Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Tuesday Tips: Living through a water outage on Guam

If you follow me on Instagram, you would have noticed my post the other day where I made a joke about Guam's water outages:

Water outages happen a lot here, especially during and after storms (remember my Typhoon Dolphin post where I mentioned that we had no water or electricity for days?) and there's really nothing you can do but sit and wait for the problem to be fixed.  Over the years, I've adapted to the outages and have learned ways to cope with the situations.  Though they'll never be pleasant, at least we make them more manageable and easier to deal with with these tips:

1.  Take your tiara off - there are no princesses here.  When you have to go days without running water, it's best not to act like you're the shit because you will probably be smelling like shit eventually.  Learning to handle the situation is the most important thing.  Everyone else is probably feeling just as gross and nasty as you are after not being able to shower all day so don't be so quick to lose your temper.  It is not a life or death situation.  You will survive and come out a better, more self sufficient, person after all of this.

2.  Save tap water in sealed containers beforehand.  If a water outage is scheduled to happen (or even if it's not), it's best to prepare ahead and fill up a few gallons of water just in case.  Buckets, empty storage bins, whatever you've got.  When there is a water outage on Guam for a long or uncertain amount of time, there are usually reservoir tanks set up in the villages for residents to get water.  You will have to bring your own containers and stand in line to fill them up just like everyone else.  Remember #1 above.

3.  Buy bottled water for drinking and brushing your teeth.  The water in the reservoir tank is non-potable, which means it's not suitable for drinking.  Keep bottled water stocked so you can at least brush your teeth.  You can also conserve water by drinking alcohol instead.

4.  Jump around and try to muffle your screams.  Unless you've decided to boil your water on the stove (not really worth the wait in my opinion), chances are you'll be showering in cold water.  Jumping around helps but it's best not to scream out loud or your neighbors might think you're being murdered.  They won't come to your rescue of course, because that means they'll have to use their water to wash your blood.  Best just to try to keep it down by pretending you're on an episode of Silent Library or something.

5.  Be prepared for awkward moments.  If you've still got water trickling out of the bottom spout in your shower/tub, consider yourself lucky because your water hasn't run all the way out yet and you've got yourself a free yoga session!  Squat down and get as low as you can to fit yourself under that spout because who knows how long that precious trickle will last!  If it's raining outside then even better because mother nature is helping you out!  Grab your shampoo and your loofah and shower outside.  Like camping.  Real camping - not that "glamping" bullshit.

6.  Hold your breath.  You're in for quite a wake up call if you think your shit smells like roses.  Without water, you won't be able to flush your toilet so your bathroom is bound to smell like a port-o-potty sooner or later.  Sure, you can mask the stench with sprays and fragrances, but just the thought of all that crap sitting in the toilet is enough to make you want to vomit.  You're going to have to manually flush that out by pouring a bucket into the bowl to force all those roses down the drain.  Fun, huh?

7.  If you've got the cash, treat yo'self.  If you really cannot go without a long hot shower, you can always rent a hotel room somewhere until the water in your area is restored (assuming that it's not an island-wide outage).  You can also splurge and stock up on wipes to keep you feeling fresh throughout the days.

8.  Stay lazy.  During water outages, it's best to keep still.  Guam is almost always hot and even just sitting outside can make you sweat so it's best to be as lazy as you can until your water is restored.  No working out, doing yardwork, etc. because you'll get sweaty and stinky and who knows how long it'll be until you're able to shower.  Perfect excuse to stay indoors with the A/C on and binge on Netflix.

9.  Keep things simple with kids.  Most times, wherever the water outage occurs, schools in the area will be closed.  This means that you'll not only be out of water, but your kids will be stuck at home all day.  To conserve, prepare meals that don't require water to cook with (sandwiches, pizza, etc.) and aren't so messy.  Probably also not a great idea for them to be outside digging in the dirt either.  Keep it simple and have them do activities that don't require a lot of water to clean up.

10.  When water is restored, take the longest shower EVER.  You deserve it.  You've survived!

So, what do you think about my tips on surviving a water outage?  Have you ever had a water outage that lasted more than a day?  Do you think you'd be able to last a week-long outage?


  1. I often conserve water by drinking alcohol hehehe! But seriously though, it is amazing the simple daily things in life like water or electric that we totally take for granted until we are without!

  2. Thank you for these tips! My family and I are moving to Guam at the end of the month(!) and these are really helpful!


Thanks for reading! I love comments and meeting new bloggers so please feel free to say "Hi"!

I respond to every single comment either via Email or right here so please check back here if your email isn't linked to your comment!