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Bottled Water, We Really Do Love Ya

Regular visitors here know that we often get our jollies by ridiculing bottled water. Our barbs, though, are directed at those who regularly use the product though they have easy access to clean, plentiful tap water… you know the type, the clueless, wasteful track-suited, cell-talking types we see loading up on cases of the stuff at Whole Foods or Trader Joe’s.

The truth is I am actually thankful for bottled water. In times of emergency or in thousands of poor and polluted areas of the world, I am grateful that people sometimes have this option, because people are more important than plastic. The speed at which bottled water can be mobilized and transported to a disaster zone eases suffering and saves lives.

Via Simminch on Flickr:

Haitian citizens receive water from air crewmen from Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron (HSC) 9 assigned to the aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70). Carl Vinson and Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 17 are conducting humanitarian and disaster relief operations after a 7.0 magnitude earthquake caused severe damage near Port-au-Prince on Jan. 12, 2010. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Aaron Shelley/Released)

Soldiers from the 82nd Airborne Division stack supplies Jan. 16 that will be delivered to the forward operating bases within the city of Port-au-Prince. No room was spared in the aircraft as they packed them with troops and supplies.

Read more about water challenges in the hardest-hit areas of Haiti (including some first-person accounts) at globalvoicesonline.org. See this post on waterfortheages.org for information on water-focused relief organizations.

Disaster Dignity: Water Emergency Week Day 5

Have you considered that in an emergency, your bath water might “save you from great embarassment?” Kobe, Japan’s website shares real-life experiences of citizens who were victims of the devastating Great Hanshin-Awaji Earthquake to encourage people to start thinking about disaster contingency plans. Here, Nada Ward, age 24, writes…

On the day of the earthquake, my husband was on a business trip and there were just two of us, myself and my child. I was so terrified by the seemingly never-ending after-shocks that we went to take shelter in our next-door neighbor’s house. Because I was under such stress, I had an upset stomach and went to use the toilet. There, something happened that I had never dreamed of. I could not flush the toilet. I did not know what to do. My neighbor’s wife brought me a bucketful of water from the bathtub.

In their household, they always used to leave their bath water in the tub undrained so that they could use it for washing or in case there was a fire. I was saved from great embarrassment because of this.

The 1995 Kobe quake left nearly one million homes without water and power. Electricity was completely restored in a week but it took over two months to fully restore drinking water. So there, shower-loving Americans, take a bath instead and don’t pull that plug just yet. Especially you folks near the fault lines.