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The best laid plans

By now you will have realised that the UK is a completely different ball game to the US. The US is big and cheap enough so that most of those who are of a survivalist mindset can afford a few acres of land off the beaten track where they can hole up for a few years and live. In the UK land is so expensive and taxes so high that very few of us can afford that. Which means that unless you are rich enough to afford a decent acreage way off the beaten track where few city dwellers are going to wander in looking for foot you will need to prepare for gangs and hungry citizens wandering in looking for scraps or something missed by the last 200 scavengers.

One of the issues is going to be finding somewhere to hide yourself, your family and your food for a year through at least one winter after an event without any real interaction with others outside your group to be safe. If society recovers and rebuilds before that point then all well and good. If not then it will be a while and you will be on your own for a while longer.

I have plans for getting out of the place if things start to look pear shaped but like all plans you need fall backs so here are my rough plans for us if we have a sudden event that causes a situation that means we cannot move out to our more secure remote location.

When an event like that occurs the chances are that your locale will be undamaged. The infrastructure will be down, the food supplies stopped and the people all there just waiting around politely waiting to hear what is going on and few will recognise what this will mean to them. They will not be hungry yet. As it is sudden and unforeseen then plod will not have come around collecting the guns.

I live in a semi detached house in quiet cul-de-sac on the edge of town. It is a good neighbourhood with nice people and about 800 yards from woods and open fields. A main road passes across the entrance which leads to town. About 100 yards away across the road is a large school. Few shops and no factories mean it is mainly homes. Most people would gravitate towards town with the shops and the industrial areas and way from the unfamiliar countryside at first.

Some of the smarter ones will realise within a few hours that they need to get out and will look at moving to family or friends in the country where they think they will be safe. This will cause gridlock as many will not be prepared with cars badly loaded or people cutting each other up will cause accidents. Nobody will be along to clear these and most UK roads will be blocked in hours. If your journey is not local then you won’t make it. The evening of the first day will see all the stores being broken into and garages emptied of fuel. I’ll try and fill up that day and buy anything I can but suspect it will be a waste of fuel. Worth a try though.

Then over the next few days while the reality hits home and people start running out of food they will be out looking for something to eat and wandering the streets. I’ll be out there with them complaining about the same things and watching what is going on. Removing what I can from the garden and making the pots look unattractive. We will move into the loft leaving our stores secured and live off what we have available. I will collapse the stairs to the loft, close each room off and cover the windows. I suspect we will get visited by a few locals but the empty shelves and cupboards down the stairs should keep them misled for the first few visits. As I live in a cul-de-sac and off the beaten track I suspect that we will be untouched for a few days. Providing we keep the lights off and the noise down we should be OK. I’ll set up some old style tin can traps and I’ll sleep downstairs so anyone coming in alone at night may have a problem though. This is where a pistol with a suppressor would come in handy alternatively I’ll just bludgeon them to death with a hammer and hope they don’t have a pistol with my familiarity in the dark house giving me the advantage.

After a week though people will be all over the place looking for food in gangs and visits may not be so nice with them breaking in doors and smashing windows. I don’t want too many smashed because I want to still live here so I’ll leave the doors open and try and make the place look deserted. Keeping out of sight for a long time may be an issue though but it needs to be tried. Only three neighbours overlook my back garden and only then from upstairs windows so I need to just keep a look out. After a few weeks we will run out of food and I will have to open up one of the stores. Once open I need to move everything inside straight away. I’ll have to be really careful doing that and ensure I am not discovered. At this point most of my neighbours will be gone anyway either looking for food or dead. Lot of OAPs down this street. We will almost be on our own with very few neighbours left. At this point I would move to an abandoned house over the road. Remove any bodies if I have to and put in places to discourage visitors. I would collapse all the stairs on one side, hammer in from the first floor on the other through the fireplace and cover the entrance up. I’ll then move my stores and family in there. Leaving my house open, I’d remove the front and back doors of the house and the garage and shed doors leaving them open to make it look abandoned. Then we would live there, coming out only to get more stores from the stash, hunt a few pigeons, squirrels or the odd dog and go back inside. We would be careful that we only cooked at night using gas or wood in a barbecue when that ran out. Very few people will be left alive at that point and none down our street. Stay low, keep our heads down and live off the stores. Be careful when you go out. Repeat until we get to spring. Then we enter phase 2.

There are many flaws in this rough plan. You cannot count on people being satisfied with empty larders and going away. They may empty the entire house anyway. They may burn it down out of spite. My neighbours may be more resilient than I think and attract attention. We might get a well organised gang going house to house. Someone may discover the stores, it is the plan I have until I find some gold at the end of a rainbow. One issue I see here is I may not being able to keep chickens or ducks as they will be too noisy. I think I’ll try them and if they were too noisy we would just eat them as soon as they became a liability. The rabbits would be fine though they don’t make any noise and are just as easy to hide as our stored water and food. This makes a good case for guinea pigs btw.

Tomorrow Phase 2 of fallback plan.

6 comments to The best laid plans

  • Steven K

    Good post, however, guinea pigs are some of the noisiest pets in the world. They just squeak all night(nocturnal buggers). I think a dog would be better. It would deter looters at the start and provide food if need be.

  • Skean Dhude

    Steven,

    Welcome. I added guinea pigs in at the end because it has been a topic of discussion in previous posts. I’ve never had guinea pigs as pets but would guess they are quieter than chickens or ducks anyway.

    Staying at home has one big disadvantage. The animals. Others will seek out and eat noisy ones and a dog would go the same way. Noise would give away your hidey hole. I wonder if keeping chickens in the dark would keep them quiet?

  • Skvez

    Skean, you have a plan, and that’s good but I’ve a few questions/comments.
    While you and your family are hiding out in the loft, what will you do about bodily waste?

    Children can’t keep quiet, older ones will be continually asking what’s going on and complaining they are bored. Younger ones will proabably be crying due to the change in routine and the stress they pick up from the adults.

    I also suspect that your home is the same design as everyone elses in your estate and so you won’t have much ‘home advantage’ in the dark (you’ll know the specifics of your furnature but thats it).

    Initially I fear that pillagers; while coming primarily for food; upon finding an empty house may steal what they consider ‘high value’ items anyway, your computer, TV, camping gear may all be looted out from under you. They may also trash the place while looking for that packet of mints in the back of a drawer somewhere. *Everything* you have that has value to you needs to move to the loft.

    Why are you planning to move across the street? I’d have thought it better to hole-up in your own house. It’s going to be hard enough to survive *with* access to all your preps without having them in a loft across the street.

  • Skean Dhude

    Skvez,

    Body waste is not an issue. I already am working on a compost toilet. I’ll just need to empty the bucket during the dark.

    The children will be an issue. Even with the games they will get bored and restless. However, they are adaptable, more so than adults in most ways, We just have to do what we can. After all if they don’t make it what is the point?

    The advantage will not just be furniture. It will be traps, broken glass, barbed wire and other hazards including me.

    The plan is to remove all items and leave all the doors open and showing junk or just empty. Hopefully they will think it has already been looted and move on without too much searching. I’ll live without the TV and certain high value items which will be put on the floor so they don’t have to search too much. The rest will be up with us or in the cache.

    I want to move across the road because my house has been rewired so I can disconnect areas at the fusebox. There is no ground circuit or light circuit. (It was my original plan to just stay here and tell anyone who arrived to leave. I’ve since revisited that philosophy.) I also intend to wire in solar panels on the roof and/or a small wind turbine. It has been modified for water collection from the roof and has several changes made inside to hide storage areas. I don’t want it torched or destroyed when I can make it look abandoned and uninviting when I am not in it. The preps will remain in storage until I need them with the current batch taken with us to the other house.

  • Justin

    Pretty much my plan due to not having a bug out location. I’d suggest that you use the carpet bars as a deterrent also. Put them where someone will had to grab to climb your broken stairs. Those things are like a rows of little needles. They will tear hands to pieces, especially when a hand is jerked away fast.

    I think rabbits, guinea and rats would be a good choice. Excellent breeders. I have chickens and they do stay quieter when it’s dark but are still noisy buggers.

  • Skean Dhude

    Justin,

    Good point. I’ll add them to the list.

    I think guinea pigs and rats are a last resort. There are millions of them around and there will be many more in a survival situation. I’m still aiming for chickens and ducks. I like them.

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