EUGENE, Ore. – A promotional video with the narrator sounding like the late actor Charles Bronson explains: “This is how it will go when the ‘End Times’ comes;” while, at the same time, this storage unit that’s also dubbed a “survival store,” in the blue-collar section of Eugene is “doing booming business,” says the owner who sells such things as water filtration and storage devices, home heating fuels and backup generators, special first aid kits that includes a “minor surgery” kit and lots of guns.
“Folks are scared. They know the ‘End Times’ are coming. They believe that. And, I sell them supplies,” explains Ken, the proprietor whose also a very proud Vietnam War veteran decked out in a faded camouflage Army uniform.
“You take water. We won a lot of fights when the enemy exhausted their water supply. When the end comes, you will need water,” says the veteran who handles his job with composed confidence.
In turn, the Charles Bronson sounding narrator of this survival marking video goes on to explain “what happens after a nuclear missile knocks out communications? What happens when grocery stores and banks close? What happens when you can’t get gas to run your cars and trucks? What happens when your lights go out for good?”
For survivalists such as Ken and others who frequent this storage until “survival store,” the end times are at hand and a new era of looting and lawless society will emerge.
“We’re already seeing folks siphoning fuel from vehicles around town. There’s people breaking into homes just to get food and other supplies. This is survival, man, and it’s serious as a heart attack,” quips Ken with eyes squinted with amusement.
Ken, who was laid off back in 2008 at the height of the recession as a logging “rigger,” is still upset, it seems, at the “machine” that he says “runs America.”
One of Ken’s long-time survivalist customers, Paula, concurs.
“I stopped using credit cards a long time ago. What we deal in is hard cash, silver, gold coins and even guns in a barter system. If you’re not into this way of doing business when the end times comes, you will be toast,” says Paula, who also wears the signature camouflaged military shirt and pants.
Overall, the focus for these end times survivalists is to prepare for a time in the near future when modern industrialized society will crumble in the wake of a nuclear bomb attack or similar catastrophe that will make such things as the Internet and cyberspace moot with no power or even people to operate modern systems.
More realistically, adds Ken, “we’re seeing this recession becoming a regular part of life. This depression, as we call it, has forced people to live like it really is the End Times.”