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