Mixing a brew of biblical prophecies, the Hebrew calendar, a volatile economy, world politics, a reported near-death experience and astronomical occurrences, hordes of Utahns have become convinced that calamitous events are imminent — maybe by month’s end — and are taking every precaution. They are called “preppers” and are buying up food-storage kits, flashlights, blankets and tents. Some are even bracing to leave their homes — if need be. At American Fork’s Thrive Life, which sells mostly freeze-dried food, sales have shot up by “500 percent or more in the past couple of months,” says customer- service representative Ricardo Aranda.

“There is a sense of urgency, like something is up. A lot of people are mentioning things about September, like a financial collapse.” Jordan Jensen, a salesman at Emergency Essentials, said his Bountiful store has been “crazy busy, sales up by definitely a large amount.” Those 72-hour emergency kits are “almost impossible to keep on the shelves,” Jensen says, “and we get a shipment every day.” A lot of customers, he says, believe “this is the month it will all happen — with a ‘blood moon’ and a currency collapse and everything.” FULL REPORT