A couple of weeks ago, the Norwegian Directorate for Civil Protection (DBS) launched an emergency preparedness campaign. It advised every Norwegian household to prepare itself to stay self-sustained for three days. While we’re lucky enough to live in one of the most stable and safe countries in the world, major crisis events might still happen.

As a modern society, we’re heavily dependent on power, water supply, and the internet for our society to function. If these things stop working, we’re straight back to the Middle Ages. To prevent people from partying like it’s 1099, every household should prepare an emergency storage containing the items it needs to stay afloat for three days without power, water supply, and an internet connection.

Items you should have in your emergency storage.
Some of the items you should have in your emergency storage. Photo by Gaute Gjøl Dahle / DBS.

What’s In The Box?

Here’s what DBS recommends that you put in your emergency storage to stay self-sufficient for three days:

  • Nine liters of water per person
  • Two packs of crispbread per person
  • One pack of oat porridge per person
  • Three boxes of canned food or three bags of dried food per person
  • Three boxes of sandwich spreads or jam with long shelf life per person
  • A few bags of dried fruit or nuts, biscuits and chocolate
  • Any medication that you are dependent on
  • Stove for heating (wood, gas or paraffin)
  • Gas fueled grill or cooker
  • Candles, flashlight with batteries, paraffin lamp
  • Matches or lighter
  • Warm clothes, blankets and sleeping bags
  • First aid kit
  • Battery powered DAB radio1
  • Batteries, battery bank, and mobile charger for the car
  • Wet wipes and disinfectant
  • Paper towels and toilet paper
  • Cash
  • Extra fuel and wood/gas/paraffin/denatured alcohol for heating and cooking
  • Iodine tablets in case of a nuclear event.

Zombies running through dimly lit street.
The above list does not cover the items you’ll need in case of a zombie invasion. Photo by Ambroo / Pixabay.

Nuclear Event!?

The last item on the list is a bit disturbing: “Iodine tablets in case of a nuclear event.” The fear of a nuclear event used be a thing until the Cold War ended in 1991. Then, after the 2001 terrorist attacks, people started talking about the possibility of terrorists setting off dirty bombs. Not quite the same doomsday scenario as the Cold War provided, but still not something you want to have happen in your neighborhood.

Now, with Donal Trump and Vladimir Putin at the helm, we’re heading straight into Cold War II. Vladimir is doing his best to destabilize the US, and Europe through targeted internet campaigns. And he is doing a great job, putting Donald in charge of the US, and pushing the necessary buttons to convince Britain they have to leave the EU no matter the cost, and consequences.

Donald, from the other side of the pond, is threatening to withdraw from a nuclear arms treaty with Russia. This could possibly put us back on course towards a new cataclysmic arms race. I thought we were done with this nuclear shit, but no.

Hydrogen bomb explosion.
Hydrogen bomb explosion. If you’re seeing this, you’re in trouble.

Be Prepared

So now I’ve taken the campaign’s advice, and started to assemble the family’s emergency storage. Not because I’m actually thinking the world is ending soon. But it seems like the rational thing to do. If the electrical grid goes down for a few days in the middle of the winter, we’re going to have a bad time if we’re not prepared. A breakdown of the electrical grid doesn’t have to be caused by a nuclear event, it can be a simple technical malfunction. But the reason isn’t important, what’s important is that there is no electricity.

So better safe than sorry, cold, thirsty, and hungry.

Telling you this is probably a bad idea, since I run the risk that you’ll all queue up outside our house to steal our stuff if the proverbial shit eventually hits the fan2. What I’m hoping for instead is that you get inspired by reading this, and stockpile enough items to get yourself and your family through three full caveman days yourself.

That way, we can continue to function as civilized people until the storm blows over.

  1. Storing a DAB radio might not be right for you. It depends on what region of the world you’re living in, and an FM radio might be what you want to store. ↩︎

  2. Yes, the paranoia is obviously creeping in on me. ↩︎