Little did I suspect, when I took up the position of SIGsec for the British Mensa economics group, that just a few short years later I'd be sitting here trying to put together a neo-survival guide. Is it really necessary, are things really that bad? I don't think this is necessary right now today or tomorrow but increasingly I believe it will be, and probably soon. Here's why...
We used to have the so-called divine right of kings to rule in this country, back then the monarch was regarded as God's representative on Earth. How did the royals fall from that exalted status? They abused the privilege, upsetting ordinary folk so much rebellion ensued. James the Second was eventually replaced by the effectively emasculated figurehead of William of Orange. Since then, with the end of tally stick accounting and transfer of the sovereign monopoly of money creation to parliament and thus to banking, we've been under the clandestine rule of the banks. In between the ending of the old order and firm establishing of the new, there was a period of social tumult.
The banks, similarly, have abused their privileges, with the consequence that now in the information age their clandestine activities are being forced into the open. Increasingly I expect to see a period of tumult similar to the above before some new order arises. Who'll be in charge? I couldn't say, and it's not really the issue. My concern is surviving any such period of social breakdown. Imagine; no food, no heat, no light - what would we do?
Consider the speech made by Dmitri Orlov, someone who's lived through economic collapse in what used to be the Soviet Union. It's written with the US in mind (where discussion about secession, the breaking up of the USA into its member states, is increasing), but many of the exposed inadequacies are apparent here too. Serious preparation, foresight and planning are needed, not denial. Ask yourself, how many times during the TV coverage of the credit crunch did you hear the words "unthinkable" and "unimaginable" used? Consider too, if you haven't already, observations and suggestions from the following; doomwatch.
- Water. The first thing you're going to need is water. I recommend you find a gravity-powered water purifier such as the British Berkefeld. These come in various sizes. There's a sports version too, a small bottle very similar to the kind sports enthusiasts use, but with a filter. They're available on the internet and don't forget there's always Ebay.
- Food. Up to you really. Tins are an obvious choice. Those along the coast shouldn't forget that a lot of kelp is edible. Everyone should remember too that a lot of what we generally regard as weeds are in fact perfectly edible. Learn more about this subject on a Wild Food Foraging Course or a Bushcraft Course. Also you might like to try dessicated, powdered food - egg yolk is available in powdered form and has lots of useful fats. As I write this in early March 2010, I'm reminded perhaps appropriately it's Spam Appreciation Week. No, really... it is. Perhaps a few cans of Spam, with its mixture of protein, fats and sprinkling of carbohydrates wouldn't be a bad choice to have lying around the place.
- Medicine. This is where the casualties will come from. Get a scratch and die in the absence of basic antibiotics. Run out of heart pills or, as in my case, thyroxine, and prepare to meet thy maker. You should stock up with everything you're likely to need. Before Big Pharma swamped us with antibiotics, we used colloidal silver, very fine silver particles in suspension. Now might be a good time to investigate the merits of colloidal silver for ourselves. You can get kits to make it at home.
- The merits of clockwork make themselves immediately apparent during even the briefest of night-time power cuts. Having had an unpleasant fall once under such circumstances, I now keep clockwork lanterns handy where I know I can find my way to them in the dark. They've been useful just lately and I expect them to be more so in the future. Where to get them? Again, Ebay is your friend.
More suggestions and inspiration might be found at the American Preppers Network, and you should also read the articles at Ready Nutrition. Go see! Also let's not forget the UK's original preppers (it seems) The Ludlow Survivors who went into this whole subject some years ago. They have good prepping food advice at http://foodwaterandfire.ludlowsurvivors.com/. There's also practical advice on subjects from boning a chicken to skinning a deer. Recommended.
Advice for free on all kinds of things you might not realise you'll need.
Get a taste of where we're headed. Part 1 of 12. Watch part 2 and you may get an idea of why, even in these supposedly 'austere' times, foreign aid is left untouched by Chancellor George Osborne in his slash and burn budgets.
What it says on the tin!
Fifty foods you should have in your prepper's larder from Health Ranger Mike Adams.
Can I direct journalists to the media page if they have questions please? I'm not interested in giving interviews on this subject myself. You could always try the other groups.
Members can discuss this and other articles on the economics forum at International Mensa.