Frequently Asked Questions
We live in serene Oregon, why should we worry about "being prepared"?
Actually, Oregon has several significant risks. Severe winter storms have knocked out power for as much as a week. Floods are not uncommon. And, the Cascadia Subduction Zone WILL result in a humongous earthquake. Not IF, but WHEN.
I've lived here all of my life, and nothing too bad has ever happened. Why should I start worrying now?
Nothing bad? Consider yourself lucky. What about the people affected by the floods of '96, the south valley windstorm of 2002, the blast of St. Helens, and the terrorist acts of the Rajneeshi, not including fires and local problems. And, none of us have yet experience the major earthquake that will result when the Cascadia subduction zone finally lets loose.
Why do I need supplies for 72hrs.?
In the event of a widespread disaster, it will take time for the emergency services to take care of themselves and their families, get their rendezvous point, and get through debris and hazards to reach residents. This is estimated to take an average of 72hrs.
There's no terrorism in the NW, is there?
Remember the Rajneeshi? They were a cult that attempted to poison Portland's water supply, after infecting a salad bar with e-coli bacteria. Hamas & al Qaeda terrorists have been arrested in Oregon. The FBI warns that Oregon is an ideal place for terrorists to hide and train.
I have a lot of camping supplies and food and stuff in the house. Isn't that good enough?
It depends. Many people have such supplies somewhere in their homes, but can they find what they need in the dark? They need to be in one location, easily accessed from outside (e.g. front of garage) in order to be accessible in a sudden evacuation from fire, earthquake or whatever.
How can I learn more about potential NW disasters?
Other areas of this web site have information and links to information on NW emergency preparedness. The Federal Government (FEMA), State Government (OEM), Counties, and many cities all have emergency management coordinators. Contact your local Police, Fire, or Sheriff's office for numbers not found on this web site.
Your kits seem expensive. I've seen emergency kits for much less. How come?
The bare essentials necessary for one person for survival are not very expensive. The Red-Cross, for example, does a good job of providing these type of kits. However, if approached from the point of view of asking "what would I really want with me in such an emergency?", the answer can be very different. Extra light? Hand warmers? More than minimal food? Water sources? How about more than a sheet of mirrored plastic for the kids to sleep in? Wouldn't a cup of coffee, cocoa, or soup be perfect? These "extras", even when minimal, are what add significant cost. We strive to sell our kits at below the sum of the retail value of the components.
Do I need a kit only in my home? What about at work or on road trips?
Ideally, you should have a kit at home, at work, and in each car. The car kits should contain supplies for dealing with road hazards (jumper cables, tow rope, tire inflator, etc.) as well as enough survival supplies to be able to last for at least a couple of days. One method is to keep all of the supplies in the cars, divided among two or more cars. However, if one car is not there, you may not have everything you need.
Aren't the best kits from Florida because of all their hurricanes?
The climate and hazards in Florida are different. They don't have to deal with cold, volcanoes, and the threat of a major earthquake. Therefore, their supply kits are different.