As uncertainty over industrial action and food supplies continues to affect people living in the United Kingdom, many are now turning to YouTube and online forums to seek advice. But not from Martin Lewis or a bevy of other money saving experts; instead, there has been a boom in doomsday preparing in the UK, Sky News revealed.
Known also as “preppers”, many in the UK are turning to the movement to learn how to ration, the best ways to store items and what food to buy that will last a number of years. There is a marked difference, it transpires, between preppers and survivalists - though the two are often lumped together - survivalists prepare for the breakdown of society, while preppers are more looking to survive a doomsday scenario.
“The cost-of-living crisis, power outages, fuel shortages, those things I’m well prepared for now” a prepper from the UK told Sky News. “You just don’t know. Life is just very unpredictable right now" he continued, offering a glimpse behind his locked door - a space with at least a dozen boxes of canned and dried food goods.
University of Central Lancashire professor Dr Sarita Robinson explained the notion of prepping has become a lot more mainstream and therefore a lot more acceptable in modern society. "It’s just about having enough in reserve in case the government or local authorities can’t really do things for you immediately,” she explains, highlighting the almost distinctly British prepper motto of “hope for the best, prepare for the worst".
"Life has got a little bit more uncertain. And when we sort of lack that control, we can become anxious. So doing a little bit of prepping, gives you a little bit of control back,” Dr Robinson remarks, admitting she is a “low grade” prepper herself.
Despite the perception of preppers as being macho, mercenary types,the reality is that most preppers are younger women with children. “Preppers are seen as tin-hat wearing nut jobs,” explains Leigh Price, who runs Bug Out, a prepper store in Wales. “But they are not - they are just people who like to make sure they have a bit of security at home.
“They could be doctors, teachers, from the city, from the country. It’s all about the ‘what-ifs’. ‘What if the electric goes off, what if I can’t get heating?’ It’s the insecurity, really,” he states, “people don’t know what’s going on.”