Getting ready

For a long time, I’ve been in the position of – while not wanting or hoping for it – expecting a revolution in the UK.

Those in power have no respect for the masses.  The government is bringing in cuts across the board: health service, pensions, benefits, public spending – you name it.  But… has anybody heard one word about cuts in Government?  Are MP’s facing a cut in their pay?  A cut in their expenses?  Are any of the the 8 bars and 6 restaurants in the houses of parliament going to close?

Strange, isn’t it, that it’s the huddled masses who have to tighten their belts, while the ‘elite’ need to loosen theirs after every meal?

Then there’s the climate.  Flooding is more common, as are storms and other severe weather.  Every year, the chance of having to leave home due to bad weather increases.

I could go on, there is a long list of potential reasons for what I’m doing – but that isn’t really the point of this post.  No, this post is about what I’m doing, not why.

I’m putting together a grab-bag.

It’s a simple, and as complicated, as that.

A bag that I can grab, and run.  A bag that will increase the odds in my favour, should disaster occur.

What’s in it?  Well, quite a bit, really.    You have to bear in mind one very important point, here: I don’t know, exactly, what it is I’m preparing for – but I’ve been able to reduce it to two broad categories.

1) Natural disaster.  The house is uninhabitable, and we have to get to a community centre or designated gathering point.  In this case, all we really need is money, a change of clothes, and some food to keep us for a few days.  Probably.  It depends on the severity of the situation, though.  There is the possibility that we will have to survive without aid for a while.

2) Civil disorder/War.  Rioting in the streets, no power, no food in the shops, increase in crime as the police struggle to cope.  Staying in the house would be the first choice – with the solar panels on the roof, we would have power some of the time – but that may not be an option.  I can think of at least one scenario where we would need to run/hide.

There are three possible situations that can result:
1) We stay at home, and I have to scavenge for supplies – maybe fighting through a blizzard, or other severe weather.
2) We end up sitting in a village hall for days.
3) We find ourselves living rough in a wood somewhere, indefinately.

Apart from the first one, in which all we need to do is make sure we have the right gear, we’ll need certain things.  And… well, if we have everything in a bag, we can grab it and go, or we can unpack it and use it at home.  If we have it all scattered around the house, we can use it if we stay home, but if we have to leave home… well, we’d be buggered, wouldn’t we?
So, it makes far more sense to have it bagged ready to run.

OK.  In the bag.  So far, anyway.
A change of clothes;  a bag of rice;  dried vegetables;  a lighter;  a wire saw;  candles; torch; blanket; chocolate; cotton wool;  wire; fishing hooks; multitool; kettle; set of pans; cutlery; cups; plastic sheet; bin liners; medical kit; cup-a-soup; towel; water bottle; water sterilisation tablets; dog food; dog bowl (2); plates; compass; cord;  3-in-1 coffee; um… I know there’s more, but I can’t think of it off-hand.

I’ve been working on this for just over a week, so there will be more.  There will be refinements.

But.  That bag is already at the point where I could easily spend a full week in a forest using nothing more than what is in it.  It also contains pretty much all I need to survive indefinately.  I wouldn’t enjoy the food, but I wouldn’t starve.

My partner has a bag, too.  In that one is everything to keep one person alive in a village hall for a week or so, and nothing that would keep my partner alive in a forest for very long.

It sounds a bit mean, but it’s logical.  My partner, as you know, is disabled.  Walking is almost impossible; oxygen is needed 24 hours a day; etc etc.
Which means my partner would never reach the woods/forest without me.  If they are rescued from the house by the emergency services, they will be taken to a community centre – where their bag will have all they need for a few days.
If we are both in the village hall, my bag will be mostly wasted – but will have enough use to be worth taking, as it adds to what we have jointly: my rice, and my partners baked beans would make a fine meal, for example.
If we are both in the woods, then the two bags complement each other.  We each carry our own spare clothes, and we each carry some food.  Each bag is designed to support the one it belongs to.

And I have this image in my head: my partner, sat in a wheelchair with a bag on their lap, while I push it with a rucksack on my back, running through a forest while trying not to trip over a little dog.

It may seem a little… weird.  You may think  I’m just letting my imagination run away with me.

I freely admit that the bag and contents may be nothing more than a waste of time and money.  Hell, I even hope that they are!

But I keep coming back to the same, simple thought:  I’d rather have it and not need it, than need it and not have it.

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