How I'm prepping

How are you preparing
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Quill
Posts: 30
Joined: Wed Oct 24, 2018 9:36 pm

How I'm prepping

Post by Quill » Sat Oct 27, 2018 1:38 pm

Starting this as I am more or less basically starting from scratch, so it might help out some people in the future and it will be interesting to look back on.

So starting with an inventory of what is available in my 3 person household:

Food - Enough for about 3 days uncooked, probably a week or more if we can still cook. We do have a barbecue with a full tank of gas that last got used in the summer.

Water - Very limited atm, think we've got about 12 of those 500ml bottles in the cupboard so this is gonna need some work. No filtration options.

Heat - Gas heating at the moment with a woodstove in the living room. The wood stove throws off a lot of heat but we don't have any logs or coal in at the moment. The house is well insulated (only about two years old) so in an absolute worst case scenario we could go into one room and just use a lot of blankets.

Alternative Lighting - A lot of tealights and a few torches that's about it.

Fire : We have working smoke alarms and fire doors. No extinguishers or blankets and only one real escape route from upstairs.

Medical - I have a good-sized backpack and a decent pocket sized kit from my degree, as well as as a few packets of common OTC medication (paracetamol, ibuprofen, lemsip, etc) so for my needs at this stage this is more or less covered. I'm allergic to wasp stings so keep a piroten tablet in my wallet and a few in the pocket kit. We have private health and life insurance.

Transport - 3 cars, generally with 25-50% of the tank filled. Definitely going to work on staying over 50% when resources permit.

Financial - Very tight at the minute, but should improve substantially in the next few weeks when I get a job over here.

Fitness - All of the family are in decent enough shape. I'm the only one who doesn't exercise regularly at the minute because I can't afford a gym membership but a few weeks of not training won't do too much damage.

Skills - Prepping related skills we have between us amount to gardening (however, nothing edible is grown in the garden at the moment), map-reading and cooking and some limited DIY. My brother knows how to sky dive too if that counts. Hoping to join the reserves in a few months - a year when I get my run times up to an acceptable level which should help in some matters. Also looking at doing some part time joinery courses at the local college. Would like to learn some bushcraft stuff, but that's purely as a hobby. There's nothing major in the area to hunt/fish for although maybe some stuff to forage for.

Security - We have a yappy spaniel and keep the doors/windows locked.

Documents - Generally quite well organised. If we had two minutes to evacuate we could get all the important ones but there are no backups.

Space - Very very limited. It doesn't help either that both of the other people in the house consider preppers nutcases so this is all gonna have to be done on the down low.

Family and Friends - We have quite a few friends in the local area. Closest is about two miles away, then I have a few about 5/6 miles away in the countryside. Grandparents live in a large town about 10 miles away while my dad's side of the family lives about 40 minutes drive away, on the other side of Belfast.

Location - We currently live on the outskirts of a small village of <500 people about two miles away from a large town and motorway. Decent sized river about five minutes walk from the house. No risk of flooding. Don't know our neighbours super well, but they're quite friendly and we don't have any problems with them. One down the road is a bit nosey though.

So in general, we'd survive the zombie apocalypse for all of twenty minutes but would be able to muddle through a 3 day or so powercut. This will need some work.


Threat Assessment
(This bit is to write down my opinions and to see how they change over time as well as figure out what I'm actually prepping for).
Nuclear War - Unlikely but nothing can be done about it at this stage. The bunker will come later!
Pandemic - Possible but nothing can be done about it at this stage. NI's geographical remoteness would give us a chance.
Solar Flare/EMP - Very unlikely and an EMP's effects are greatly overstated by a lot of preppers.
Natural Disasters - No risk of volcanoes/earthquakes/tsunamis/hurricanes here. Where we live has no chance of flooding. An Icelandic volcano erupting and shutting down planes for a few days is quite possible.
Weather - High likelihood of temperatures up to +35 or down to -10 over the next few years. High likelihood of strong storms each year.
Power cuts - High chance of losing power for at least a few hours each year.
Losing income/job - Check!
Unforeseen circumstances such as boiler breaking - Sods law dictates this will happen
Car Breakdown - Entirely possible
Financial Collapse - Another recession is likely in the next five years.
Total societal collapse - Unlikely but nothing can be done about it at this stage.
Government takeover - I wouldn't trust our politicians to take over a farmers market tbh.
Fire/Burglary - Quiet area and the houses are built to good standards but still possible.

So at this point it looks like I'm preparing most for bad weather, financial upsets and car trouble. So where do I go from here?

http://www.theplacewithnoname.com/blogs ... p/map.html is going to be the foundation for a lot of my plan in the next few days. It's written by someone who went through hurricane katrina and seems like a really sensible resource with lots of information focusing on the most likely sort of disasters. Read through it last night. The primary takeaways from it are keep your documents backed up, have a plan to get out of the house in under 60 seconds, one to get out in under an hour and one to get out in under 12 hours.

Action Plan
Short Term (30 days)

Expand water storage - possibly get some sort of filtration
Assemble a neck safe, EDC bag and 60 second plan using the placewithnoname as a base.
Put together a car kit from the resources I have available
Copy and scan documents I have, storing encrypted copies on the cloud and on a few flash drives.
Put some more stock up onto Ebay and Amazon to try and raise some money.

Medium Term (30 days to a year)

Sign up to some part-time courses
Receive regular income from a job
Assemble a bug out bag under the guise of taking up "hiking" as a hobby
Take up hiking as a hobby
Start saving. Worked out that I should be able to save around 50% of my salary. This money will go towards establishing a rainy day fund and funding a house.

Long Term (Year+)

Join the reserves
Buy a house in the countryside. There's quite a lot of farmhouses that need some TLC going for cheap and I've always wanted to grow my own food etc. House prices are low enough over in NI that I should be able to get a deposit within a year or two if I save hard.

I'd love any advice/opinions you guys have of what I've just written!

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xplosiv1
Posts: 421
Joined: Fri Sep 07, 2012 2:12 pm
Location: Scotland

Re: How I'm prepping

Post by xplosiv1 » Sat Oct 27, 2018 4:43 pm

nice post, brutally honest and to the point.

looks like you know where your preps are weak already and have a plan in action to remedy that.

you might want to stick a bag or two of logs on your short term list as we're rapidly heading into winter and although a Gas cut is unlikely a boiler breakdown is very likely over winter.

Keep us updated.
Area 11

Endure the pain of discipline or Suffer the pain of regret.

User avatar
Quill
Posts: 30
Joined: Wed Oct 24, 2018 9:36 pm

Re: How I'm prepping

Post by Quill » Sat Oct 27, 2018 5:28 pm

xplosiv1 wrote:
Sat Oct 27, 2018 4:43 pm
nice post, brutally honest and to the point.

looks like you know where your preps are weak already and have a plan in action to remedy that.

you might want to stick a bag or two of logs on your short term list as we're rapidly heading into winter and although a Gas cut is unlikely a boiler breakdown is very likely over winter.

Keep us updated.
Cheers! Well, good news on that last point. My family came back from the shop with a bag of coal unprompted. Maybe there's hope for them yet!

Arzosah
Posts: 3509
Joined: Fri Jun 22, 2012 4:20 pm

Re: How I'm prepping

Post by Arzosah » Sat Oct 27, 2018 6:53 pm

Great post! I'm snipping in ...
Quill wrote:
Sat Oct 27, 2018 1:38 pm
Starting this as I am more or less basically starting from scratch, so it might help out some people in the future and it will be interesting to look back on.
Thats certainly what I do at various stages.
So starting with an inventory of what is available in my 3 person household:

Food - Enough for about 3 days uncooked, probably a week or more if we can still cook. We do have a barbecue with a full tank of gas that last got used in the summer.
Baked beans are no cook food :mrgreen: all tins are, so just a few tins are going to add another day's supplies very easily. Gives you another day before you're out of options.
Water - Very limited atm, think we've got about 12 of those 500ml bottles in the cupboard so this is gonna need some work. No filtration options.
Asda or its equivalent sell 2 litres of water for 17p-20p. Even more important than food. Since space is such a huge issue, purification tabs might be the way to go.

Fire : We have working smoke alarms and fire doors. No extinguishers or blankets and only one real escape route from upstairs.
It's a modern house, I think you said, so although planning a way out is good, the ground floor ceiling is probably low enough that if you hang out of the first floor windows, or even sit on the window sill, you could get out.
Medical - I have a good-sized backpack and a decent pocket sized kit from my degree, as well as as a few packets of common OTC medication (paracetamol, ibuprofen, lemsip, etc) so for my needs at this stage this is more or less covered. I'm allergic to wasp stings so keep a piroten tablet in my wallet and a few in the pocket kit. We have private health and life insurance.
Dressings for blisters and wounds are so necessary, don't take up much space, give you independence.
Financial - Very tight at the minute, but should improve substantially in the next few weeks when I get a job over here.

Fitness - All of the family are in decent enough shape. I'm the only one who doesn't exercise regularly at the minute because I can't afford a gym membership but a few weeks of not training won't do too much damage.
**smacks forehead** - but, but, you don't need a gym membership to get fit, especially when money's been tight. Just sayin'
Skills - Prepping related skills we have between us amount to gardening (however, nothing edible is grown in the garden at the moment), map-reading and cooking and some limited DIY. My brother knows how to sky dive too if that counts. Hoping to join the reserves in a few months - a year when I get my run times up to an acceptable level which should help in some matters. Also looking at doing some part time joinery courses at the local college. Would like to learn some bushcraft stuff, but that's purely as a hobby. There's nothing major in the area to hunt/fish for although maybe some stuff to forage for.
Bushcraft and foraging are great to aim for. First aid knowledge? I guess skydiving would avoid zombies on planes :mrgreen:
You're really well situated for local family, so this might be irrelevant, but can you read a compass?
Security - We have a yappy spaniel and keep the doors/windows locked.
How about when you're out and about?
So in general, we'd survive the zombie apocalypse for all of twenty minutes but would be able to muddle through a 3 day or so powercut. This will need some work.
Great beginning though!
My blog: http://www.preparednessfactandfiction.co.uk/
There are affiliate links to Amazon in this blog.

Arzosah
Posts: 3509
Joined: Fri Jun 22, 2012 4:20 pm

Re: How I'm prepping

Post by Arzosah » Sat Oct 27, 2018 7:04 pm

Quill wrote:
Sat Oct 27, 2018 1:38 pm
Threat Assessment
(This bit is to write down my opinions and to see how they change over time as well as figure out what I'm actually prepping for).
Nuclear War - Unlikely but nothing can be done about it at this stage. The bunker will come later!
Pandemic - Possible but nothing can be done about it at this stage. NI's geographical remoteness would give us a chance.
You sound quite isolated within NI, actually, which is good.
Solar Flare/EMP - Very unlikely and an EMP's effects are greatly overstated by a lot of preppers.
Natural Disasters - No risk of volcanoes/earthquakes/tsunamis/hurricanes here. Where we live has no chance of flooding. An Icelandic volcano erupting and shutting down planes for a few days is quite possible.
Weather - High likelihood of temperatures up to +35 or down to -10 over the next few years. High likelihood of strong storms each year.
Power cuts - High chance of losing power for at least a few hours each year.
Losing income/job - Check!
Unforeseen circumstances such as boiler breaking - Sods law dictates this will happen
Car Breakdown - Entirely possible
Financial Collapse - Another recession is likely in the next five years.
Total societal collapse - Unlikely but nothing can be done about it at this stage.
Government takeover - I wouldn't trust our politicians to take over a farmers market tbh.
Fire/Burglary - Quiet area and the houses are built to good standards but still possible.
Are you near a railway line? What goods travel along it? How near are you to the Irish Sea? What are the currents like between Sellafield and you (biggish problems back in 1957).
http://www.theplacewithnoname.com/blogs ... p/map.html is going to be the foundation for a lot of my plan in the next few days. It's written by someone who went through hurricane katrina and seems like a really sensible resource with lots of information focusing on the most likely sort of disasters. Read through it last night. The primary takeaways from it are keep your documents backed up, have a plan to get out of the house in under 60 seconds, one to get out in under an hour and one to get out in under 12 hours.
I love that whole website! Really brilliant to have such a detailed diary, and such a detailed and honest assessment.
Action Plan

Medium Term (30 days to a year)

Sign up to some part-time courses
Receive regular income from a job
Assemble a bug out bag under the guise of taking up "hiking" as a hobby
Take up hiking as a hobby
Start saving. Worked out that I should be able to save around 50% of my salary. This money will go towards establishing a rainy day fund and funding a house.
Courses: check out future learn, and if you're thinking prepping related courses, definitely think about reputable sources on youtube. Volunteering with some organisations might help: Conservation Volunteers and WWOOF.
Couldn't agree more about hiking and saving
Long Term (Year+)

Join the reserves
Buy a house in the countryside. There's quite a lot of farmhouses that need some TLC going for cheap and I've always wanted to grow my own food etc. House prices are low enough over in NI that I should be able to get a deposit within a year or two if I save hard.

I'd love any advice/opinions you guys have of what I've just written!
You've got some great options opening out in front of you! Since you're sharing with two people, you should be able to really put away a lot of savings - check out FIRE blogs (Financial Independence Retire Early).

HTH.
My blog: http://www.preparednessfactandfiction.co.uk/
There are affiliate links to Amazon in this blog.

User avatar
Quill
Posts: 30
Joined: Wed Oct 24, 2018 9:36 pm

Re: How I'm prepping

Post by Quill » Sat Oct 27, 2018 10:22 pm

Arzosah wrote:
Sat Oct 27, 2018 6:53 pm
Baked beans are no cook food :mrgreen: all tins are, so just a few tins are going to add another day's supplies very easily. Gives you another day before you're out of options.
That's a good shout! They're a staple here too.

Asda or its equivalent sell 2 litres of water for 17p-20p. Even more important than food. Since space is such a huge issue, purification tabs might be the way to go.
Gonna pop round to Lidl in the next few days and get some of those.
It's a modern house, I think you said, so although planning a way out is good, the ground floor ceiling is probably low enough that if you hang out of the first floor windows, or even sit on the window sill, you could get out.
Point
Dressings for blisters and wounds are so necessary, don't take up much space, give you independence.
Got those in the bigger backpack kit! I should do a full inventory of that tbh.
**smacks forehead** - but, but, you don't need a gym membership to get fit, especially when money's been tight. Just sayin'
Oh I know! I'm still doing a bit of walking and some other light exercise but I want to get back into the routine of weights 4-5 days a week which really needs a gym. But the one I like near by only costs £13 a month so should be regularly training again within a month.
Bushcraft and foraging are great to aim for. First aid knowledge? I guess skydiving would avoid zombies on planes :mrgreen:
You're really well situated for local family, so this might be irrelevant, but can you read a compass?
Got a certificate in mountain first aid as part of the degree, and true haha. Yep, can triangulate my location from a map as well.
How about when you're out and about?
My charming personality! Aside from having a bit of common sense (avoiding dodgy areas after dark etc) I don't have much in that area and don't really know how to improve that.
Great beginning though!
Thanks!
Arzosah wrote:
Sat Oct 27, 2018 7:04 pm
You sound quite isolated within NI, actually, which is good.
Yeah this is a population density map of NI - Image
and one of England for comparison
Image
(The map colour scales aren't the same but it illustrates the general point)

I currently live at the boundary of one of the grey areas and where I'm planning to get a house is in one of the white areas. In some ways NI is great for prepping (low population density, moderate climate, flooding is the only natural disaster in the area, not many strategic targets) but in others way it's worse than Great Britain (higher risk of political violence, dysfunctional government, generally poorer with less opportunities). I'm fortunate because in my field I can expect to earn only a few thousand less than in London in Northern Ireland at entry level but the cost of living is a lot lower. Houses are about 60% the price they are in the midlands and a fraction of london's values.
Are you near a railway line? What goods travel along it? How near are you to the Irish Sea? What are the currents like between Sellafield and you (biggish problems back in 1957).
Nearest one is approximately 3km away from me at the closest point. I believe it's primarily passengers but unsure exactly. I'm about 15km from the sea and the predominant sea currents are going towards Great Britain rather than Ireland. Looking at a map of the fallout from Sellafield it mostly avoided Northern Ireland (http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/7030536.stm). Hadn't considered any of these points actually!
Courses: check out future learn, and if you're thinking prepping related courses, definitely think about reputable sources on youtube. Volunteering with some organisations might help: Conservation Volunteers and WWOOF.
Couldn't agree more about hiking and saving
I had no idea about future learn and I'll check those out.
You've got some great options opening out in front of you! Since you're sharing with two people, you should be able to really put away a lot of savings - check out FIRE blogs (Financial Independence Retire Early).
HTH.
Thank you again! And yup, already been reading them for a while. I' aiming to get mortgage free within 10 years.

jennyjj01
Posts: 53
Joined: Sun Jun 04, 2017 11:09 pm

Re: How I'm prepping

Post by jennyjj01 » Sun Oct 28, 2018 10:40 am

Great post. Thanks. You've given it some thought.
Might I suggest... Get a water butt that can sit at the side of your house and tap into your downspout. 120L of fairly clean water always available. Only cost about £25.
LIDL for cheap tinned soups and potatoes. ASDA for incredibly cheap instant mash. Fit to make cheap meals when money is tight.
You point out a weakness in my preps: Meds and first aid. Thx.
Is Northern Ireland Electricity only, with little or no gas cooking? Maybe consider a long/medium term total loss of electricity as a real risk.

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Quill
Posts: 30
Joined: Wed Oct 24, 2018 9:36 pm

Re: How I'm prepping

Post by Quill » Sun Oct 28, 2018 11:27 am

jennyjj01 wrote:
Sun Oct 28, 2018 10:40 am
Great post. Thanks. You've given it some thought.
Might I suggest... Get a water butt that can sit at the side of your house and tap into your downspout. 120L of fairly clean water always available. Only cost about £25.
LIDL for cheap tinned soups and potatoes. ASDA for incredibly cheap instant mash. Fit to make cheap meals when money is tight.
You point out a weakness in my preps: Meds and first aid. Thx.
Is Northern Ireland Electricity only, with little or no gas cooking? Maybe consider a long/medium term total loss of electricity as a real risk.
A waterbutt is a great idea, thanks!

Glad I was able to help with the medical side. When you put together preps for that you can get own brand OTC medication for literally 1/10th or less of the price of branded products like nurofen, and they're identical chemically. I also bulk bought a load of dressings etc from online retailers, made up four really good kits and gave them to my mapping partners for just over the cost of one off the shelf kit. You can get handy booklets on basic first aid (how to put somebody in the recovery position, that sort of stuff) cheaply on amazon or the like if you don't have first aid training.

We generally have gas, oil and electric heating available as options and then gas/electric cooking options.

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Quill
Posts: 30
Joined: Wed Oct 24, 2018 9:36 pm

Re: How I'm prepping

Post by Quill » Sun Oct 28, 2018 6:30 pm

Inventory of the backpack first aid kit

Two pairs of nitrile gloves
Two 4 inch trauma wound dressings
Large number of bandages and dressings of various sizes
Medical tape
Mini first aid booklet
Eyetorch
Sterile sodium chloride solution for eye/wound irrigation
Pair of tweezers and magnifying glass
Scissors to cut through clothing
CPR faceshield
Two rehydration sachets
Eye pad
Emergency blanket
Sixteen lemsip tablets (4 night, 12 day)
Antiseptic wipes

Two things strike me after going through the kit. I’ve used all of my burn relief sachets (very clumsy housemate) and I’m down to two antiseptic wipes, so that needs work.

The pocket kit also needs some burn sachets. It’s just got some light pain relief medication, a few bandages and piroten.

Yorkshire Andy
Posts: 3652
Joined: Thu Oct 03, 2013 4:06 pm

Re: How I'm prepping

Post by Yorkshire Andy » Sun Oct 28, 2018 6:43 pm

Quill wrote:
Sun Oct 28, 2018 6:30 pm
Inventory of the backpack first aid kit

Two pairs of nitrile gloves
Two 4 inch trauma wound dressings
Large number of bandages and dressings of various sizes
Medical tape
Mini first aid booklet
Eyetorch
Sterile sodium chloride solution for eye/wound irrigation
Pair of tweezers and magnifying glass
Scissors to cut through clothing
CPR faceshield
Two rehydration sachets
Eye pad
Emergency blanket
Sixteen lemsip tablets (4 night, 12 day)
Antiseptic wipes

Two things strike me after going through the kit. I’ve used all of my burn relief sachets (very clumsy housemate) and I’m down to two antiseptic wipes, so that needs work.

The pocket kit also needs some burn sachets. It’s just got some light pain relief medication, a few bandages and piroten.
Look into pocket mask and cat tourniquet...

Burns dressings more the merrier a burnt hand / arm will need a good few

Imodium!
If your roughing it, Your doing it wrong ;)

Lack of planning on your part doesn't make it an emergency on mine

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