As Hurricane Sandy moves up the East Coast and the threat of multiple-day power outages and concerns about flooding increase by the hour, the Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission has staff and power backup to inform residents of precautions to take, as well as to address any emergencies.
According to WSSC Spokesman I.J. Hudson, rarely has the headquarters lost power, but backup generators are in place to make sure staff can alert residents through their website and Facebook and Twitter accounts, as well as through the local media. Although the building is closed, critical staff is present and ready to respond to anything that might be brought on by the storm.
“We have emergency people in place to manually set things to fix them,” he said.
Hudson added that they are not worried about water contamination, which “only comes into play if the system loses pressure”—something he said is also rare and generally doesn’t happen. If water contamination does become a concern, however, a boil-water advisory will be issued warning residents to boil water before using it for consumption and cleaning.
As a precaution, residents are advised to have extra water in tightly sealed containers on hand, at least a gallon a day per person. Hudson added that large amounts water also can be stored in clean bathtubs for non-consumption emergency use such as flushing.