Opinion

Be prepared for water disaster

We are fortunate to live in such a beautiful area. Take a look around, the scenery is breathtaking! While we enjoy our surroundings this summer season, it is hard to imagine a natural disaster striking Whidbey Island. Many times, it is easy to fall into a “nothing would ever happen here” mind-set. However, over the past few years, our world has witnessed devastation to many beautiful lands due to natural disasters. Since we live on an island that does not have its own significant water source, it is vital for citizens to have knowledge of precautions to take in case of any form of emergency ranging from temporary loss of our water supply to a natural disaster.

How will you know what to do? The City of Oak Harbor would notify customers by way of media, door to door notifications, and indicating the emergency stage on the water conservation signs, located at strategic sites around the city.

Oak Harbor receives 99 percent of the water supply, which originates in the Skagit River, from the City of Anacortes’ water system. Conserving the water supply has become a way of life on the island. By developing water-wise habits, we can help to protect our precious resource. Here are a few tips to help you and your family conserve water and to prepare for such an emergency. In case of natural or man-made disasters:

• Store one gallon of water per person per day.

• Keep a three-day supply of water per person.

• Store additional water for hygiene and cooking.

• Remember to replace your stored water after six months.

Everyday tips for water conservation:

• Take shorter showers.

• Turn off water while brushing teeth or shaving.

• Store drinking water in the refrigerator, instead of running the tap until water turns cold.

• Turn off the hose while washing your car.

• Avoid flushing the toilet unnecessarily. Items such as tissues can be thrown in a waste basket.

• Operate the washing machine and dishwasher only when they are fully loaded.

For more water-saving tips, you can visit the city’s website at www.oakharbor.org or contact Rhonda Haines, water service coordinator, at 914-7256.

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