If you live in the UK and are trying to get your house in better shape to cope with all manner of common difficulties, you’re in the right place.
Power cuts. Snow disruption. Illness. Losing your job. Boiler breaking down. Bath leaking. Water main burst. Car breakdown. Gas leak and street evacuation.
These things happen. Are you prepared?
My aim is that in any number of scenarios, the guides listed below can help soften the blow. A lot of it has its roots in old-school ‘home economics’, but many of us never got taught this at school. Most of the guides go a little deeper, with the ultimate goal of becoming prepared for wide-scale infrastructure disruption in the background. Guides that are
struck through have not been published yet.
If you’re not quite ready to dive into details, I can recommend Jack Spirko’s Survival Podcast episodes 1056 & 1057 “From Zero to Prepared“. They’re very American and a bit wordy (2 hours), but stick with them and they will give you a great overview of the basics. In many ways these episodes were the inspiration for this website; to create something a little more UK-centric and a lot more toned-down.
I can’t tell you “this is the number 1 thing you should do” because everyone’s circumstances are different. You may have debt, medical issues, dietary needs, or other factors that would alter the priorities.
But there are a few general areas of preparedness that you should think about if you haven’t already. My suggestion would be to try to get the basics in each area up and running ASAP. These aren’t listed in any particular order.
Planning for Emergencies
Most accidents and emergencies are avoidable. Why wouldn’t you want to try to avoid them? And yet, most people don’t carry an emergency kit in their car. What if that perfect storm occurs and you’ve broken down AND your phone is out of battery, or you get injured while on holiday? These sorts of situations happen to other people every single day. You can take action to mitigate against these things now and even if it never happens at the very least you have peace of mind. Winging it doesn’t work. Get prepared.
Reduced External Reliance
One major goal of becoming reasonably prepared is to reduce your reliance on external factors. That means, wherever possible, cutting out or providing backups for anything that you don’t produce yourself. That means water, power, food, other consumables, money, and so on. It’s about taking steps towards self sufficiency and being able to stand on your own two feet. In computer networking we talk about “single points of failure” – things that would take down the whole system if they broke . What are the single points of failure for your household lifestyle? How can you eliminate them?
Money can be exchanged for goods and services! It’s the ultimate item to stockpile, in fact it’s so fundamental that you probably haven’t ever thought of your savings account as a stockpile, but it performs exactly the same function. We have some simple budgeting and finance tips to help you budget, save, invest, and grow this all-important asset. At best you’ll get richer, at worst you’ll be more able to manage in case your situation changes in the future. It’s a great feeling knowing our income could go to zero and we’d still have the bills covered for a good number of months, and I’d love to help you get to that point too.
Food and Water reserves
If you have a week or two’s food and water stored up, you’ll be well prepared for a lot of minor emergencies. Once you have the systems in place, it’s easy to extend it to one or two months and so on. Every extra tin means you can last out a little longer if you needed to hunker down. We’ve all been in the situation where we’re too tired or ill to go shopping and there’s nothing in the house. This will help with that. It’s widely regarded as one of the most fundamental ways to get prepared.
Health and Fitness
The idea of getting prepared is all about increasing the longevity of you and your family’s lifestyle. Health and fitness plays an incredibly important part of that. If you have stamina, flexibility, and can lift heavy things then you’ll fare a lot better in general than those who can’t. Even if the zombie apocalypse never happens, getting ripped is its own reward. Our food stockpile isn’t all ‘healthy food’, though, because it’s harder to store and in a lot of situations where you’ll need it high energy is a priority.
Stretching, home gym, workout routines.
Personal and Home Security
Bad people exist. If you’ve never met one it’s because you’re lucky and they haven’t got around to you yet. Thankfully, there are some things you can do to help stay lucky. Developing these habits and skills will give you more confidence and peace of mind, and will equip you to avoid confrontation where possible, and face it where necessary.
An Englishman’s home is his castle, but if anything goes wrong with your house can you fix it? Do you have the basic tools, skills, and will to keep your house maintained? It’ll save you money, give you confidence, and help you deal with many household emergencies. One of the best things I ever bought was a £1 hand drill at a car boot. It’s great for drilling small accurate holes, and it’s a perfect ‘grid down’ backup item.