Be prepared, start with water!

Graphic that reads: "before there's an emergency, get ready. Get water. 14 gallons per person equals water for 2 week.
At the Portland Water Bureau, we prepare as part of our daily work—hardening the backbone of our water system and building storage that will last for generations. In an emergency, everyone has a role to play. What's your role?
On this page

What does it mean to be prepared? It means understanding the risk of natural disasters, having the information you need when they occur, and, most importantly, having the necessary supplies for you and your family should a disaster strike. As climate change drives up the intensity and regularity of wildfires—and with the ever-present threat of a large Cascadia earthquake—it's important to have a plan should a disaster strike.

One key to any emergency plan is to ensure you have enough water. We can go for much longer without food than we can without water. The general rule of thumb is to have a backup water supply of 14 gallons per person, which will last about two weeks if necessary.

See below for more ideas and information about how to get and stay prepared, and some videos about how our community does too.

Steps you can take

Join your neighbors

Darcelle XV

Portland’s own Darcelle XV, named the world's oldest drag queen performer by Guinness World Records, is prepared. But what does she need in addition to water storage?

Caspian Kabob

Victor prepares Portland's most delicious Persian food at Caspian Kabob. He's prepared for an emergency with water storage. What else does Victor need to feel prepared?

Neighborhood Emergency Team

Catie, a Neighborhood Emergency Team member, is prepared with water and other supplies for her furry family. What else do they need to feel prepared?

College students

Portland Community College students Kien and Quyen prepare for an emergency by storing water. Watch the video in Vietnamese or press "cc" for English subtitles.

Ham radio operator

Ham radio operator and Neighborhood Emergency Team volunteer Robin stores some of her emergency water upstairs for easy access in case of an emergency.

Tortillería y Tienda de Leon's

Lucy from Tortillería y Tienda de Leon's welcomed us to her family's business and showed us how she stores water in case of an emergency.

Slavic Family Media

Andrey and members of Slavic Family Media are prepared when it comes to properly storing water in case of a disaster.