Silicon Valley entrepreneur Julie Fredrickson remembers clearly the moment she decided to become a “prepper” – somebody who prepares for the worst-case scenario.

It was late October 2012 and Hurricane Sandy had just hit New York. “There was a large, almost phosphorescent flash and that was the main power plant that powered all of lower Manhattan going out.


“There was this bright, other-wordly eerie green and then everything just went black,” she says.


She was left scrabbling in the dark in her high-rise New York apartment feeling cut-off and terrified. “I realised I wasn’t prepared for even very basic things, I didn’t have enough water, I didn’t have a radio to listen to emergency broadcasts, and I never wanted to experience that again.”

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