazardous to your health. Weve all seen pictures of people in third world countries drinking from polluted water sources and heard the gruesome details about the disease epidemics that result. The people just dont realize what theyre doing to themselves. Here in the U.S., though, we should all be aware of what we could be doing to our bodies if we ingest contaminated water and know that if water doesnt look clean, it needs to be cleaned up before we drink it.

The human body is mostly made up of water, and that water needs to be replaced constantly. Thirst is natures way of reminding us we need a drink of water. However, if a disaster contaminates the drinking water, there needs to be some type of emergency water purification plan in place to help get everyone through. Purification may take the form of boiling the water, filtering it, adding chemicals, or a combination of the three.

Many people think that adding common household bleach to contaminated water will purify it and make it safe to drink and cook with. To some extent, this is true, because the chlorine in the bleach kills the microorganisms that can make us sick. Unfortunately, though, it can also kill the good bacteria that our bodies need in order to function properly. For this reason, it is recommended that iodine be used to chemically treat water. Iodine is a good element to use for emergency water purification processes. Adding 3 drops to a quart of clear water or 6 drops to a quart of cloudy water will kill the bacteria and other pathogens making the water safe for human consumption.

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