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 one of the most important things to include in your preparedness efforts. Your goal is to have one gallon per person for 14 days.

Include more water to your kit if your household includes people with special access or functional needs, pregnant people, newborn children, or pets.


Know how to use your water in an emergency.

The average person uses about 100 gallons of water on a typical day. During an emergency you will use your gallon of emergency water for drinking, cooking, and hygiene.


Why 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. It will also ensure that you are well-prepared for other types of emergencies that cause temporary water shortages.


Know how to store emergency water and when to replace it.

You have options! You can buy bottled water or fill your own clean containers with tap water. Learn how to safely store tap water in your own containers before an emergency in this how-to video


Know where to store your emergency water.

Hint: Store what you can, where you can.

Many homes don’t have a lot of storage space, so you may need to be creative with how you store your emergency water. You know your space best. Slim containers, bottled water, or two-liter soda bottles fit nicely in small spaces such as under beds, in the back of closets, or in cabinets. 


Know how to treat water in an emergency.

You can make water safe to drink during or after an emergency by treating it. Different water quality challenges require different treatment methods. Five ways to make your water safe to drink are boiling, using a personal water filter, disinfecting with unscented liquid chlorine bleach, treating with purification tablets, and distilling.


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 water.

If you live in the Portland-Vancouver area, sign up for free emergency alerts at PublicAlerts.org. You will receive emergency alerts via text or email, and if you don’t have access to either, you can sign up for voice messages.

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