Prepper’s are fruit loops

You’d probably read worse if you’re that bored that you want to read the comments attached to “Prepping” articles published online by the gutter press and lifestyle magazines.

Read some sort of cobblers often provided by a “Prepper” with a commercial interest in selling stuff, stick a picture up of a silly person who volunteered to pose in their local nature reserve with a BB gun for national TV and you’ve stitched the movement/sub-culture right up.

I’m a survivalist and even I think those people ARE fruit loops.

Then we have our special language so we sound all tacticooool and ally.  BOB, BOV, Bugging in, Bugging out etc, etc.

I’ve even seen “preppers” on YT saying stuff like – “I’m off to repair my B – O – V…”  Makes me cringe.  Why not just say – “I’m off to repair my car…”

Even amongst ourselves we seem to have problems understanding what “Bugging out or bugging in means”  Why can’t we keep it simple?

EG – I’m staying put or I’m evacuating?

I’ll add more once I’ve stopped shaking my head and giggling at some of the stuff that make us look daft.

Dark Vengeance

Getting started – Part 5 Water by Ludvick

So here we are going to start to diversify into Guy’s preparedness and start to look at individual topics with a little more detail. The information here is the start; you need to research the rest for better details.

Guy when he tried to research this subject suffered from brain overload and melt down. I shall try to split it down for you from water as a whole.

Water as a topic is very easy. It’s two chemical items mixed together and we are a bag of skin with 70% water inside it. That’s all you need to know!!

Where it gets confusing is the fact we use so much of it.

Drinking water, washing water, flushing water, medical water. Car and house water, sea water and so on. Loads of things need water and so do we. Some of them, however, we can live without – like cholera for instance.

As people who prepare what we need to do is to look at three separate water items. Clean drinking water. Dirty water for everything else and getting rid of water we don’t want.

Now some of the details to follow are not very technical so sorry Guy, your brain overload is not quite over, but we will see what we can do about it.

Clean water

· What is clean water

· How to clean water

· How to store water

· How much do we really need

Dirty water

· What it is

· Where it’s from

· And where to get rid of it

Unwanted water

So now we have a few items to follow let’s start at the basics.

We in the UK are extremely lucky and one of the few countries of the world where tap water is safe to drink. We have never had to worry about clean water and, apart from the odd hose pipe ban in the summer and odd burst water main, we are pretty well water-secure.

In the UK most of our water is collected from rain water holding reservoirs and then filtered and treated and pumped into the mains or it comes from underground water sources. Apart from paying the water bill once a year that’s it. There are some locations where people have stayed on their own well or spring water systems and are self reliant on their supplies but we will talk about that later on.

We can also go to many shops and buy it very cheaply on average; 5litres for a £1 unless you want fancy water which is more.

So the average family will use around 500 litres of water a day; showers, baths, drinking, toilet flushing and so on. What we need to do is to split this amount first to what we need and what we need cleaned. An average person uses 7 litres a day for drinking and face /hand washing and cooking the other 143 litres a day allowance is for showers and toilets. That’s a lot of pure drinking water wastage. We need to be looking at producing 7 litres a day for each family person per day every day; for Guy’s family of four that’s 28 litres. We can either do this in one hit once a week or a small amount every day. To find a small pump that filters 2 litres an hour is very cheap so I suggest Guy looks down that route rather than 1,000 litres once a week in several hours.

We now need to see how to clean the water.

First off how clean is clean?

Start with normal rain water. Well, after it’s washed the entire bird poop off the roof, cleaned the gutters and fallen through all the pollution in the sky into our rain water tank full of bird-dirty water, drinking from water butts is not that safe.

We need to filter all the solids out first and after that we need to filter out all the nasties left behind.

Solids are out once we get a filter that is marked at 15 to 5 microns. Now that’s microns of a millimetre so we are talking here way past our eye skills and into tiny, tiny things.

At 5 microns we are taking every thing out apart from the bacteria and virus and stomach turning over nasties and heavy metals and chemicals. To get from 5 to 0.1 micron pretty well removes every thing else but at a very high cost. What we want to do is set up a small solar powered pump and a 5 micron filter with a coarse 12 micron filter as well to catch the worst. Then we only filter or treat the last little bit when we really need it. 5 micron water used for cooking is fine because we are going to boil it for more than 15 mins so it will kill pretty well every thing. But I suggest we don’t drink it cold unless treated. To remove heavy metals and chemicals is some thing I won’t touch on here; you need to research that yourself.

We don’t have to use filters; we can also use chemicals as well if we want to. There are loads about to choose from. They are easy and simple to use and don’t leave too much of a bad taste behind either.

Now we need to look at storing it all.

It’s easier to store uncleaned rain water in bulk than hundreds of small clean water bottles but, saying that, small bottles are easier to carry and to move. One barrel of water weighs 200kg+.

So wherever we site the barrel, that’s where it stays. The same has to be noted for where you store it as most floors will struggle, if they are timber, to hold 200kg on a site 600mm by 600mm; concrete is ok though. We have to think about getting the water out as well. A small hand pump or pipes and taps.

Also what we store it in can make a difference as well. Some plastics are better suited than others to hold water for long term use. So you need to look for food grade plastics rather than any old thing. We will also need to sterilise it first as well.

Lastly with all this water we need to understand what we want to use it for.

You want 5 litres to drink and a couple of litres to cook with and a couple of litres to clean with. In a bad situation you do not want to worry about taking baths or showers. You can use wet wipes instead for hand washing.

Every thing else is just wasting water; composting toilets and bucket showers work just as well.

Dirty water, now.

Dirty water is basically untreated water that is not safe to drink without treatment.

This can be rain water, used shower water, salt water and so on.

We have all ready spoken about rain water collecting bird poo on the way to our tank; we could add a small sand filter into the system to knock out the worst before it hits our water storage tank.

We can use rain water or used shower water to flush the toilets; we can also use it to water our growing crops of food too. Sea water we can’t drink but we can easily remove the salt. We use the salt for cooking and use the water to drink. It does not matter if we use salt water to flush the toilet with at all.

Used toilet water on the other hand we really don’t want any thing to do with. It needs to be disposed of down the drains and to stay there as it carries most of the very bad diseases. This is where we get issues with flood waters. When the streets flood, it also means that the drains and sewers flood too; all the dirty water mixes up and every thing is out there for people to walk in and through and it also spreads into your house.

So just don’t think the street is full of rain water it’s full of everyone’s poo as well. To deal with it, we have a couple of suggestions; composting toilets are good in an emergency. We could use bags inside of buckets and store it until we can empty it down the drains again. We could hang our backsides out the windows to go to the loo but it’s a bit breezy in winter time. If the drains work but we don’t have any water we can use the toilet and flush after number twos only. Don’t just dig a hole in the back garden as it then causes issues with pollution of the ground waters and the garden soils too. The same rules apply with throwing it into the river.

So let’s look at Guy’s set up and work with it.

We have 100 litres of shop bought drinking water in the house in 5 litre bottles and we have 2,000 litres in the garden water butts, when they’re full. We have a hand powered water filter system bought from the internet and a spare cartridge.

So there is a good start; we need to tweak the systems now.

For the rain water we need to add a filter to prevent as much dirt getting to the water ibc tanks. A slow sand filter will do the job or we can use an old piece of carpet to do the same to keep the dirt and leaves out. We also want to seal the top so nothing can fall in to it. This gives us a reasonable storage of water and the rain will top them up as we go along, hopefully.

What we could do with now is looking at the clean drinking or potable water. We could do with stocking some cleaning fluids so we can clean our bottles; we can also do with some bottle brushes to. After that we need to find a water pump that does 28 litres a day. Solar powered is ok but it does mean you only have 6 hours to do the filtering. Battery back ups allow a 24 hour use which is easier to manage. Also we have to look at how filtered we want it when it’s finished, 5 microns or 0.1 microns?

We also can store some water purification tablets and liquids too just in case.

We want to store some water in the car to drink, in the shed (just in case) and on the bicycle as well.

Article authored by Ludvick

Getting started – Part 4 by Ludvick

Vehicles and house heating and bugging out bags and bugging out.

So after the world’s worst holiday due to the break down on the way there and having to spend all the spending money on the repairs, Guy has started reading about vehicles and bugging out.

The first thing he does is to take the car to the garage rather than the once a year or when it breaks down. After its service it comes back with a few other small issues that he has resolved as well. He has also checked all the tyres and from now on when he goes to fill up once every two weeks he also checks the tyres, water, oil and the spare tyre. This simple routine is now called the vehicle preparedness plan.

He also looks at the car and decides to add a small plastic box in the boot. Into it he has added some items he thinks will be helpful to him if he breaks down again. The first is some small plastic macs as the wife and kids stood in the rain as they had put the coats in the bottom of the boot. Four hi-viz jackets so they’re safer when seen. Some oil, water and anti freeze and a can of tyre flat foam, some jump leads and a small first aid kit. In the fullness of time he is going to change these items to better suit their needs but for now it’s a great starter. He also buys a better jack for the car, a big bar and some wheel nut sockets and goes to the main dealer and buys a couple of spare locking wheel nut sockets too. And a set of spare bulbs just in case. He has also joined a break down service as well.

One of the worst part of the holiday was the fact the caravan was cold and damp; this is because people use a log burner to keep warm in it. Since Guy had no money he could not afford the shop bought logs so they went cold. At home they have two old fire places that they never use. So Guy starts to look at using them again.

He gets them both swept and cleaned and buys a small open fire grate to suit one of them. They live in a smoke control zone so he should not use logs, so he looks at buying some smokeless coal for it.

As he has no spare land to site the coal bunker he has to think where he is going to store it as well. In the end he builds a small wooden box on top of one of the water bins. The water IBC tank is 1200mm square and he builds the box to sit on top of it and makes it 800mm high with a good strong lid. It’s very hard to fill it as it’s so high in the air but he only does it once a year and the slot on the side makes it easier to get the smokeless coal out.

The wife has now forgiven him over the bad holiday and loves the cosy warm coal fire as they only use it when its very cold and it’s nice to sit in front of, so he leaves it as it is.

Guy and the wife are talking about the holiday and Guy suggests that if he’d had some items with him he could have made it a lot better. So they write a list of what they really needed. Matches for fire would have helped as being non-smokers they had to buy an expensive box of matches for it and fire lighters. They also found they did not know how to light the fire and it kept going out. Some dried food for when they got there and some water and tea bags for drinks and some cups as well. If he had taken the garden saw with him, instead of buying expensive logs they could have cut up the wood they found near by and small axe to split the logs would help as well.

Guy starts to buy this stuff. He has bought the cheapest he could find and has bought all of it at once. Once he starts to work with them and his bag and starts to find better ones he is going to replace them one piece at a time when they can afford it. This bag is designed to be a bug out bag. When Guy needs to grab some thing quick and go, he wants to bug out; he wants to grab every thing he needs for 24 hours or 48 hours in one hit so it’s his grab bag/bug out bag.

Over time he has tried some new pieces of kit and adds them to it, torches and the better fire starting tools and the like.

He has also started practising in the garden on their BBQ how to light a fire and how to cook on it. He is getting very good now at it. He has seen someone who can do it by rubbing two dry boy scouts together and has tried but cant seem to get that to work. In the bag he has also added fuel to light the fire with and other ways to light the fire other than matches.

The torch he has brought is small and not very good so he has researched better and cheaper ones and has several in the car and in his bag as well.

Guy is now starting to get more organised with what they have and how to use it. The wife is starting to enjoy the stability that he is producing as some of her concerns have been sorted out, too.

 

Getting started – Part 3 Priorities by Ludvick

Many fall at the first hurdle due to prepper overload. We see it all the time. You start reading websites and forums and start talking to people and all of a sudden you are dealing with Ebola to zombies and nuclear attack and sun bursts and so on.

Well. my suggestion to Guy is; don’t worry. He lives in London. That’s the first city to have 200 war heads delivered to it. He and the family are not going to feel a thing or have any thing to worry about, so don’t panic. Deal with what you can alter.

We need to start with water, food and shelter. After that we then start to deal in how long. I suggest you start by building up enough items to last one week, after that start to build to two weeks. Once you’re up to a couple of months then look at another topic, like zombies or tank ownership!

If you go to the front of the P2S front page you are going to find a storage spread sheet for a 90 day calculator. 90 days is seen as a good ideal to have for food and water preps.

So off Guy goes and sticks in the details two adult males and two adult females. Bip bob the printer comes out with what is required. Guy then has to change his underwear due to the shock of the list. First up is the sheer cost of it all and secondly where does he store it all? There’s next to no room in the tank or the shed and the wife being a gardener is not that keen on him digging a bunker in the back garden.

2,000 litres of water, 50 loo rolls, 50 kg of sugar, 120 tins of baked beans and loads more.

Next up the wife sees the list and she goes off on one too. The money, the costs and the storage!

So why not take a step back and look at it in sections, break it down into easier lumps to deal with.

So water first of all. In the floods they lost their water supply and the use of the toilet .

So instead of the small plastic garden centre water butt made to look rustic they swap it for an IBC tank holding 1,000 litres of water; after a little redesign of the garden they have found they can have it by the shed and it also has the rain water gutter pipe from the house running into it so the wife has loads of water for the garden and they can filter it for themselves if they need to. The tank has cost £45 and the fittings another £30. After looking through the camping sections on the internet they have found a small hand pumped filter system and spare canister for another £100.

To flush the toilet they can use the water on its own without cleaning it. They also have some bottles of fresh water in the stores in the house as well. It’s half of what the spread sheet recommends but they hope the rain will do the rest when they need it.

Loo rolls next; 52 rolls are required but Guy knows the kids will use more than that because as an accountant he has counted how many they use every week from the shopping receipts. So he allows 70 instead. These can be bought and stored in the loft inside black bin bags as they will not rot or get affected by the cold up there. The wet wipes and other items can join them too.

Now we need to find a home for 500 tins of food. Guy uses his head and finds that, if he removes the base plinth of the kitchen units, they can go under the kitchen units. He has also added a shelf by the washing machine for the cleaning stuff and a couple of high shelves above the kitchen units where there is loads of room with the high ceilings. This is where he is planning to put the dried goods and store the flour and grains and pasta. But he does still have issues for other items that he has nowhere to store but still wants, where do you store 4 bags of 25kg dog food and where does all the extra preparedness items get stored too?

So Guy is now starting to run out of room for the extras he wants. This is a biggie for all of us. Unless you own a farm and a couple of massive barns there is limited space to hold stocks.

You can hire a shipping container but the costs of hiring it compared to the costs of what’s in it does not make sound financial sense; buying somewhere just to store baked beans also falls at that hurdle.

Now Guy want to get hold of some books from the internet; to have them at home he has down loaded tons of PDFs from the net and so on, but realises that if his laptop goes flat or the zombies shack into it or eat it they are all lost. So Guy starts to look for a cheap second hand laser printer in colour A4. He finds that second hand they are extremely cheap because the toner ink is expensive. After a while he finds one that suits them and buys it.

He prints out a PDF file and starts to add it to his ring folder and realises that they are going to need hundreds of them and he has no more shelf space left. So this time he looks on you-tube and finds some one showing him how to sew the pages together to make a book. After a while Guy has a few which he starts to store upstairs in the loft inside a plastic box container. Guy is now becoming “EMP proof”; this means that he is becoming reliant without power, like the floods before.

Now Guy and his wife have started to collect the food for 90 days he has worked it out that it will take 4 months for them to afford the extra food. So they put in a plan to rotate their stock of food so they use the older stuff first and store the newer items.

So now Guy has water and some food with the rest building up, he starts to look at other items. Now the wife has said the tank is out of the question but he is concerned with the security at home and when they are away from the house.

His windows are PVC but they are older than normal so he decides to look at buying new double glazed units only. After watching videos on you-tube he has found how easy it is to change them so they organise that once a month they buy one new piece of glass; this has the secure by design standard PAS 24 and PAS 11. It has a double glazed unit with laminated glass on the inside.

They have started to use the old alarm system again when they leave the house and are considering cctv and a better alarm system, but they can’t afford it until they have finished with the extra costs of the food and water preps. He has a holiday coming up soon which they are looking forward to.

Guy and family are off to Wales for a nice holiday at the end of the month. Two weeks away with the family and the dog on the beach and in the woods. Guy can’t wait for it. Work is very stressful and so are the kids at the moment.

Soon Saturday arrives; the car is packed with the holiday stuff and they are off to Wales to the caravan they have hired. Half way along the M4 there’s a massive bang and Guy loses steering in his car. He pulls over onto the hard shoulder and wonders what happened.

He gets the family to stand at the side of the car whilst he walks to the emergency phone and calls the police; soon they arrive to help him. What has happened is a wheel has gone flat. But Guy knows the spare is flat too as he never mended it after the last puncture. Also the police want him off the motorway very quickly but he does not have membership of a break down service. After a while the police call a recovery truck and it takes him to a garage. They mend both tyres and he is left with a £600 bill for the tow and the two tyres. They go on holiday but don’t have a great time because they have spent a lot of their money on the car getting there. When he gets back and the wife finally starts talking to him he decides the next option to work on is the transport preparedness and the house’s off grid heating as the caravan was cold and damp as well.

By learning from his mistakes Guy is now starting to get a better picture of what is suitable for him and how he and his family have to prepare better than he has been doing. Food and water is now becoming ok. The garden has a few vegetables growing in it and the house has new windows and better security. Some of his ideas and information is printed and stored safely and the family can recharge stuff if they lose power. He has also started to speak to people on forums and websites too.

Article authored by Ludvick

Getting started – Part 2 The Family by Ludvick

So here we are at stage two.  It would be great if everyone saw our point of view and agreed with us but that rarely happens.

We need to prepare for things but at the same time try not to be buried by our wife under the patio slabs at home.  We could also do without the kids kicking off and even better if all of the above did not post everything as a joke on facebook too.

So before we get into buying tanks, guns and a small nuclear bunker for the back garden lets speak a little about the other half.

So our hypothetical friend Guy has decided he wants to get in to being better prepared.

Rolling home one night covered head to foot in army green, sat on a tank towing three tons of ration packed food is not the way forward.  Now if your wife is OK with this then brilliant, you are the second luckiest man in the world.  My wife on the other hand and Guys would not be…  We would both end up stuffed and mounted on the wall at home!

What I suggest Guy does is speak to the wife.

Heres a way to do it.

Let’s take the anniversary of the London tube bombings.  A few days before he can mention to the wife that he has concerns that some one might do another one. The news will also be saying so and the press.  He can say something like…

“When I go to work this week I will send you a text then I get on the train and off the train and after I have walked to work and I am in the office and the same on the way home.  That way you know I am safe.  I will listen to the radio before I leave work for the travel news and if there is something on I will call you.  Some times the police shut the mobile networks down and if so, I will use the works land line to say if I am staying later until its all quiet or coming home via a certain route back here.

The wife is not going to be shocked by this and will be grateful of the foresight and planning and we have started to turn the wife into a supporter rather than a detractor of this preparedness trip Guy is on.

Let’s say something simpler, football.  Say Guy in the week is bothered by a train load of supporters off to a red’s match which goes his way home.

Again by saying before the event he his planning to do this or that.  He saves her the worry when there is no information and she can not get hold of him and starts to panic as she has just heard that a train load of red’s supporters have just been causing aggro on the way there.

Also its times like this, “the grey man“ effect starts to come into play.

The grey man is someone we all see every day, and none of us remember him.  His presence is none descript and doesn’t cause  people to remember him.  Described by someone after the fact to the police he is a short, tall, man with female charms and so on.  No one really sees you or remembers you.  Guy getting on the train that night wearing his green’s supporter’s scarf with 3,000 other red’s supporters is going to get him noticed.  A plain business man with no scarf and no eye contact is going to be forgotten even before he is seen by someone.

So we have now started to talk to the wife.  She asks one day why we have loads of tinned food at home?  Well Guy says, – I am worried I might lose my job with all this finance uncertainty and as such if we stock a little extra food.  If I become redundant next week we only have to worry about paying the rent and not food for two weeks.

And remember last year when the street down the road was flooded and we had no power or toilet and had to move in with your sister for a week?  Well this time I want to stay put.  We are not going to be flooded as we live up the hill but I was worried about you and the kids and as such if we stock a little extra food and a camping cooker we are going to be OK. The wife might even suggest other things to carry extra.

He can then go on about being a true “manly man” and making sure the family is safe and well looked after.  Guy is suddenly going to start to see the wife likes this new idea of his. Though the tank in the front garden is going to take some explaining later on!!

The kids are next. You have no chance whatsoever in taking away all there technology and telling them we are living off the land.  After calling the police and social services for child cruelty because you have just unplugged the Play station they are going to hate and distrust you.

What you can do is say to one of them,  say the son.  Son I am worried that one day your phone charger might not work and you’re going to run out of batteries.  (The shock of being unplugged to most children, is horrific).  So then explain as your new preparedness ideas, say you must have a secondary power source.  That you want him to research the best small, solar powered, phone, laptop, ipad charger.

It’s about the size of a dinner plate and after playing with it a few times it can be put away for later use or even used all the time and used to reduce the massive electric bill the kids produce each month.  You can ask them to research the various ones.  When they come back with one sort, ask if it will work for everyone’s.  Get them to research what is in the house and what is needed to recharge every thing and all of a sudden the family are preparing too.

We can say to the daughter  (one day when she is not screaming hatred at everyone). That we have concerns that the price of shampoo is going up or that we worry that she might run out of conditioner one day so from now one we are going to buy three bottles and we are going to store two of them just in case.  All of a sudden the kids are starting to see preparedness as normal and all of a sudden everyone in the house has dipped their toes in it.  Not very far, but at least started.  Stocks are building up and supplies are now higher than ever.  The wife is not worried that she has to go shopping every day as we have stored food.

Now Guy is an accountant, and has no other hobbies or past times apart from liking general DIY and  going walking with the family at the weekend and occasional camping holidays.

So one day whilst out walking you can say.

“Hey family!!  I have a game to play.  Say the house is burnt down today and we have to run away from the zombies would you all mind camping here for a holiday for a week?”

That’s a bug out plan base. Or how about…

“Hey kids if I was to trip over here, and twist my ankle can you explain the best way to get me home?”

By involving people with a really grounded idea,  you start to make head way in getting people to start to think.

The kids had never thought what would happen because dad is all ways there.  Say one of them then turns around and says “I don’t know what to do, I don’t know any first aid” you can come back with, do you want to learn?  Maybe the wife and I, and you two can go on a basic first aid course so we can look after each other better?  Maybe we should start to think about buying a first aid box with real things in it other than a box of plasters ?

All of a sudden we are now talking training as well as preparedness.  We can be watching TV one night with Guy’s family when someone on the TV does some first aid or someone say -straps up a swollen ankle,..  Guy goes to the cupboard and gets down the old unwanted bandage he has had for ten years and says to one of the kids, why don’t you try.  If you complete it we will go to Mc Donald’s tomorrow night.  Lose and I make you clean your bed room twice!

Guy has no off street parking but has a small front garden so the tank he wants to buy won’t be allowed due to parking it somewhere.  So Guy asked the wife for a tank for Christmas and got laughed at.  Maybe he deserved it? Maybe he should of looked at starting again…

Guy this time goes to the wife and says  “Babe I am worried about fuel prices…” she agrees, they are getting a bit much.  Guy then explains this idea.  With all the money he is saving from not going on the train he wants to buy a couple of small steel jerry cans and to fill them up with diesel to keep in the garden shed just in case there is a big step up they cant afford that week. Every couple of six months guy can empty the stored diesel into the car as a free day out to the sea side and refills them again.

Now we are storing fuel and we are also cycling its useful as well and the wife is with us doing it. If she had opened the shed door one day to find a water barrel full of diesel she would have gone mad and killed him for it.

By explaining what you want to do and how it affects us all, you will get people on your side easier and faster, try to hide it and they work against you.

So let’s go further.  Guy still wants to own his tank.

So he says to the wife –  due to the zombie issue of the London area I have decided the family need to drive around in a tank, Yes, so after she has removed his testicles with a blunt knife she stops talking to him for a month. Yes it’s OK to want to own a tank, just not today.  What Guy needs to do is to work up to it.

Find a reason to do it and explain it and everyone will follow.  Demands are met with non-compliance.  Maybe we hold off on the tank for now. Try a tank drive day instead and realise what you are really dealing with.  Get it out of your system and carry on with the basics.

The basics of food, water and protection are first.  Tanks whilst great, are not really up there as we start out.  If the wife comes home one day and finds you have spent the savings on a lovely shiny new tank outside expect violence.  Buy the wife a small 4×4 car with which you can bug out with expect hugs.  Every thing in moderation.  And most importantly keep talking. Never stop talking and explaining why you want to do something maybe the family will surprise you with coming back with better suggestions…

Article authored by Ludvick

Getting started – Part 1 by Ludvick

OK so you’re reading this because you’re new to all of the prepping, survivalism, end of the world talk and want to know what its all is about.

What I shall do in my series of articles is try to explain the basics for you.  I do not advocate preparedness for all and it is your own choice to do so and your own path to take.

I will try to explain some of a starters worries and ideas here with part one.  I shall also introduce you to Guy, Guy is a make believe bloke we shall use as an example so you can see some of the ideas and who and how to perform them. I start with a blank canvas and expect you have no skills at all to start with and no training.

I am going to skip the why we start bit as I find it insulting. Your here reading this because you have decided that it is a subject that might interest you and your given situation.

I will start with preparedness over load.

A lot of new people start to read about certain subjects, news broadcasts and start watching hundreds of hours of you tube videos and start to read, slightly opinionated blogs and have arrived here after an internet search.

So you are now panicked by the thought of spending thousands of pounds on food, guns, barbed wire and tanks.

Well here’s a breath of fresh air, YOU DON’T HAVE TO.

Heres the bit they don’t tell you on their blogs and videos, we all prepare in different ways. Put ten of us in a room and I am certain we will come back with 31 different ways to do it. You cant prepare for every eventuality nor can you afford to do so either so don’t worry do what you can.

So let’s speak to Guy on the subject.

He is a mid 40’s unfit male, accountant by job role. Commutes to work on the train. Hates his job. Have a wife and two teenage strop monsters and a small terraced house in a city with a smallish garden. Money is tight and the wife definitely won’t understand when he comes home one day after buying a tank and the new “school run vehicle” just in case.

They were very close to a flood area last year and whilst they were not flooded the lack of electrical power, gas and the blocked toilet has made him start to look at certain different websites.  They ended up staying at a friends house for a day or two until it was sorted out. Crime in the area is low, but local kids do congregate at the street corner and the politics on the telly has for once started to worry him.

So where does Guy start?

Well we are going to all have different strengths and weaknesses and we are going to find Guy’s and we are going to work on the weaknesses and improve on his strengths. We also have to get the wife and kids to at least understand and even better take part. We are going to also talk about risks.

Now everyone hates elf and safety, risk and method statements all just a waste of our time, blah, blah.

So let’s look at Guy’s risks.

First up its being flooded.

Second being homeless from the floods.

Being trapped in London is also up there, terrorist attacks floods and zombies spring to mind.

He has also got to worry about, being unemployed.

The house burning down.

Aliens, zombies, bubonic plague is also there, as is nuclear war.  Solar explosions.  Ice caps melting and worst yet… The world running out of cream cakes on Friday afternoon!

So I suggest to Guy he starts by finding the ones he can do something about, think about the others and totally ignore some.

So now we have a list of risks. You might have your own to add to Guys lists and please do. You can even totally ignore some of them as well.

So which is which?

I suggest that Guy looks at storing some extra food in case of being stuck at home, some spare water too. We will also look at some thing to cook on and heating.

We will discuss getting home when the trains stop. We will also discuss being unemployed and finally homelessness.

We will also speak about getting the family on board too.

So let’s talk food and water.  In the house there is very little spare room and the wife is not going to allow him to sell one of the offspring on eBay to gain the extra room.

So what shall we do?  There are hundreds of websites and excel spread sheets explaining how many thousands of baked beans tins we need to buy. What I suggest is simple, drop a couple of extra tins of soup in the trolley at the weekend. The odd extra baked bean tin and say the odd extra meat tinned pie or cooked ham tin. These are not going to break the bank and not going to kill the relationship with the wife either. The odd extra bottle of bottled water would be great to. But we are soon going to struggle with extra space in the cupboards.

Cooking –  a simple camping gas cooker is next on the shopping list, a single ring with disposable gas canister and a couple of small saucepans.

Getting home in an emergency situation is up there to. Work is ten miles away and Guy has never walked past two miles even when he was fit, let alone now 30 years later.

As for telling the wife that we are all going to live on baked beans and wear ex army clothes and defecate in a plastic bag…  Whilst trying to not end up under the patio slabs!!

So now a plan is starting to form lets start to thrash it all out a bit more.

Now the cupboards are full.  We are struggling to find room for the extra cans, and we want to start storing some dried goods.  Pasta and rice.  So the next part on the shopping list is either a small vacuum bagger machine and some thick plastic bags even maybe a Mylar bag or two.

Now let’s look at escaping from the city.  OK, so in this scenario he has to get home whilst London shuts down due to some unforeseen reason.  No trains and buses are running and people have taken all the hotel rooms and the office is closed.

First choice is to stay at the office.  Kip in the canteen for the night use the toilets and the food in the fridge or the local chip shops.  There are going to be a fair few others there too. You can make a game of it try to entertain each other, and generally keep the British stiff upper lip going.

Next option could be to drive home, share someone else’s drive home and get the wife to drive in to collect him.  Now since everyone else is going to be doing that and as the trains and buses slow down so will the traffic and cars so that’s really not a good idea.  Next up is other forms of transport.  Cycles and motorbikes spring to mind.

So Guy’s wife is not going to allow him to buy a motorcycle.  So let’s talk cycling.  Now Guy and I could do with losing a few pounds.  So he buys a push bike.  Rather than flogging himself to death he starts to train slowly. There are ten stops on his train journey so for three weeks he gets off the train one stop before the end and cycles the last mile after three weeks of doing this he gets off the next stop earlier.  After a while he is cycling back to the extra train stations as well.  Soon he is cycling the whole journey, saving the cost of the train tickets and spending the money elsewhere. He is also losing the odd pound here and there and is starting to enjoy it.

Once he is free of the train we need to start to look at bug out plans.  This is basically a pre arranged plan that in a given situation he will act in a set manor along with his wife and kids.  So for Guy, someone carries out a bomb scare in London and all the trains and buses stop.  This now does not bother Guy, he knows that his wife  (even though the mobile phones stop working) will know he is going to cycle home, on a set route as normal, and that it takes a certain time for him to do so…  So happy wife and happy Guy.

A bug out plan for Guy was a simple map search on paper finding the best route.  Guy decided to not use the main road as they are so busy, but he is going to use the local canal paths and a mixture of small roads away from the traffic.  Whilst it’s slightly longer than the crow flies, it’s a lot flatter for him to cycle along.

Now we have these slightly better plans let’s go a little further.  Lets get a bag.

In that bag we add some food, some clothes and some tools and all of a sudden we have a bug out bag.  For Guy we are going to add the bicycle repair tools into his bike satchel a couple of bits of food in case he gets hungry.  We can add a water proof coat or clothes and we can add some other items, say a food heater/cooker.  Fire lighting tools,  hand tools and so on, a bottle of water as well.

So you see, we have started with what we can and have not gone out and brought a nuclear bunker for the back garden.  We have used money wisely and have not managed to upset the family at the same time.  The kids have not been sold on eBay but there’s always hope.

We now know the basics of bug out plans, bug out bags, food prepping and how they work. What we need to do it start to look at each specific topic and start to work them out in much more details….

Article authored by Ludvick