Scott Harper’s pastime is insurance, but not the kind that protects your house, automobile or health. His insurance coverage is emergency preparedness. And he’s identified an chance to aid other Oklahomans in the metro area get prepared for disasters.
“I was born and raised here, and I want other Oklahomans to know and come to feel confident they can withstand a catastrophe,” he told The Journal Record.
Just weeks after the biggest tornadoes in the state’s historical past ripped via central Oklahoma in May possibly 2013, Harper identified his possibility. A pal knew a group of Oklahoma City-based investors who have been getting ready their houses for the spring climate and realized there is not a single shop that sells every little thing needed for a disaster.
The goal was to develop a a single-cease shop for emergency-preparedness supplies, but with no the feel of a military surplus retailer. So Harper and a pal traveled the country, seeking at comparable stores, attending trade demonstrates, and attempting out goods for their shop, Homestand Preparation Station.
The traders, who didn’t want to be named, paid for travel costs, the building costs to style the retailer, and the expense for the style group, Funnel Layout Group, to develop a site, branding and logos.
Harper identified merchants in Utah that had the look and really feel that appealed to the notion. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints market emergency preparedness, so he found numerous Utah-based mostly companies that had top quality goods, he said. Homestand stocks items from Legacy Meals, a Utah-primarily based freeze-dried meals business, for meal ingredients.
The retailer, situated at 2850 NW 63rd St. in Oklahoma City, is organized in a loop fashion so that consumers can develop their own custom-made kits.
Backpacks and bags are close to the door, with water and food close by. Lights, batteries, whistles, sirens and resources are near the registers. The objective is to aid people get ready, and offer large-top quality objects that may not be available in all-in-one particular kits offered on the web.
Several emergency supply stores Harper visited all around the country had the truly feel of apocalypse survival. As an alternative, Harper mentioned he needed to produce a loved ones-friendly atmosphere, in which mothers and kids felt welcome.
David Grizzle, emergency management coordinator for the city of Norman, agreed. He said residents are turned off of the notion of getting ready kits because they really do not like the thought of a prolonged-phrase catastrophe predicament.
Grizzle stated several Norman residents are properly-prepared for disasters, in component because there have been so several. In addition, his office frequently holds preparedness events with literature, checklists and products that may not be as apparent, but are vital when catastrophe strikes.
1 benefit of the Homestand shop is the potential to construct a custom kit, he said. Households should develop personalized kits so they can contain specialized items this kind of as medication and prescription lenses, as properly as toys for children or dogs.
Harper mentioned about 150 individuals visited the shop in the initial 3 days right after it recently opened. Although there is not a single thing individuals are asking for, he mentioned the most typical products people buy are weather radios and Lifestyle Straw, a water filtration device.
Harper, who enjoys camping and investing time outdoors, mentioned many of the supplies can be employed for recreation as well.
“I like to feel virtually about this when it comes to emergency preparedness,” he said. “Whether it is a tornado, an ice storm, becoming caught in your car or a energy outage, the appeal fits for actual-existence disasters.”
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