Alice and Nadine of Just In Case

How It All Began

Alice Kuder, founder of Just In Case, shares her story of how, when, and why she felt it was important to help Seattle-area residents prepare for natural disasters.

Just in Case: The story behind the business

Being a native north-westerner, I am keenly aware that “the big one” (i.e. a truly destructive earthquake) could happen at any time, so when I moved into my new home many years ago, I decided to follow the advice of my trusted real estate agent and put together a serious stash of emergency supplies.

I bought a 32-gallon yard waste container and filled it with canned food, first-aid supplies and some camping gear. Then I gave it a dedicated space in my basement where I hope it will be accessible if the house ever falls down around it,

As time passed, my good intentions of rotating the stock of canned goods kept getting pushed down to the bottom of my “to do” list. Before I knew it, 13 years had passed! When I finally got around to checking on the contents, I discovered that the fruit juices had actually eaten through the cans, creating mold that destroyed the entire contents of the barrel. The only things that survived were a single-burner camp stove and some stainless steel utensils. I couldn’t even reuse the barrel because the odor from the mold permeated it, too, and would have leached into the new supplies.

After kicking myself a few times for my costly procrastination, I consoled myself with the knowledge that at least I had a list of the contents, so it would be fairly easy to reconstruct the kit.

Wrong!! The project stretched out over several weeks as I schlepped from store to store shopping for what I needed. Being the frugal DIY’er that I am, I couldn’t allow myself to just order things online or buy everything from one big box store. That would have taken just as long and/or cost twice as much.

After I purchased all the replacement stock, I still had to catalogue it all (otherwise it’s just a big barrel of who-knows-what) and  assemble it for accessibility.

Once finished, I felt a great sense of pride and accomplishment. I also had an “Aha! moment.  Now I understood why more households aren’t as prepared as they might like to be — or dare I say “should” be?

As I tried to imagine how parents with young kids, in particular, would ever find the time and energy to take on this task, it occurred to me that there might be a market for the service. That’s when I conceived the idea for Just in Case, a professional service designed to facilitate emergency preparedness, beginning with a readiness assessment.

It’s a business I can feel good about because it gives me the ability to make a living doing work that benefits everyone.

This site provides an abundance of resources — many are free —  to help you get ready for “the big one” … Just in Case.

Whether you need/prefer to DIY or hire me to help you, consider this:

“The smallest deed is better than the greatest intention.”

— John Burroughs