DARIEN, Conn. – Deanne Dinardo was looking all over town to get water in preparation for Hurricane Irene, but barely any could be found. She eventually found a case of Poland Spring at the Walgreens on Heights Road.
"Everybody's going bonkers for water," she said as she loaded it into her car. "I had to be very persistent."
Dinardo was living in Darien when Hurricane Gloria hit in 1985. She's hoping Irene won't be as bad as everybody thinks. "I think everybody's being overly cautious. The stores are pretty hectic."
Indeed, bottled water aisles in most of Darien's grocery stores were bare, emptied out by shoppers desperate to get drinkable water before the storm possibly knocks out normal sources.
Joanne Kulis went to four stores before she finally found bottled water at Walgreens. She also lived through Hurricane Gloria and thinks Irene might be more serious.
"It seems to be bigger," she said as she loaded three cases into her car. "But I'm prepared. I've got my water–Walgreens was the only store that had any. I even got a pack of batteries for my radio, so I'm set."
The Darien Office of Emergency Management recommends you keep plenty of water on hand in case the storm interrupts water service or makes your water undrinkable. You should keep at least three gallons per person per day. If you don't have bottled water, the Food and Drug Administration suggests boiling water to kill most disease-causing bacteria that could be present.
The FDA says you can also disinfect water with household bleach if you can't boil it. If it is cloudy, filter it through clean clothes or allow it to settle. Then add 1/8 teaspoon of regular, unscented, liquid household bleach per gallon. Stir it well and let it sit at least 30 minutes before you use it.