If a natural disaster, terrorist attack, or other unforeseen apocalypse hits the US, doomsday preppers will be ready. They have already been stockpiling food, buying water filters, and hatching escape plans
— in some cases for years.
Recently, preppers seem to have found another reason for concern: Donald Trump’s election. At least a handful of American prepping supply companies have seen spikes in sales since Election Day.
My Patriot Supply, an Idaho-based emergency supplies company, doubled its online sales during the week of Inauguration Day compared to the same week in 2016, marketing VP Keith Bansemer tells Business Insider. In the three months leading up to Election Day, it also experienced triple the normal amount of sales.
“Nationwide, we were working non-stop in shifts around the clock,” Bansemer says.
The company handles online orders from both blue and red states in rural and urban areas. But there has been a huge sales surge in cities since the election, including Boston, St. Louis, and Dallas, where customers often express worry that they won’t be able to reach a grocery store during a crisis, Bansemer says.
Recently, My Patriot Supply’s most popular items have been two-week and four-week food kits as well as water filtration systems. The food kits — which contain comfort foods like pizza and soups are customer favourites — don’t expire for 20 years.
Doomsday Prep, which has a storefront in Georgia, also noticed increases in online orders around Election Day and Inauguration Day, owner David Sanders tells BI. Since the election, it has seen more than a 15% growth in year-over-year sales, especially in products like pre-packaged meals, first aid kits, and evacuation bags.
Trump’s election has caused some to feel more fear according to Bansemer, which he believes has persuaded more people to start prepping.
“I often hear ‘I don’t know what’s going on anymore,’ ‘everything seems to be changing,’ ‘this is not good, so I think I need to be able to protect myself,’ or ‘I’m not going to depend on the government if there’s a threat,'” he says.
When talking with Doomsday Prep customers, Sanders says many feel more worried about the economy.
“Economic collapse is a real and looming scenario that we’ve seen more and more American’s prepare for,” he says.
Bansemer predicts that prepping is only going to become more mainstream over the next four years. Everyone from from middle-aged mums to Silicon Valley’s super-rich shop at My Patriot Supply. The other day, a wealthy tech executive ordered four one-year food kits, which each includes 1,800 servings. The order totaled $7,000.
“Prepping used to be something a few people did — end-of-the-world doomsday types — and didn’t tell anybody,” Bansemer says. “That’s not who’s calling. I have more mothers trying to protect their families that you would think.”