A Columbus couple have opened a retail store catering to a growing survivalist movement.
Marcus and Pamela Taulman received unanimous approval from the Columbus Board of Zoning Appeals to operate Get Stockpiled at 982 S. Marr Road.
It’s the same building two blocks southwest of State Street where the Taulmans have operated Indiana Custom Machine and Tool since 2004.
Several items being sold at the new store are manufactured on-site by the custom machine shop, which employs about 17 people, according to the company website.
Although the store has been open since March 18, the couple discovered while requesting a sign permit that they needed city approval to operate a retail store at the location, Pamela Taulman said.
City ordinances require a variance for any retail store to operate in an area zoned for heavy industries, she said.
Sometimes called preppers, about 3.7 million Americans identify themselves as part of the survivalist movement.
“It’s not about zombies crawling out during an apocalypse,” store manager Branden Labiak said. “We’re attempting to break those stigmas.”
Instead, the store caters to people who practice outdoor survival skills as a sport or hobby, he said.
Get Stockpiled also sells a variety of sporting goods, including hunting and fishing items, for outdoor enthusiasts, Labiak said.
“They just want to go out, rough it for a few days and enjoy practicing their skills,” said Labiak, who says his store largely targets what’s called the bush-crafting lifestyle.
The rise in the number of preppers can be partially attributed to the popularity of survivalist television programs since “Survivor” debuted on CBS in 2000, Labiak said.
Economic collapse, electric grid failure and natural disasters — such as Columbus’ 2008 flood — are reasons why survivalists have concerns about the future, national polls show.
“During the Great Depression, people were very reliant on themselves,” Labiak said. “But if we had it to do it again, would we have the skills to get through uncertain conditions?”
Since the premiere of the American reality show “Survivor” in 2000, at least a dozen other television shows are considered survival entertainment, including:
- “Survivorman,” 2004
- “Man vs. Wild,” 2006
- “The Colony,” 2009
- “Man, Woman, Wild,” 2010
- “Dual Survivor,” 2010
- “Doomsday Preppers,” 2012
- “Naked & Afraid,” 2013
- “Doomsday Castle,” 2013
- “Lost Survivors,” 2013
- “Marooned with Ed Stafford,” 2013
- “Survival Live,” 2014
- “Alone,” 2015
What: Get Stockpiled
Where: 982 S. Marr Road
Open: Weekdays from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m., and on Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.