This is a Premium feature
To use this feature subscribe to Mumsnet Premium - get first access to new features see fewer ads, and support Mumsnet.Start using Mumsnet Premium
Is there a beginners thread?(26 Posts)
I've just discovered this board...is there a beginners preppers thread?
Thanks for starting this, OP. Watching hopefully. Would be great to have a basics / where to start thread.
I'm in the very early stages, have bottled water and survival blankets. Need some ideas on how to start building this up.
Storage first I think looking back. I have a big walk in cupboard upstairs I painted out, put shelving units in.
There are was to store stuff if you don't have much room also, I know people in flats to put little bits behind the bath panel, surprising room under the bath. Divan bed with drawers are also a good way to use space.
Once you've got your space it's easy to start.
Storage definitely key. Then sit and think about how long you want to be able to manage for (a week? three? a year like apparently Mormons are recommended to do?). And are you planning to hunker down and stay put, or do you also want a plan for if you have to vacate?
If staying put, its a question of looking at what foods store, for how long, and what level of calories would be needed a day (you want to maximise healthy calories in a form that takes up as little space as possible - low fat diet products are not your friend in an emergency )
Also think about water. Can you store it? How much? What are alternative water sources? How to ensure the water available is potable?
If you'd have to leave - what could you carry? Are you fit? Do you have appropriate rucksacks, etc.
Yeah must put together those rucksacks. Be good to have a sort through anyroad I think.
I also have one of these. www.amazon.co.uk/gp/aw/d/B00ALRS1AS/ref=mp_s_a_1_5?ie=UTF8&qid=1472118967&sr=8-5&pi=AC_SX236_SY340_QL65&keywords=inverters&dpPl=1&dpID=51U7vyZRbgL&ref=plSrch It's mainly for power cuts to run the big freezer but it's handy for camping as well. I just clip it to a car battery.
Many of the threads on the board are, in effect, reference threads where people have gone into some considerable detail about their plans. For me, the key is actually thinking about the topic occasionally. (Not obsessively, I reckon. You still have to live your life.)
Work out your own vulnerabilities and how you might be able to cope with them. Fire, for example, is still your most likely and immediate hazard, I think, so start with something you can cater for. Would you be able to get the family out safely if everything went up in the early hours of tomorrow morning, for example? It's extraordinary how few families have even addressed the topic, let alone made any plans for it.
We have storage (large amount of shelving space in secure garage) so a good starting point I guess.
I think there are so many eventualities for which we could prep, so I've selected two:
- fire (need to leave house immediately)
- natural / medical disaster which means we CANNOT leave the house
For the latter I am planning for a week at the moment. I'm not sure I would want to be around if anything lasts longer than that, although I appreciate this is somewhat warped logic.
Actually, if you prepare for one thing - fire, say, is a prime example - you'll be in the mindset for dealing with others if they happen. You may even find that the preparing covers more than one event.
I agree, cozie.
I did the online shop this afternoon and after some research, added things which seem to be considered 'essentials' for prepping. Mainly food bits at the moment.
Thanks for all the replies. I've been thinking of getting started several times and just get a bit overwhelmed! Good advice to start thinking of particular scenarios and planning for them. I'm going to start with the First Aid kit and Rucksacks for the car.
We are pretty limited in terms of storage so I'm thinking of a storage box in the kitchen. Going to start adding extras to the food shop.
Well done for thinking about it.
How are you fixed for a possible fire, by the way? (Planning there may not cost you much at all (if anything) and could have zero impact on your storage.)
For a fire, we have a fire blanket in the kitchen. I have an exit planned for night time, always leave the door keys in the same spot etc. Have been considering getting a rope ladder... Worth it do you think?
It depends on circumstances, I think, but you know my views - just thinking things through seriously is a fair part of the battle to my mind. I know that fire, for example, can come upon you completely unexpectedly and in circumstances where you have little control over it.
(Some years back, we were woken in the early hours by the fire brigade and put under warning of immediate evacuation because the building on the other side of our neighbour's had gone up. Nothing to do with our household. It worked out OK for us due to the emergency services and local weather conditions at the time but I could very easily have lost permanently a whole raft of eg family pictures among other things. When it happens, it's fast. )
We have just started a survival kit in our garage.
We have a few sleeping bags, 2 rucksacks, gas, lighters, matches, are collecting water bottles (29p for 2 litres at home bargain), tins and things can be eaten cold- we will then rotate these each year and add to each month.
Living fairly rurally, albeit with a village shop nearby, it seems a good idea to be prepared for harsh winters as much as zombie apocalypse.
I agree. Maybe we'll muddle through with regard to the SHTF situations but the lower level problems will always be with us.
I never even knew there was a thread on here let alone a whole board. That's great, now when it comes to dp going on about axes and saws that he'll need I can take advise from you, and tell him what we actually need. So far I have rice and hand sanitiser, ds1 keeps eating the canned goods.
Dp has bought all ds's (and himself, and friend) a catapult for xmas and will be teaching them how to use it. It might get a few pheasants if shtf.
Aside from that and a small pop up tent, we're literally just starting. So any advise is greatly appreciated.
The thing about axes and saws is that you have to use them a lot to gain the appropriate callouses and muscle development. If he starts to use them a lot in a situation of.....difficulty, he'll just have blisters and pulled muscles within 20 minutes. (And little in the way of formal medicine to help him.) Do you need anything built or chopped right now?? Because he ought to get started right away.
Sorry - that applies to many tools and not just axes and saws of course.
Dp is a baker by trade but also does a lot of diy, this summer he completely excavated and leveled the back garden by hand, shifted a few tons of soil into a skip, and is currently working on a worktop (made from pallettes) in his shed. He has callouses as hes always got some sort of project on.
Good for him. A sound person to have around in the event of ......difficulties.
I once saw a TV program about British preppers, one guy had dug down boxes with tin cans on various places, among other things on a small island midst a river, and planned to swim out. Another had built a 'hideout' in the woods somewhere (from the looks of it, although I couldn't figure out if he had bought his own plot of land or not). It seemed in my eyes not so realistic and I kept thinking they had to be ex-military guys with PTSD and that this was the main reason for keeping up all the prepping. One lady in the film had bought for herself a particularly bizarre military knife, I recall, one that to me looked less useful and not at all like the ones I used to have when I was a girl scout as a child.
But there is obviously a continuous scale between that, and having nothing edible in the house if you can't shop for two days. It doesn't have to be something drastic has to happen, just that you have a severe cold and can't go down to the grocery store for a week, or maybe you have a lumbago and don't want to move.
One event that made a strong impression on me, personally, was when there was a four week (or was it six weeks) banking strike where I lived at a time (in Sweden). I was a teenager and lived with my parents, they could withdraw money from a postal giro service they had, one that wasn't effected. But lots of people quickly just ran down on cash, they just had NO MONEY whatsoever after just a few days they were completely helpless. This was almost prior to credit cards so a lot of people didn't have them. One really big chain of grocery stores let people shop against credit in case they were able to show a particular name card, one they'd gotten from the equivalent of the NHS and had the name in embossed letters and was thus possible to run through the (nowadays antiquated) credit card machines. That was an eye-opener of sorts, but I haven't turned the lesson into practice.
grrr... affected. Should have checked the spelling before posting. Sorry!
After thinking about fire we just went to.the next most likely scenario which for us is power and water cuts and worked out solutions. Water source, ability to purify water, ways to heat and prep food etc.
We don't have rucksacks but keep essentials in a fire safe and use shared dropbox for photos, digital paperwork etc.
If you live or work in a city think about how you could get home if the buses etc stop running - suitable shoes, map, torch, cash etc maybe even some basic first aid items.
I used to be good about keeping enough cash to get me through about a month, I started it when the financial crisis hit but have fallen out of the habit again.
I have a fair amount to get us through the major crises that are likely to happen around us - power outages, weather problems, job losses etc. I keep meaning to set up BOBs (Bug Out Bags) - not that I think we are likely to have big reasons to abandon the house, but the most likely would be fire so having docs and emergency supplies would be useful.
I also don't have specific SHTF (shit hits the fan) stores, but have a general level of preparedness that would cover most situations except the really dire. We have food and water supplies, first aid, lighting and heating solutions etc. all readily accessible. But not gathered together in 1 place, more situated where they would normally be used and where everyone knows where to find them.
I am watching the weather forecast closely this week as it happens, in case it gets snowy here. I will probably do my weekly shop earlier than normal for that and general family life reasons - and make sure that a couple of things that ran down before and over Christmas are replaced (like hot chocolate powder and dried milk - which become hugely popular when very cold weather hits locally).
But I find that if I have thought ahead about potential problems, and potential solutions, I am more aware of when those problems are getting to be a bigger likelihood and then can be organized in advance in case it does happen.
If there is a major apocalypse type event, I am probably a bit screwed, although we could manage for a long while and probably better than many locally. But it could get interesting before things improved though.