LINCOLN CITY — It might have been the 5.3 temblor off Reedsport on July 18, or the spike in global temperatures that researchers now link to growing aggressive and violent behavior, or even the Ebola outbreak in faraway Congo, declared this month to be a “global emergency” after reaching an African city of 2 million people.
Whatever it was, it sent a flood of preppers into Bruce Polvi’s store last Saturday, where buyers squinted down the barrels of large-bore handguns and sniper-worthy rifles, lugged buckets of freeze-dried foods to the cashier and tested the reception on crank-powered emergency radios.
“We’re getting ready for the Big Quake on Aug. 31,” remarked Polvi, owner of Lincoln City Sporting Goods (nee, Electronics Superstore), a lively bazaar of firearms, gun leather, ammo, survival supplies and commo gear — including the walkie-talkies and police scanners we use at the News-Times. “It’s just a rumor, but I won’t deny it. We’re surrounded by ‘swarms’ on all four sides — Washington, Mt. Hood, California and offshore. Be prepared.”
Polvi said this all with the trademark grin of a businessman who has cornered a seductive market that consumers instinctively desire: survival. It’s entirely possible to walk out of his store with a 20-year stock of food, ammo and baseline supplies such as 20,000-gallon filter straws, fire-starters, flashlights and solar gadgets to recharge batteries.
Useful new merchandise is moving rapidly. The cache of 300 .50-caliber ammo cans to store electronic equipment against electromagnetic pulse — a potential result of “errant nukes from North Korea,” Polvi theorized — has been largely reduced, but there remains a good stock of the 4-in-1 emergency tool he argued no homeowner should be without.
Made of a non-sparking alloy, the hammer-like gizmo shuts off gas and water lines, pries open doors and digs into debris.
Polvi, an authority on consumer security systems who tracks earthquakes and crime sprees from his Smartphone, claimed the potential for natural or man-made disasters is real. Local emergency authorities agree, including the Newport Fire Department, which recently purchased 265 one-month food buckets to keep first responders fed during a catastrophe.
Meanwhile, the City of Lincoln City recently turned to Polvi for 5,000 emergency blankets, 5,000 ponchos with body heaters and other life-saving stores for The Day After.
If you hunt or fish, surf or play golf, you’re already a prepper who’s probably got a trunk full of expired snacks, rusting tackle and scarred Titleists rolling amid the jumper cables. With alarming stories all around, it’s time to take stock of your emergency supplies. Open Monday through Saturday, Lincoln City Sporting Goods is at 800 SE Highway 101.