Costco is helping out both doomsday preppers, and those just interested in stocking up in case of a disaster.
The major wholesale retailer has rolled out three emergency kits – costing $1,000, $3,999.99 and $5,999.99.
The cheapest option has a one-year supply of food and is made up of nearly 100 1-gallon cans of wheat, rice, granola, apples, bananas, peaches, strawberries, potatoes, carrots, beans, onions, corn, beef, chicken, milk, sugar and salt. The cans have 6,200 servings of food and will last up to 25 years.
The more expensive kits provide food for larger families for one-year – for groups of four and more.
The company gave little details about the popularity of the kit, but said in an e-mail to the Free Press, “The idea came about making a great starter kit for a family who wanted to prepare for any kind of disaster. This is a great value with shipping included."
Retail expert Ken Dalto expained that after a series of hurricanes that devastated United States’ southern region, and increased fear around North Korea, more people may be looking to stock up on nonperishable items.
"You have hurricanes [Harvey, Irma and Maria]. You saw what that did," Dalto told the Free Press. "You add to that climate change, and terrorism, and the idea of nuclear war, which is very much in the news with North Korea, and they can develop a missile that might be able to hit California — even Seattle.”
Other retailers — including Walmart.com — have started to offer emergency kits, but for much shorter durations like one day to a week, and typically offer more portability. Wise Food’s five-day kit comes packed in a bag for easy transport.
Concrete numbers of how many people are purchasing these kits are not known yet, but with more stores offering this service it seems like the demand is increasing.
The emergency food and supplies are all available Costco members on the company’s website.