Hurricanes and Floods: Food and Water Safety
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- Keep liquid unscented household bleach on hand.
- Store food, water, and medication on shelves that will be safely out of the
way if there is flooding.
- Keep on hand 7 day’s worth of ready-to-eat foods that do
not need refrigeration or heating.
- Have on hand at least 2 quarts (1/2 gallon) of water for
drinking per person per day (about 4 gallons per person for 7 days).
- Know what to do if there is a power outage.
When flooding occurs:
- Use bottled water that was not exposed to flooding, if possible
- If bottled water is not available, boil water for at least one minute, let
it cool, and store in clean, covered containers.
- If bottled water is not available and boiling is not possible, add
1/8 teaspoon (8 drops) of regular, unscented liquid chlorine
bleach to 1 gallon of water. Stir and let it stand for 30
minutes. The water should have a slight chlorine smell. If not, repeat the
dosage and let it stand for an additional 15 minutes.
- Do not drink water from a well that has been flooded unless the water has
been tested and shown to be safe for drinking.
- Do not eat food that has been exposed to flood water. If in doubt, throw it
- Do not eat food from non-waterproof containers or damaged cans, e.g.
plastic, paper, cardboard, cloth.
- Thoroughly wash, rinse, and sanitize all non-damaged metal cans, ceramic
dishes, and utensils and counter tops. (Use 1 Tablespoon household bleach in 1
gallon of water).
Source: U.S. Food and Drug Administration