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Portland Water Bureau

From forest to faucet, we deliver the best drinking water in the world.


1120 SW Fifth Ave, Suite 600, Portland, OR 97204

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Emergency Management

Be Aware – Prepare!

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?

September is National Preparedness Month!

See how your neighbors prepare by storing water. In an emergency, everyone has a role to play. What’s your role?

  • 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? View the video!
  • 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? View the video
  • 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? View the video!
  • Portland Community College students Kien and Quyen prepare for an emergency by storing water. Watch the video in Vietnamese or “cc” for English.

Living in the Pacific Northwest, we are lucky not to regularly face large-scale disasters. It can be difficult to imagine just how devastating an earthquake or other types of catastrophes can be, and to picture how they would affect us and our families. Knowing the risks can help us understand why we need to be ready. Becoming aware helps us to prepare.

One very important way to prepare for emergencies is to keep enough clean water on hand in case our water system is damaged. We can endure lack of food for much longer than we can go without water. Clean, safe, high-quality water is our legacy in the Northwest. But what happens if water lines are damaged and you can’t just turn on the tap? How much water do you need to survive a local disaster or emergency? How can you ensure a supply of safe water for your family?

   Sign up for Alerts to be informed of local disasters.
  Check out the many resources available to help you plan to cope with disasters. You can learn how to make a plan, build a kit, plan for specific hazards, stay informed, get trained, learn about pet preparedness, access general resources, and check out smart phone apps.
See the risks to your neighborhood in the OPB documentary Unprepared.
  Learn about water needs and water storage by watching this video on water storage from the Regional Water Providers Consortium. Learn more about water on their page.
   Get information about building an emergency preparedness kit.  

Where do you stand after a major disaster? You can see your risk for flooding, landslide, ground liquefaction, and earthquakes using the State of Oregon’s HazVu mapper.