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July 21, 2008
BOTTLED WATER: IMPORTANT DURING NATURAL DISASTER SEASON AND AN EXCELLENT WAY TO STAY HYDRATED
ALEXANDRIA, VA—The International Bottled Water Association (IBWA) today is providing consumers with tips for bottled water and drinking water supplies during emergency situations. In view of the recent Midwest floods and the onset of tornado and hurricane season, IBWA reflects upon lessons learned by underscoring the critical need for clean drinking water for affected communities.
"Hurricane Katrina was a tremendous eye-opener for government officials, emergency response professionals, communities, and industry, alike," said IBWA President and CEO Joseph K. Doss. "We saw how critical bottled water is for disaster-stricken communities and the importance of a coordinated, effective response to get drinking water to people in need."
The bottled water industry has, over the years, provided millions of servings of bottled water to survivors and rescue personnel during natural disasters and other emergency situations. IBWA members also delivered tanker trucks of fresh water and 5-gallon water cooler bottles to those in need. IBWA has developed the online IBWA Emergency Response Directory (ERD), which contains a list of organizations and government agencies responsible for emergency and disaster response activities. IBWA members and other interested parties can successfully navigate the proper channels and help provide bottled water and other resources to those in need by downloading the ERD at http://www.bottledwater.org/public/downloads/erd.pdf.
IBWA is a partner with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security's (DHS) and assists in producing the annual National Preparedness Month activities. This national recognition, which is held each September, encourages Americans to prepare for emergencies in their homes, businesses and communities.
According to DHS guidelines, all households should maintain an emergency supply of water -- at least one gallon per person per day for three days -- for drinking, cooking, and personal hygiene -- in the event that public drinking water service is interrupted or if its safety is compromised during an emergency event.
IBWA provides the following tips to consumers to help ensure the safety of emergency water supplies:
1. Store bottled water at a constant room temperature or cooler, if possible. Room temperature is defined by the US Pharmacopeia as being between 59-86 degrees Fahrenheit.
2. Store bottled water out of direct sunlight.
3. Keep the water containers, as you would any other food products, away from solvents and chemicals such as gasoline, paint thinners, household cleaners and dry cleaning chemicals.
4. If consumers choose to store tap water in their own containers, select appropriate containers and disinfect them before use. Never use a container that once held toxic substances. Rinse the container with a diluted chlorine bleach solution (one part bleach to ten parts water) before use.
5. If necessary, treat tap water with a chlorine bleach solution before storing it to prevent buildup of harmful bacteria.
6. The same bottled water storage recommendations (items 1-3) also apply to tap water stored in containers.
7. You should replace stored tap water every six months. The American Red Cross and the U.S. Federal Emergency Management Agency offer tips for treating water at www.redcross.org.
According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), which regulates bottled water as a packaged food product, there is no shelf life for properly stored and safety-sealed bottled water.
"The International Bottled Water Association recognizes that consumers must have access to safe, clean drinking water during emergency situations. Smart planning and preparing for one's water needs can make a big difference in a person's health and well being and ability to recover from an emergency situation," Doss concluded.
WITH SOARING TEMPERATURES, MAINTAINING PROPER HYDRATION IS CRITICAL
With current temperatures across the nation soaring well into 90's in some parts, IBWA encourages individuals to stay properly hydrated in order to avoid heat stroke and other harmful conditions caused by dehydration. Although, proper hydration is important all-year round, it is even more so during periods of extremely hot temperatures when having sufficient fluids becomes even more critical to health and wellness. Some of the warning signs associated with dehydration include nausea, headaches, dry lips and loss of energy. Dehydration can be fatal and must be taken seriously by everyone.
Among the numerous choices consumers have to stay hydrated, many reach for water to meet their hydration needs. Water is an excellent choice for consumers who wish to avoid or moderate calories, caffeine, sugar or the various ingredients found in other beverages and bottled water is an excellent convenience beverage choice for summer hydration and people on the go.
In order to help individuals meet their personal hydration goals, IBWA features Hydration Calculator on its website. It is an interactive tool based on expert resources and the most current findings of the National Academy of Sciences, as reported in its February 2004 report, "Dietary Reference Intakes (DRI) for Water, Potassium, Sodium, Chloride, and Sulfate." IBWA's Hydration Calculator provides helpful suggestions about an individual's total fluid intake derived from both beverages and food, and other information about water's vital role in refreshment, health and hydration.
To use the IBWA Hydration Calculator, visit http://www.bottledwater.org/public/hydratio_main.htm.
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The International Bottled Water Association (IBWA) is the authoritative source of information about all types of bottled waters. Founded in 1958, IBWA's membership includes U.S. and international bottlers, distributors and suppliers. IBWA is committed to working with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), which regulates bottled water as a packaged food product, and state governments to set stringent standards for safe, high quality bottled water products. In addition to FDA and state regulations, the Association requires member bottlers to adhere to the IBWA Bottled Water Code of Practice, which mandates additional standards and practices that in some cases are more stringent than federal and state regulations. A key feature of the IBWA Bottled Water Code of Practice is an annual, unannounced plant inspection by an independent, third party organization. Consumers can contact IBWA at 1-800-WATER-11 or log onto IBWA's web site (www.bottledwater.org) for more information about bottled water and a list of members' brands.