One Year to be Prepared: Month 3 Checklist

Each month during 2023, the Cow Creek Band of Umpqua Tribe of Indians Emergency Management team will provide you a checklist for assembling emergency supplies and help you and your family think though various emergency scenarios. The monthly checklists will also prompt you to consider special circumstances, such as supplies for pets, elders, evacuation routes, and sanitation.

(For the complete list of One Year to be Prepared lists, click here)

MONTH 3: Water

If an earthquake, flood, winter storm, or other disaster occurs in your community, you might not have access to clean water for days, weeks, or even months.

An Absolute Necessity
You and your family can survive for many days without food, but only a short time without water. Having an ample supply of clean water is a top priority in emergencies.

Store a minimum of two weeks worth of water for each family member and household pet. One gallon per person per day is recommended, which covers drinking, cooking, and minimal washing. Consider what extra you may need for dishes, laundry, and even cleaning wounds, and remember that larger animals require much more water.

Write the date on the water storage containers, and rotate every six months if you don’t plan on purifying the water before use.

Purification and Filtration
All sources of water, including well water, should be treated after an earthquake until water can be tested by a local water lab. Ensure your water is safe to drink by filtering and purifying. Visit or for more information.

Water Storage
Store your water in thoroughly-washed plastic, glass, fiberglass, or enamel-lined metal containers. Never use a container that has held toxic substances. If using recycled plastic containers, soft drink bottles are best.


  • Decide who you are planning for. Remember, that may include people who do not live with you (an elderly neighbor or child who is left home alone) and animals.
  • Will you need to purify water if your purchased water expires or runs out? You can find a water-to-bleach ratio sheet and a boiling time sheet for sterilizing water online. Print it out and keep a copy in your kit(s).

Train or Be Trained

  • Focus on learning (or teaching) some of the skills your grandparents had.
  • Learn to preserve food and gather, filter, and purify water.
  • Learn to sew, darn a sock, or replace a button.
  • Learn to make candles and soap.
  • Learn to hunt and fish (when seasonally appropriate).

Supplies – Gather or Purchase

  • Get large capacity coffee filters to filter water if you run out of stored water.
  • Get one purification method (dye-free bleach, chlorine tabs, etc.).
  • Add another three days of water, and three days worth of canned food (preferably in water) and a can opener to your kit. Get foods you know your family will eat.
  • Add a sewing kit or simple sewing supplies (needles, needle threader, thread, thimble, scissors, etc.) to your kit.