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Preparing for a Hurricane

Preparing for a hurricane or tropical storm, and following the advice of officials, is the best way to ensure the health and safety of your family and loved ones during an emergency.

Preparing for a Hurricane-What You Should Do

  • Store at least 1 gallon of water per day for each person and each pet.
  • Store at least a 3-day supply of water for each person and each pet. Try to store a 2-week supply if possible.
  • Observe the expiration date for store-bought water; replace other stored water every six months.
  • Store a bottle of unscented liquid household chlorine bleach to disinfect your water and to use for general cleaning and sanitizing.

Water Containers (Cleaning and Storage) 

  • Use of food-grade water storage containers, such as those found at surplus or camping supply stores, is recommended if you prepare stored water yourself.
  • Before filling with safe water, use these steps to clean and sanitize storage containers:
  • Wash the storage container with dishwashing soap and water and rinse completely with clean water.
  • Sanitize the container by adding a solution made by mixing 1 teaspoon of unscented liquid household chlorine bleach in one quart of water.
  • Cover the container and shake it well so that the sanitizing bleach solution touches all inside surfaces of the container.
  • Wait at least 30 seconds and then pour the sanitizing solution out of the container.
  • Let the empty sanitized container air-dry before use OR rinse the empty container with clean, safe water that already is available.

Proper Water Storage

  • Label container as "drinking water" and include storage date.
  • Replace stored water that is not commercially bottled every six months.
  • Keep stored water in a place with a fairly constant cool temperature out of direct sunlight.
  • Do not store water containers in areas where toxic substances such as gasoline or pesticides are present.

More information on basic preparedness:

If you live in a low-lying area or an area prone to flooding, please see our "Guide to Preventing Sewer Backups and Flooding" for steps you can take to protect your property.

Preparing for a Hurricane-What DC Water Will Do

  • In preparation of a hurricane, DC Water's water and sewer crews will be stationed throughout the District so that they can respond more quickly to emergency calls.
  • Please be advised that DC Water crews will respond to water and sewer emergencies as long as conditions remain safe to do so. Once sustained winds reach 40 mph, or other conditions warrant, DC Water employees will be instructed to return to a DC Water facility or to find nearby shelter.
  • DC Water wastewater treatment crews will remain at Blue Plains Advanced Wastewater Treatment Plant as long as it is safe for them to do so. Relief crews will remain onsite during the storm so that they do not have to travel during the storm.
  • DC Water will also make provisions for the 24-hour Emergency Call Center to remain staffed; however crews will not respond to water and sewer emergencies while storm conditions are unsafe for travel. If you have a life threatening emergency, dial 911.