Top Ten Items to Stockpile for Emergencies
Even if you are not a UK prepper, common sense dictates that every one of us should have basic essentials in reserve for local or national emergencies. Anything from a deluge of snow through to flooding - maybe even a disaster or strike at a local power station, oil refinery or chemical factory in your area - which might disrupt supplies to your local shops or limit fuel supplies which then restrict your ability to get out and about.
Here are my top ten sets of items that I recommend you stockpile:
1. Water and Non-Perishable Food. I recommend at least 1 gallon of water per person per day for a minimum period of two weeks. In addition, you should have one of the charcoal water filter flasks. This way you can filter drinking water every day, in case the public water supply is contaminated or fails. Canned goods can be eaten without cooking. Also have dry goods in case cooking is not a problem — consume these first, and save the canned goods. I check my product expiry dates regularly and use up (and replace) canned goods which are starting to run out of date – I still keep water which has run out of date as that will be okay for personal hygiene use.
2. Flashlights and Batteries. Give priority to flashlights that use common batteries, like AA, instead of the exotic batteries that may be hard to find. Batteries have a long shelf life, so stock up plenty of them. Keep a torch by your bed anyway in case power fails in the night.
3. Candles, Matches, and Lighters. A single flame will light up an entire room enough to keep you out of the dark, and large ones will provide a couple of hours of light for weeks. Keep your matches in a waterproof container. Use lighters as a backup.
4. Clothes and Blankets. Keep a complete set of clothes stored in a case or one of the compressible plastic cases where you suck out the air to reduce space and keep the clothes dust and damp free. Give priority to wool — it will keep you warm even in damp conditions. I have a wool hat, woollen thermal socks, wool sweater, a pair of trousers, a scarf, a set of thermal underwear, gloves, and a waterproof, breathable nylon jacket with a hood.
5. Portable Stove or Camp Stove. Propane stoves or liquid-fuel stoves can be used indoors if the room is properly ventilated. Kelly Kettles will burn any available wood or charcoal, and are good if you can cook on a patio or balcony. Give yourself options. I have a set of camping Gaz burners and bottles stored in a box in an outside store.
6. Alternate Heat. You need a backup in case your primary heat source goes out. A fireplace, wood stove, SuperSer or propane space heater will knock the chill out of at least one room. I bought some secondhand gas bottles from e-Bay very cheaply.
7. Alcohol, Coffee, and Cigarettes. Even if you don’t drink or smoke, these make excellent barter items. Also, alcohol can be used as a disinfectant. Buy the cheapest stuff you can find, and give priority to plastic bottles, which are resistant to breaking. Vodka and brandy are good choices. Keep coffee and cigarettes in waterproof containers.
8. Weapons for capturing small animals and as a deterrent for intruders. A crossbow, a powerful air rifle or maybe even a shotgun are good choices. Be sure you have plenty of ammo. Ensure they are all securely stored, away from children’s’ reach.
9. Medical Kit. Your medical kit should include first aid basics, plus an additional supply of whatever regular medications you and your family members take. I have, over a period time by ordering my repeat prescriptions a week early every two months, have now built up two months’ reserves of my medication.
10. Tools. Just the basics here: hammer, screwdrivers, a knife, multitool, tape and glue, rope and twine, and a crowbar. Be sure you keep this kit untouched until the emergency. That way you know it will always be there.
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