This 73 year-old woman evacuated from her home in the early morning hours before Hurricane Rita made landfall. She stayed in Texarkana, Arkansas and at a relative’s home for 15 days before returning to her home. She waited to return until she was told that electricity and potable water were available in her neighborhood. She had filled numerous 2-L bottles with water, as well as her washing machine, in preparation for the hurricane. She did not need to use the water from those because she returned only after running water was available.
The respondent was aware that chlorination is a feasible way of disinfecting drinking water at home. When asked how she became aware of the chlorination technique for household water disinfection, she reported having heard about it on television and having read about it in the newspaper. She did have bleach in her home before the hurricane and would have been able to use it for water disinfection should that have been necessary.
She had used waterless hand sanitizer infrequently before the hurricane and, similarly, after the hurricane. The woman’s daughter and her family of five are now living with her because their home has been completely devastated.
Submitted by Pavani Ram and James Jensen
October 22, 2005