Here in the UK we’re undergoing a particularly-severe winter. I actually feel like it is a proper winter, not just the cold end of the rainy season. It’s involved snow, and lots of it.

Anyway, today, the water main outside burst. Presumably it had frozen/cracked, again. It’s irritating but it’s hardly catastrophic. The water company know about it. A van even turned up today, even if they didn’t actually (strictly speaking) do anything useful.

As a side-effect of this, I had to hike to Tesco’s to stock up on bottled water. This got me to thinking about emergency preparedness. Part of the problem with this winter, I think, has been that people just aren’t prepared. We don’t expect it, we assume that if anything happens someone else (the council, the police, the fire brigade, whoever) will help us – and if for what ever reason, that doesn’t happen, people can’t cope. We’ve lost the habit of self-reliance.

But this probably applies as much to me as anyone else. So I did a bit of thinking. What do I think it would be useful to have for an emergency?

Well, I’ve got the following:

  • Candles, in case of electric failure – check.
  • Matches, to light said candles – check
  • Some bottled water, in case of water interruption – check
  • A few days’ food – check
  • Charged mobile phone – check
  • An electric radiator, in case of central heating fail – check
  • First aid stuff – plasters, various painkillers, scissors, tissues – check

And some things I probably should have…

  • A torch – umm, I’ve got one *somewhere*…
  • Batteries – a few, but probably not enough
  • A camping stove, in case the gas goes off
  • More in the way of tinned food

… and that’s all I can think of right now.


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