Oliver Dowden this week advised people to stock up on certain supplies – but some people have been doing it for years

Kathryn is a firm believer in the 19th-century adage that we are only ever nine meals from anarchy. Having learned the skill of stockpiling from her wartime parents and grandparents, her first mini-foray was in preparation for Y2K.

“That was mainly candles and biscuits, because I didn’t really take it very seriously,” she said. “But it did mean that I was already halfway there when I realised I needed a substantial, genuine Brexit stash, which then morphed into a Covid stash, which in turn became a cost of living store, then an ‘Are we going to run out of electricity?’ store when the Ukraine war kicked off, and is now a general, all-encompassing everyday/WW3 stash.”

Cucumbers, tomatoes and beans (Image: T. Larkum)

Cucumbers, tomatoes and beans (Image: T. Larkum)

Kathryn could soon be joined by many more concerned citizens preparing for a worst-case scenario after the deputy prime minister, Oliver Dowden, said this week that people should stock up on battery-powered radios, torches, candles and first aid kits in case of power cuts or digital communications going down.

Making the comments as part of his first annual risk and resilience statement, Dowden listed Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, cyber-attacks, pandemics, the misuse of artificial intelligence and extreme weather among some of the risks the UK faced.

Read more: TheGuardian