Start with Water | Regional Water Providers Consortium

Start with Water

Start your emergency prep with water.

The general rule is to include one gallon of water per person per day in your emergency kit. That assumes about half a gallon for drinking and another half-gallon to meet sanitation and food preparation needs. You may need to include more water in your kit if your household includes people with special needs or if you have pets.


Number of people

7 days

14 days


7 gallons

14 gallons


14 gallons

28 gallons


21 gallons

42 gallons


28 gallons

56 gallons


35 gallons

70 gallons


42 gallons

84 gallons



Special Considerations:

  • Pets: Be sure to include your pets when planning for your family’s emergency water needs. Check with your vet to find out how much water to store for your animal’s drinking and sanitation needs. If officials declare your home’s water unsafe to drink, then it’s also unsafe for your pets. Read more about how to plan with your pets in mind.
  • Pregnant Women & Newborn Children: You will likely need additional water for drinking, formula, and sanitation needs. Learn more about infant feeding in an emergency and be sure to practice emergency feeding and basic aid for breastfeeding before an emergency.
  • People with Access or Functional Needs: It is especially important that water be stored in a known, accessible place for people with disabilities such as limited mobility, sight, ability to communicate, or hearing. Water should be stored in smaller containers that can be easily lifted and carried or in larger containers that have a spigot so that the water can be dispensed in-place. Emergency plans should include a reliable support network and accountability. Read more about emergency planning for people with disabilities in the Guide for Individuals with Disabilities (PDF) and get additional resources for accessible preparedness from the Earthquake Country Alliance.


Take the Next Step

Storing water is just the first step in getting prepared for emergencies. Once you’ve done that, ask yourself five questions to take the next step: What else should go in my emergency kit? How will I receive emergency alerts and warnings? What is my shelter plan? What is my evacuation route? What is my household communication plan? Start with the tips below, and then visit, and for more emergency preparedness information. 

  • Make a plan using the tools on for your specific needs and follow the steps below to round out your preparedness efforts. 

  • Build and maintain a 14-day emergency kit that is stocked with water, food,  and other supplies . Start with these resources  and add items to your kit based on individual and household needs. Building a kit can be easy and affordable – you're probably more prepared than you think!

  • Sign up for Public Alerts. Get messages about major service disruptions in the Portland-Vancouver metro area via text, email or phone

  • Get a battery powered, solar, or hand-cranked radio, preferably one that is a NOAA Weather Radio. Use your radio to keep up to date with emergency alerts and other information during and after a disaster. Oregon’s primary emergency alert station is OPB 91.5 FM. 

  • Have a toilet plan. Emergency sanitation is an often-overlooked element of preparedness efforts. Stay healthy by separating waste and drinking water, good handwashing practices, and utilizing an emergency toilet system. Deadly diseases can spread when human feces (poo) are not handled and stored safely. Learn how to keep your household healthy! 

  • Get to know your neighbors and community resources. When a disaster occurs, you and your fellow community members will likely be the first to respond and provide assistance. Making neighborhood connections beforehand will help ensure your community’s resiliency after a disaster. The City of Gresham’s Neighborhood Ready (PDF) booklet is a great resource for mapping your neighborhood.