Start Here

If this is your first time to the site then please read the Welcome Page.

Feel you are the only one concerned about the future? Read Am I Alone?

This site will help you generate Shopping Lists and To Do Lists from your specific set of risks and concerns. The Get Started Here page, also available via the Toolbar, will walk you through it.

The Forum will help you discuss your issues, learn about how others and tailor your preperations for your situation.

Don't forget to sign up to the Contact Database if you have any interest in getting involved in our survival community.

How we need to prepare


Categories

The Reasonableness Test

In all aspects of life we learn best by trial and error. As babies we try something and it hurts or we get scolded and we learn what we can do and what we can’t. As we get older these errors usually work out more painful or, as more usual, financially disadvantageous.

In prepping however we don’t always have the capability of fully testing our preps and so this leaves us with an element of doubt, or it should if you have any sense. So, to get around this we discuss our plans and theories with others and get their opinions. The rub however with this is that most people don’t have any real experience either, it is mainly all theory mixed with opinion and even worse is tempered for their own particular requirements so it may be OK for them but totally unsuitable for you. So first option is to test your theories in real life we do so. Nothing ever beats a real test. In my working life I’ve seen highly experienced professionals make fundamental mistakes on paper and when tested it is the stupid, trivial things that trip people up.

So as we are unable to perform a real test we must use a reasonableness test.

A reasonableness test is where you actually consider the theory in a cold calculating way. Is it sensible, does it actually hold for more than a cursory look. Think about how life works and then ask is this a good way to resolve the issue? It works for most things and isn’t limited to just prepping. We use it automatically normally but some things, especially where we have little experience, we don’t even try and it is a pity because it would save a lot of issues later on.

So let’s take an example of something that we cannot really test until it actually happens. The idea that someone can be begging for food for his family and will accept charity from yourself and move on to a different location without bothering you again. Many preppers advocate keeping food specifically for that on the basis that it is better to help someone than to not.

Does that make sense to you? Someone will be starving, be given some food from your stores and then move on. It does to many preppers, particularly women who believe that is so. I could very well be but in my simple view I look at examples in the real world.

We provide money to people who are not working. Those people get enough to live on but not enough to have a really good life yet they continue to have kids they can’t feed because they pull at our heartstrings and we provide funds to feed them. By providing funds for these poor kids we have increased the requirement for funds beyond what it was last year. They want more year after year. What a crap life they have though. They come to expect this to be given to them and we are in the state when many won’t help themselves they just have their hands out. There are many stories about men with two or three women and over a dozen kids. They are not moving on, they are leeches fastened tight to their food source.

I also put myself in that persons shoes. I would love to move on but I have been trying people who have nothing to spare. I’ve now come across someone who has some to spare. I’ll keep it to myself because I don’t want to lose that resource by letting other people know but I won’t move too far. Now, when I need food I may send around one of the kids instead to get that extra tearing of the heart-string but I will try. If they come back with nothing I will consider more drastic action, after all they must have plenty if they were giving some away. If the place is well defended I may even involve third parties to help but I won’t move on on the chance someone else is as generous. That meal I was given won’t last too long and our strength will go whilst we make the journey. If I was on my own maybe I could make it but with a family? No chance.

Another good point is the reaction of people when they feel like the law is not going to step in and do anything, the riots of a few years ago. People who didn’t even want anything wrecked property and stole items from shops. They knew Plod was not going to stop them so they felt untouchable. How will they feel when Plod is not around and it looks like he won’t be back?

So here I am now planning an assault on someone who has shown kindness to me and helped me. Knowing that it is him or me I am looking at taking something now. Their helping me once isn’t enough for me, I need more to enable my family to live.

So I can see that the theory does not make any sense to me, it is not reasonable. It may do if I was alone, where I may be able to trade labour for a meal for myself but not for a family.

In my view then this theory does not pass the reasonableness test.

So do this where you can, breal the problem down into parts and see if you can find similar issues that you can see how people reacted. Base your observations on real life as much as you can and not some keyboard jockey with no experience but a very strong opinion that makes it sound like he knows what he is talking about.

20 comments to The Reasonableness Test

  • midnitemo

    how many times do burglars return to the scene of the crime , we go with what we know , work on percentages , man is a creature of habit and will keep coming back til the tit runs dry and then he will butcher the cow and eat it….don’t share your milk but most of all don’t get eaten…simples

  • FJ

    I am normally a very giving person, but I have to say when SHTF, I will have to change to survive. I agree, if you keep feeding a stray dog, it soon becomes a part of the family or a regular at your doorstep and you will never be rid of it.
    If you feel that you have to “feed” someone. Please arrange before time a small amount that they see you actually take theirs from. By no means invite them in to see your supplies. If they think that you don’t have much either, they will be more inclined not to come back. Why should they? The belief that you are as strapped as they are will tell them that you will be out of supplies soon and be in the same shape they are.

  • Geoff

    The “reasonableness test” is something preppers should apply…to prepping.

    Look, I read Cormack McCarthy’s “The Road” just like everyone else did. Let’s keep in mind that the sort of post-apocalyptic world described in that book is a work of fiction. It is not “reasonable” to attempt to prepare for a world in which all the animals die, the plant life disappears, and people are reduced to becoming nomads seeking to exist on the bare scraps of what is left of society.

    Yet that is what many preppers think they are trying to do.

    I think the worst case scenario is a very short term, regional disaster of limited scope, very likely weather-related. Society is not going to collapse, although the rule of law may be suspended for a short time in a specific area. The rule of law is an evolved human trait, not an artifice. It is part of man’s nature. It will only be interrupted for so long.

    Is it reasonable to assume you can fend off the hungry hoards with a few rifles and a few thousands of rounds of ammo? Nope.

    Is it reasonable to assume that you will be able to continue to eat regular meals and have the people around you not notice or ask you for food? Nope.

    Is it reasonable to assume that a long term collapse of civilization is imminent given the very long history of civilizations arising anew from the ashes of the old? Nope. What it is would be more properly termed ‘paranoia.’

    I appreciate the ‘reasonableness test’ idea. It shows you’re thinking. Now apply it to prepping in general.

    Best regards,
    –Geoff

    • Skean Dhude

      Geoff,

      I applied the test to society in general and that is why I prep. It is unsustainable and you can clearly see from real life and the news the whole civilised world falling apart as you watch.

      It may never happen in my lifetime but buying food now is a better investment that a pension that the gov keeps dipping into.

    • rush2112

      Does the “very long history of civilizations arising anew from the ashes of the old” include what happened after the collapse of the Roman Empire? Yes, civilization did recover after a few centuries, with the interim period labeled the dark ages for a reason.

      IMO, the most likely scenario is an economic collapse similar to the great depression.

      Is it reasonable to assume the current worldwide system of credit/debt can continue without a major correction? Nope. Almost happened in 2008, but more money was poured into the system to prop it up. The underlying issues have never been rectified. To believe this can continue indefinitely could be termed ‘wishful thinking’.

  • midnitemo

    If your already reduced to begging to get by then the game is up for you…and donating a meal to somebody begging is just putting of the innevitable for the beggar and hastening possible problems for you and yours…a social conscience is a luxury we wont be able to afford post shtf…..just think about those kind acts of philanthropy whilst you watch your kids starve.

  • LawAbidingCitizen

    I have noticed a trend with begging these days, many are now asking for specific amounts of money. I tried to give a few quid to one recently and he asked for a fiver. I then told him that I was not going to give him anything now and that he had ruined his chance. I have offered to buy food and provide directions to the salvation army, citizens advice etc only to be given dirty looks and have the old line of I’m trying to get to such and such a place and need X amount. It is unfortunate, and many are sadly alcoholics. You cannot rescue a drowning man who cannot swim and does not want to be saved, he will only try and drag you down with him.

  • Highlander

    We will all need to harden our hearts after a large scale event, we must try to look like that beggar, the biggest mistake we could possibly make will be to look as if we are better off than someone else

    For the first days, maybe weeks, we should even go as far as to become that beggar, look rough, ask for food,…. but keep what you have secure and safe, it might be that beggars meal,… but it will be your survival

  • david

    Thank you for the reality check. I had bought extra plastic bags just for this purpose. Give out a little beans, rice, bottle of water, pad of matches and a tin can to cook it in. Now move on. You are correct, they will stay close to the food bowl as a stray cat. Thanks again, keep writing.

  • bigpaul

    the premise that “society is not going to collapse” is laughable, society IS already collapsing around us, the NHS cant cope, people are using food banks, look around you its only a matter of time. as for the OP, any food you give to someone else post SHTF is less food for your family to eat, I don’t know about anyone else, but I DONT prep to feed non family members, if they cant be bothered to prep for themselves then let them starve.

  • Northern Raider

    Society is coming apart at the seams even as we discuss this issue, The recent riots in Tottenham saw a few hundred rioters run unchecked for days because the polices response to this initial local event was to withdraw for THEIR own safety (and they are armed!!!!) When one reads of gangs of 20 or 30 school kids chasing a child from another school through the streets in broad daylight and stabbing him to death outside a tube station only typifies and confirms that belief.

    Once over if there was a storm that caused prolonged blackouts the community rallied around to help each other, now as soon as the lights go out they go looting, robbing and raping.

    If you have food and supplies and TSHTF it is NOT only going to be the local chav scum and gangs who come looking, its going to be ALL of your neighbours who chose to spend their money on pretty cars, wide screen TVs, holidays in shitholes like Florida, bling and fancer trainers etc instead of a few sensible simple and affordable preps.

    Give the hungry neighbour a tin of beans and he will use that tin………… to bash your bloody head and and take everything you have set aside.

    64 million people living on an island that can sustain and gainfully employ 55 million watch with anger and alarm as another 4 million arrive ever few years, Yet even at this time without the extra mouth we have 3.5 million not earning a living wage. We are 2.5 million affordable homes short NOW, our schools are overcrowded and under funded (London alone needs 195 new primary school by next year, who is going to pay for them and where are they going to be built) Our utilies are running at capacity AND are LIFE EXPIRED, we need 11 new power stations within 3 years it takes 5 years to build them!!!. Trains are running at capacity most roads are gridlocked for hours each day. Industry is still in decline and half of the middle east and north Africa are trying to get here. The Police have become both discredited, demoralised, often dishonest and totally untrustworthy, a badge they now share with the Lib Lab Con group of politicians. Food prices have risen 23% in 18 months, Fuel prices continue to crime, The government is seeking new ways of raising taxation whilst holding back wage rises for the 4th year. Lets not go on about rising crime figures the imported terror threats, the rise of gangs who think courtship involves gang rape.

    You could always dress up like Rambo and go play in the woods for the weekend like so many other “”preppers”” do, but I cannot see how playing silly buggers in the bushes is going to sustain your wives and kids for two or three years. Prepping is common sense and risk assessment, can you by your act of simple human generosity of feeding a neighbour condemn your family to a violent death when said neighbour comes back mob handed to TAKE your supplies.

    FYI Midnitemo The Guy who first burgled my mums house and robbed her at knife point had been arrested the week before after burgling her neighbour, and guess what. She spotted this knife carrying thugs in the village last week out on bail !!!. Criminals do return time after time to places that are vulnerable, imagine how cocky and confident they will become if their is no street lights, cctv or police activity !!

    • bigpaul

      absolutely right NR, one thing thought-the new power station at Hinckley Point wont be up and running for 10 years not 5 like you said, in the meantime they will continue shutting down the old coal fired ones, so the new one will be a REPLACEMENT not in addition to….so the lights will still be going out anyway.

  • midnitemo

    NR you’ve have misread or missunderstood…we were burgled 3 times by the same scrote over a short period of time i was intimating that wrong’un’s return again and again to where the pickings are rich.

  • prepper1

    The worlds hanging on by the skin of its teeth.
    The u.s. economy may stumble along for years but I doubt it.
    The u.s. government is activly preparing for its collapse stockpiling food arms and ammo, its only a matter of time.

    We in the u.k. are struggling badly, thats why the governments thinking of making the opt in pensions compulsory, so they have a honey pot to dip into.

    Letting the chinese and french build anything is a serious strategic mistake and one we’ll come to regret.
    Scum on our streets are getting worse and the punishment is none existent that is unless your a good person who’s made a mistake and for that you’ll get nailed to a cross whilst the scum that pushed you to defend yourselves gets a holiday because they’re upset.

    The act of charity after an event or telling anybody now your a prepper is signing your death warrant.
    If your going to share post shtf give up now your as good as dead already.

  • Kenneth Eames

    SD and NR, Thanks for your posts, both excellent. What most Preppers seem to forget,is that many of the immigrants are from countries where they have lived with very little food and other necessities. This will be an advantage too their survival. Their chances of survival will be enhanced, as their knowledge of natural foods will be better than most pure bred Brits. There are a great many more challenges for Preppers than you think. Survivors will find that it will be a very hard life. Kenneth Eames.

  • I’VE READ ALL THE POSTS ABOVE, BRAVO, THIS IS THE SELF SAME POINT WE WERE TRYING TO MAKE WHEN WE FIRST STARTED POSTING.
    PEOPLE WHO PREP NEED TO BE HARD SKINNED, TOUGH IN THE FACE OF “THE ONCOMING STORM” THIS COUNTRY WILL BE OVER RUN WITH DEAD & DYING MEN, WOMAN & CHILDREN,IF YOU GIVE TO ONE THEN YOU WILL HAVE TO GIVE TO ALL, OR BY DOG YOU WILL HAVE IT WRENCHED FROM YOUR COLD DEAD HANDS.
    IT’S NOT A LINE OF THOUGHT MOST PEOPLE WOULD CARE TO FOLLOW, BUT IF YOU DON’T & YOU THINK HAPPY JOLLY THOUGHTS ABOUT INDEPENDENT LIVING ON YOUR OWN LITTLE PLOT WITH GEESE & A FEW CHICKENS & MAYBE A PIG OR TWO, YOU WILL DIE A FOOL.
    IT IS GOING TO BE WORSE THAN ANY OF US PREPPER’S CARE TO BELIEVE, EVEN THE ONES WHO KNOW IT’S GOING TO BE BAD.
    BUT TO BE FORE ARMED IS TO BE FORE WARNED AS MY PAPPY USED TO SAY, USE THE KNOWLEDGE YOU HAVE,& LEARN ABOUT HERE(and maybe glean elsewhere)& PUT IT TO GOOD USE, DON’T JUST PONDER ON IT, USE THIS KNOWLEDGE TO RE-ENFORCE & DOUBLE YOUR EFFORTS TO STORE FOOD & WATER YES, BUT TO TRYING LIVING IT FOR A FEW DAY’S, GET A FEEL FOR IT, IT’S A SERIOUS BUSINESS, TREAT IT AS SUCH.
    IN THE DAY’S & WEEK’S THAT FOLLOW “AN EVENT” IF YOU ARE NOT USED TO IT, YOU WILL NOT SUSTAIN A EMERGENCY RATION SITUATION & WILL LAPSE INTO EATING THE VOLUME FOOD YOU ARE USED TO.
    I SUGGEST WORKING OUT A MENU, FROM THE SUPPLIES YOU HAVE & EXPECT TO STOCK UP ON, & LIVE ON THAT DIET FOR A DAY TO START, THEN MAYBE 3 DAY’S, POSSIBLY AIMING FOR A WEEK.
    TO SOME THIS MAY SEEM FUTILE, BUT BELIEVE ME IT WILL PUT YOU IN GOOD STEAD FOR THE ROUGH TIMES AHEAD, I SPOKE ABOUT THIS IDEA BEFORE AFTER I HAD DONE IT FOR A WHILE, SINCE THEN I HAVE CONTINUED TO PRACTICE WHAT I PREACH & CAN NOW DO IT INDEFINITELY, IT’S NOT BECAUSE I’M CLEVER, IT’S HARD WORK, MAYBE FOR SOME OF YOU IT WILL BE EASIER THAN I FOUND IT, BUT IF YOU CHOOSE NOT TO TRY & SEE HOW THING’S WILL FEEL LIVING ON WHAT YOU HAVE STORED, HOW WILL YOU RESTRAIN YOURSELF WHEN YOU HAVE TO?.
    AND IT MEANS STICKING TO THE IDEAL, IT WILL BE HARD TO START WITH BECAUSE IT WOULD BE EASY TO DUMP THE RATIONS FOR A NICE JUICY STEAK & A CARTON OF HARGAN DAZ.
    BUT PUSH THOUGH IT, I’M NOT SAYING ALL OF YOU LIVE LIKE HOW I CHOOSE, BUT AT LEAST TRY IT, & STICK TO IT, EVEN FOR JUST A FEW DAY’S, SEE HOW IT’S GOING TO AFFECT YOU WHEN IT IS ALL YOU CAN DO.
    WORK OUT THAT MENU USING THE AMOUNT OF WATER YOU YOU EXPECT TO LIVE ON THEN, FOR ME IT WAS 2 LTRS A DAY. BY THE WAY WATER IS CHEAP TO BUY AT THE MOMENT, 17P PER 2 LTR BOTTLE AT SAINSBURY’S, BUT IT’S NOT THE COST YOU NEED TO BE MINDFUL OF, BUT THE WEIGH & BULK OF THE “MONSTER” i.e. FOR ONE PERSON 2 LTRS A DAY FOR A YEAR IS 2 FULL PALLETS STACKED 4 BOTTLES HIGH (400 BOTTLES) IT WEIGHS A TON, MAYBE LITERALLY, & IF YOU ARE BURYING IT, THAT’S A HOLE AT LEAST 7 FEET SQUARE & 6 FEET DEEP, APROX 2 I/2 – 3 TONS OF EARTH TO DIG OUT. A LOT OF WORK, UNLESS YOU HAVE OTHER PLANS.
    FAIR YOU WELL PEOPLE, LET ME KNOW YOUR THOUGHTS, OR IF YOU TRY IT, HOW YOU DO??.

  • I DON’T KNOW ABOUT YOU, BUT IF I’M GOING TO BE PLUNGED INTO A SITUATION WHICH IS GOING TO BE HARD, NIGH ON IMPOSSIBLE AT TIMES, I NEED TO FULLY KNOW MY OPTIONS.
    I.E. I’M PREPPING TO TAKE MY DOG WITH ME, SO I WILL HAVE TO TAKE 400 TINS OF FOOD (ROUNDED UP) & 25 BAGS OF MIXER = 400 LTRS OF WATER FOR DA BITCH.
    BUT SAY, FOR EXAMPLE A PROPORTION OF MY STORES WERE CONTAMINATED, LEAVING ME SHORT OF RATIONS.
    COULD I EAT DOG FOOD? NOW SOME OF YOU WILL THINK ‘THAT IS SOME REPUGNANT SHIT’, BUT ASK YOURSELF THIS, IF YOU WERE STARVING, YOU HAD WATER BUT NO FOOD LEFT, WOULD YOU EAT DOG FOOD?.
    SURE YOU COULD LIVE ON JUST WTER FOR 2 POSS 3 WEEKS, THEN WHAT?.
    WELL, KNOWING MY OPTIONS LEAD ME TO TRY SOME OF THIS POOCH’S CHOW, & I’M HERE TO LET YOU KNOW IT AIN’T HALF BAD.
    I HAD ONE TIN & DIVIDED IT INTO 3 “MEALS”, I HAD ONE PORTION OF PLAIN DOG FOOD WITH THE GRAVY IT WAS IN, IT WAS EDIBLE, NOT HOW MUM COOKS, BUT PASSABLE, A BIT “BITTY” APART FROM THAT, OKAY.
    PORTION 2, I MIXED WITH A BEEF OXO CUBE & AN EQUAL AMOUNT OF BAKED BEANS, NOW THIS TASTED QUITE NICE, STILL A BIT BITTY, BUT TASTE & TEXTURE WERE QUITE PASSABLE, GOOD ENOUGH TO LIVE ON, & THAT COULD BE VARIED WITH DIFFERENT FLAVORED CUBES.
    LASTLY,I MIXED IN SOME CURRY POWDER(MILD)WITH A FEW RAISINS & A SPOONFUL OF TINNED GHEE,& HALF A TIN OF PROCESSED PEAS. IT WAS SURPRISINGLY GOOD, AGAIN THAT BITTY AFTER TASTE, BUT I THINK THAT’S A GIVEN NOW, DOG FOOD HAS A BITTY TEXTURE.
    VERDICT, IF I HAD TO I WOULD & WOULD ENJOY IT TOO.
    POST SCRIPT, IF YOU WERE IN A POSITION WHERE YOU FOUND YOURSELF LOOKING & CONSIDERING VARIOUS MENU’S AS YOU STARED AT YOUR DOG’S FOOD, MAY I SUGGEST YOU THINK AHEAD & STORE A FEW EXTRA ROLL’S OF LOO PAPER!!!.
    I HAD A BIT OF A “RUSH OF EVACUATION” SHALL WE SAY FOR THE FIRST TWO DAY’S BUT FIRMED UP AFTER THAT & WAS FINE. (as i tried these menu’s on three successive nights).
    I’M NOT SAYING YOU SHOULD ALL GO & CRACK OPEN A TIN OF YOUR DOG’S FAVE CHOW, BUT IF YOU HAD TO I’M HERE TO TELL YOU, IT’S NOT THE WORSE THING YOU COULD EAT.
    & FOR THOSE WHO MAY WANT TO STOCK UP ON IT, THOUGH THERE IS NO DOG IN EVIDENCE, AT ONE TIN A DAY, YOUR TALKING APROX £150.00.FOR THE YEAR + ADDED INGREDIENTS, PEAS, OXO CUBES, CURRY POWDER ETC. ADD ANOTHER £50.00. SO £200.00. FOR MAIN MEALS FOR A YEAR – NOT BAD I THINK!!.
    FARE YOU WELL PEOPLE. BON-APPETITE. L.O.L.

  • AS A BRIEF FOLLOW UP, THE DOG CHOW I USED FOR THIS OPERATION WAS – SAINSBURY’S CHUNKS IN GRAVY, WITH A GREEN LABEL.
    REMEMBER IN GRAVY, NOT JELLY, JELLY IS WAY LESS TASTY.
    YOU CAN BUY THEM SINGLY, IN PACK’S OF SIX & PACK’S OF TWELVE, PASS ME A SPOON, RIGHT?.
    LOOK AT IT THIS WAY, IF YOU REALLY HAD TO, DOG FOOD OR BUG’S??, I KNOW WHAT I WOULD GO FOR FIRST!.

  • ON A FOOD RELATED NOTE, ALSO IN SAINSBURY’S THEY ARE SELLING 100 MAGI STOCK CUBES FOR £1.39. THEY ARE HALF THE SIZE OF REGULAR STOCK CUBE, BUT IF YOU PUT 1 PACK FOR EACH PERSON IN YOUR MONTHLY RATIONS BIN, THAT’S 3 MEAL’S A DAY + FOR A MONTH. FOR JUST £1.39.
    SERVING SUGGESTION, HOW I DO MINE, A THERMOS FLASK SIZE CUP, ONE CRUMBLED STOCK CUBE, STIR A FEW SECONDS TIL DISSOLVED, ADD 1 ROUND TEASPOON OF COFFEE WHITENER FOR CREAMINESS & 1 DESERT SPOON OF POWDERED MASH FOR THICKENING, GIVE IT A STIR & YOUR DONE.
    OTHER FLAVORS CAN BE ADDED FOR A CHANGE, CURRY POWDER TO TASTE, OR A SPOON OF ANY OF THOSE COOK IN THE BAG PACKS, THE LIST IS ENDLESS.
    £1.39. FOR TWEEN MEAL SNACK, 3 TIMES A DAY IS GREAT VALUE & THE SPCE TAKEN UP IS MINIMAL.
    I’VE FOUND ALSO TO SAVE ON FUEL, IF YOU BUY A 2 LTR THERMOS FLASK, YOU CAN BOIL UP YOUR WATER IN THE MORNING & USE THAT THROUGHOUT THE DAY FOR ABOVE MENTIONED SOUPS, BUT ALSO FOR TEA,COFFEE, HOT CHOC, NOODLES, POWDERED MASH, APART FROM THE FUEL SAVING IT WILL CUT DOWN ON DRIFTING SMELLS FROM COOKING THAT MAY ALERT OTHER’S IN THE IMMEDIATE VICINITY. FARE YOU WELL.

Leave a Reply

You can use these HTML tags

<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>