MILFORD, Ohio — While there’s little chance a tsunami or the gale-force winds of a Hurricane Katrina will ever come crashing through this Cincinnati suburb, John Vota’s Safe & Ready Life store provides home and family safety solutions, along with emergency supplies and services to help prepare homes for both everyday emergencies and natural catastrophes.
Safe & Ready Life wasn’t opened to cater to end-of-days theorists and survival specialists, necessarily, but for the everyday person. Most of the products can be found across mass retailers and specialty sports shops, but Vota’s concept brings it all into one place. “One of the challenges I’ve had in preparing for emergencies — you put together a list and realize you’ve got to go to 10 different places,” he said, and there is no guarantee that they’ll have what is needed.
“[For example], it’s very difficult to find emergency food with a five-year shelf life,” he said. Another item you wouldn’t necessarily find in the neighborhood drug store is an atmospheric water generator that creates potable water, literally out of thin air.
Safe & Ready Life features products from more than 70 vendors, Vota said. It is a free-standing store with some 2,500 selling sq. ft. featuring a red and blue color scheme — red for warning-type products and blue for safety, Vota said.
“It behooves people to become a little more educated on what is happening around them in terms of the ability of the government to supply our essential basic needs,” Vota said. That’s not as much a criticism of government services as it is an acknowledgement that natural disasters significantly can impede those government services.
Still, there aren’t many natural disasters blowing through the Cincinnati area. “That’s part of my challenge as a retailer,” Vota said. “What can happen here in Cincinnati? Ice storms can be a big deal,” he said.
Vota has discovered that even though his actual storefront is located in Ohio, his virtual storefront extends both west to the earthquake regions of California and south to the hurricane watch areas alongside the Gulf of Mexico.