PRESCOTT, AZ - Thousands of miles from the center of the catastrophe in Japan, a small business in Prescott finds itself fielding calls around the clock from those concerned about radiation.
"It's been overwhelming," said Tim Flanegin who operates the website geigercounters.com .
Flanegin, who has been selling geiger counters for the last 12 years, says the vast majority of his clients who buy the devices are mineral prospectors.
Since the disaster in Japan, his clientele has centered around those concerned for their safety over radiation in Japan.
"Most of the orders are coming in from Japan and then a lot of orders from American individuals on the west coast and there's been a greater interest in Europe," said Flanegin during a phone interview Thursday afternoon.
Flanegin, who owns the business, Mineralab, told me he typically sells 1,000 geiger counters per year. Over just the past five days, according to Flanegin, he has sold at least 500.
Due to the extreme demand and high volume of calls, Flanegin has posted a special message on his website telling potential buyers he is suspending orders because he may not be able to fulfill the orders in a timely manner.
"We're just not able to satisfy everybody's immediate need and to keep taking orders at this point wouldn't be fair to anybody," Flanegin said.
Despite the alert, Flanegin said he is continuously fielding calls from around the world, even from some who are willing to wait.
"I almost had to all but shut down the website because the backlogs are getting so great," Flanegin said. "I've never seen anything like it."
Flanegin admits the current situation is not the way he planned to get a lot of business.
"We didn't expect this, nobody expected this."