Recent disasters raise interest in water barrels

DOWNEY - The Downey Emergency Preparedness Committee and CERT volunteers, with considerable assistance from the Downey Fire and Police Explorers and the Warren High School Red Cross Club, distributed more than 700 free plastic, food-grade barrels for emergency water storage on March 12.The event was the fifth barrel distribution event since last summer. The barrels were donated by the Downey Coca-Cola facility. Over 3,000 water barrels have been distributed to the community since this program was started. Storage of an ample supply of fresh water is one of the most important actions community members can take as they prepare for an emergency. One staff member noted there were more cars in line for this event at 8 a.m. than at any previous event. The increased interest was attributed to the recent disasters and supply shortages in New Zealand and Japan. Despite the large number of cars in line, the volunteers' efficient efforts enabled them to nearly eliminate the wait time for community members by mid-morning. The last barrel was distributed at 10:45 a.m. News agencies have reported fresh water has been in short supply after the disasters in New Zealand and Japan. Experts recommend each person should store a minimum of 3-7 gallons of water for emergency use. Additional water should be stored for pets. Each barrel is cleaned and rinsed by Coca-Cola staff members before delivery to the distribution site by Coca-Cola trucks and drivers. The barrels vary in size from 15-55 gallons. The exact quantity of each size of barrel varies for each event. A special instructional label is attached to each barrel. Details for future distribution events will be carried in The Downey Patriot and the City website Questions or comments may be sent to

********** Published: March 24, 2011 - Volume 9 - Issue 49