Stay Kit

In a major disaster such as the possible Cascadia subduction zone earthquake, supplies will be a long time coming because of damaged or impassable roads, so it’s best to plan for three weeks on your own.

Read about the Cascadia Subduction Zone and how to learn and stay informed. 

Assemble a STAY Kit of supplies you'll need if you are able to stay in your home or yard. Here's what you'll need:


  • one gallon per person per day for drinking, cooking, and hygiene. Store tap water in clean, food-safe bottles (not milk jugs), or buy bottled water.
  • If need be, you can use water from your water heater if it’s not damaged. (Be sure now that it’s securely strapped down, and flush the heater annually to remove sediment.) This water may not be drinkable without treatment but can be used for washing.
  • Learn more about how to store and purify water→


  • Choose foods household members like, don't need refrigeration, are not too salty, and generally don’t require cooking. (If you use very salty food or dehydrated food, you’ll need more water.) Include:
  • protein items such as nuts & canned meats, fish, beans, soups & stews
  • canned vegetables & fruits; canned/boxed juices  high energy foods such as energy bars, peanut butter & crackers, trail mix, dried fruit, cookies
  • dry cereal/granola & sealed boxes of milk or boxed milk substitutes  comfort foods (coffee, tea, chocolate!)  vitamins
  • special needs for infants and elders
  • Learn about safely using food from the refrigerator and freezer→

Kitchen gear & supplies:

  • camp stove and fuel
  • learn about why to cook OUTSIDE ONLY!!! →
  • non-electric can opener 
  • antibacterial dish soap
  • household bleach to dilute for a disinfectant (10 drops per gallon of water, let stand 30+ minutes)
  • zip seal bags, garbage bags, and ties
  • to minimize the need for washing water, store paper plates and cups, plastic utensils, paper towels and napkins, and disposable disinfecting hand wipes.

Emergency gear:

  • battery lanterns, more batteries!
  • magnesium striker
  • candles
  • matches in a waterproof holder (last resort light source only—fire hazard)
  • cell phone; battery or hand-crank phone charger (test it!)
  • hand crank battery charger or auto battery inverter
  • dust masks to filter dust-contaminated air
  • local maps.


  • separate buckets for human waste with toilet seat lid and sawdust or other carbon material to cover solid human waste
  • heavy duty trash bags and ties
  • personal and feminine hygiene items, soap, shampoo
  • see “Kitchen gear & supplies” for using bleach as a disinfectant.


  • camp knives - Swiss army, multi-tool or field knife with razor bands
  • sharpening stone
  • pliers sets, vise grips, multi screwdriver set, screws, hammer, nails, wire, epoxy, staple gun, and staples
  • small ax, shovel, fold-able root saw, hack saw blade, metal file for sharpening, crowbar, or pry bar
  • shutoff tools (non-sparking) to turn off utilities
  • ABC fire extinguisher


  • tents can be used indoors or out. With no electricity, a help retain body heat
  • plastic sheeting and duct tape for covering broken windows
  • roofing tarp
  • two painter's drop cloths 10' x 20'
  • nylon rope.

Camp kitchen:

  • mess kits or cups, plates & utensils
  • cook pots, cooking knife, large spoon 
  • ice chest for food storage
  • aluminum foil
  • sponge scrubby, hand towel, hot pads.


  • extra warm clothes, underwear, and socks
  • boots, rain pants, and poncho


  • US Army Field Guide or similar survival book
  • mylar blankets, quick-dry towels
  • sunscreen, bug repellent
  • notebooks, paper, pens, pencils with a hand sharpener
  • books, games, puzzles, toys, etc. for children
  • stuff sacs, duffel bags, backpacks, small carrying bags
Emergency Management Quick Links
General Information
Phone Numbers
Fax: 503-366-4904
Emergencies: Dial 911
230 Strand St.
Columbia County Courthouse Annex
St. Helens,

Monday - Friday
8:30 a.m. - 5 p.m.