'New Yorker' Article Sparks Upsurge In Earthquake Survival Kit Sales
ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:
If Radio had headlines, this next story would be "Panic In The Pacific Northwest."
MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:
The cause of concern is a recent article in the New Yorker Magazine titled "The Really Big One."
SIEGEL: With this subtitle - an earthquake will destroy a sizable portion of the coastal northwest. The question is when.
BLOCK: The article claimed a 9.0 earthquake is overdue. It would be followed by a tsunami, and life as we know it on the Oregon and Washington coasts will pretty much be wiped out.
SIEGEL: The New Yorker also says the region is under prepared. Well, people there are trying to make up for that, according to the Seattle Times. There has been a run on personal survival kits.
STEVE O'DONNELL: Last week, we probably did three or four months' worth of business in just one week. Yesterday and today, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday - each day has been basically almost a full month's worth of business.
BLOCK: Steve O'Donnell is CEO of American Preparedness based in Seattle. The company makes and sells a variety of kits, all sizes, shapes and colors.
O'DONNELL: Our two most popular that are selling like hotcakes, really, is the four-person backpack and that takes care of four people for three days, and our rolling cart is two person for seven days.
BLOCK: And there's a lot in those kits, including food, thermal blankets, ponchos, light sticks.
SIEGEL: Flashlights, matches, a tarp.
BLOCK: Hygiene supplies, two whistles, a pry bar...
SIEGEL: Even coloring books for the kids.
BLOCK: O'Donnell says the American Preparedness motto is, we hope you never have to use our products. But he adds...
O'DONNELL: Get ready. Be ready, and stay ready, kind of like a good Boy or Girl Scout.
SIEGEL: That four-person, three-day kit will set you back $139.99, but good Boy Scouts or Girl Scouts could probably make their own.
NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by Verb8tm, Inc., an NPR contractor, and produced using a proprietary transcription process developed with NPR. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The authoritative record of NPR’s programming is the audio record.