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What items do I really need? Prioritising

Well, now you have listed every eventuality that you can think of that will impact you. I have now made a little list of those I think that we may have to cater for in the UK. Check your list here, have you missed any? have I missed any? Feel free to let us know of any others you can think of. Revisit your lists as necessary.

So you now have a big list of items you need to buy. Some under generic names like 72 Hr Bug Out Kit or stores for one month or basic medical kit. You don’t have any idea what to put in the shopping list to make sure that you get these items. Well don’t fear, people with experience have spent many years working on this stuff. Not all of them have been tested in a real scenario, some have and some are made up by people like you just thinking of this.

What I am doing is to create a shopping list for each of these, specifically tailored to the UK and using brand names and products available to us in our country.

As I have mentioned, not all of us will be able to go out and buy everything they need in one hit, if you are one of those who can then do so, most of us however will have to prioritise.

Now I have a very simple way of doing this. If you have followed the instructions then you have a list of all the situations you thin will impact yourself prioritised, again by you, in terms of risk. You simply have to heed your own advice. Buy your goods in the specified order.

For example: You have identified two situations you want to cover. The first, a high risk, is that your local nuclear power station will be damaged and leak. Your mitigation is to bunker down in a room for a week and take iodine tablets. Your second scenario is that your local shop is closed and you have to live without it. Your mitigation then is to ensure you have enough supplies so you do not need to restock for a month. (OK, it is just an example)

So, you list needs to have, in priority order, food and water for four for a week. Iodine tablets, Geiger counter, radio, cooking and sleeping facilities for four in your room, toilet facilities, including washing etc. and entertainment. Then, for your second scenario, food and water for an additional three weeks, cooking facilities for your home, radio and your general supplies for a month. To make things simpler, let us now imagine that you have been keeping extra in your pantry anyway. You already have a three months supply of everything you normally use so you do not need to do any more. You already have a wind up radio as well. Whoo Hoo. So all you need is the odd stuff. Let us make a list.

High priority
Iodine tablets. Don’t have so add to list.
Geiger counter. Don’t have so add to list.
Cooking facilities. You decide for one week in an enclosed room you will for safety reason simply heat water and use that for cooking and washing. So a kettle and as a backup an electric heating plate. If the power goes you have decided you can eat cold for a week. You do not want naked flames in a sealed room. You have prepared a week’s supply of food which can be eaten hot or cold. You have a kettle but no heating plate. So add that to your list.
Sleeping facilities. The room you have selected is in the basement, and already has space for your family. You need basic sleeping bags, in the UK in a house even in the winter it won’t get that cold but just in case you want extra blankets anyway. You have all of these items so nothing to add.
Lighting. Well just in case the electricity goes out you want to have light. You add several torches, light sticks or wind up torches. You already have torches and light sticks for the car but none in the home. You can’t count on the car being there so you need additional light sticks, you also need a wind up torch so add to the list. Make it two.
Entertainment: Well we already have some books, DVDs, Playstation and everything else we have plus we add a chess board and a few packs of cards in case the power goes. Just hope someone is a good storyteller.

Now on to our lower priority stuff.
We need emergency cooking so we add a gas grill and patio gas containers to our list.
Everything else we have already but we decide to add in some additional cleaning products bleach, washing up liquid, dishwasher tablets, washing powder and brillo pads.

So our shopping list has on it
P1 100 Iodine tablets
P1 1 Geiger Counter
P1 6 AA batteries. 3 sets of Batteries for the counter.
P1 2 Wind up LED lanterns.
P1 50 12hr white light sticks.
P1 20 8hr red light sticks.
P1 1 Chess board. (Best buying a multi game set with chess in it)
P1 3 packs of cards.
P1 1 Electric heating plate.
P2 10lt strong bleach
P2 30lt weak bleach
P2 4 washing up liquid bottles (large)
P2 2 boxes dishwasher tablets
P2 2 boxes washing powder (large)
P2 50 Brillo pads.

So that is our, massively simplistic list, we take it with us when we go shopping. Order it inside the priorities by deciding what is important and what is nice to haves. I need the iodine to live. If I don’t have that then the rest is irrelevant. So it is at the top. The Geiger counter is used to check if everything is clear before I reach the end of the week. I could leave early. The rest are to stop you going stir crazy and being able to see and have something to do.

Start at the top and work down. Let us imagine the Iodine tablets are £5 each, the Geiger counter is £30, the batteries are £2, heating plate £10, the LED lanterns at £5, the sticks are £1 each, chess board £5, pack of cards, £1 each, 10Lt bleach is £3 weak or strong, WUP is £1 a bottle, washing powder is £5 each and 50 brillo pads are £2. (I have no idea on the value of some of these items. How much is a Geiger Counter?)

Anyway, I have £300 to spend. So I buy half my iodine tablets. I then spend £30 on the Geiger counter, £2 on the batteries, no point in buying half, One wind up Electric lantern and 8 white and 5 red sticks. Total £300. All items bought are from my high priority list. Next time I have £300 to spend. I buy the rest of my iodine tablets, my heating plate, 32 white and 7 red sticks, the chess set and the cards. Total £300 again all from the high priority list.
Next time I have £300 to spend I buy the remainder of the light sticks which completes my high priority list, I then buy everything else as I can afford it. Job done. If only the real list would be so easy and quick.

I hope that it does not appear I am talking down to people here. I find that examples are a good way to explain process even if the examples are simplified as much as this is.

Remember that all our bug out kits, medical kits are just a list of items we would like. Some items are more critical than others and need to be bought first. Not every item is going to be used and not every item is required by everyone. Many people can make their own bow and arrows from material in an ordinary garden. I have the instructions but have a bow and arrow in my kit because I don’t have the experience to build one. Prioritise your lists taking into consideration your experience and skills.

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