Patrick Alexander and Krista Eddy say before the weekend they think they're more prepared for a natural disaster than others, but are worried that they don't have enough water.

Patrick Alexander and Krista Eddy say before the weekend they think they’re more prepared for a natural disaster than others, but are worried that they don’t have enough water.

Alan Sylvestre/OPB

Patrick Alexander and Krista Eddy live on a wooded hillside in Lincoln City, Oregon. From the living room of their 800-square-foot red house they can see the ocean through the evergreen trees, about a mile away.

Alexander is from Scotland, and Eddy is originally from California. Both love exploring — they met while they were traveling abroad, each alone. As avid backpackers, they always felt they’d be able to take care of themselves in a disaster.

“We’d always had a cavalier attitude about preparedness,” said Alexander. “We both camp a fair bit and we’re both reasonably good at roughing it. I think having a child in the house makes for a different story.”

Alexander-Eddy Family Supplies

Krista Eddy and Patrick Alexander have been thinking a lot more about disaster readiness since their son, Quinn, was born. Recently, they’ve purchased a surplus of nonperishable foods to ensure they always have extra food the 2-year-old. They also have:

  • Two propane burners
  • Three portable tents
  • Three thermal sleeping bags
  • First aid kit
  • First aid and extra food stored in vehicles
  • About 3 gallons of drinking water
  • Swiss Army knife
  • Eggs from backyard chickens
  • Nonperishable foods, including pasta sauce, rice, pasta, oatmeal, canned salmon and potatoes

When their son Quinn was born, Alexander said his perspective on emergency preparedness changed. Now, he and Eddy think about what they need to do to care for their 2-year-old.

The family of three is one of the households participating in OPB’s “Living Off Your Quake Kit” event May 15-17. Though they have thought some about disaster preparedness, they’ve never fully tested their readiness.

The family moved to Lincoln City seven years ago for work, and to be on the West Coast. 

Alexander edits and publishes the weekly paper Oregon Coast Today. Eddy directs a local arts nonprofit, and teaches art. They enjoy having friends over for dinner, taking Quinn to the beach, and, when they find the time, hiking.

The last time the tsunami sirens went off in Lincoln City after Japan’s 2011 quake, they invited their friends who lived near the shoreline to their home. Their house is outside of the tsunami zone, and they served brunch while they waited for the all-clear.

They’re aware of some things that they should do to prepare for an earthquake, but they say they haven’t had the time to prepare.

With a toddler in the house, they’re ready now.

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.