Portland Earthquake Kits, LLC was founded by Portland entrepreneurs Matt and Jen Brown in 2019.
As residents of the Cascadia Subduction Zone, it’s an unfortunate reality that collectively either we or our children are likely to face the largest earthquake and the biggest natural disaster in American history. Yet we still see basic preparedness as an option rather than a responsibility.
Why is this? We have no problem teaching our children to respect the strength of the ocean, to be wary of the dangers of the forest or the concrete jungle, or to develop the skills they will need to avoid the various pitfalls life holds. We fret constantly about potential risks, yet we remain silent on the surest of them all, the one that they will almost certainly face. Don’t we owe them more?
On the Internet, disaster preparedness is now a thing. There are companies that specialize in emergency kits, bug-out bags, 72 hour survival backpacks. There are numerous prepper sites with helpful information about stockpiling food, water, guns, and ammunition. But is this really our fate? Will half of us run into the woods with ponchos and tiny bags of water, while the other half locks the door and prepares for warfare in the streets, zombie apocalypse style? Even worse, will we actually have to eat that horrible food we bought that was supposed to last forever?
Perhaps… but that never happened in Christchurch. The biggest problem turned out to be dealing with poop after the sewers stopped working. A problem that could have been easily mitigated if everyone had just taken the time to stock up on trash bags. We can do better.
Our mission is to provide a realistic, community-minded vision of what it means to be prepared. We know more than anyone that it’s exhausting and time consuming to even figure out what you need to have in your home, and how much of it to buy. We’ve made the commitment to help you with that.
Our goal is to provide every Portland resident – and anyone else residing in the Cascadia Subduction Zone – with a basic, affordable, shelter-in-place kit that ensures a minimum standard of living and health, even in the total absence of local services for at least 60 days.
The items we choose for our kits comes from public information issued by city, state, and federal authorities and organizations, from our own professional wilderness guiding experience, and extensive research and testing. We have also deliberately not included many items commonly found in preparedness kits, such as dust masks, gloves, light sticks, and others. This is motivated by our desire to keep the price as low as possible, and not to overlap with things that many people already have, could borrow, rely on lots of batteries, or will expire. We also eliminated more expensive items that come in a broad range of quality and prices, such as headlamps or a container to store everything in. We feel it is best left up to consumers to decide which product is best for them, and many of these are luxury items.