READY FOR STRIKE - United States

Americans stocking up on doomsday supplies

Companies selling items to doomsday preppers saw a bump in sales last week.
Companies selling items to doomsday preppers saw a bump in sales last week.PHOTO: NYTIMES

From Japan to the US, doomsday preppers - and even the less paranoid - are not taking chances and are getting ready for a fallout

WASHINGTON • Shoppers in the United States are buying six-month food supplies wrapped in military-grade Mylar pouches, and kits filled with duct tape, food bars and an air-filtration mask.

Some firms that specialise in selling items to people planning for the worst - so-called doomsday preppers - say they had a bump in sales last week, after tensions rose between the US and North Korea. Online searches for prepping and survival gear have also jumped.

This is a turnaround from recent months. Revenue fell after the election of Mr Donald Trump, according to three of the country's larger retailers that specialise in selling emergency preparedness.

"The whole industry kind of took a little pause after the election of Trump," said Mr Brandon Garrett, director of marketing at The Ready Store, which sells a range of prep products. "I think everyone was kind of waiting to see what kind of leader he was going to be and where he would take the country." He added that last week, "it kind of seemed that everything picked up".

Prepper companies sell a wide range of wares, from 18.6kg pails of pinto beans and freeze-dried roasted chicken to fire-starter devices and water filters. Mr Keith Bansemer, vice-president of marketing at My Patriot Supply, which sells bulk food, water devices and seeds, said customers have started snapping up its six-month food supplies.

They wanted to do something to feel more secure, he said. By prepping, "you're actually alleviating fear".

NYTIMES

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on August 13, 2017, with the headline 'Americans stocking up on doomsday supplies'. Print Edition | Subscribe