SACRAMENTO (CBS13) – Survival gear is flying off the shelves of military surplus stores amidst California wildfires and a global pandemic.
Military Action Surplus in Sacramento typically has $1,000 a week in sales but since March, that number has skyrocketed.
“Once COVID and everything kind of kicked in, that’s when everyone started coming in to pick up survival gear stuff,” Shaun Patrick said.
Patrick says gas masks were the first things to sell out.
“Police using tear gas, people wanted gas masks and then it went from gas masks to MRE’s. People were afraid when SMUD or PG&E cuts the power, people wanted food,” Patrick said.
Patrick says he hasn’t seen anything quite like this. The wildfires, protests, and the global pandemic are causing his customers to panic, something the store has seen before.
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“Before COVID happened, it was ‘ah there’s going to be some massive earthquake and California is going to fall into the ocean’ and we kind of were like, ‘OK believe whatever you want,'” Patrick said.
He says after more than six months of chaos, he understands the panic. But not everyone is in panic mode yet.
“I don’t see any reason to panic at all. I think the same people are panicking now that were buying all the toilet paper at the beginning of the pandemic. It’s ridiculous,” Joe Vahle in Sacramento said.
The California National Guard’s presence in the Sacramento area has also helped to boost business at Action Military Surplus. Employees tell us reservists and guardsmen shop at the store for uniforms or equipment they may need.