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American Red Cross Urges Residents to Prepare for Droughts

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Due to an abnormal lack of rainfall this summer, NYS Department of Environment Conservation Commissioner Basil Seggos issued a drought watch for the July 15, 2016. Currently, much of the Western and Central New York region has been declared to be facing a Severe Drought. According to the U.S Drought Portal, droughts affected 102.7 million people in the United States between July 20-26, 2016.

There are many ways that residents can save water to lessen the impact of the drought. The Red Cross recommends that individuals and families prepare for droughts by:

Indoor Water Conservation Tips:

  • *  Repair dripping faucets. 
  • *  Make sure homes are leak-free.
  • *  Take shorter showers.
  • *  Don't let the water run while brushing teeth, or shaving.
  • *  Operate dishwashers only when they are full using “light wash” feature.
  • *  Start a compost pile as an alternate way to dispose of food waste.
  • *  Only operate laundry machines when they are full, or set the water level according to the size of your load.
  • *  When purchasing a new appliance, choose one that is energy and water efficient.

Outdoor Water Conservation Tips:

  • * Reuse excess water to water lawn and garden.
  • Keep lawn and garden watering to a minimum and water in short sessions.
  • * Use mulch to retain moisture in the soil.
  • * Plant native and/or drought-tolerant grasses, ground covers, shrubs, and trees.
  • * Cover pools and spas when not in use to reduce evaporation of water.
  • *If you have a well at home, check your pump periodically. If the pump turns on and off while water is not being used, you have a leak.

Be Informed:

  • * Contact your local water authority or utility district, or your local emergency management agency for information specific to your community.
  • * Participate in public conservation meetings
  • * Follow water conservation and water shortage rules. You’re included in the restrictions even if your water comes from a private well. 

For more information on drought preparedness, visit