Schools, restaurants, and bars were shut down in nine counties in West Virginia because of a chemical spill along the Elk River near Charleston. The toxic chemical, 4-Methylcyclohexane Methanol (used in the coal industry) was found to be leaking from a storage unit located at a Charleston company, Freedom Industries.
Nearly 300,000 residents are being advised to NOT TO USE their tap water for anything other than flushing toilets and extinguishing fires. Residents are urged to not use their water for drinking, bathing, cooking, or washing clothes. The chemical, 4-Methylcycloehxane Methanol can be harmful if swallowed and can cause skin and eye irritation.
The chemical spill apparently occurred above the intake of the Kanawha Valley water treatment plant in Charleston, one the state's largest water treatment facilities. The tap water to nearly 100,000 homes and businesses, equating to approximately 250,000 to 300,000 residents has been affected by the chemical spill.
Grocery store shelves, normally stocked with cases of drinking water, emptied quickly as residents attempted to buy enough water for their family's drinking water needs.
Unfortunately, most people don't think about preparing for this type of emergency. It's times like this where we can all learn a lesson to be prepared in the event of an emergency or disaster that can affect something we take for granted everyday ---- SAFE DRINKING WATER.
A good rule to follow is to always have enough water on hand to supply one gallon of water per day, per family member for at least 7 days. Also, be sure to have a method of water purification and filtration on hand in the event you run out of clean, safe water.
Don't forget about a water supply for your pets.