When Preparing for an Emergency, Start with Water

People can survive for weeks without food, but only a few days without water. When getting your emergency kit together, start with water, then add other items.

Have enough water on hand

Here in the Pacific Northwest, your kit should be able to sustain your entire household (pets too!) for 14 days. The general rule is to include one gallon of water per person per day in your emergency kit.

Take the #14Gallons Challenge!

  1. Obtain 14 gallons of water per person for your entire household. If you already have an adequate emergency supply of water, skip to step two!
  2. Take a creative photo with your emergency water supply.
  3. Post your photo online (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram) with the hashtag #14Gallons, and challenge three of your friends to do the same.

Learn how and where to safely store water

Not all water storage solutions are created equal, and there are many types of containers that you can use to store your own water.

When should I treat water before using it?

If you are uncertain about the quality of water in your kit or any other water source, you should treat it before using it for drinking, food preparation or personal hygiene. Most water can be treated by boiling, disinfecting or filtering it. A well‐stocked emergency kit should include a supply of water and at least one way to treat water.

Know where to look for emergency water sources in your home

Another key step to being prepared is to know where you may be able to find additional water in your home after an emergency. For example, your water heater may be able to provide you with 30-80 gallons of water.

Know how to shut off your home’s water

Know where your home’s shut-off valve is, and make sure that the other members of your household know, too. This will help ensure you can quickly shut your water off during or after an emergency. If you live in an apartment, check with your property’s manager about how this is done for your building.