The devastating effects of the earthquake and resulting tsunami in Japan have many people considering the what-ifs: What if this happened to me, my home, or my business?
The result is a dramatic increase in interest in earthquake survival kits, according to several businesses that specialize in disaster preparedness.
Christopher McCloy, owner of online retailer Disaster Survival Solutions, typically sees a spike in business following major natural disasters.
In the last week, McCloy said, visits to his website by people seeking survival kits and preparedness information increased tenfold.
“During a normal day, I get about 30 visits to the website,” McCloy said. “Now I am getting 300 to 400 a day.”
McCloy told BusinessNewsDaily that it’s only natural for people to take a hard look at their preparedness following a large-scale catastrophe such as the one brought on by the March 11 quake.
“Given the economic environment, it has been easy for people to push a disaster out of their mind,” McCloy said. “After something like this, everyone realizes they need to have reasonable precautions in place.”
At Earth Shakes, a survival kit store in Burlingame, Calif., owner Suzanne Tateosian said her business is up 5,000 percent since the earthquake.
“We have seen a huge increase,” she said. “We are used to that when a disaster hits.”
The demand has been so intense that some businesses are already letting customers know that delivery of a kit could take a week longer than scheduled.
“We can hardly keep up,” Tateosian said. “We were very fortunate, though, to be well-supplied, so we have been able to service everyone in our stores and take care of our Internet orders.”
The basics in an earthquake survival kit include food, water, first aid supplies, radio, shelter and blanket. Other items may include a hygiene pack, utility knives, gloves, waterproof matches, a siren and a body warmer.
Tateosian advised entrepreneurs to take steps to ensure the future of their own business should it be caught in a disaster.
Those steps include designating an alternative site for operations in case the current business site becomes inaccessible, making sure computer data is properly backed up, and storing all important documents in a fireproof safe.
“You need to have a backup plan if business is interrupted,” Tateosian said. “How will you get your business back up and running?”
Tateosian said kits and plans like these are important even for those outside earthquake danger zones.
“It doesn’t matter what the disaster is,” she said. “These are supplies to support you after any disaster.”