How to avoid drinking contaminated water after a hurricane
How to avoid drinking contaminated water after a hurricane.
When a hurricane crashes onto shore with destructive winds and deadly storm surge, its threat to clean water supply is a major concern.
Consuming contaminated water can lead to serious health problems, including gastrointestinal illness and reproductive issues, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Lack of pressure in the water system increases the likelihood of dirty storm water leaking into the lines, he said.
In the two months following Hurricane Katrina in 2005, the EPA found no occurrences of waterborne illnesses or diseases resulting from contaminated drinking water in some states, including Mississippi.
In the weeks after the hurricane, lack of clean drinking water led to a cholera outbreak, according to the Associated Press.
“If people do actually have water pressure out of their sinks, they’re told to make sure to boil that water before consuming it,” Trygar said.
Consumers should avoid all contact with the water supply if a Do Not Use notice is issued, as boiling will not destroy all contaminants, according to the Water Quality Research Foundation.
For drinking and personal hygiene, FEMA recommends storing at least three days’ worth of water per person in a cool, dark place.
Flooded wells should be tested and disinfected after the water levels go down, according to the FDA.