Brook Gowin of Troutdale says she’s confident that if the magnitude 9.0 earthquake hits, she has enough emergency supplies stored away in her apartment to last until she can find emergency shelter. 

Brook Gowin’s Supplies

Brook Gowin says she feels she’s relatively well-prepared for life after a natural disaster. Her supplies include:

  • Propane stove
  • Five tanks of propane
  • First aid kit, with extra supplies for her injuries
  • Toilet paper
  • Battery-powered radio
  • LED light
  • Reading material
  • Extra clothing
  • Extra cat food
  • Battery powered flashlights
  • Backpack to transport nonperishable food if necessary
  • Nonperishable food items, including canned soups, rice and pasta

Brook Gowin, 63, is an avid bird-watcher. In the grove of trees near her apartment in Troutdale, she recently spotted goldfinch and white- and yellow-crowned sparrows.  

“I even have a new hairy woodpecker,” she said. “If you don’t want to hear about birds, I’m the wrong person to mention the word birds to. My excitement is too great.”

With a laugh, she jokes she’s even wondered if she’d be able to feed the birds after an earthquake.

Gowin is one of the people participating in OPB’s “Living Off Your Quake Kit” event May 15-17.

She has physical disabilities from sports injuries, and lives with her cat, KeeKee, in the Portland suburb of Troutdale. She’s taken a disaster preparedness class, and she has an earthquake kit with lots of camping gear and first aid supplies.

After the big one hits, Gowin says, she wants to be able to feed her neighbors and use her first aid training to help those in need. But she realizes her supply of medication and her physical limitations could be problematic. If she were trapped in her apartment after a quake, she says she probably wouldn’t be able to free herself.

“I could be more prepared, but I don’t want to live in fear. I think I could survive for a few days. It depends on how big of an earthquake, how much damage there is,” Gowin said. “You know, I could be gravely wounded and not do well at all.”

Learn more and join in OPB’s “Living Off Your Quake Kit” weekend. On May 15-17, OPB will follow Oregon families as they try to live off their emergency supplies. You can follow along on social media with #UnpreparedNW.