From a gadget that can generate enough electricity to charge a cellphone by boiling a pot of water, to emergency radios and first-aid kits, a new disaster-preparedness store aims to help Oklahomans get ready for the zombie apocalypse — or perhaps just the next tornado warning.
Homestand Preparation Station opened this week at NW 63 and N May. The 2,384-square-foot shop carries survival kits and other tools to help people get ready for the next major natural disaster or more common “everyday emergencies,” said Scott Harper, Homestand general manager.
“You can buy a lot of these products at different stores, but we wanted to be a one-stop shop for everything you need to ready yourself and your home,” Harper said.
Homestand was founded by a group of local investors in the wake of the spate of tornadoes that hit the state in May 2013. The shop also will offer workshops to educate the public on emergency preparedness.
The store will host its first free classes at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. Friday with disaster preparedness expert Mark A. Smith, from Southern Plains Consulting.
If the Oklahoma City store is successful, Homestand hopes to open additional stores throughout Tornado Alley, Harper said.
At Homestand, shoppers can find water purification and storage kits, including one that turns any normal bathtub into a storage container for fresh water; an emergency light with a rechargeable solar battery; fire-starting kits and other emergency tools.
Homestand is the first brick-and-mortar retailer in the United States to carry products from the Utah-based freeze-dried food maker Legacy Food Storage. The company’s emergency food and food storage products previously only had been available through online distributors.
In a place like Oklahoma, where natural disasters are more a matter of ‘when’ than ‘if,’ having the necessary supplies for safety and survival is essential,” Phil Cox, Legacy CEO and founder, said in a statement.
“We want to make buying those supplies as easy and as painless as possible.”
Homestand will hold a grand opening celebration 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. Thursday with giveaways and pizza from Empire Slice House. Customers who spend $20 or more this month at the store also will be eligible to win a free storm shelter.