As summer will soon turn to fall, during these transition months this year many Americans, especially in the Northeast, will be tuned in to the local weather reports. Severe weather has crippled many areas of the country over the past 13-plus years. From Hurricane Katrina to the recent Oklahoma tornado, residents have been stretched to the limit in terms of patience, grief and a whole host of emotions.    

Personally, over the past two years, Hurricane Irene and Hurricane Sandy affected the New York metro area, which is where I reside. Having grown up in this area, besides Hurricane Gloria in September 1985, tropical storms, superstorms and hurricanes were not considered common in this area.

However, not only are we seeing natural disasters in U.S. areas not typically associated with these events, the severity of the weather is more intense, causing extensive and sometimes, life-changing damage.

In this area, for example, we were not prepared for the aftermath. Living in an area that was among the hardest hit in Long Island, it is now 10 months after Superstorm Sandy and neighbors are still not living in their homes as rebuilding continues.

While many people across the country are more aware and prepared for a disastrous weather event, others minimize emergency preparedness. We continue to write about emergency water treatment and the benefits of bottled water, especially during these times of distress.

Municipalities as well as private well owners must take special precautions during these events. The loss of utilities, such as electric and water, are more than just minor inconveniences at a time when you need them the most.

However, if you can help customers prepare for a water shortage beforehand, you have the ability to support their families at a critical time. And, if you are in a position to do so, communicate with these customers during a time of crisis since your knowledge and expertise on water quality will be needed.