This week I dropped in on Carolina Readiness Supply, located in Waynesville, North Carolina. Carolina Readiness Supply (CRS) was founded by Bill and Jan Sterrett in May 2008, after the gravity of the economic situation of that time became clear to them. At the time, Bill was just beginning to put food and supplies away; it just seemed prudent, but he wasn’t a prepper. The 2008 election cycle only added to the uneasiness Bill was feeling and spurred on his activities. Meanwhile, Jan looked on, unsure of her husband’s new hobby; that is until, as she put it, “Then I read One Second After.” The book changed everything. Soon, Bill cashed in his 401K and turned it into hard commodities and inventory. By July 2010 the store was open.
If you’re like me, when it comes to buying things, you want to touch it, see it, and hold it in your hands; then there is nothing better than having a place like Carolina Readiness Supply nearby. They stock a wide range of products for the prepper/homesteader. I was surprised by their inventory of Aladdin lamps and parts. Better than ordering a new burner and worrying about whether it’s going to fit, you can carry in your old one and make sure.
Unlike a number of stores geared towards the preparedness crowd that focus on “tacticool” stuff. CRS’s focus is on tools and knowledge that will feed you and your family. They carry a vast selection of canning supplies, jars, canners, lids, and rings. All in stock and all competitively priced. In addition to the canning supplies, they carry a substantial line of hand powered appliances to help prepare your harvest for canning.
From quality Lodge cast iron to Morton Kosher salt and butter bells, CRS carries everything a prepper kitchen needs. It was interesting when Bill told me the prices of everything slowly creeps up. Every month, nearly everything he orders increases a fraction of a dollar, but we don’t have inflation in this country, unless you’re buying something. Being a Mountain House (MH) distributor, they carry a substantial line of products in both #10 cans and pouches. The prices are very competitive with those online; and, best of all, if you can get by, no shipping. Even here though, the nonexistent inflation shows up in the slowly rising prices at the wholesale level.
I asked Bill about the shortage of MH foods we recently witnessed. He said from November 2010 to September 2011, the product was nearly impossible to come by. MH sent him and other distributors an interesting letter that essentially said; due to increased demand we will not be able to supply product to 99.9% of our distributors. So think about that statement for a minute. Due to the increased demand of our product, we will not be able to supply it to those that create the demand. So where’d it go? Maybe those rumors of FEMA buying it all up weren’t just rumors after all.
CRS also has a very well stocked prepper library, carrying everything from fiction to how-to manuals. If you’re looking for something to read, they probably have what you’re looking for. One of the primary concerns for Bill and Jan is simply “…to educate people.” They are doing their part to help those around us who do not understand the value in taking responsibility for their lives to wake up and prepare. Bill is also very active politically, letting his Representative and Senator know where he stands on issues.
CRS also hosts prepper expos, the next one is in November. They have a number of classes on everything from canning to ground fighting and include speakers like Dr. Bill Fortschen, author of One Second After; and SouthernPrepper1 of YouTube fame. They work hard inside the community to bring like-minded folks together. It’s that cooperation that will see us through, no one can go it alone.
If you live in North or South Carolina or even eastern Tennessee, drop in on Carolina Readiness Supply. But, I’ll warn you, they carry so much quality gear it could be an expensive proposition. Bill and Jan are wonderful people. Pull a stool up to the counter and chat a while.
Carolina Readiness Supply
72 Montgomery St.
Waynesville, NC 28786