The “Big One” How two Bainbridge men created a survival tool to survive the earthquake
We all have heard talk about the “Big One” recently. Research shows that an earthquake on the Seattle fault line could have a magnitude of 6.7. Many have been thinking about this scary event and perhaps preparing equipment or practicing drills, but two Bainbridge men took it a step further to help prepare others for this event lurking in the future.
It is estimated that the earthquake’s damage will cost $33 billion and could leave thousands without shelter and a reliable food or water source for months. Fred Bruner and Scott James, both of whom live on Bainbridge Island, decided to do what they could to prepare people for this disaster. James works on emergency preparedness and is an author, while Bruner was an operative in the CIA for almost three decades and is experienced in survival. Both men are experts in the field and are concerned that people are not sufficiently prepared for this event.
In response, James and Bruner are creating high quality safety kits called “ReadyPods”. These kits are stocked with survival equipment for when the “Big One” hits. The goal of this project is to give families supplies that will last them weeks. Many people have supplies for three or four days after the earthquake hits, but after those days, they will be in trouble. James commented, “Frankly, 14 days isn’t even enough,” later adding, “you will assuredly have neighbors who show up on your porch on Day 3, and Day 7 – hungry. And we’re Seattlites. You’re not going to turn them away. And then your 14-day supply becomes 13 and 12 and so on.”
The ReadyPods are trunks stocked with food, water, medicine, tents, safety tools, a first aid kit, sanitation products, a satellite phone, and much more. James and Bruner put a lot of time into these kits, hiring people to test and provide feedback on the products as well as using the items themselves. All the gear weighs between 100-120 pounds and is intended to last for 30 days in an emergency. All of this comes at a price though. The kits cost around $6,000 depending on how many people they serve, a price many cannot afford.
While James and Bruner want to emphasize the importance of being prepared, they understand that not everybody can buy their product. Bruner explained, “Take it one step at a time.” Adding, “a little bit every week, putting aside some water, some food. That’s the key. I want to encourage people not to just throw up their hands and say it’s too much.”
One of the main goals for this project is to have people start thinking about how they will survive in an emergency. “The biggest priority is to simply act… Today, tomorrow, this weekend. Not next month, not after your taxes come in. The key is to act now,” James said.