Contrary to conspiracy theorists' fears, the world did not end on Dec. 20 as predicted by the Mayan calendar. But that won't stop companies from capitalizing on the apocalypse! Our partners at LearnVest break down the disaster economy.
Watch out! There's a giant asteroid coming your way!
Just kidding. Maybe.
According to some interpretations of the Mayan calendar, [Dec. 20, 2012, was] supposedly the end of the world. But even if you believe that you'll live to toast a new year, you may be eyeing another apocalyptic scenario on the horizon:
- Economic collapse
- Environmental disaster brought on by global warming (you know, freak snowstorms, hurricanes, and flooding)
- Third World War and/or nuclear holocaust
- Rogue meteor
- The Rapture
- Zombie apocalypse
- We are definitely missing something here . . .
Welcome to the apocalypse economy, which can equip you with everything that you could possibly need to survive in the event that any of the above scenarios happen.
And as with any growing trend, there are entrepreneurs ready to help. What used to be canned food and the occasional Cold War disaster bunker has grown into a multimillion-dollar-a-year disaster economy that can supply you with a year’s worth of organic, freeze-dried food in your luxury bunker.
Seem far-fetched? Not to the people selling and buying these products.
The disaster market is hard to define, since many products needed for emergencies are normal things like flashlights and duct tape. But the owner of the Ready Store, which sells everything from backpacks stuffed with emergency supplies to portable toilets, estimates that this consumer market makes around $500 million annually.
That said, there are essentially two different types of disaster economies: the End-of-the-World sort and the Natural Disaster sort. Let us explain. Head to LearnVest for the full scoop on Apocalypse Inc.
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