Sat | Mar 24, 2018

Water tips for hurricane preparedness

Published:Sunday | October 2, 2016 | 12:00 AM
Residents waiting in line to refill water bottles at the Blake’s Water Store in Liguanea, St Andrew, yesterday.
A big smile shows his joy at getting buckets to store water and other items as he prepares for Hurricane Matthew.

In view of the imminent threat posed to the island by Hurricane Matthew, the National Water Commission (NWC) has

provided hurricane-preparation tips relating to water supply provision.

The NWC is urging all Jamaicans to ensure that before the onset of storm conditions:

1. Know that water supply systems are at severe risk of damage from hurricanes. Customers are urged to collect and store water in the event the piped supply is disrupted by the storm. Persons should store as much water as they can - more than a gallon per person per day and enough to last at least seven days.

2. Tanks should be checked to ensure that their connected valves are working and will not drain water back into the network if piped supply is disrupted.

After the storm

1. Check to determine if the piped supply is disrupted. Especially for persons with tanks directly connected to their homes, a disruption in the public supply may not be obvious immediately.

2. Conserve the water you have stored. Ensure that water stored in tanks remain locked in and conserved, including by limiting cooking foods that require water to prepare, use paper plates to avoid washing dishes and control other activities that use much water. Use untreated or rain water for washing, flushing toilets and similar activities.

3. If your piped supply is disrupted, rainwater may be used to replenish potable water you have already used. Rainwater may be purified by boiling for five minutes or by adding two to four drops of bleach per litre of water. Water treated with bleach should be allowed to settle for 30 minutes before drinking.

4. Report any broken water or sewer mains or other defective water infrastructure you observe to the nearest NWC office or 1 888 CALL NWC (1 888 225 5692).

5. Be patient and cooperate in any way you can in the process to restore normality to your water systems.

"While we still hope that we will be spared the worst effects of the hurricane, the public is assured that (we) will be working assiduously to maintain (our) water supply systems even in the face of the threat of a hurricane, and to restore all damaged systems in the shortest time possible," said the NWC in a release.

The public is also encouraged to visit the NWC website at for other related information and hurricane-preparedness tips.