We are all nine meals away from anarchy. Once a person has gone hungry for three days he is likely to become violent.
Most supermarkets do not hold a great deal of stock. If there was a breakdown in the transport system we might see the shops empty in a few hours. This is not a fantastic notion. It would probably happen within a week if Britain were unable to import oil.
BUG IN BOX (items that will be of use if I intend to remain put.)
1) Emergency lighting.
It must be remembered that candles store more energy gram for gram than dynamite. Seal them in metal tins and make them airtight so that they do not burst into flames if you home catches fire.
Candle wax may be used for waterproofing and will allow you to build a fire with damp wood. I will also buy a wind up torch and radio at some point as these will be useful for camping trips.
2) Dual purpose items.
The law does not allow you to carry a weapon for self defence but you CAN defend yourself with whatever you have in your hands.
It is quite reasonable to be carrying a torch if it is dark. I have chosen a maglight (the one shaped like a club) as it is also a useful weapon if attacked. No court would blame you for carrying a torch if you were investigating a suspicious noise at night. They would take a different view if it were a baseball bat.
Buy the newer LED models if they are available in your country as the batteries last longer.
The same applies to steel pens and umbrellas in normal life. You are entitled to defend yourself and cannot be blamed for owning these items.
3) Flu survival kit.
I believe that there will almost certainly be some sort of flu pandemic. This will be deeply unpleasant for most of the people who experience it but not fatal.
If you are not sure how seriously to take it you may track its progress on this real time map. Here
All medical help will tend to be directed towards the most vulnerable. For this reason you will have to retreat to your bed and sweat out the illness alone.
The biggest problem with flu is that it makes one terribly weak. We know that we are supposed to drink plenty of water but we generally do not have the strength to get out of bed.
Have some soup or other convalescent food in the house for when you start to recover. It is also a good idea to drink fruit juice during the illness as it provides a little glucose and keeps the strength up.
It is unlikely that anti viral drugs will be available so we will have to rely upon the old remedies. Keep a bottle of water by the bed, paracetamol (the active ingredient in many expensive cold cures) tiger balm and Vitamin C. Be careful not to overdose on paracetamol by taking multiple products. Ginger root is also good for aches and pains. If you are reasonably fit you will be OK.
If the pandemic strikes, basic hygiene will serve you better than high tech gadgets. Viruses tend to become less deadly over time.
4) General first aid.
Keep plenty of plasters to hand as these are usually the first item to run out. Do not carry aspirin (it causes internal bleeding if there is an injury) and have plenty of safety pins, particularly if you have to travel. Clothing can be easily torn.
NOTE: Aspirin does have its uses- but not as an emergency painkiller. Its blood thinning properties can save someones life if it is given in the first stages of a heart attack. It is also alleged to have anti cancer properties.
5) In a political crisis.
Keep your passport and driving licence in your emergency box. The authorities may require you to prove your identity, or you may need to relocate quickly.
Survivalists often keep a supply of gold coins as gold is proof against inflation, deflation and the breakdown of the banking system. They may be moved across borders and leave no paper trail when spent. They are therefore very popular as a hedge against political tyranny. I have some gold sovereigns of my own but hope never to need them.
Buy a money belt. These strap across the waist and are difficult to steal. In addition they offer limited protection from stab wounds. If you suspect a crisis is brewing, withdraw a wad of cash. This will allow you to survive if the ATM's are no longer dispensing. In the event of a political crisis you may also wish to make indicative purchase in cash. An indicative purchase is any purchase that would indicate your intentions- such as a journey to another city or another country.
7) Water and air.
You may survive for three weeks without food. Three days without water and three minutes without air.
Maintain a supply of water bottles and fill the bath in any emergency. It is easier for a terrorist to poison the water supply than hijack a plane. Airborne toxins will also tend to be washed into the water supply and carried many miles.
If you suspect a dirty (radioactive) bomb or anthrax you must prevent dust entering your home. Seal all entry points with tape.
8) Potassium Permanganate.
This is just about the most useful survival good imaginable. It takes the form of purple crystals and may be used to colour snow (it is a powerful die). Alternatively it may be used to sterilise water or a wound. It may even be used as a fire starter as the crystals release oxygen when heated.
9) Food and drink.
A large quantity of fruit juice- as much as you can store.
You may wish to store baked beans (good source of protean and energy). Tinned fruit, chunky soup (which you may have to eat cold) and milk powder.
10) Potassium iodide tablets.
These are the famous 'anti radiation' tablets we hear of in old films. They are particularly effective in the event of a nuclear accident or dirty bomb incident.
You exact choice of survival kit will depend upon you view of the threat. My own kit consists of items that I am likely to use in normal life even if there is no emergency. I own no illegal weapons as this is more likely to create an emergency than save me from one.
You may assemble a very useful bug in box for as little as �50.
My BUG OUT BAG contains..
1) Clothing. Spare underwear, dry t shirts and so on. A waterproof mac is useful in warm weather.
2) A leatherman with a legal blade. These are the most useful items ever invented. A Swedish fire-stone for fire-making in wet conditions is also useful, as is elephant tape, a wind up torch, and some matches.
3) Plastic bin-liners. These are useful for waterproofing. Space blankets for warmth and a whistle for communication. Mirrors and a compass will help too.
4) Tent, gortex boots and a sleeping bag.
5) Fruit juce and a refillable camping bottle. Water is more important than food.
7) A camping stove or fire kit.
A bug out bag will cost about �250 but will double as a camping kit!