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HappyHealthy Newsletter: Water Safety

Publication Number: P3848
View as PDF: P3848.pdf

In the event of a water emergency, it is important to:

  • stay hydrated by drinking bottled water or water that has been boiled for one minute.
  • cook, wash fruits and vegetables, and brush teeth with bottled water or water that has been boiled.
  • use tap water for bathing, handwashing, washing clothes, and flushing toilets.
  • monitor updated information provided by local authorities through their social media outlets regarding the water situation as new information is available.

Importance of Hydration

  • Stay hydrated by drinking bottled or boiled water after it has cooled.
  • How to make water safe to drink:
    • Boil water for one minute. Water must be bubbling the entire time.
    • Start counting to 60 when the water comes to a rapid rolling boil. Let the water cool before drinking or storing it in a container.
  • For additional fluid needs, and to stay hydrated, eat fruits and vegetables (canned, fresh, or frozen) and frozen fruit pops.
  • Watch for signs of dehydration:
    • Sluggishness, dizziness, headache, and feelings of thirst.
    • If you feel thirsty, you are already dehydrated. If you experience any of these signals, make sure you drink bottled water immediately.

Storing Water for Drinking

  • Store a minimum of one gallon of clean water per person per day for drinking and cooking.
  • Clean food-grade plastic or glass containers are good for storing water. They need to be clean.
  • Food-grade containers are store-bought plastic or glass containers that previously held food or beverages. Examples include 2-liter soda bottles and water, juice, and punch bottles.
  • Make sure your container is cleaned and ready to store water before you need it. Wash the container with hot, soapy water. Rinse the soapy container well with plain water.
  • Write “drinking water” on the container with the current date.
  • Store tightly capped containers in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight.
  • To learn more, visit HappyHealthy.MS and click on Tips and Videos.
    • How to: Choose Water
    • How to: Handwashing

Helpful Tips for Water Safety

  • Frequently wash your hands with soap and tap water.
  • Breastfeed or use ready-made baby formula. If you use water to make formula, use bottled water until officials say your water is safe to drink.
  • Bathe with tap water, being careful no water gets in your eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • Watch children while they bathe to make sure they don’t drink the water.
  • Brush your teeth with bottled water or water that has been boiled.
  • Avoid soft drinks and coffee as they may cause dehydration.
  • Minimize the amount of water you need by reducing activity and staying cool.
  • Wash laundry as usual. All water temperatures are safe to use.
  • Use bottled water or water that has been boiled for pets.
  • Discard any ice made during the boil water notice.
  • Wash fruits and vegetables in water that has been boiled for a minute and has cooled.
  • Use disposable plates, cups, and utensils to reduce the need to wash dishes.

In case of a boil water notice tag

The City of Jackson posts boil water notices and updates on their website:

The Mississippi Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) posts updates and locations for water distribution in the Jackson area. Details are on their website:





This material was funded by USDA’s Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program - SNAP. This institution is an equal opportunity provider.

Publication 3848 (POD-12-22)

By Drew Cole, Mississippi State University Extension Service.

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