Well, I live near the centre of the capital city here, and I can imagine in a real crisis certain essential services and parts of the infrastructure
would go down pdq. Example: about 5 years ago, our water supply got shut down for about two days after someone put a backhoe through the mains water
pipe for this area. Yep, it took them two days to fix ONE mains pipe. This did not bode well for anything worse on the scale of disruption so I
started storing water in clean 2-litre soft drink bottles. I rotate them out and replace them regularly, and have around 150 of them spread around the
place in various nooks and crannies in the house. The reason is simple and I think has been pointed out by several people on this thread: you can
survive several days without food but you'll need water. As for other supplies, we keep a fair supply of preserved fruit (diy in jars) and some dried
food. But I admit that we have nowhere near enough here for any longer period of time.
Based on what I learned about hard times in previous wars here, I always keep a fair supply of coffee around, both the instant variety and beans (in
sealed bags). In this part of the world, most people drink coffee every day and it will be much sought after. When things are hard, people still want
some "comforts". It could be traded for other stuff or used to "ease contacts". Might buy quite a bit more coffee, come to think of it. It keeps
well. By the way, beer doesn't keep all that well. Whisky does, though.... Hmmm... And yes, we ought to lay in some cartons of cigarettes. They are
still relatively cheap here. (A carton of 200 cigs can be had for around 500 Czech crowns. That's about $3 US per pack of 20.) If the life-form solid
waste product hits the fast-rotating air circulation device then they'll cost many times more in short order so they'll be useful for barter.
We need to build up supplies of various medicines. Longer shelf-life versions of painkillers and the like. My wife also has an excellent knowledge of
herbs so she can make up substitutes to treat various ailments and injuries from the plant life that grows in this part of the world. We both have a
good knowledge of what's edible in the forest: various types of mushrooms, berries and even very uninteresting-looking green plants that are fine to
eat if you cook them right.
However, if the "trouble" is something that builds over time, so we have some warning (if we have our eyes and ears open), then we'll get out of
here and head for a small cottage in the country. It's just a cabin but it's solid enough and away from any main roads, there is a lake 100 metres
away (stocked with fish) and we have a well with a hand-operated pump. It also has the advantage that all the windows are fitted with very solid,
plate-steel shutters that are bolted from the inside. The door is even better protected. No-one has ever managed to break into this place, though
several have tried over the years.
Other stuff to stockpile? Candles. Lots of em. They're really cheap and in desperate circumstances (only to stave off hunger pains) you can eat them.
It beats gnawing on a strip of leather. (And I knew a man who did that in the worst days of WWII.) Waterproof matches. A few 2-dozen packs of cheap
cigarette lighters. A good supply of oil for our old-style but effective oil lamps (that we already have stored away, both here and at the cottage).
Bleach for use as disinfectant. Soap. It's pretty cheap if you buy it in bulk and don't care about needing fancy aromas. I already have a good range
of tools and whatnot for repairing/making stuff. Besides screwdrivers, spanners and hammers, I have a couple of hand-operated drills, a range of saws
for metal and wood, axes, digging implements, puncture repair kits for tires, wire, soldering iron (electric and "old style"), tin snips and
metalworking hammers and shapers...and a big pair of bolt cutters in case we need to..errm...cut some bolts
Apologies for the lonng post. Excellent thread and thank you to the OP for starting it. You and the many posters have given me added motivation to get
our survival stuff in order.
[edit on 29-4-2008 by JustMike]