WON Landing Page OCT 2022

The Survival Mom: How To Survive A Boil Notice

A friend in Puerto Rico, Jennifer, tells me that her town has been on a boil notice for 5 1/2 MONTHS following Hurricanes Irma and Maria. Yep, you read that right. Five and a half months. That’s almost 170 days without clean running water. She could probably teach a college course on how to survive a boil notice!

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Now, just think what that means to a household like yours:

  • The water that comes out of your tap, if it does, isn’t drinkable.
  • When someone is thirsty, the only safe water is bottled or has been purified in some way by you.
  • A recipe calls for water and, again, you have to be careful to use only what is safe to drink.
  • The refrigerator ice maker has to be turned off because tainted water results in tainted ice cubes. If you want ice, you either have to buy it or make it in ice cube trays with purified water.
  • Showering and bathing cannot be done in contaminated water, so what do you do, day after day after day?
  • Brushing teeth will require bottled or boiled water
  • Washing dishes isn’t safe anymore unless you’re certain the water in your dishwasher heats up to at least 170 degrees.
  • Is it safe to even do laundry? With certain contaminants, it is not!
  • What about water for your pets? Is it safe for them to consume?
  • The water filter on your refrigerator or the reverse osmosis system you rely on are not enough to remove most pathogens from water.

Can you imagine this nightmare continuing, week after week? Dirty dishes, laundry, smelly kids, the hassle of having to boil every ounce of water consumed — this would get old in a matter of hours. The only way to survive is to be prepared and know exactly what to do.

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In Jennifer’s case, her town had to share a large generator with another town. This generator was all they had to pump large amounts of water through a filtering system. The water had to be shared with every household and then they had to wait until it was their turn for more clean water!

If this sounds crazy to you, well, that’s life following a major natural disaster, but you would be surprised by how often boil orders are issued here in the U.S. and around the world. Just a very quick DuckDuckGo search for “boil notices 2018” turned up over a couple dozen in locations from Florida to Washington. One community has on their website this statement, “Precautionary “Boil Water” notices are issued almost every week, and most of these breaks only affect small isolated areas.”

Continue reading, “How to Survive A Boil Notice” here and be sure to follow, “The Survival Mom” blog.

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    The Women's Outdoor News, aka The WON, features news, reviews and stories about women who are shooting, hunting, fishing and actively engaging in outdoor adventure. This publication is for women, by women.