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Hi Robert, I think the mentality around self defence in the UK is that if you are serious about it you should enrol in a Krav Maga class. It is a view widely shared across western Europe, although the UK is quite extreme about it. The English police is known not to carry guns (although they do carry blunt weapons and pepper spray), with only fast response units being trained to use firearms. So that tells you how restricted guns are over here ! The last successful invasion of the UK was in 1066 AD (the invaders still rule the country to this day), but indeed WW2 and the Blitz are the template people usually fall back on when faced with hardship. And despite the children evacuation stories widely publicised by CS Lewis and a few others (don’t get me wrong, I do love Narnia!), WW2 is actually more of a shelter-at-home story for many Brittons. The bit that is still relevant for prepping is the clever use of urban gardens and allotments (community gardens) to grow extra food. Unfortunately everything green I touch dies so my own prepping is mostly based on canned food. I think bug out locations in the UK are quite similar to most other places: people would primarily bug out to a second home, family, or friends (probably in that priority order). Also 15% of the population is foreign born, so likely to try to leave altogether if SHTF, including 5% of European nationals who would probably rush to go back to their home country in case a proper disaster happens. We have seen that with Covid already, more than 700,000 people have left London so far…

I live in the UK, close to central London. A lot of the thinking around prepping in the UK has to take into account the fact that Great Britain is an island, and a relatively small one, meaning that if it comes to real SHTF scenarios your way out will need to involve air or sea travel. Honestly, I haven’t cracked this one so if something really bad happen I am prepping to shelter in place. Being an island also creates some specific areas of vulnerability around food, energy and medicine supply, all of which can be prepped for. The UK has, overall, a fairly mild climate (thanks to that lovely Gulf Stream), although this hides some very wide disparities. London has roughly the same temperature range as Paris or Brussels (-1 Celsius to 35 Celsius), but the north of Scotland is on latitudes comparable to Norway or Finland. Floods are the obvious disasters to prep for, although snow can be extremely disruptive when it happens (think trains stopping mid track for 10 hours and highways clogged with immobilised cars). In the summer, extreme heat is rare but houses do not have air conditioning (precisely because extreme heat is rare…) so this can also lead to disruption if you are vulnerable. In London, the main thing that needs to be prepped for is failure of utilities and transport infrastructure. In case of a real SHTF scenario, the only realistic option will be evacuation on foot as trains will likely be stuck and the road access network will be clogged. Civil unrest is another one, that most people can prepare for by having strong doors and reinforced windows. The UK has some of the most stringent weapon laws in the developed world, and although most blades are legal to own, only non lockable folding blades are legal to carry (yes, your Leatherman Wave can in principle land you in front of a judge because the blades lock). Handguns are impossible to obtain legally if you are a civilian, and you need a hunting permit for a shotgun. Even pepper spray is considered a weapon and forbidden. The main, non man-made realistic disaster scenario for London is a failure of the flood barriers. It is deemed a one in 10,000 years event, but that calculation does not take climate change into account. London is close enough to the sea for the river to be tidal, which means that if a bad flood event happens, it has the potential to be a big one. The main prep for that is paying attention to flood surveys when you choose your place to live, and again enough food/water/power to shelter in place if needed.

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Hi Robert, I think the mentality around self defence in the UK is that if you are serious about it you should enrol in a Krav Maga class. It is a view widely shared across western Europe, although the UK is quite extreme about it. The English police is known not to carry guns (although they do carry blunt weapons and pepper spray), with only fast response units being trained to use firearms. So that tells you how restricted guns are over here ! The last successful invasion of the UK was in 1066 AD (the invaders still rule the country to this day), but indeed WW2 and the Blitz are the template people usually fall back on when faced with hardship. And despite the children evacuation stories widely publicised by CS Lewis and a few others (don’t get me wrong, I do love Narnia!), WW2 is actually more of a shelter-at-home story for many Brittons. The bit that is still relevant for prepping is the clever use of urban gardens and allotments (community gardens) to grow extra food. Unfortunately everything green I touch dies so my own prepping is mostly based on canned food. I think bug out locations in the UK are quite similar to most other places: people would primarily bug out to a second home, family, or friends (probably in that priority order). Also 15% of the population is foreign born, so likely to try to leave altogether if SHTF, including 5% of European nationals who would probably rush to go back to their home country in case a proper disaster happens. We have seen that with Covid already, more than 700,000 people have left London so far…

I live in the UK, close to central London. A lot of the thinking around prepping in the UK has to take into account the fact that Great Britain is an island, and a relatively small one, meaning that if it comes to real SHTF scenarios your way out will need to involve air or sea travel. Honestly, I haven’t cracked this one so if something really bad happen I am prepping to shelter in place. Being an island also creates some specific areas of vulnerability around food, energy and medicine supply, all of which can be prepped for. The UK has, overall, a fairly mild climate (thanks to that lovely Gulf Stream), although this hides some very wide disparities. London has roughly the same temperature range as Paris or Brussels (-1 Celsius to 35 Celsius), but the north of Scotland is on latitudes comparable to Norway or Finland. Floods are the obvious disasters to prep for, although snow can be extremely disruptive when it happens (think trains stopping mid track for 10 hours and highways clogged with immobilised cars). In the summer, extreme heat is rare but houses do not have air conditioning (precisely because extreme heat is rare…) so this can also lead to disruption if you are vulnerable. In London, the main thing that needs to be prepped for is failure of utilities and transport infrastructure. In case of a real SHTF scenario, the only realistic option will be evacuation on foot as trains will likely be stuck and the road access network will be clogged. Civil unrest is another one, that most people can prepare for by having strong doors and reinforced windows. The UK has some of the most stringent weapon laws in the developed world, and although most blades are legal to own, only non lockable folding blades are legal to carry (yes, your Leatherman Wave can in principle land you in front of a judge because the blades lock). Handguns are impossible to obtain legally if you are a civilian, and you need a hunting permit for a shotgun. Even pepper spray is considered a weapon and forbidden. The main, non man-made realistic disaster scenario for London is a failure of the flood barriers. It is deemed a one in 10,000 years event, but that calculation does not take climate change into account. London is close enough to the sea for the river to be tidal, which means that if a bad flood event happens, it has the potential to be a big one. The main prep for that is paying attention to flood surveys when you choose your place to live, and again enough food/water/power to shelter in place if needed.