A weather or other emergency can contaminate the local supply of drinking water and disrupt the wastewater disposal system. As a result, it's important for men and women to know how to disinfect their drinking water should an emergency occur and the supply be at risk.
The easiest way to avoid health issues that arise from a contaminated water supply is to keep plenty of bottled water on hand and use as drinking water and when cooking.
If an emergency strikes and you don't have any bottled water at home, don't panic. Boiling water can help make the water safe, killing most types of disease-causing organisms that might be present. Boil water for one minute before allowing it cool and then store in containers for later use.
In an emergency situation, the water could very well be cloudy. This is also not a cause for panic. Instead, filter the water through clean cloths or just allow it to settle. When allowed to settle, chances are the cloudy water will clear up within minutes. Once it does, use the clear water when boiling.
Household bleach can be used as a disinfectant. Bleach is effective at killing some, but not all, disease-causing organisms that might be in the water. Once the water is clear the EPA recommends adding 1/8 teaspoon (or roughly eight drops) of regular, unscented liquid household bleach for each gallon of water. Do not use non-chlorine bleach to disinfect water. Once added, stir the bleach and water mixture well, then let it stand for 30 minutes before use.