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How long could an adult survive in a supermarket in the event of an apocalypse?

Canned food in a supermarket can be opened with survival knives

So the end of the world has happened, chaos is erupting on the streets and it’s every man and woman for themselves… What do you do?

Now, food and water are pretty key to our bodies, and are therefore necessary for us to survive. A pretty good first port of call would be to head to a supermarket, where you are going to be greeted by a plethora of tinned and non-perishable goods.

Scientific research

One scientist claims to have worked out how long a person can stay fed and watered for in your typical British supermarket.

Dr Lewis Dartnell, author and astrobiology scientist conducted research on how the UK could survive a potential apocalypse, and claims that there are enough tinned and non-perishable goods to last one adult 55 years!

In his research, he also found that around one-third (36%) of the population keep a grab bag of essential items on hand, just in case of a disaster.

Food (61%), medical supplies (53%) and mobile phones (47%) were top of people’s lists of kit to grab from their home in the event of an emergency.

However, many people failed to recognise the important items such as matches (22%) or a standard bottle (10%) which could be used to disinfect water.

As author of The Knowledge: How To Rebuild Our World From Scratch, Dr Dartnell certainly knows his stuff, and had the following to say about his research:

“Clearly we shouldn't be worrying 24/7 about a potential apocalypse but it's interesting to take a snapshot of where we are now and how we'd fare - individually and as a society.

“People's survival instincts are strong but without a greater focus on Stem (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) skills, the speed at which we'd return to 'society as we know it' would be seriously impeded.

“Rather than duck and cover, the country needs to know how to stand and recover from any disaster.”

Issues

These figures sound good on the surface, but there are of course a few issues. For example, it is very, very unlikely that you are going to be the only person turning up to a supermarket in the case of such an event, meaning you will have to share out the contents of what you find.

This leads very nicely into another thing that hasn’t been considered; human nature. You would like to think that supplies would be shared out nicely, but there is bound to be people out there who will just grab as much as they possibly can, and not have a second thought about others around them.

So there we have it, in the event of an apocalypse, your local supermarket should keep you fed and watered for half a century, as long as you are alone and the only person to make it to said supermarket… Good luck!

If in the mean time you are looking to create or add to your grab bag like a small proportion of the UK population, why not take a look at our range of survival gear and get preparing today? Our range includes survival knives, water canteens and other handy tools, all perfect for adding to your grab bag!

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