Most people have heard about the importance of preparing an emergency kit; something that may have been brought to the forefront of our minds with the recent wildfires.

The Regional Water Providers Consortium suggests that emergency preparedness begins with water. “People can survive for weeks without food, but only a few days without water. This makes water the key ingredient in your preparedness efforts.”

The Consortium recommends enough water to last for 14 days, the amount of time they estimate it could take for help to arrive in Portland after a major event, like an earthquake, that would take water services and vital systems offline.

For each of the 14 days, the goal is one gallon of water per person per day. This is estimated to cover drinking, sanitation and food preparation needs. More is recommended if a household has people with special needs or pets.

Storing water, in the form of purchased bottled water or in sanitized containers, is one option. The water contained in a water heater, which could provide 30-80 gallons, may also be an option.

It is recommended to have the supplies to treat water from additional sources like rainwater, streams, rivers, ponds, lakes and natural springs.

For details on treating water by boiling, distilling, filtering, purifying and disinfecting water visit regionalh20.org/emergency-preparedness/treating-emergency-water.

For additional preparedness, visit publicalerts.org to sign up for emergency alerts via text, email or voice message for free in the Portland area. The site  has information about building a full emergency kit and disaster planning.