Emergency Preparedness for Droughts

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In vernacular usage, “drought” refers to a period in which the weather is so hot and the ground so dry that crops and other plants can’t grow. However, from an emergency preparedness standpoint, “drought” indicates any period of abnormally dry – but not necessarily hot – weather that persists long enough to create a hydrologic imbalance, which then damages crops and results in a water shortage.

In identifying the issue, droughts are classified as multiple types, divided by moisture deficiency, duration, and how great it affects an area:

  • Meteorological: A drought occurs from a lack of precipitation.
  • Agricultural: The soil’s moisture percentage isn’t enough for your crop to grow or thrive.
  • Hydrological: Surface and sub-surface water is below normal.
  • Socioeconomic: The area’s water supply no longer meets human needs.

Is your area particularly drought prone? Whether you’re going through or anticipate one during the season, communities prepare by restricting days and times when residents can wash cars and lawns and may outlaw all sprinkler systems.

Personal Preparation

Along with your community’s restrictions, get in the habit of conserving water, both during the season and during a drought:

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  1. Never pour water down the drain. Instead, save it in a rain barrel or storage drum for another use, or set it aside to water your plants.
  2. Check your home for leaks, and repair any you see.
  3. Take shorter showers
  4. Always use ultra low-flow showerheads, toilets, and appliances.
  5. Catch any excess shower water with a bucket and save it for watering.
  6. Never let the water keep running when you’re shaving or brushing your teeth.
  7. Only run the washer or dishwasher when you have a full load.
  8. Be economical with water when you wash dishes, thaw food, or use the garbage disposal.
  9. Make sure your household faucets have flow restrictions.
  10. Use only energy- and water-efficient appliances.
  11. Never over-water your lawn. Lawns typically need to be watered every five to seven days in summer, and every 10 to 14 in winter. If heavy rain passes through, your lawn has enough moisture to last the next two weeks.
  12. Only water your lawn in short sessions.
 

Rationing

Along with all steps listed above, know what you’ll be doing with any water, including how you’ll use it, where you’ll store it, and how much you’ll need, should you have to get through a difficult drought. Consider these factors:

  1. Humans need about ¾ of a gallon of water to live daily, in addition to any water for sanitation. Emergency preparation experts say you should stockpile roughly one gallon per person per day, with extra allotted for medical emergencies, such as cleaning wounds and dehydration.
  2. Have a supply of bottled water at home, with at least a week saved up for everyone.
  3. Make a plan to catch and purify rain. To do this, many set up large drums under a downspout or place where water runs off the roof. For use, have both a filter and purifier to take out debris, bacteria, and pathogens that may be living in your water supply. Further, for winter, consider freezing your water in a container that can handle colder temperatures.
 

Are you preparing for a potential drought? Through 1st Aid Supplies, find storage and purification supplies, in addition to containers of emergency water. Browse today to find all essentials.

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