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What are the essential items to stockpile in the face of impending nuclear disaster?

Books are the new Kindle.

By Jason Murugesu

Is it strange that Twitter will be how we first find out we’re about to die? Isn’t it stranger that nuclear war will be declared on Twitter? I wonder what the hashtag will be.

Do not fear, digital native. Here at the New Statesman (est. 1913) we are known for our survival skills, and we’ve produced a handy guide of what to stock up on if you intend to survive the initial attacks. 

1. Don’t starve to death

Prioritise non-perishable goods such as white rice, beans, oats and dried fruits – the more calorific, the better.

Earlier this year, the German government recommended that its citizens store half a gallon of water per person per day for up to ten days in case of an emergency. Probably best to do this before the water gets contaminated.

Eat high protein foods in moderation, especially if water is in short supply. You need more water to digest proteins than carbohydrates. 

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Still using that rusty old can-opener from the early 2000s? Buy a new one now! Amazon Prime it. If you don’t have Amazon Prime – it may already be too late. 

The radiation in the atmosphere will continue to be at highly dangerous levels for nine days, so you need food and water to last for at least two weeks (just in case these so called experts underestimated).

2. You think the NHS is bad?

In a world without hospitals, you are your own A&E. Injuries sustained from the blast wave will need to be treated urgently. Most injuries will consist of cuts, burns and broken bonesStock up on the usual – aspirin, pain killers, antibiotics, plasters and bandages. 

And don’t forget paracetamol! Migraines after all your loved ones are dead will only make a bad situation worse. 

3. Find your inner sheep

While cotton and cashmere socks are excellent fashion choices, but they are inadequate fabrics when you are in survival mode, since they retain moisture. Dying from pneumonia after surviving a nuclear war is just embarrassing. Instead stock up on wool socks, woolly jumpers, waterproof jackets, thick gloves and thermal underwear.  

Also important: Do not wear your latest Yeezys. Instead, like gold they should be hoarded. Their value will only go up. 

4. Radio is the new iPhone

When the first strikes hit, don’t be surprised to find that your phone is running out of charge. Isn’t that always the way? Unfortunately you will not be able to charge your phone as power lines are likely to be down. Forever. Do not be alarmed! Radiation from the nuclear blast will have affected all forms of communication anyway (even if you do have the latest iOS update) so you’ll need high range radios to talk to the outside world. Battery operated ones are great, but you will need to stock up on spare batteries also. Crank operated is your best bet. 

5. What’s on your apocalyptic reading list?

There’s a silver lining to every cloud and with your office obliterated, all those spreadsheets and reports which were taking up all your time are no more. You can finally spend more time with your family (try not to kill each other- it would be a shame) and now that you can’t stream the new Orange is the New Black, you can finally get round to reading War and Peace. 

Other tips include accumulating cigarettes (bartering is the new Bitcoin) and not telling others about your stockpile. Survival is key and it’s called The Selfish Gene for a reason.

And after all this, even if you do somehow survive the aftermath of a nuclear attack, be warned:

Follow up strikes are exceedingly likely.  

[See also: Do you want to live forever?]

This article was originally published on 9 August 2017.

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Select and enter your email address Your weekly guide to the best writing on ideas, politics, books and culture every Saturday. The best way to sign up for The Saturday Read is via saturdayread.substack.com The New Statesman's quick and essential guide to the news and politics of the day. The best way to sign up for Morning Call is via morningcall.substack.com Our Thursday ideas newsletter, delving into philosophy, criticism, and intellectual history. The best way to sign up for The Salvo is via thesalvo.substack.com Stay up to date with NS events, subscription offers & updates. Weekly analysis of the shift to a new economy from the New Statesman's Spotlight on Policy team. The best way to sign up for The Green Transition is via spotlightonpolicy.substack.com
  • Administration / Office
  • Arts and Culture
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  • Facility / Grounds Management and Maintenance
  • Finance Management
  • Health - Medical and Nursing Management
  • HR, Training and Organisational Development
  • Information and Communications Technology
  • Information Services, Statistics, Records, Archives
  • Infrastructure Management - Transport, Utilities
  • Legal Officers and Practitioners
  • Librarians and Library Management
  • Management
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  • OH&S, Risk Management
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  • Printing, Design, Publishing, Web
  • Projects, Programs and Advisors
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  • Purchasing and Procurement
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  • Science and Technical Research and Development
  • Security and Law Enforcement
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Visit our privacy Policy for more information about our services, how New Statesman Media Group may use, process and share your personal data, including information on your rights in respect of your personal data and how you can unsubscribe from future marketing communications.
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