A thermonuclear war, a zombie virus outbreak, or an alien invasion — whatever may arrive, the world population will most likely deplete by less than half. Due to this deadly possibility, many people struggle to figure out on how they can live through the harshest times. If a catastrophe that can eradicate humanity happens today, did you prepare enough to survive?

Most likely, 2018 will pass without any of these things happening. Then again, most likely it’ll pass without you having a traffic accident – but you still pay for car insurance. If I’m ready to cope with any of the things I fear most in the coming year I’ll also be able to handle anything else that goes wrong, and that’s what prepping is all about.

Still, these extraterrestrial-looking foodstuffs seem to be having something of a moment: For the past four years, Costco has been selling pallets of shriveled vegetables, fruits, grains, and meats that promise to feed a single family for up to a year—and if you’re not a member, you can purchase similar survival kits, many of which boast a 20- to 30-year shelf life, at Walmart and Target. One top seller, Wise Company, saw its sales nearly double over the past four years, reaching around $75 million, according to a Bloomberg Businessweek cover story last November. The company’s CEO, Jack Shields, told me he estimates the industry as a whole generates between $400 and $450 million annually in retail.
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