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RNA  |  The Roosevelt Neighborhood Association

Preparing for an emergency

When the Ground Shakes, Pipes Break.

Broken pipes will carry contaminated, or zero, water to your home.  Water is essential to life.  Each person will need 1 gallon per person per day to survive. If possible, put aside 14 gallons for each member of your household. That should last 2 weeks.  

For many households, 14 gallons per household member may seem impossible because of limited storage space, finances, or access issues. Please do what you can. You don’t want to “need to find drinking water for survival” to be your main concern after a large earthquake.

You can buy bottled water in many forms – or you can refill containers you already have.  

  • Commercially-bottled water does NOT expire as long as it produced properly and is unopened.
  • If you fill your own containers, it needs to be changed out every 6 months.  

Prepare for Power Outages!

 “Power Outage Lights” turn on when the power goes out.  Place them in rooms/spaces where you would have trouble navigating if you suddenly lost power (hallways, basement, etc.).  Many of them remain charged and can be removed from the wall socket and used like a flashlight.  They are easily found at your local hardware store or online.

Fire Safety

Home fires are most common during the fall and winter, peaking in December and January, but they can happen anytime. They’re also more common on the weekends, and most happen between 6 and 7pm.

Thanksgiving is the peak day for home cooking fires. In 2nd place? The day before Thanksgiving!


Tips for the Kitchen:

  • Secure your fire extinguisher between the stove and the most likely exit from your
    kitchen. That way you can grab the extinguisher but still be able to exit safely.
  • A fire extinguisher will release a lot of pressure. Start at a distance and move
    towards the fire. Starting too close could spread hot grease or other burning materials
    and extend the fire.
    Only fight a fire if:
    • The fire is small and contained
    • You are safe from toxic smoke
    • You have a means of escape


  1. Check the expiration dates/pressure on your fire extinguishers. Check what type of fires they fight (not all extinguishers work on all fires).
  2. Practice P-A-S-S.,
    • Pull the pin
    • Aim at the base of the fire
    • Squeeze the trigger
    • Sweep side-to-side

Storing Water

Water is essential for life. After a disaster, safe drinking water can be in short supply and those without it may find themselves waiting in long lines to get it. We recommend that every household store enough water for at least 7 to 10 days. Each person in your house requires 1 gallon per day. Half of that is for drinking, the other half is for cooking and sanitation. Before you do the math, remember you have a lot of water already stored in your house, which will be available if you have strapped down your water heater and turn off the water service to the house if there are broken water pipes.

Even with that source, you should still store water. Storing water can be as easy as buying an extra case or two the next time you are at the store. You can also use old pop bottles, which are great for storing water. If you decide on this you should follow the steps outlined below to ensure that the water remains drinkable.

  • Make sure the bottle is clean. Put about 1/8 of a teaspoon of bleach and 2 cups of water in the bottle. Put the lid on and shake the bottle gently. Be sure to wash around the lid and the top of the bottle.
  • Empty and fill with fresh water all the way to the top of the bottle (leaving as little air space as possible). Screw the top on tight and label the bottle as ’emergency drinking water’ (download a  1 Gallon  or 1 Liter label). Make sure to put the date you filled the bottle on the label
  • Empty and refill the bottles every 6 months (we recommend doing it when you change your clocks and check your smoke detectors). Don’t just pour the water down the drain, use it to water your plants, rinse your dishes or even drink it.
  • We don’t recommend using glass bottles as they break easily during earthquakes. Plastic milk jugs are hard to seal and degrade quicker than plastic soda bottles. Stay away from bottles that have had bleach or other toxic chemicals in them.

This information was provided by Emergency Communication Hubs.

For more information or to volunteer: rooseveltemergencyhub@gmail.com