How Emergency Kits Became a Billion Dollar Industry

By: James Flippin · August 29, 2023 · Reading Time: 2 minutes

Retail Readiness

Americans are paying up to be better prepared for crisis situations, including extreme weather events, which are becoming more frequent.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency, or FEMA, recommends preparing for emergency events by keeping an assembled disaster supply kit at hand. Seeing the gap in the market, companies are jumping in to satisfy this need.

Ready-made kits complete with everything necessary for a crisis — from gauze and bandages to waterproof matches and protein bars — are now a booming industry. Whether a simple first-aid kit or bug-out bag fit for a zombie apocalypse, emergency preparations are a hot commodity.

Weather or Not

The broader emergency preparation industry is booming as well. One of the largest providers of emergency kits, Ready America, has seen an 83% increase in business from 2017 to 2022. In the week leading up to Tropical Storm Hilary, the company reported a 350% increase in emergency backpack sales, and a 2,300% uptick in emergency power station sales.

People want peace of mind — and they’re willing to pay for it.

Preparedness Pays

The global survival tool market is already a billion-dollar giant. Now it’s set to grow by another 7% per year, and expected to exceed $2 billion within the next decade.

But the most important preparations won’t cost nearly as much as the survival kits: Making emergency plans with your children and family, regularly reviewing them, and training in basic first aid and CPR may be just as valuable as a shiny new tool or fancy dehydrated meal.

A disaster backpack loaded with the essentials might give you peace of mind, but it’s only one piece of the emergency puzzle.

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