National Preparedness Month week 2 - build a kit

Release date: 09/08/2021
Sponsored by: County Emergency Management Department, County Emergency Management Division


Having access to clean water is essential for living. Not only do our bodies require water to live, but we use it often when cooking, bathing, and cleaning. Because many parts of our lives rely on clean water, it’s one of the most important items to put into your emergency kit. There are many threats out there can impact our water supply. These include:

  • Boil water notices: These are issued by water providers because your community’s water has, or could have, germs that make you sick. If this happens, you’ll need to boil your water before use, or use bottled water.
  • Water shortage notices: Water providers may experience a shortage of water due to drought, contamination or system failure. If this occurs, they may issue a water shortage notice, which would restrict the amount of water you and your family could use.
  • Interrupted water supplies: There are several events that could result in your water being shut off for several hours to days while repairs occur. Examples include: Natural contamination, natural disasters, criminal activity, broken water pipes in your home or community, and power outages at pumping stations.

There are several ways you can store water for you and your family. You can purchase bottled water or use your own sanitized containers to store your emergency water supply. Your home’s water heater may also be an option. You treat water as needed during an emergency but be sure to have the supplies you will need to treat the water.

It is better to have some water in your emergency kit than none. This week’s activity will help you get started on stocking up. For the Pacific Northwest, we recommend you store one gallon of water per person per day for 14 days, plus more if you have pets. This can add up to a lot of water that you need to keep around your home. Think creatively about how you can best use the space you do have to store water and items to treat water.

Activity focus: Store at least 25% of your water needs.

  • Calculate how much water your family needs. Don’t forget to include pets if you have them.
  • Determine your preferred method for storing water (bottled water, sanitized containers, etc.)
    • If your family drinks soda, save the empty bottles. They can be sanitized and used for storing water.
  • Identify where you’ll store and/or treat your water
  • Gather water!

Media Contact:

Alita Fitz, Emergency Management Coordinator