Florida’s 2019 Disaster Preparedness Sales Tax Holiday runs May 31 through June 6. Follow this link for a list of qualifying items, including coolers and ice chests (priced $30 or less).
Water should always be at the top of your list. It’s no surprise that supermarket shelves clear out of bottled water whenever a storm approaches. So if you’ve got a quality water filtration system, you can save yourself the hassle of hauling water bottles from the store. When saving water from your own system, make sure you're doing it properly—saving enough of it, and storing properly for drinking and other uses.
During natural disasters, flooding and other issues can damage water mains and otherwise disrupt the public water supply. Like electricity, water permeates so much of our daily existence that we’re often not even aware of it until it’s gone. People who’ve lived through the disruption of utilities after a disaster will surely remember trying to turn on a light switch or a tap, time and time again, because we naturally take these things for granted.
Without public water—whether it’s shut off entirely or contaminated—thirst becomes an immediate concern. After a storm has passed, Florida’s unrelenting summer temperatures return with a vengeance, and it’s of vital importance that you keep yourself and your family hydrated in the heat (especially when your air conditioning isn’t working).
The general wisdom says you’ll need at least one gallon of drinking water per person, per day. That adds up quickly. In a family of four, assuming just one week of interrupted water service, you’ll need a minimum of 28 gallons of drinking water alone. But that number should be closer to 50 gallons when you consider keeping everyone safely hydrated during hot weather.
Don’t forget to account for your pets!
If you’ve invested in a quality water-filtration system for your home, you’ll want to make sure you’re properly storing that water so that it maintains its drinkability. Don’t reuse disposable plastic containers, which can seep chemicals. Instead, invest in high-quality water storage containers designed explicitly for this purpose. There are a lot of variables to consider: How much do you need to store, where will you store these containers, and how transportable do they need to be? (Keep in mind: Water is heavy.) Visit the World Water Reserve for extensive tips and container recommendations.
When you invest in proper storage, you’ll be able to enjoy your deliciously filtered water even after the storm comes through.
Once you’ve got your drinking water squared away, bear in mind that you’ll need water for other uses, too. The type of storage is less of a concern when it’s water to be used for bathing or washing. You might not want to drink out of your bath tub, but you’ll thank your stars it’s full when it comes time to flush the toilet.
Lastly, before the hurricanes come, call your local water filtration expert to inspect your system and make sure everything is in proper working order and ready to weather a storm.
For more disaster management water tips, visit ready.gov/water.