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Crisis preparedness surges as 2020 looms

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Riot police readying for Berkeley’s ‘Free Speech Week’ … Google images, Pax Ahimsa Gethen

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Op-ed views and opinions expressed are solely those of the author.

It’s no coincidence that as the maniacally unbalanced left loses any remaining connection with reality, the crisis-preparedness market segment is undergoing a vigorous surge in sales, with expectations that the sky is the limit as we head into 2020.

Unhinged anger on the part of progressives is blasting an ever-widening chasm between the violently virtuous hard left and everyone else. Of course, presidential election years are almost always divisive and contentious, but it’s clear to all that 2020 promises to provide the mother of all red vs. blue mayhem.

As a result, more and more observers are acting on the truism that “There are two ways to sleep well at night … be ignorant or be prepared.”

Update from preparedness industry insiders

For purposes of transparency, this scribe was, before retiring, a recognized prepping guru, marketplace trailblazer, and successful business leader in the area of crisis preparedness. Happy to take advantage of my contacts in the industry, I can report that multiple sources confirm a rising sales trend across the marketplace, at a time of year when typically sales drop off in advance of the holidays.

“We are definitely seeing a growing trend in sales,” said one long-time executive at a major preparedness retailer who was not authorized by company owners to comment. “Month over month, sales are increasing. Our sales are normally slow in the fall but this year we’re seeing continued growth — long-term storage food and water purification being the real sales leaders.”

That company also offers underground bunkers for sale. “Shelter demand is higher than I have ever seen,” he said. “I’m not talking about storm shelters … customers are looking for WW3 type bunkers … high tech, top security, and enough space for extended family.”

A spokesman for another preparedness company, Safecastle.com, said: “Our sales have been up about 10 percent … we expect to see a [further] increase in sales in January and February.”

“We are definitely seeing preparedness sales picking up,” said Dmytro Shkarovetskyy of MRE Wholesalers.com, a company offering emergency food of all types, not only MREs. “Just to put it in perspective, our sales DOUBLED from August to September, and … [revenues have been] gradually growing since then. We definitely expect sales to continue going up, even though November/December are typically slow months for us. But this year everything is different.”

Shkarovetskyy mentioned that he is seeing not only a jump in retail sales but also an increase in dealer inquiries, perhaps the best indicator that recognition of growing demand in the market segment is wide and deep.

“The 2020 election is something all brands should be looking at,” advised Josh Wark, brand manager at Oregon Freeze Dry, Inc. (OFD), the leading freeze dryer in North America. “The future of our country is uncertain. Who will be president, who will control Congress, and what will the world look like after the next election cycle? There will be an increased demand for storage food during this time.”

It’s worth noting that past major events goosed demand for emergency food in the past and actually emptied supply lines and food warehouses in short order, such as after Hurricane Katrina. So as the word “preparedness” connotes, planning and investing rather than being in reactive mode and coming up empty is the point of getting ahead of the herd.

Huge jump in the FBI’s NICS firearm checks

One eye-opening data point in a related market suggesting growing political concerns among Americans includes a huge jump in the FBI’s NICS firearm check numbers. Year-to-date, 2019 NICS checks are up by a staggering 48 percent over 2018. An increase of more than 5.2 million NICS checks were run this year between January and October, compared with the same period last year.

Gun dealers are required by law to use the National Instant Criminal Background Check System to verify that a firearm customer is eligible to make a purchase. A single NICS check is required per purchase, whether the customer is buying one gun or multiple firearms, but the NICS numbers are the closest measure available of firearm sales across the country.

Liberals increasingly getting prepared

Awareness and independent thinking have largely been the domain of conservatives, so it’s no wonder that preppers by and large come from the right and center of the political spectrum.

However, reports from those in the know indicate more and more progressives are actively taking up crisis preparedness.

Using one general measure, “Blue states such as California, Illinois, and Washington are seeing the strongest growth in new-customer numbers,” according to an anonymous business manager.

As for OFD, Wark said: “What we’re seeing is that conservatives still make up a large portion of our prepper consumer set, but we are seeing more left-leaning consumers begin preparing. The increase in liberal prepping is driven by political uncertainty as well as the obvious impact of climate change coupled with resource scarcity.”

On the ground, most people across the political spectrum know that where we each have the most control over our own futures is right at home and in our personal approach to potential opportunities and risks.

Be assured that you’re not alone if you are thinking it would be prudent at this point to lay up some extra supplies, storage food, and that firearm you’ve had your eye on for a while, not to mention some extra ammo. Perhaps the best peace of mind available to us is knowing we are as ready as we can be for worst-case scenarios.

Victor Rantala

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