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In opening the business, Broome is tapping not only into a growing market but also a cultural movement. Preppers believe a local or global-scale emergency is imminent and take active steps to prepare for the eventuality of disaster. Water-filtration straws line the shelves alongside military combat boots, an assortment of vacuum-packed gardening seeds and instruction manuals on booby traps and explosives, right below a military edition of the Bible. He markets to sports enthusiasts, campers and people taking preemptive steps in case a devastating local or global-scale emergency strikes.
By specializing in survival inventory and not just military supplies, Broome, a retired U.S.
Broome started prepping for the worst just before Y2K, when fears were rampant that a computer virus would shut down global computer networks on Jan. Nothing did, and Broome’s prepping activities stalled until the past four years when he said concerns about natural disasters and economic collapse convinced him to gather more necessities and secure a safe house in the mountains.
It’s a practice that has made for interesting television, but some members of the prepper community say their lifestyle is not as extreme as mass media would make it appear.
An August survey by the Federal Emergency Management Agency shows that 50 percent of American families have not discussed or developed an emergency plan in the event of a disaster.

Martin said social media and global news networks have increased awareness of the propensity for a catastrophe. Preppers Paradise in a nearby suburb has been open for more than a year, and military-supply shops like Affordable Knife Shop and SRI Gear appear in online searches for prepper stores in the city. Interest in prepping is growing, attracting people willing to spend money to store food or learn survival tips, said John Hulme, who organizes the annual Self Reliance Expo, a traveling convention of disaster preparedness speakers, presentations and companies. The expo, which began in 2010, attracts 80 to 100 vendors and 4,000 to 5,000 people each year, Hulme said. That demand drives Broome to spend at least $1,000 at military bases and warehouses to stock the store at least every two months.
Broome believes Charlotte has a very large prepping community, mainly comprised of people concerned about an economic nosedive.
Visiting Ready Reserve gives you the opportunity to inspect the items in the store before purchasing. It may not be a surprise that guns are selling well, but a new demographic is getting credit for an increase in sales at one store.
Mark's Outdoors in Vestavia Hills says that hand gun sales are up 100 percent over this time last year as well as sales for rifles, shotguns and assault rifles.

Smith says of course there are other factors involved but she says you can't leave out the preppers. This survivalist lifestyle is becoming so popular Mark's Outdoors even has a special survival kit. Randy Yerkes says there's everything from water filtration systems to flashlights hand warmers and more in the kit. You’ll find stun guns and pepper spray but no guns, said Broome, who wants to keep his shop family-friendly. But Broome insists he’s different, moving beyond just providing military garb and weaponry. And while some may think preppers are crazy Mark's Outdoors just sees them as people getting prepared for anything. For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy, and Terms of Service, and Ad Choices.

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