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Planning for the best and the worst

Years ago when I started looking at survival it looked like it was going to be easy. You just stocked up on food and other stuff and then lived happily ever after even if the situation was not a temporary one and lasted for years. The thought was that we would always get back to where we were, we just needed to survive till then and then everything would be OK. Those that didn’t prepare would just lay down in their homes and starve to death leaving all their goodies for us and we could start our own society built on freedom and self determination. Whoopy Do Dah.

The more I look into survival the more I realise that it is going to be nothing like that. If it is a short term issue and everything is up and running after a few days then we will have lived comfortably while others were uncomfortable and went hungry. A medium term issue would see us hiding and being very careful about what we were seen doing and what interactions we had with others. Most of us could ride this out if we could successfully hide. A long term issue, over a few months, would see many dead and the survivors would have adapted an slightly different lifestyle, one the greens want us to choose voluntarily now. Again, we would be very careful about what we were seen doing and what interactions we had with others but many of us would be forced to interact with others because we would run out of things or need help at some stage. Again, though we could ride this out if we just kept our heads down, were adaptable and hid from marauders, no easy task. For a really long term issue such as a worldwide nuclear war, which is the worst case we can survive, we might never see civilisation again. We would be totally reliant on our stores to feed and keep us warm while we transitioned to a completely new life style.

Under that scenario, nobody will be coming to provide aid, medical expertise and start rebuilding the infrastructure. We will be on our own.

No matter how much food and equipment you have stockpiled it will run out or break eventually. You may have a wind turbine now but wait until a bad wind comes along and rips a blade off or your solar panels get cracked by kids with a ball. They will be irreplaceable and their loss will be felt. Even if we have spares or can repair them eventually through attrition they will succumb unless it is something you can make, from scratch, with basic tools you have made yourself. So, eventually our stores will be depleted, the tools broken and we will be reliant on what skills we have and what knowledge we can access. Much of that knowledge will be lost when we lose access to computers and we will solely be reliant on our minds, skills we have gained and books.

That is why I am looking at the stores, to make sure that we can survive any of the scenarios, OPSEC so we can live unmolested by scavengers and marauders. As well as the long term stuff, knowledge, either by computers, initially, but by skills and books and learning what we can do now so that if it comes down to it the transition will not be too much of a shock.

I keep trying to emphasis this point. If we just stock up and live as we do then it will be a major issue after the stores run out. If we start to live the lifestyle, up to a point though, then it will be less of an issue. We can prepare for both.

4 comments to Planning for the best and the worst

  • Skvez

    In a long term scenario I don’t see the infrastructure coming back for at least a few generations. A common theme in the survivalist mindset is that organised government and tax are ‘evil things’, to be avoided. Unfortunately common facilities like water purification and roads require an ‘umbrella organisation’ (government) to collect the resources (tax) to pay for them.

    When I look at long term survival I’m overwhelmed there are too many things to do. I need to concentrate on the short and medium term until I’ve those better sorted before I look at the long term stuff.
    I wonder how the long term prepared will look on the medium term prepared in the case of a long term scenario when we run out of resources. Will they look on us more favourably than the sheeple who were totally unprepared?

    Your comments on wind and solar reminded me I really must get round to writing an article on ‘survival back-up power that’s affordable to most of us.’
    Wind generators do indeed need maintenance and loosing a blade (or three) in a storm is an all too common failure mode but at least new blades can be fabricated from wood (in fact new pretty much everything except magnets and stator wire can be made by a competent amateur with home tools) particularly if you built the original turbine yourself.
    Solar on the other hard are much more robust and likely to survive a direct hit from a ball (but perhaps not a stone fired at a bird) however once broken they are truly irreplaceable although I would certainly have a go at cutting a big broken one down into a few serviceable small ones (though these fragments are unlikely to be at commonly useful Voltages).

  • Skean Dhude

    Skvez,

    If it takes that long to recover then we will lose the ability to do many things we can do now. Resources will disappear and we will not have the capability to gather them.

    Individuals or a group can supply water and roads without taxes. If you use them you pay. Government takes tax off people to pay for things the taxpayers cannot use. It is a bad way to pay for anything except core items like defence and justice systems. Everything else should be left to individuals.

    It is only now I sit down to write this that I realise how much needs to be done. I suspect that if you are partially prepared and can survive a year then people in areas will start to come together and help each other out. The first six to 9 months and first winter will be the critical times.

    Any article would be of interest. The lower tech the better.

  • Justin

    Survival is a huge area to cover so I think starting with the basics of water, food and shelter would be best. I know each of those are massive also but getting the basics down first then expanding them whilst adding extras such as medical skills, mechanical skills, etc over time.

    If people manage to last even six months in a _real_ shtf, I’d be very impressed. Especially Londoners. Most people have two weeks food maximum at home plus maybe could quickly buy up another week possibly. So they have 3 weeks food plus fat stores. I make that just over two months on average. Granted, some will have more and some less but I’m just playing with averages here.

    Water will be a whole other ball game. Look at Haiti. I think all the water borne bacterial and viral illnesses that we think we have beaten / forgotten about will be back with a vengence. As soon as people start getting the squits near the water sources lots of people will start going down.

    Shelters the other one. You said yourself SD that most people don’t know how to dress properly for weather. They won’t be able to warm up, get dry quickly, etc and one hard period of rain and cold will spell doom for people who can’t make fire even if they can find shelter.

  • Skean Dhude

    Justin,

    I agree. That is what this site is for. Helping people prioritise purchases, showing them how to do things and pointing out some of the less obvious things.

    I think the current attitude for UK preppers is that everything is all rosy. They may live off grid now but people will not just sit in their homes and starve they will leave and loot for food. It needs to be prepared for and we don’t have the land our US friends have to build a bunker and hide. So we need to do something different.

    As far as water, food and shelter are concerned it depends on many factors, time of year, what the situation is, etc. Many will survive with a knife and the contents of a hankerchief while others will need a good supply of food and water. So we all need to prioritise differently.

    The first winter after any situation will be the end for most of us. Surviving from the spring will be a lot easier.

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