At the beginning of January we voyaged across the sea to England to visit the rellies. I made a quick trip down to visit my mother, who is living in her own home in Dorset with all her marbles present and correct. She's 95. Her mother was still living at home up to her 107th birthday, so I'm guessing my Mum will be still be in place when I get the pension in a few years time. Under the stairs, she has a small bag packed and ready which she calls her hospital bag. If an accident or emergency happens, she doesn't want to be looking for a toothbrush, clean knicks and a nightie. Note to self: must remember to do something similar . . . especially the underwear . . . better make it a ruck-sack my boxers are capacious from years of sofa-pilotting.. But I can't be bothered to put in a tube of water-purifying tablets . . . that would make me a prepper.
Preppers are those who like to imagine that they can imagine what Armageddon will look like and can take appropriate steps to survive with their families. Naaah: I'm with English 20thC boffins Sir Arthur Eddington "Not only is the universe stranger than we imagine, it is stranger than we can imagine" and JBS Haldane [prev] "The Universe is not only queerer than we suppose, but queerer than we can suppose". Preppers talk about Katrina and tsunami and zombies and electromagnetic pulses EMP without really doing the math to decide which of these is most/more likely and pack their bug-out bags [technical term] accordingly. The civilisation melting EMP could be triggered by the atmospheric detonation of a thermonuclear "device" but also by an exceptional solar flare that happened to be pointing in out direction. The last one of these was the Carrington Event of 1st September 1859. Unusually active sunspot activity was followed by a flare that took 18 hours to reach us: that's not a fast as light (which takes 8 minutes to make the 150,000,000km journey) but definitely faster than a jet-plane. When the storm whacked the stratosphere it generated a spectacular show of the Aurora Borealis which was visible as far South as the Caribbean. More to the point, it blew out the telegraph network.
I've been reading - so you don't have to - a rather woolly piece about how to prepare for The Collapse. I call it woolly because it doesn't include a bullet-point check-list of things to put in your evacuation bag or how to build sufficiently robust shelving in your bunker. You'll have to do your own research for that. If you have enough food in that bunker to support your family for several years, then that food is either going to be sacks of wheat or proprietary freeze-dried nonsense: Thrive freeze-dried cranberries etc. And you'll need a mill for the wheat if you want chapattis. My [Thrive freeze-dried] beef with the whole freeze-dried supplies idea is that you must rotate your stock; which means you have commit to eating this crap on a regular basis until Armageddon actually comes. Expensive as well: a #10 can /22 servings of beef chunks is $65, while #10 can / 48 servings of navy beans is only $15.
What else: paracord done up as a friendship bracelet: shoe-lace, rabbit-snare, garotte for zombies . . .