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Ohioans trying to buy emergency food supplies for possible coronavirus outbreak are finding they’re not alone

Some survivalist websites claim order volumes are 100 times higher than normal.
Survivalist websites have seen a crush of people ordering food and water supplies over fears of...
Survivalist websites have seen a crush of people ordering food and water supplies over fears of a coronavirus outbreak in the U.S.(Source: Survival Frog)
Updated: Feb. 27, 2020 at 1:32 PM EST
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CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) -The threat of a coronavirus outbreak in the United States has some Ohioans purchasing survivalist food and water supplies.

Companies that sell things like freeze dried food that can last for 25 years, are being inundated with orders.

Norm Giroux, of Barberton, and his wife, wanted to be prepared after seeing situations in China and Italy where authorities have closed access to entire communities.

“I see that many cities, towns are quarantine and not much is getting in, so that was my main reason to order some survival food,” Giroux said.

One of the more popular sites for survivalist supplies is Survival Frog.

“If you are in an area of quarantine you may not be able to leave your house for several weeks,” Byron Walker said, CEO of Survival Frog. “Having a few months supply of long-term food storage is a good idea at anytime, but when something like this may hit the U.S. the motivation spikes and people are buying up supplies.”

Giroux was getting frustrated when he found several sites he was shopping on were sold out of many items.

He ended up ordering a three month supply of food for nearly $800 from a company called My Patriot Supply.

The website for that company has a disclaimer explaining there are delays before you even order, under the title, “Rising Global Concerns over the Coronavirus or COVID-19.”

“Demand for our storable food product remains near 100X normal volume,” the site claims. “These are unprecedented times. Shipping WILL be delayed on many orders, potentially 6 weeks or more in rare cases.”

Whether it’s good marketing ploy or fact, in Giroux’s confirmation email it said, “For orders being delayed, it’s taking 28 days to ship.”

Survival Frog is also seeing a surge, especially in the past two weeks.

“We’ve seen an overall increase of 50% in sales in 2020, most of that is with food sales,” Walker said. “Since the CDC made their gloomy predictions earlier this week, we’ve seen a huge spike in food sales, more than doubling previous sales patterns. We speak with our customers often and they have said their purchase was caused in part by coronavirus."

“My biggest fear is just that thing may come to a halt, lots of things,” Giroux explained about why he ordered. “I want my wife and I to be as ready as we can. It may be in two weeks or two months, but who knows!”

Giroux’s order is a three month supply for one person that includes 864 servings of breakfast, lunch and dinner packed in six five gallon buckets.

He expects the supply to last the two of them around a month and a half.

Whether it’s coronavirus or a natural disaster the experts advise people to be prepared.

“Having food and clean drinking water is critical,” Walker said. “Water filter sales have also seen in increase at Survival Frog. Its important to have items in your house that allow you to “bug-in” for two to four weeks and still be comfortable. This means comfort food, drinks, medication, and even entertainment. We are also selling a lot of back up solar power devices and radios.”

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