A few days ago there was a chemical spill by a chemical company that supplies chemicals to the mining, steel, and cement industries. The specific chemical, 4-methylcyclohexane methanol, got into the tap water locally and has resulted in authorities telling the public there basically not to use the water for virtually anything other than flushing the toilet.
Certainly, they can't drink it. They can't bathe or even wash their hands with it. They can't give it to their pets.
Think about how you would deal with this situation if it happened in your area. Obviously, bottled water would be gone off the shelves in a matter of hours. If you couldn't find any water, would you just wait it out, leave the area with your pets?
Think also about the possibilities for terrorists. There are far more poisonous chemicals than 4-methylcyclohexane methanol.
Clearly, local officials were almost totally caught off guard. Suppose an attack happened on a much larger scale. Is there ANY way to be prepared?