Is it time to join the 'preppers'? How to survive the climate-change apocalypse
The floods and storms that have wreaked havoc across Britain this winter could be just the beginning, and now a growing number of people are making preparations for the end of the modern world. Here's what you'll need to do to stand a chance
house with moat in flooded somerset
When you have no choice. When soldiers are on your street, your neighbours have begun to steal from you and plague-sufferers are camped in your drive – or perhaps slightly before all that. Preppers have a catch-all term for this moment: the SHTF scenario, in reference to the day when the Shit finally does Hit The Fan.
"It would be the last resort for me," says Steve, a 57-year-old prepper from Essex, who runs ukpreppersguide.co.uk. "Some people seem to think it's the first thing to do. The moment something happens, they grab their rucksack and off they go and live in the wild – but if you've ever tried that, it really isn't easy. Where I am at the moment, I probably have enough provisions to survive for about nine months. That doesn't include going out and getting your own food."
When the moment comes, however, you may not have much warning, so it is important to keep what preppers call a "bug-out bag" ready at all times. Ideally, you'd leave at night, when you won't be followed. "The idea behind leaving your home is to get away from danger," Steve explains, "which means getting away from everybody and going under the radar, off-grid, so you can't be found – then just survive for however long is needed before you can come back to civilisation."
Two snipers wearing camouflage stealth camping
Think carefully about where to go, and give yourself several options. You'll need a piece of land – perhaps only a few acres – where you can hide and find enough to eat and drink. In the UK, it is difficult to hide in open country, so woodland is good. "Anywhere that's secluded, that's probably the key to survival," Steve says. "Get as far away from people as possible, and stay there. Don't make yourself known. I've got two areas I go to that are less than five acres. Two forests absolutely full of wildlife, with a stream running along. If you can get near a river, you can fish."
Another thing to bear in mind is the time of year. In the winter, food may well be scarce and water more abundant; in the summer, the reverse, so you may want to prepare an option for each season. You also need to consider how you'll get there. One location may be perfect, but if you're relying on petrol and roads, in the SHTF scenario it may be inaccessible. Give yourself at least one location you can walk to.
As practice for keeping themselves hidden, or just for the buzz, some people engage in an activity called "stealth camping". Essentially this means sneaking into places they are not allowed to be, staying the night and leaving again without ever being detected. If you've bought your own bunker, obviously you don't need to bother with this. Just make sure the hatch is strong, and that you can get there.
Black Blade: Interesting article from a Brit perspective.