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How we need to prepare

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The UK makes a good place for a Survival retreat

Here in the UK the weather isn’t really all that extreme. We get about four or five weeks of cold with snow and ice in the winter, normally just in the minus figures, and we get about six or seven weeks in the summer with sun, about 18°C, and odd summer showers. Average temperatures for the year range between 1°C and 12°C, with Scotland being about 2°C less, normally -7°C to 20°C ranges are seen on odd days with very rare extremes of -10°C and 38°C once every few years. Rain and sun in the right proportions and for the right duration to grow more than enough crops to keep us fed for the full year. From a survival perspective the climate couldn’t be much better.

We just need clothes and shelter for the extremes and basic clothes to keep ourselves warm as we have become used to warm clothes and shelter. Just forty years ago we didn’t have double glazing all over and cavity wall insulation so we were used to it being colder. Life was harder even then although we were more resilient. Now though, with all the comforts we have, cold and damp isn’t seen as a retirement paradise.

Water won’t be a problem either and we will have more than enough to water our crops and livestock as well as to drink and bathe ourselves.

Most of the crops we grow and livestock we keep here look after themselves requiring little supervision with only certain livestock requiring constant feeding and monitoring. Which means food, except in winter, will be relatively easy to come by. We just have to worry about the extremes of winter and only then do we need to be careful although there is enough wild food to eat all year round if you know what you are doing.

Assuming that the event is not something like an asteroid strike or a similar climate changing event we will not struggle too much to survive over basic food, water and shelter.

The wildlife in the UK isn’t really threatening either, the biggest predator here, besides humans, being the badger apparently who have no interest in humans, and so there are few threats to us from wildlife. Of course, that will change for extreme scenarios as we will have pets wandering around with no fear of humans and a hunger that means they will not be so cute and cuddly though we can protect ourselves from those and trap and kill those that are persistent.

The biggest issue we will face is other humans. There will be a significant number of human predators who will not be so easy to deal with as the animals and who will be fighting for the same thing; to live. How we handle this issue will be the making or breaking of us and will be touched on in other articles.

There will be a massive culture shock when we find that we will have to plan ahead and prepare for the future. Not living from day to day driving to the shops to pick up milk and bread. There are several other areas which we do not think about in our current situation but we will have to consider after an event.

Our stomachs are used to having our food and water treated to remove bacteria and other pathogens that make us ill. That will no longer happen and as we move from our stored supplies to our own food production and even with the filtration we have available we will suffer from stomach bugs, at first anyway until we adapt, we need to ensure we have medicines to help us over that otherwise it can be fatal particularly for the young, the old or infirm among us. Many will die during this transition.

We eat a higher proportion of meat currently compared to the past and this may not be possible after an event. Although we will quickly adapt to eating less meat and more vegetables much as they did only forty years ago when a chicken at Christmas was a treat and most meals did not involve meat. Even fruit was a treat and very expensive. Modern intensive farming and transport infrastructure brought the price of meat and fruit to affordable levels.

Food though is all in the presentation. A little bit of meat can go a long way with a good cook and although that is a lost art for most people now it will be learnt quickly. My mother has the skills to throw a few things together and adapt to sudden changes in requirements. Being able to bake and cook from the basics. No microwavable meals on offer there.

I think the importance of hygiene is underestimated and one area we should ensure that is not overlooked. This includes personal hygiene as in keeping your teeth in good condition and your toilet technique. Losing your teeth when you need to grind grains and chew vegetables means you will not get the most from your food and can literally starve while being careless with your toilet will spread disease that can make everyone ill enough to kill them. Medicines in your stash to treat this will not last forever. Get into the right habits early.

None of the above is unique to the UK though and will impact us anywhere in the world after an event. Although cold and damp climates like in the UK make recovery from illness more of an issue. Just make sure you don’t get ill from something stupid.

So while the climate in the UK makes it a good place to be its high population density makes it less desirable. When we look at the population density outside London and the South East, plus the main population centres surrounding Bristol, Birmingham, Liverpool, Manchester, Newcastle, Edinburgh and Glasgow as well as along the South coast of England and Wales we find there are still a significant number of areas that are going to be suitable for our needs. Of course there will be survivors in all those high density areas the difference being is that they are unlikely to be the ones who have prepared for any events, just the most ruthless.

The main issues with living in the UK are the high taxes, the nanny state and, well, anything to do with the government and it is seen as cold and damp by visitors. The political issues will be gone after an event and not really be an issue and, if you are retired or have some finance behind you then it is not an issue now. That leaves the weather, cold and damp, but hot and sunny all the time does not make for good crops without some form of infrastructure to keep them fertile and watered. You make your choices.

Taking all this into consideration it makes the UK a very desirable place to be from our survival perspective.

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