Droughts – how to be prepared!

Author : teriann

Summer is up on us in full swing.  Of course there are many benefits of summer such as lighter traffic since schools are closed except for a few summer classes and longer days so we can get more done.

The negative aspect of summer though is the prolonged absence of rain.  I know that there is a system in which rain was collected during the rainy months so that in the summer there would not be so much hardship.

Perhaps it’s great that we rely on rainfall but what happens when there is no rain?

Drought

Water, water everywhere and not a drop to drink. That is a famous saying but it certainly applies to our situation here in Jamaica. We are surrounded by the sea yet we often have many communities without adequate drinking water. If we are the land of wood and water, then why do we have so many water problems?

These problems are made worse when it doesn’t rain.  Some communities suffer regardless of the level of rainfall while others are only affected when it does not rain for an extended period of time.

Some consumers waste water and that is a problem we have to deal with but the majority of home owners are responsible and face challenges even if they are conservative in their water use.

There are some broken pipes caused by road works but the most long standing damage is when rain does not fall for several months.

So how can you prepare?

Store water in clean containers

It is important to store water in clean containers and ensure that they are covered. Water can be kept without any storage concerns for a long time.  Keep drinking water separate from water that can be used to do other domestic purposes such as washing dishes.

Invest in a tank

If you can afford it, invest in a tank.  Buying water can be costly but if you invest in a tank then you will be saving money even though there is an initial cost.

Keep safe

If you are using water during a drought and you are not sure how pure it is, it is best to use bleach or boil the water before consuming it.

Hope those tips help. Ensure that you always prepare before the drought!

If you did not do so this time around bear it in mind for next time. Also remember to have enough water on hand if you have those who are vulnerable such as the elderly and young children as they are the easiest group to pick up water borne diseases.

So be safe!

How do you prepare for a drought? Let me hear from you!

Teri Ann Renee Paisley

Gleaner online writer

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