With the hurricane season well underway, two Virginia organizations are working together to bring a lifesaving water security to a school in Puerto Rico. Constant Water, LLC, a manufacturer of emergency water storage systems, is donating two of its systems for delivery by Chantilly VA-based UNITED DMV. The systems will go to the Pequeño Campeón de Jesús, in Barcoleneta, Puerto Rico—a school supporting special needs children.
Many Were Without Water Following Hurricane Maria
Following Hurricane Maria, families were weeks and months without potable water. Response agencies had to acquire, transport, store, and distribute emergency water. This response proved to be a costly, slow, manpower-intensive approach that did not meet the needs of those affected by the hurricane. Healthcare officials detailed illnesses and deaths resulting from the lack of clean water following the storm.
Constant Water Battery/Solar-Powered Emergency Water Systems
Constant Water’s battery/solar-powered, whole-house emergency security systems will provide 120 gallons of fresh water throughout a home or business. Additional tanks can be added to increase an emergency water supply. “Water is the most important commodity during a disaster, yet there are always delivery delays. Having a ready supply of fresh emergency water in every home would dramatically reduce the acquisition, logistics, and first-responder costs associated with disaster water,” said Judson Walls, CEO of Constant Water.
Wide-spread infrastructure damage hampered response efforts across the island. “A 120-gallon system can provide 30 days of potable water a family of four,” said Walls. “Our system can provide vital potable water while electricity and public water supplies are restored.”
Following Hurricane Maria, FEMA spent almost one billion dollars on bottled water that was slow to reach families. Since then, officials found millions of bottles of water wasted and never delivered.
“We are very excited to work with UNITED DMV and Pequeño Campeón de Jesús to demonstrate a better and more cost-effective approach to water security for Puerto Rico. We look forward to talking with other businesses and non-profit organizations on our trip,” continued Walls.
UNITED DMV, a Fairfax non-profit, was founded by Rafael and Marta Babilonia on 2017, before Hurricane Maria hit and destroyed Puerto Rico. Since then, UNITED DMV has collected relief goods at their Chantilly VA collection site for shipment to, and distribution within, Puerto Rico.
Says Founder/CEO, Rafael Babilonia-Dudley, “Since Hurricane Maria in 2017, UNITED DMV has shipped almost 1,400 tons of supplies in 115 containers, helping many still recovering from devastating storms. “We began with small warehouse space, but with all the supplies and help offered, we moved into an 18,000 sq. ft. facility.
“Since Maria, we have also sent supplies to Barbuda, Virgin Islands, Trinidad, Tobago, Bahamas, and Jamaica, and recently to Texas, Florida, Pennsylvania, Louisiana, and North Carolina,” said Babilonia.
Now, recurring earthquakes damaged power generation capacity in areas still struggling with inadequate electrical infrastructure. “We reached out to Constant Water for a better emergency water storage and water security solution for our partner families. We know that Constant Water will improve the life of families in Puerto Rico,” he continued.
Pequeño Campeon de Jesús (Little Champions of Jesus)
For Pequeño Campeón de Jesús, it means a reliable supply of potable water both during and after a disaster, when it’s most needed—Potable water for those that come to the school for shelter, clean water to drink when bottled water may be days or weeks from delivery, clean water for sanitation and hygiene to prevent post-storm illnesses that were seen after Hurricane Maria.