If I told you I was a prepper I wonder what you would think? My guess is you would think of the US Television show “Doomsday Preppers”, conspiracy theory fans and possibly envisage me stood in the woods dressed like Rambo?
Now, think back to the very beginning of the UK’s Covid-19 lockdown and the panic buying that stripped shelves bare. Do you remember how that made you feel? The anger I’m sure most of us felt at those who were panic buying causing many to go without.
What if there was a third option , not panic buying the world’s supply of “white gold” (toilet paper), not going home to empty cupboards and contemplating a second use for that newspaper but by stashing away a few household items over the year you could have been prepared.
So, for all the stick we may get as prepared individuals having roughly a month’s supply of food, household items, medicines, gloves, masks and even a jerry can of diesel in the garage now doesn’t seem like such a bad idea. Now I’ll admit from time to time I like to wind people up by telling them I’m planning for the zombie apocalypse but funnily enough if I was having an intelligent conversation to explain my supplies it was always a global flu pandemic that I referenced such as the 1918 Spanish Flu. Not so outlandish now is it?
Although on the subject of zombies the premise behind preparing for the zombie apocalypse is also grounded in common sense. The idea being two-fold, firstly a zombie apocalypse is about a bad a worst-case scenario you can imagine and so if your prepared for zombies your prepared for anything, secondly it gives the situation some humour and injects a little light-hearted fun. In fact, in 2011 the US Government via the CDC even recommended US citizens prepare for a zombie apocalypse! It’s true, see the link below for posters, equipment lists even educational ideas for schools etc. The CDC needed the populace to be better prepared for hurricanes, tornados, earthquakes, tropical storms etc and this was considered a way of making it fun.
Our own government also tells us to prepare every winter, we’ve all seen the information telling us to carry a shovel, blanket, warm clothes maybe even a flask and a torch in our car come wintertime. Many of you will have savings, what are those if not financial preparedness?
So, if your still not sure let’s take a look over the last 20 years and see what has happened?
2000 - UK truckdriver strikes caused a fuel shortage with people queuing for hours to fill their cars and shops running out of staple foods
2009 - was a particularly bad snowstorm covering the UK for weeks and even stopping many flights for a few days
2011 - London Riots that spread across the cities of the UK, widespread arson violence and looting.
2015 - The worst floods in 550 years hit Cumbria
2020 - Covid-19 is here with us right now, lockdown has eased but the virus is still there and of course we run the risk of a deadly second peak in the winter flu season. We may also be looking at a lengthy recession on the back of this pandemic.
This is just the UK, in the United States they have had Hurricane Katrina, numerous tornados, storms, forest fires and currently as well as Covid-19 they are having riots and civil unrest in many towns and cities. Across the world we have seen Tsunamis, earthquakes, nuclear power plants breakdown and Australia had the horrific bush fires. Being prepared doesn’t mean being Rambo or working out how to kill zombies its simply common sense to stay safe and look after your family with the least amount of fuss.
Where to start
Now you don’t have to rush out and buy a load of gear, start small and build up from there. A good objective bearing in mind the mandatory self-isolation if you or your family contract Covid-19 is 2 weeks is to aim for 2 weeks’ worth of food and essentials stored in your house. You don’t have to buy it all at once, work out a meal plan, what medicines you need, toilet paper, washing items etc and each week just buy a little extra on your weekly shop. Within a month or two you should have two weeks’ worth of supplies in your garage, shed or spare room. Then simply keep an eye on the dates and rotate through this supply. So, when you buy a new bag of pasta for example at the shops, put that in the store and eat the bag that’s been in your supplies for a few weeks. This will ensure your stash stays fresh. If like me you live in a rural setting and now and then experience power cuts, add decent lighting back-ups to your supplies, candles, lanterns etc. If your reading this I’m guessing you’ve found it as your already adventure or outdoor minded so you may already have a small camp stove, tarps, torches etc within your kit.
Many of us have been financially impacted by the current pandemic and it shows that sadly unlike the Hollywood depiction of the zombie apocalypse we all still have to pay our bills at the end of the world! (I was gutted...). So financial preparation is key – start saving and streamlining. Also, and again made painfully obvious for all to see the best preparation you can make for any pandemic is undoubtedly in your own physical fitness and health so start now looking at your diet and lifestyle and remember Rule Number 1 from one of my favourite zombie movies “Zombieland”, Cardio!
If you have any questions at all on this subject please do get in touch via email or on social media, we would love to hear your thoughts or help you get started.
Author: Marc Cherry (Maddog Adventures)