Anorak News | Preparation H Bomb

Preparation H Bomb

by | 27th, July 2004

‘WHEN last week counter terrorism minister Hazel Blears leaked her advice on what to do in the event of worldwide annihilation to the Telegraph, it read like a early warning announcement.

‘After B&Q, we’ll hit Asda…hard’

The smart among us instantly traded in our pensions, peps and Isas in favour of gold bars.

We set about fashioning a nuclear bunker from goods bought at our local DIY saver centres. And we went long on tins of beans, spam and Marks and Sparks ready meals for one.

As a result, thousands, if not millions, of Brits are right now reading this under ground – or at least in the most westerly corner of their studio flats (because any attack is most likely to come from the east).

The few that did not act quickly now get to read, once more via the Telegraph, a more official taster from the Government’s new emergency survival guide, the vital Preparing For Emergencies pamphlet.

Before we crack open the guide’s protective contamination-proof seal and read on, the paper hears a few words from Home Office minister Caroline Flint.

“The message is,” says she, “be prepared, but get on with your everyday life.”

No cub scout could have phrased things better. And reading the list of things to stock up on in case of emergency – water, blankets, snacks and a can of deodorant – we doubt any commuter making ready to board one of the nation’s overstretched trains could have either.

The full list of what to buy and what to do will be dropping through your letterbox with a gunshot-like smack on the mat next month.

But given the general panic that may surely follow this alarmist missive, the Guardian tells its readers what will keep them going in the event of war.

And, by way of interest, the paper compares what we need in the UK with what the US department of homeland security tells its people to stockpile.

Little of interest is revealed, and what passes for life-preserving stuff in Texas and Wyoming is pretty much the same as what a local of Basildon would need.

The better picture comes via the vox pop the paper supplies, in which it asks a few would-be survivalists what they’d take into their shelter.

It’s like Desert Island Discs for pessimists.

Anthony Badger, for instance, billed as a retired sculptor, recommends Fray Bentos meat pies.

Jonathan Russell, a clothes retailer, says he won’t be hoarding stuff, since “the majority of young people aren’t bothered about it – they just want to live for the day.” Or the next four minutes.

And Stephanie Maida, who works in a clothes shop, says she’ll be buying dates, dried food and dried fruit, things she’d never have thought of buying if she did not have children – whom she can of course eat if things get really grim.

Well, it’s either prunes, Jake and Tiffany or a Fray Bentos pie…’

Posted: 27th, July 2004 | In: Broadsheets Comment | TrackBack | Permalink