The Preparedness Expo in Spokane, Washington was an interesting mix of doomsday preppers, survivalists and those just interested in living a more sustainable and decentralized life off of the grid. At the expo, hundreds of display stands staffed by vendors of all kinds of technology including solar energy systems, water purifiers and sustainable food options were diligently patronized by the many attendees at the expo.
The trade show exhibits didn’t only include those selling wares for the survival-minded, however. There were also individuals and organizations putting on trainings and orientations to teach various survival-related skills, such as suturing a wound and finding your way when lost in the wilderness.
The expo drew a large and diverse crowd who, according to the show organizer Nick Meissner, range from those trying to survive the apocalypse to people who are looking to save a little money by making and canning their own food or producing more of their own energy in a sustainable way.
This was reflected by the many display stands which featured everything from calls that the apocalypse is nearing, to those providing information about solar energy solutions. The diversity of trade show exhibits closely mirrored the diversity of attendees at the show and provided a number of products, services and educational opportunities for those wanting to know more about living off the grid and surviving a disaster situation.
Meissner and his wife also live off of the grid (that is to say, not connected to any central utility services or lines) and produce seminars and training videos under the auspices of their business, Sustainable Preparedness. He said that wanting to be more self-sufficient was perfectly normal, especially in an age where trust in government (including disaster agencies like FEMA) is at an all-time low.
This understanding was reflected in the trade show exhibits and display stands that provided all kinds of material and resources for living off-the-grid and surviving a disaster.