It’s that time of the year again, usually January here is the worst time of the year regarding the weather. It could be sunny and clear one day, and the next day deep snow, and freezing fog, you name it.
I am now in the position of not having a car any more, and relying on public transport to get to the shops. Then I thought, supposing there is a lot of snow, or even civil unrest or disturbances, and the public transport is not available? Rumours cause panic buying. What happens if, say next year, we have riots day after day? Such as in 1981? Another fuel protest? Massive sickness? And you lose your job? If there’s nothing in your cupboard, you’ll go hungry.
Supermarkets operate a business model called ‘Just in Time’, it does exactly what it says on the tin. Supermarkets know, almost to the last iota, exactly what they will sell, and deliveries of goods are timed so that lorries can be unloaded and the products be put straight on the shelves. When it works, which it does most of the time, it works well, but it is easily messed up.
The problem with Just in Time (JIT)is that it can be disrupted very easily by bad weather, strikes, riots, civil unrest, pandemics and even rumours threaten the delicate balance of JIT.
What if the delivery lorries cant get through to the supermarkets? If there’s nothing in your cupboard, you’ll go hungry.
I can see the writing on the wall clearer than most and we need to be prepared. We can’t campaign and fight while touring the shops or waiting in line for a government handout. How can we give our best if our children are poorly and can’t get medicine?
How to prepare.
The survivalists’ motto is “Beans, Bullets and Band-Aids”. Nanny State Britian doesn’t allow us the bullets, so I guess we’re stuck with the beans and band-aids. What does that mean in practical terms? At its core, it means, quite simply, storing enough food and medicine to see you through a bad winter, or heaven forbid, a political crisis. It isn’t difficult and it needn’t be expensive – there’s no requirement to go out and spend hundreds of pounds to immediately fill up your store.
Firstly, don’t run around telling your neighbours what you’re going to do – you don’t want a queue of them on your door if the proverbial shit hits the fan, or worse, being robbed for your stores. Encourage relatives and friends to do the same by all means, but don’t announce it to the world. Most of them will think you’re nuts, anyway.
You’ll need somewhere to store it. In a modern shoebox or flat this could be problematic, so you’ll need to be inventive. You don’t need visitors to see your stash and in a SHTF situation, you don’t want the authorities to know, either (in a martial law situation, they can confiscate ‘hoarded’ items). I use a, well never you mind, but other people store behind books on a shelf, under beds, under floorboards, in lofts or sheds. You know best where to store your stash.
What to store? Another survivalist motto is “store what you eat, and eat what you store”. It’s no good buying tinned Brussels sprouts (yes, there are such things) if no-one will eat them. You know what your family will eat, so store that.
If you only ever eat fresh food, then now might be a good time to slowly introduce canned and dried foods into your family’s diet, but take it steady, especially with children. If you shop at supermarkets, take advantage of special offers and bogofs on storable foodstuffs, and each week buy a little extra for your store. Keep the shortest dated near the front, rotate your stock, don’t just fill a room and then not use it and wait for Armageddon. Each week, I take some stuff out of storage and put it in the kitchen, so I don’t have to trudge upstairs every time.
I also preserve some of my own foods – I make up big (OK, huge) saucepans of bolognese sauce, and freeze them. I also make jam, I pickle eggs and onions and make chutney.
Another idea is to make your own bread as I do, Bread would be the first thing to go in any emergency. Stock up with flour and quick dried instant yeast, enough to last a month or more. Buy UHT milk in bulk, or stock up with dried milk, so that you can have your porridge in the morning!
Toiletries and medicines.
First on your list should be toilet paper – you really don’t want to run out of that. If you do, I’m told the next best thing is the old Roman way of a sponge on the end of a stick (kept in disinfected water), so perhaps a cheapo pack of baby sponges would be a good idea!
Second, soap. The hard bar stuff keeps for ages and can be used for more than hand washing.
Third, paracetamol. I buy this every shopping trip because you’re only allowed 32 at time. Don’t get me started on nannying government control. Don’t bother with cough medicines, they don’t work, if you’ve got a cough a bag of boiled sweets is just as effective. Ointments – anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, anti-histamine. Plasters in all sizes. Bandages, lint and micropore tape, or buy a Family First Ad Kit from Boots or similar. Toothpaste and toothbrushes. If you take prescription drugs, then try and build up a buffer.
Please think about what I have said – it may sound a bit paranoid, but better to have surplus than go hungry when the SHTF, whether it be for personal reasons such as losing your job, or globally because of societal breakdown.
Here endeth the lesson, go in peace.