Emergency Preparedness Market Size
While no preexisting statistics for the emergency preparedness market exist, we were able to triangulate a ballpark estimate based on available information. The size of the emergency preparedness market in the US for 2017 was in the region of $4.94 billion. Breakdown of the market by the categories of water storage and filtration, tools and equipment, transportation, and shelter was not available however one estimate for emergency food supplies was located, of $400 million. Through our research, we were able to identify growth in the US emergency preparedness market, with an increase in revenue experienced by suppliers of emergency preparedness products following the most recent election and when international disputes hit the headlines, such as between the US and North Korea.
Below you'll find an outline of our research methodology to better understand why information you've requested is publicly unavailable, the underlying calculation for our estimate and limitations of the data used, as well additional helpful findings.
Our search for market data on the US emergency preparedness market included market research reports, industry websites and trusted media articles. Based on the examples of market players provided, we took this to be the retail market selling to US individual consumers rather than any corporate or government spending on preparation for natural disaster or other emergency situation. Although there were many media reports on the growing number of Americans making purchases to prepare them in an emergency or apocalypse-type situation, very little information on revenue generated by this market was available, and no market research report focused on this sector has been published online. This is likely due to the fact that the market players are private companies and therefore not obliged to publish revenue figures, along with the emergency preparedness market being fairly new and therefore not yet studied or researched in depth. There are numerous websites dedicated to providing information to individuals looking to prepare themselves for an emergency situation, but these tend to provide opinion-based articles with limited reliable hard data. We were able to find useful insights in our review of media articles, and one survey was located that provides the basis for our estimate.
Based on available data, we have estimated the size of the emergency preparedness market in the US in 2017 as around $4.94 billion. This triangulation uses information from a survey conducted October 2017 by market research firm Pureprofile of 2,000 Americans, the only research on the topic that was located. This survey focused on “doomsday preppers”, which is analogous to those who are preparing for an emergency situation. The survey found that over 1 in 4 “have purchased survival gear on the back of recent political events or natural circumstances”, or over 68 million Americans. Of those who were preparing for an emergency, “36.35% spent up to $400 on survival kits in the past 12 months”. Unfortunately, the published results do not provide any further breakdown of amounts spent, except by breaking out various demographic characteristics of buyers. Finder.com, which commissioned and published the research, does not define what a survival kit contains, but having reviewed the types of emergency supplies offered by the example retailers it is likely that they include long shelf-life food, water storage and filtration devices, and tools and equipment. It is unclear whether transportation and shelter specifically for emergency situations are included. Because the $400 is a maximum amount, with no indication of how this spending of up to $400 is distributed, we have taken a simple midpoint of $200 as the typical spend. Although there is no evidence from the survey that this is the average spend, based on prices quoted for emergency supplies, such $19.99 for food supplies designed to last only 72 hours from Wise Company, this figure does not seem to be overstated or unreasonable. Due to lacking available information, this triangulation is intended to provide only a rough, ballpark estimate.
36.35% x 68,000,000 Americans = 24,718,000 Americans purchased supplies for survival kits in 2017
24,718,000 x $200 = $4.94 billion spent on survival kit supplies in 2017
OTHER HELPFUL FINDINGS
The Pureprofile research did not provide any breakdown by category of item, using only an all-inclusive “survival kit” term. Bloomberg recently published an article which centered on the CEO of Wise Company, which reported that “only 2 percent of Americans have bought into survival foods”, a figure which is a lot lower than the 25% using survival kit supplies based on the Pureprofile survey. This suggests there is still ample growth in the survival food market, in order for those preparing for a potential emergency to acquire adequate nutritional supplies, as The New Yorker reported that 40% of Americans “believed that stocking up on supplies or building a bomb shelter was a wiser investment than a 401(k)”. Although a figure for the emergency food market revenue was not determined, the revenue of Wise Company was reported as around $75 million, and their CEO estimated that the survival food sales market was $400 million. In 2017, Business Insider reported on the growth in sales of companies that sell emergency preparation supplies, with both My Patriot Supply and Doomsday Prep experiencing a surge in orders following the election. And according to the New York Times, when the US President made comments about North Korea last year, this triggered a spike in sales at Emergency Essentials suggesting that the market is very sensitive to sociopolitical factors. Although the Pureprofile research reported on Americans who had spent up to $400 on emergency survival supplies, it appears from media articles that there is a subsection of individuals spending significantly more than this. The New York Post reported on an individual in Nevada who claimed he had “spent between $150,000 and $200,000 stocking up on supplies, including two years’ worth of medical equipment, food and water”. Indeed, according to the New Yorker, tech millionaires and billionaires are amongst those spending money on emergency preparedness, fearing “a backlash against Silicon Valley, America’s second-highest concentration of wealth.” The article features a number of tech execs such as the current CEO and former CEO of Reddit, former Yahoo exec and former Facebook exec amongst others. As they detail the kind of purchases they make to be prepared for an emergency, including second homes in New Zealand and helicopters, it is clear that they exceed the $400 threshold set by the Pureprofile survey. However, as their number is small relative to the 68 million Americans who are currently served by the emergency preparedness market, it is likely not significant enough to skew the market size.
Although limited information exists regarding the total emergency preparedness market in the US, it appears that the market for emergency food, water storage and filtration, and tools and equipment is in the region of $4.94 billion based on triangulation of available data.