The Heart of Emergency Preparedness: An interview with the founder of Extreme Food Storage
If you’ve visited very many survival and preparedness blogs, no doubt you’ve seen dozens of ads in the sidebars. Ads for food storage companies, survival seed companies, and “survival” companies of all kinds. With National Preparedness Month bringing many of these companies to the forefront, I thought you might be interested to know how one of them, Extreme Food Storage, operates.
I spoke with Bryan McLaren, founder and owner of Extreme Food Storage, and asked him how and why he started his company. He told me, “I first realized the importance of being prepared for an emergency a couple of years ago. We are originally from New Jersey, and that year a hurricane came up from the south and slammed us. We were without power and my father is a diabetic.”
“We had no food, the water was shut off, gas stations were closed, and there we sat with our two small children. We didn’t even know where we could go to get the supplies we needed. Sitting around for a week with only candles as our light source I began to feel, well, not very intelligent. I had no way to protect my own family and realized that we weren’t prepared for anything!”
“That experience has stayed with me and was how our business began. My wife and I thought, why don’t we start a business where we focus strictly on families and sell the products that we would want to use. And, I should say that we actually use the same products that we sell.”
I asked Bryan for his assessment of our current status as a nation and was impressed with the amount of empathy in his voice when he said, “Real families are out there hurting. You can hear the fear in their voices, and it’s disconcerting. I’ve been paying attention to the drought and it’s similar to that during the Dust Bowl of the 1930′s.”
“However, we’re not into the business of fear. Fear is the #1 thing that does a great job of selling. We want to be the company that is there to help families. We let them know that we’re a real, normal family. Once, we weren’t prepared at all; now we are. Our company gives information and helps people become as prepared as they want to be.”
So what are people buying from Extreme Food Storage?
“It depends on the category. We sell a lot of Jerry cans and water storage products. Lindon Farms foods are a big seller. People like that it doesn’t contain MSG or other additives. The Grab and Go buckets are popular. People are also focused on the Guide 10 Plus Adventure Kit. It’s an amazing, tiny product that’s a miniature solar panel. You can plug things into it, like a GPS, cell phone, or other electronics, and it’s portable. It sells for $125, and a lot of our friends have asked this for a gift because it can be used now as well as in future emergencies.”
Most families are on very tight budgets, so I asked Bryan what would be the best way to spend $500 on emergency supplies.
“Everyone needs food. We like the buckets because you have the ability to open them up and close them, taking out only the amount of meals you need. I would include a water purification system. The Lifesavers are good because you purify and store water in the same container. Add a basic survival kit, one for home and for your vehicles and a hand-crank radio that’s also solar powered. We carry one that has a port for charging iPhones.”
Bryan is an example of a small business owner who founded his business based on personal experience and the desire to help others. In every case, when you buy products from advertisers on this blog, these are the types of businesses you’re helping to support — good people with a heart for helping others.
© 2012, The Survival Mom. All rights reserved.