Stashed away in a cold room in the dark basement of my childhood home was something truly terrifying: my family's food storage. My mother collected dozens of two-liter bottles filled with water (mixed with a little bit of bleach to keep it ... fresh?). She also had giant bags full of rotting wheat, beans and rice, and containers filled with mysteries I hoped never to dispel.
Childhood memories of bleachy-water and weevil-infested flour (and the decades-old gooey cherries that my grandmother had canned) completely dispelled any interest I had in food storage or the larger issue of emergency preparedness. No thanks, I thought, I'd rather die in the apocalypse.
But food storage is not what it used to be. And I realize this is not news to most of you--Utah has been at the forefront of long-term food storage for a very long time. Indeed, after the apocalypse, when most Americans will be foraging for cockroaches and grass, Utah families will be dining on freeze-dried lasagna and apple crisp, sipping fresh water from their state-of-the-art filtration systems and powering their homes with solar-powered backup generators.
In his feature, In Case of Emergency, writer John Coon takes a look at the emergency preparedness industry that has flourished in the Beehive State. With products ranging from storage containers to the latest high-tech gadgets to an increasingly delicious array of foods to stash away (and, this is true, concrete bunkers), Utah's emergency prep companies are finding a growing consumer base across the country. In fact, one company, The Ready Project, says that only 1...