Available now in Washington, Oregon, California. Nationwide in December.

Frequently Asked Questions

Earthquakes won't affect me where I live, will they?

Most Americans associate big earthquakes with California. They probably would be surprised to learn how many other parts of the United States are at a heightened risk of experiencing anything from significant to massive earthquakes in the near future. U.S. cities like Memphis, Charleston, Salt Lake City, and Portland are all locations where large earthquakes have a significant likelihood of occurring. See this list of 15 American cities that are at risk of a destructive earthquake based on U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) data. Also see this USGS map of areas across the United States that are at highest risk of significant seismic activity in the next 50 years.

I know there are earthquakes where I live, but everyone quickly recovers. Why do I need a comprehensive shelter-in-place kit?

We've been very lucky so far that the most powerful earthquakes in U.S. history have not occurred in heavily populated areas. Global historical data shows the human toll of powerful earthquakes is largely a function of how many people are living there at the time of the seismic event. Of the 20 most powerful earthquakes ever recorded in the United States, the only one to strike a densely populated area was the magnitude 7.9 San Francisco earthquake in 1906. 250,000 San Franciscans (of a total city population of 400,000) were left homeless by the quake. 

Today certain parts of the country--such as the 1,000 kilometer stretch from northern California to Washington state, as well as large population centers like Los Angeles and San Francisco--are statistically overdue for a massive earthquake. A 9.0 Cascadia Subduction Zone earthquake in the Pacific Northwest or a magnitude 8.0 San Andreas Fault earthquake in Los Angeles would result in destruction dwarfing those of any other earthquake in U.S. history. And remember: for each additional point of magnitude, an earthquake shakes 10 times harder. So a 9.0 earthquake shakes 10 times more violently than an 8.0.

I plan to leave the area after a major disaster, so why would I need your kit?

Even if you have the financial wherewithal to relocate yourself and your loved ones out of the affected region for several months to years after a major earthquake, logistically you will be prevented from enacting your plan for at least several weeks. It will take time for major roads to become passable, airstrips to be rebuilt, and ports to be safe for maritime travel. See what the USGS says about what to expect in a major earthquake

Most earthquake kits I've seen are for just three days. Why do you require a two-week minimum?

For years the federal government told citizens it wanted us to have "three ways for three days." Three ways to find water, food, and shelter for ourselves in the case of a natural disaster. FEMA has since learned what homesteaders and preparedness experts have long known, that three days of supplies is entirely inadequate for almost any type of disaster, natural or manmade. Federal and state agencies have more recently begun a "Two Weeks Ready" campaign to encourage citizens to keep a minimum of two weeks of supplies on hand, specifically to be able to care for ourselves with no electricity, running water, access to grocery stores, or other support systems. More details from the bright minds at New York Times.

What problem does ReadyPod™ solve?

Complexity! The complexity required to assemble a true shelter-in-place kit in the face of an earthquake's unpredictable destructiveness seems to only inspire inaction. As the most comprehensive shelter-in-place kit on the market, ReadyPod solves this complexity problem through customization and curation, empowering you to overcome any inertia you may feel with just a few clicks. This is preparedness, made simple.

Does my ReadyPod kit really have a shelf life of 30 years?

Yes, your ReadyPod kit really is good for 30 years. All told, it consists of more than 100 different items, about 90 of which will remain fully functional for three decades provided your kit is stored properly and not subjected to undue use. The key is to keep the kit in an enclosed climate-controlled area where temperatures remain at or below 75 degrees Fahrenheit, humidity and moisture are kept low, it is protected from the elements, and it is not located somewhere that pests or rodents have easy access to it. 

There are 16 inexpensive and basic items in your kit that have shelf lives of less than 30 years, and those items will need to be replaced before they lose their effectiveness. Most are simple hygiene- and first aid-related items. If you agree at the time of purchase to let us contact you after you receive your kit, we will make this simple for you! We will make this as easy as possible for you so your kit remains 100 percent functional for 30 years. 

The items that will need to be replaced/replenished are: 

- Every two years: 

 + Wet wipes 

 + Disinfecting wipes 

- Every three years: 

 + Sunscreen 

 + All purpose soap 

 + Toothpaste 

 + Hand sanitizer 

- Every four years: 

 + Hand warmers 

- Every five years: 

 + Immodium 

 + Acetaminophen 

 + Ibuprofen 

 + Chlorine dioxide (water preserver) 

- Every seven years: 

 + AA and AAA batteries 

 + Antiseptic 

 + IOSAT tablets 

- Every 10 years: 

 + Insect repellent 

A couple important things to bear in mind. First, while our traditional food selection from Mountain House is guaranteed by that company to have a shelf life of at least 30 years, our alternative plant-based food selection from Northwest Fork is guaranteed by its manufacturer to have a shelf life of 10 years. It is worth noting that Northwest Fork is a young company so it has not had an opportunity to test its food's shelf life beyond a decade. It is possible that Northwest Fork food eventually will be certified for a shelf life of longer than 10 years. Unless and until the happens, however, if you elect to purchase a kit with Northwest Fork food, we will contact you before the 10 year point to inquire if you would like to have your supply replenished. 

Second, your MYFAK first aid kit has a variety of items with shelf lives of two-five years (antiseptic wipes, antibiotic creams, sunscreen, Tylenol, Advil, etc.). Because we include separate and larger amounts of these first aid items in your kit--and because we will reach out to you to replace these items before they expire--we do not consider the first aid kit as an item that needs to be replaced. Most of its contents do not have an expiration date and will remain useful for first aid purposes for the 30-year life of your kit. 

Finally, remember to check the pressure gauge on your fire extinguisher periodically to ensure it remains fully charged. If necessary, you can take it to a service-friendly fire station for recharging, and if the fire station won't do this you can take it to a fire extinguisher service center to do this. 

Can't I just purchase all this gear myself?

You may be able to save a small amount of money individually purchasing all the items in a ReadyPod™ kit yourself, but we've selected and designed specific items to work together in a convenient and easy manner. For instance, anything that can be battery-powered has been standardized to work with the provided AA and AAA batteries in order to simplify your life post-disaster. And of course, there are a number of items you cannot purchase outside of a ReadyPod kit, such as our emotional well-being kit, our Guidebook, our customized storage trunks, and more.

You could spend months of your free time researching, selecting, ordering, disposing of packaging, and then organizing your gear in a homemade storage system. Or you can click a single button and know that ReadyPod will provide for your immediate needs with your curated kit, and help you stay prepared in the future with timely reminders when certain items with a shelf life of less than 30 years need to be replaced. We'll also provide periodic updates on best practices for earthquake preparedness.

I read about another earthquake kit that claims to have lots of items in it like yours, but it only costs a few hundred dollars. What's the difference?

There are a number of go bags and first aid kits that loosely claim to have a large number of items in them. They are quite literally claiming all 20 bandages in a single box to count as 20 separate items. We don't even count that box of bandages as separate from the excellent first aid pack we include. We prefer the simplicity and authenticity of counting the entire first aid pack as a single item, not the 50+ items contained within it.

I already have some of this gear. Why do I need to buy more?

While you may have acquired camping gear from various sources over a number of years that is stored throughout your home, you can be assured that the gear in your ReadyPod kit is designed to work well together, is of the highest quality, and will be exactly where you expect it to be when you need it most. You can (unfortunately) be assured that not all of your neighbors will take precautions, so having extra gear and supplies to lend them is wise. 

How can I supplement my kit?

You might find that your situation calls for both traditional and gluten free food, that you could use additional tent space, or that you want additional water stored. Click here for direct links to our preferred partners and brands. 

How did you select the items in your kits?

Our initial threshold was quality, simplicity, and durability. Our secondary criteria was identifying gear that complements and integrates well with related items in the kit (e.g., standardizing on a specific battery size). Occasionally, when we needed to choose between two equally impressive pieces of gear, we picked the one made by a company whose values closely align with ours. 

For example, several companies offer a two-bucket sanitation system, but we appreciate the commitment Reliance Outdoors - makers of the Luggable Loo - makes to giving back to deserving communities through Habitat for Humanity. And while there are many high quality insulated water bottles on the market that are BPA free, we like that Summit Bottles gives away 10% of its profits to charity.  

Is Scott’s Prepared Neighborhoods book included in the kit?

We’ll send you a signed copy of Scott’s book with our own Thank You note post-purchase. If you would like to purchase additional copies for friends, family, and neighbors, you can do so via Amazon.

If you've not yet read it, here’s what a few folks have said about it: 

Scott James has a hands-on, deeply philosophical, understanding of the world we live in and of the need to address the issues that will impact his children and mine -- all the children of our planet. This book guides us along a pathway to truly understand the nature of our collective futures. It is a brilliant tapestry that interweaves the emergency preparedness and sustainability movements.
John Perkins

New York Times bestselling author 

Books like Scott's are resilience stabilizers, helping us navigate the circuitous path of change. Communities come together for solutions. Going it alone is a myth; the more we embrace our collective wisdom and skills, the stronger and more resilient our communities become. Oh, and make sure that those communities are building fun into the mix - no one wants a future unless it is going to be fun! 

David Johnson

Advisor, Transition Towns US 

Prepared Neighborhoods is a powerful resource for both small communities and individual households. Scott James clearly lays out the "What If's" many of us harbor in the backs of our minds and proposes sustainable and resilient ways to address them. Best of all, this book is written for real neighborhoods, using the language they speak in and clear examples. 

Caitria O'Neill 

Founder, Recovers 

Scott James has filled a missing link in the transition to a new economy. The neighborhood unit - bigger than a household and smaller than a city - is the essential human scale for building community resilience and preparedness. Get your neighbors together to read Prepared Neighborhoods and act! 

Chuck Collins 

Senior Scholar, Institute for Policy Studies 

Co-Founder, Resilience Circles Network

Will I be able to move those trunks by myself?

Yes! Each trunk weighs 100-120 pounds, but with the large wheels and telescoping handles, it is easily movable by most folks over the age of 10 (we tested it with our kids!).

What do I do when items like batteries, wet wipes, and the water that I store in my water barrel expire?

Not to worry; we'll track these expiration dates for you. For the few items in your kit with a shelf life less than 30 years, we'll send you a reminder when these items are nearing their expiration dates. One important note about the chlorine dioxide water preserver in your kit. Once the preserver has been added to your water barrel, it will keep your water fresh and potable for five years. However, the preserver must be added to water within four years of being bottled or its effectiveness begins to diminish. This is why we only send you enough chlorine dioxide to store water for the initial five year period.

I've been told the best practice for storing sleeping bags is to allow them to lay flat, out of their compression bags. But my ReadyPod™ sleeping bags are stored in my trunks. What gives? 

You are correct, this is one time when we recommend against traditional camping wisdom as we want those sleeping bags in a secured location, ready when you need them.

Why do you include alkaline batteries instead of rechargeable? 

While rechargeable batteries generally make sense for everyday use, experts agree that emergencies are the one time alkalines are recommended over rechargeables. From the USGS map of areas across the United States: 

Disposable batteries are also your best bet for emergency preparedness kits. Disposable batteries can also come in handy when it’s inconvenient or impossible to recharge, said Mr. Buchmann, such as on backpacking or camping trips. He added, “The materials and chemistry of alkaline batteries are more rugged than rechargeables, so they can take more abuse.”

Why do you not include solar panels to recharge the Anker PowerCore power banks?

After much research and gnashing of teeth, we concluded that the solar technology to do this is just not ready yet. This is best summarized by AnkerDirect Customer Support themselves: 

"The output amperage of a solar panel is not consistent throughout the day and it varies by season. As the capacity of this PowerCore [26800] is large, we are afraid the solar recharging time is extremely long." 

If the Anker PowerCore power banks are maintained per the manufacturer’s instructions, you won’t need to recharge them if used judiciously* as two fully charged Ankers will provide a smartphone plus Garmin inReach Mini combination months of service. At full charge, one Anker will recharge your Garmin 12-15X while the other Anker will recharge your smartphone 6-10X depending on the model. 

* Use your smartphone and Garmin 2X/day for 10 minutes each session for texting; otherwise keep these devices turned off.

How does freeze-dried food taste?

It tastes great! Mountain House is the best when it comes to long-lasting, great-tasting food for backpacking and emergency food supplies. If you choose the Traditional selection for your food, the Mountain House included in your kit will contain a diverse menu of 18 different meals - each one in its own individual pouch - so you can go almost an entire week without eating the same meal twice! 

If you select our favorite plant-based Northwest Fork offering, it includes six different meal choices based on three staples: oats, beans, and fruit. 

We love to ask friends and family members which selection is their favorite because everyone seems to have strong opinions. We'll let you decide which meal is your favorite! 

When ordering a kit for a larger number of people or longer duration of weeks, what comes in those extra trunks beyond what you describe on the Details page?

There are two factors that affect the size of your kit: 1) the shelter-in-place duration you select and 2) the number of people you indicated that your kit will serve. This means the size of your ReadyPod kit can scale up based on one of these two factors--duration or number of people--or it can scale up based on both of these factors. 

The items listed below are what you will find additional quantities of inside any extra trunks your kit contains beyond the four core ReadyPod trunks common to every kit:You get more of the following items if you increase either shelter-in-place duration, number of people, or both:

- Food 

- Water storage and water preservatives 

- Rubbermaid storage containers 

- Insect repellent 

- Sunscreen 

- Toilet paper 

- Baby wipes 

- Hand sanitizer 

- Dental hygiene materials (toothbrushes, toothpaste, dental floss) 

- Batteries 

You will receive more of the following items as you increase only the duration of your kit: 

- Butane canisters for camp stove 

- Lantern candles 

- Waterproof matches and other fire-starting gear 

- Distilled white vinegar 

- Trash bags 

- Toilet deodorizers 

- Nitrile gloves 

- Zip ties 

- Disinfecting wipes 

You will receive more of the following items as you increase only the number of people your kit serves: 

- Water bottles 

- Plates and utensils 

- Stuffed animals and baby blankets 

- Certain first aid items (Immodium, antiseptic, IOSAT tablets, etc.) 

- Sleeping gear (sleeping bags, sleeping pads, space warmers) 

- Handwarmers 

- Rain ponchos 

- Microfiber towels 

- Hardhats 

- Flashlights and headlamps 

- Under-the-bed ReadyTrays

How and where do I store my kit?

In order to maintain your kit's 30-year shelf life, we recommend storing the kit in an enclosed location where it is protected from the elements, from extreme (especially hot) temperatures, and from possible pests and rodents. The best storage location for your kit is somewhere inside your home where it will be easily accessible after an earthquake. Alternatively, an enclosed garage where temperatures do not regularly exceed 75 degrees or an enclosed temperature controlled storage shed are also good options. We do not recommend storing your kit outdoors where it may be exposed to high humidity, moisture, high temperatures, and pests or rodents.

In terms of required footprint for storage of the kit, the four core trunks can be stacked on top of each other, reducing the required footprint to that of your favorite bicycle. 

Can I remove items from my kit for daily or occasional use?

We encourage you take out your gear in order to become familiar with how it works. Learning how to set up your tent or operate your rocket stove now can pay off in a big way if one day you find yourself in the aftermath of a major earthquake having to set up your tent in the dark or use the rocket stove in cold and rainy conditions. 

Once you learn how to set up and use a piece of gear, we recommend taking great care to remove all dirt and moisture from all your kit items and to remove all AA and AAA batteries from items that run on these batteries. Place all of your clean and dry gear and supplies back into your kit's storage trunks, and replace any used AA and AAA batteries with new long-life (10 year) alkaline batteries in your ReadyPod kit's battery storage receptacles. 

Taking these steps will ensure that your complete ReadyPod kit will be in pristine condition, easy to access, and fully functional should you ever need it in the event of a genuine emergency.

How is an investment in this kit good for my community?

By purchasing a ReadyPod kit, you position yourself to be a significant support to your neighbors and community. After the disaster, you will be operating from a place of strength rather than weakness, a place of security rather than uncertainty. 

Make your ReadyPod kit purchase today.