Water is a rather dry topic, one would think. Yet something happened recently that has led me to become fixated on and fascinated by water, and I feel the need to talk about it.
The event was a simple boil alert in our community. For 24 hours, we could not drink our water from our taps or even from our refrigerator filters. There was a mishap at our nearby treatment facility that prompted these precautions. As a result, they even had to cancel a day of school. (Thank goodness for e-learning so we don’t have to make it up at the end of the year.)
The situation also caused an emergency water shortage at our local Humane Society, and when they posted about it to social media, they experienced an overwhelming outpouring of support and bottled water. It’s interesting how humans are sometimes more apt to help animals than other humans. I can’t say I blame them. My oldest daughter is one of these people. Humans bring out the anxiety in her, but animals bring her peace. Plus, dogs and cats often represent pure innocence – with the exception of my own pets, The Pug & The Thug, of course. But back to the water…
Upon hearing the news of the embargo, I shared the warning with my two school-aged daughters, The Precious Pair. The 10-year-old kicked into high gear by taping notes to all our sinks and showers.
“Do not drink or brush with this.”
“Do not get this water in your mouth.”
These small reminders were not only funny, but also quite helpful for a forgetful middle-aged person like myself. And — because who really has time for boiling anything– we went out for water.
As we pulled into the parking lot of the grocery store, my girls observed the busy-ness of folks rushing into the store and emerging with massive amounts of bottled water.
“There’s definitely a rush on water! I hope they haven’t run out,” one of them said. And for a moment, I panicked at the thought of that.
“Look at all that plastic that will end up in our landfills!” the Earth-loving teen observed, and then she said something else even more profound and observant, “Look at how inconvenienced everyone seems about having to go out and buy water. Imagine if we had to walk 3 miles to get it, with buckets on our heads.”
Wow. What truth from the mouths of these babes of mine. Yes, we do have it easy. Yes, we do take basic needs and First World conveniences such as running water for granted.
How great that one of my favorite local coffee shops in a neighboring community supports clean drinking water in Third World countries. The Well Coffeehouse serves up some of the best coffee in the world. Coming from me, a huge coffee snob, this is a high compliment. But the best part about their product is definitely the cause behind it.
According to their website, “The Well is dedicated to Roasting and Serving Great Coffee. We are 100% about the mission of providing clean water, and 100% about making the best possible cup of coffee!” And thousands of people in countries worldwide have access to safe, clean drinking water because of The Well and its customers. New water supplies have come to areas where drought, disease, and war have made life especially difficult: Togo, Malawi, Kenya, the Congo, Senegal, Chad, Africa; the Central African Republic – 23 wells and counting. I’m sure in the mood for a latte, so it’s a good thing I’m here at The Well right now! (I’ve ordered a concoction called a Resolution.)
As is often the case when a small crisis crops up, my mind starts wandering and wondering and worrying. This happened the night of the boil alert. My creative brain dreamed up many scenarios where a water shortage could occur. The sad part is, these scenarios are not all that far-fetched. Global tensions are rising, and we are facing new uncertainties. While I find the current worldwide state of affairs to be terrifying, I also want to approach what’s happening practically. And that’s what has led me to www.Ready.gov.
This resource is helping me make disaster preparedness a priority in early 2020. The threat of a cyberattack that would lead to a loss of electricity/water/banking access and other modern conveniences is always a possibility, and I think it’s wise to be well-equipped if something were to happen. Of course, this plan applies to natural disasters, as well, which the world’s weather seems to be as unpredictable as our politicians these days. So I’ve done some research recently and have assembled this simple list for the girls and myself. And I want to share it with all of you.
SUPPLIES ⁃ Weather radio/charger/flashlight/SOS signal, all in one ⁃ Emergency water supply, 5 gallon drum ⁃ Canned/nonperishable food items ⁃ Dust masks for face ⁃ Wet wipes ⁃ Whistles ⁃ Extra Batteries, various sizes ⁃ Envelope with at least $100 Cash in small bills ⁃ Full Gas Can in Garage
HABITS ⁃ keep car fuel tank above half-full ⁃ keep cell phone fully-charged as well as a secondary charger ⁃ carry cash at all times
So this is my new list, and I’m going to work with it until I’ve gathered these things and established these habits. My hope, of course, is that I’m overthinking all of this, and I’ll never need our disaster kit. And about that word – “disaster” – I want to confess here that I use it inappropriately all. the. time.
When I’m running late – “What a disaster!”
When the girls are fighting – “This is a disaster!”
When I’m annoyed at work – “This place is a disaster!”
Overexaggerate much? I do. And I shouldn’t in light of all the true disasters happening around the world.
Bombings – both purposeful and accidental.
Forcible displacement of people from their countries.
Forcible displacement of people from their countries.
Stockpiling of nuclear weapons.
Outbreaks of disease.
And, yes, water scarcity.
I know that’s a heavy list for a light-hearted little blog like mine; yet it’s important to rub the sleep out of our eyes once in a while and get real about the world that’s spinning around all of us.
Instead of debating whether our glasses are half-full or half-empty, let’s be deeply grateful our glasses hold crystal clear, clean, refreshing, disease-free water, most likely with ice. Please take a moment to realize how spoiled we are. (She says as she sips her latte.)