The Importance of “1-1-3,” Water and Your Emergency Kit

The question is not “if,” but “when” – a mantra that most people who live in a state prone to earthquakes know all too well.

Widespread infrastructure damage is expected following a major earthquake. This may possibly include damage to regional water transmission and storage facilities, distribution pipelines, storage, and firefighting facilities in San Francisco, as well as pipes in homes and businesses. Following a major earthquake, the SFPUC’s top priority is to assess, repair and restore its water delivery system. By focusing its efforts on restoring these systems, the SFPUC can ensure long-term reliable water delivery for regional and local needs.

SFPUC staff discussed about having more than enough water stored in case of emergencies.

Yesterday at Sunday Streets in the Tenderloin, several SFPUC staff engaged the community about storing enough water as part of their emergency kit.

“A lot of people were surprised that they did not have enough water. Turns out having a bottle or two of water in an emergency kit is not enough,” said Jim Chien, SFPUC Communications Lead for Events and Multicultural Outreach. “We stressed the importance of not just having some water, but having more than enough for each member of the household.”

Jim Chien (right) discussing emergency preparedness with community members in Mandarin.

As people strolled, biked, and scooted throughout the Tenderloin, they had the opportunity to stop by the SFPUC’s booth to learn about the importance of having one gallon per person per day for a minimum of three days. SFPUC staff reminded community members to have water stored for furry family members as well and shared an easy-to-remember phrase “1-1-3” for water storage.

“This past weekend’s Sunday Streets was also an opportunity to engage with seniors and community members that do not necessarily speak English,” said Chien. “Some of the individuals we talked to live by themselves. It’s even more important to connect with them in their language and remind them to be prepared.”

Sunday Streets is a neighborhood-based car-free event series that occurs throughout San Francisco from Spring through the Fall. The SFPUC regularly participates in Sunday Streets to engage with people who live, work or visit San Francisco.

SFPUC advises to include water in an emergency kit – one gallon per person per day for a minimum of three days.