Start with Water

  • Get Ready. Get Water. Store 14 gallons per person.
  • Get Ready. Get Water. Store 14 gallons per person.

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 family includes people with special needs or if you have pets.


Number of people 7 days 14 days
1 7 gallons 14 gallons
2 14 gallons 28 gallons
3 21 gallons 42 gallons
4 28 gallons 56 gallons
5 35 gallons 70 gallons
6 42 gallons 84 gallons



Special Considerations:

  • Pets: Remember to include your pets in your emergency preparedness efforts! If officials declare your household water unfit to drink, it’s also unsafe for your pets. Keep extra food, waste disposal supplies, and medicine on hand for your pets. It's also a good idea to have a carrier that can double as a temporary home for your animals. Read more about how to plan with your pets in mind here.
  • Pregnant Women & Newborn Children: You will likely need additional water for drinking, formula, and sanitation needs. Learn more about infant feeding in an emergency here and be sure to practice emergency feeding and basic aid for breastfeeding before an emergency.
  • People with Limited Mobility, Sight, Ability to Communicate, or Hearing: It is especially important that water be stored in a known, accessible place for people with different abilities. Water should be stored in containers that can be lifted or dispensed in-place. Emergency plans should include a reliable support network and accountability. Read more here and refer to the Guide for Individuals with Disabilities.


Take the Next Step

Once you've stored enough water for 14 days, make a plan, build a kit, and be informed. Ask yourself four questionshow will I receive emergency alerts and warnings, what is my shelter plan, what is my evacuation route, and what is my family / household communication plan? Make a plan using the tools on for your specific needs and follow the steps below to round out your preparedness efforts.

  • Public Alerts provides information on major service disruptions in the Portland-Vancouver metro area via text, email or phone. It also has great information to help you Get Ready for emergencies. 
  • Build and maintain an emergency kit that is stocked with food, water, and supplies for 14 days. Start with the resources here and add items to your kit based on individual and household needs.
  • 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.
  • 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. Here are some resources for mapping your neighborhood: PREP's Get prepared with your neighbors web page and City of Gresham’s Neighborhood Ready booklet.