Surplus stores seeing increased business, as nuclear war threat looms

As threat of a nuclear war with North Korea continues to increase, some people in the Valley are already preparing for nuclear attack, with some local surplus stores saying customers have been asking for things like gas masks and radiation detectors.

"15 minutes to total destruction," said Warren Jones, General Manager of the U.S. Surplus Corporation, referring to how much time experts say people have to take cover, once a nuclear weapon is launched in your direction.

For some, a nuclear war is a very real possibility in this day and time.

"Business has increased in the last two weeks, for sure," said Jones. "I got calls for radiation detectors. I have one guy leaving the country. He came in yesterday and bought a bunch of stuff, and is moving to an island."

Jones added, however, that while there's fear, there is no panic.

Just yet.

"If anything happens, there will be a panic," said Jones.

U.S. Surplus Corporation is currently sold out of gas masks and MREs (Meals Ready to Eat). There's still some in stock, however, at Allied Surplus.

"We have gas masks, we have communication devices, we have emergency water here," said Ron Johnson with Allied Surplus.

The last time both shops experienced a spike in nuclear attack survival items was six years ago.

"They were very popular when we had that tsunami in Japan," said Jones.

"People were coming in wanting potassium iodide pills and gas masks and chemical suits and things like that," said Johnson.

Both Jones and Johnson said the important things that families should stock up on are ready-to-eat meals (MREs), water and a water purifier, a handheld radio ,in case cell phone towers are wiped out, a flashlight, and a military compass, in case GPS towers are destroyed.

Another item that local surplus stores plan to restock are potassium iodine tablets. These tablets can help block radioactive iodine from being absorbed by the thyroid, protecting your body from radiation injury.