Emergency Preparedness | Regional Water Providers Consortium

Emergency Preparedness

Before there's an emergency: 14 gallons per person = water for 2 weeks. Get ready. Get water.

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Before There's an Emergency: Get Ready. Get Water.


Start your emergency prep with water.

People can survive for weeks without food, but only a few days without water. This makes water the key ingredient in your preparedness efforts.


You need enough water to last 14 days.

That's how long it could take for help to arrive in the Portland area after a major earthquake. Experts predict that a big earthquake will take water services and other vital systems offline. 


Your goal is to have one gallon of water per person per day.

You will use your emergency water for cooking, hygiene, and drinking. Include more water to your kit if your household includes people with special needs or pets. 


Store what you can, where you can.

You have options! You can buy bottled water or fill clean containers with tap water. It is better to have some water than none, so be creative about how and where you store water. Learn how to safely store tap water in your own container before an emergency in this how-to video


Know how to treat water in an emergency.

You can make water safe to drink during or after an emergency by boiling, distilling, using a personal water filter, or disinfecting contaminated water. Learn ways to make water safe to drink and which water sources to avoid. 


Know where to get more water in an emergency.

Your home’s water heater could provide you with 30-80 gallons of water for emergency use. You may also have other drinking water sources in your home like ice cubes and canned goods. Watch this how-to video to learn how to safely get water from your water heater. 


Getting prepared includes more than storing water.

If you live in the Portland-Vancouver area, sign up for free emergency alerts at PublicAlerts.org. During an emergency, you will receive alerts via text, email, or voice message.

PublicAlerts.org also has resources for making a plan, building an emergency kit, and other ways to get ready for emergencies.