It has been almost two weeks since a devastating derecho, or severe windstorm, ravaged the Maryland, Virginia, and Washington, D.C. area. It was part of an intense cluster of thunderstorms that left 22 people dead across seven states and denied essential living services to millions more. In our immediate area, almost 3 million people were left without power – some for over a week – amidst record breaking temperatures that put a strain on already-stressed water treatment facilities. The aftermath, which prompted a state of emergency in Virginia, Maryland, and the District, is an unfortunate reminder that you can never be too prepared when it comes to these critical services in any emergency:
- Water. Securing water reserves should be a top priority in a disaster as it can be the deciding factor between life and death. It should be stored in quantities large enough to avoid rationing and should account for the needs of an entire household.
- Electricity. Flashlights, batteries, battery-powered radios, corded telephones, and non-perishable foods are among the items that can prove essential during a power outage. Alternatively, a generator can address minor power demands but must be operated outdoors and according to manufacturer standards to avoid risking injury or death.
- Climate control. Losing power during periods of extreme heat or cold can be devastating to both comfort and health. Keep blankets and insulated clothing available and be aware of local shelters at which relief can be provided.
- Sanitation. Retaining sanitary practices during an emergency is paramount to maintaining health and overall well being. Keep towels, soap, and other hygienic items handy as well as heavy-duty plastic ties for human waste disposal. In more pressing situations, gotügo’s emergency restroom services can provide restroom trailers and porta potties for rent. gotügo is the only portable toilet provider in the region that remains active during emergencies and disasters.