Skip to content

Bathtub Preparedness Planning

2013 May 31

Several links below exit EPA Exit EPA Disclaimer

By Michael Dexter

Growing up in Florida the threat of extreme weather brought a rush of last minute preparations, and I clearly remember the urgency involved with preparing for such events. We would clear portions of the house likely to flood, park the car on high ground, and ready an inflatable dinghy. Like many people, we had stocks of food and bottled water. However, we also filled up the bathtub with water in case service was out for awhile. I guess you could say the bathtub became our prime–make that our only–backup water supply plan.

If we lost water pressure, we used a gallon of water from the tub for flushing. If directed by our health department, we boiled water to drink. When we needed to wash, we scooped another cup out of the tub. While I understood the need for personal preparedness, I never thought about how the broader community prepared for water service interruptions, or what could have happened if that interruption lasted for more than a day or two.

Today, EPA works with communities and water utilities across the country to help them prepare for extreme weather events like floods, hurricanes and tornadoes. The EPA’s Community-Based Water Resiliency Tool helps communities and utilities understand and plan for the widespread impacts that often accompany extreme weather events. The tool helps critical community services like healthcare facilities, energy producers, and firefighters assess and increase their own preparedness level by providing tools and resources to gauge their current level of preparedness.

Last May, EPA worked with St. Clair County, Michigan on a roundtable exercise using the tool. The meeting promoted a better awareness of interdependencies between water and other community services, fostered a greater understanding of the county’s water infrastructure, discussed potential community impacts of a water service interruption during an extreme weather event, and identified actions and resources needed to respond to, and recover from, a water emergency. Drills like this exercise are a tremendous opportunity for entities like St. Clair County to think strategically about how to respond to an emergency situation that could affect thousands of its residents.

Like your community or water utility, you can prepare for the impacts of an extreme weather event. Just go to ready.gov

About the author: Michael Dexter is an Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education participant with EPA’s Water Security Division. He lived in Southwest Florida for over two decades and experienced Hurricanes Charley, Frances, and Mitch among others. He currently resides in Washington, DC and works on the Community-Based Water Resiliency effort to help utilities, and the communities they serve, increase all hazard water preparedness.

Editor's Note: The opinions expressed in Greenversations are those of the author. They do not reflect EPA policy, endorsement, or action, and EPA does not verify the accuracy or science of the contents of the blog.

2 Responses leave one →
  1. Arman.- permalink
    May 31, 2013

    The Earth : Much Fossil Water – Much Problems…….

    International Space Stations are modelling how the human still alive at the time they want, including to maintain the water. However, human in a part of worldwide weren’t aware about that, with spend the water whatever they want. If Climate-Change whips them, too late to change their habitual…….!!!!!

  2. KAATAAN permalink
    May 31, 2013

    WATER DON’T BE A PROBLEM, AS YOU MENTIONED FLOOD ALSO YOU MENTIONED BOILING, SO ITS SAFE TO USE. FOOD YOU CAN STOCK TINS, DRY FOOD IF ELECTRIC CUTS OFF. YOU CAN EASILI DRY FISH, MEAT, EVEN VEGETABLES, AS WELL AS GRAINS AND MORE. TO COOK FIRE WOOD, FUEL ARE ESSENTIAL, DRY MEAT IS EDDIBLE AS IT IS. THERE ARE DIFFERENT WAY TO DRY MEAT. WATER DON’T BE A PROBLEM, YOU CAN COLLECT RAIN, SNOW. OR DIG A WELL. UNDER GROUND WATER. WHAT ABOUT IS THERE IS ANY RESOVOIR AROUND??? I KNOW THERE ARE PLENTY RESOVOIRS IN AMERICA. SO WATER WANT BE A PROBLEM. INSTEAD FILLING THE BATH TUB FILL YOUR SWIMMING POOL.

Leave a Reply

Note: You can use basic XHTML in your comments. Your email address will never be published.

Subscribe to this comment feed via RSS