For Doomsday Preppers, the End of the World Is Good for Business


“Clearly, when something happens in the world like North Korea right now, it is on people’s minds,” Mr. Sullivan said. “It just causes them to rethink where they stand in the event of war, in the event of job loss, in the event of a natural disaster.”

Not every company in the prepper industry has seen an uptick. Joe Marshall, managing editor of Survival Life, a website that supports an online retail operation and the Banana Bay Tactical shop in Austin, Tex., said it was too soon to see an impact on sales.

“The truth is, there’s been some chatter,” he said, “but for most of our people, they’re already preparing.”

Google searches for “prepper” hit their highest level in a month on Tuesday, while searches for “survivalism” neared a high last reached in July, according to Google Trends, a site from the technology giant that shows what users have been researching.

Keith Bansemer, vice president of marketing at My Patriot Supply, which sells bulk food, water devices and seeds, said customers have started snapping up the company’s six-month food supplies. They wanted to do something to feel more secure, he explained.

By prepping, “you’re actually alleviating fear,” Mr. Bansemer said.

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