Natural disasters are popularizing disaster preparedness.

In a year beginning with a devastating earthquake in Japan and (almost) concluding with a superstorm in the U.S., a cottage industry of disaster preparedness tools and technologies for individuals is popping up. Shortly after the Fukushima earthquake and tsunami, Sony Japan introduced a wind-up cellphone charger (with two USB ports) for charging in the wake of outages; Japan’s SoftBank now offers a phone with built-in radiation detection. Hawaiian engineering firm Oceanit recently created an app to help people catalog property in case of a disaster.  And both a Chinese inventor and an Australian have come up with “survival pods,” designed to protect people from earthquakes and/or tsunamis.

Meanwhile, sales of survivalist goods are growing. “Business is booming this year for companies that sell survival gear, freeze-dried food and underground bunkers as concerns grow over an economic collapse, natural disasters or a doomsday,” reports The Wall Street Journal. Sam’s Club and SurviveDisaster.com put together packages positioning survivalist tools as perfect holiday gifts—though it seems the Mayans didn’t actually predict the world would end tomorrow after all.

Image credit: SurviveDisaster.com