For Dr Sarita Robinson prepping - preparing for possible imminent disaster and for shortage of food supplies, is a way of life.
She always has about a month’s food and emergency supplies in her home.
It is more than academic for the UCLan psychology lecturer who practises what she preaches.
Sarita has a doctorate in survival psychology and first began prepping seriously when completing her doctoral research. She said: “At one end there’s the extreme end of prepping. I think everyone should be a prepper to a certain extent. I’m not one of those people in a nuclear bunker, I just think about what might go wrong. I started about 25 years ago.”
She was researching how people living in life threatening environments prepared for acute events: “When writing up my PhD I moved to California for a year. We actually lived on the San Andreas fault and the risk of earthquake was very present. I thought oh I’d better put this academic knowledge into a practical response. From then on I’ve always had a lot of prepping going on in the background.”
She stresses this is not major forward planning but basics: “Just things like having a first aid kit in the car and having a fire extinguisher in the kitchen. If you are a mum or dad with a toddler or baby they do have a bag of nappies, clothes, food ...it’s just as we get older we get a bit more complacent. I suppose the thing about being a prepper is that it’s already done .
That does sound a bit smug but it’s already done. I have 24 rolls of toilet roll because I buy in bulk. I tend to have a store of food.I just went and checked I had what I thought I had. I reckon there’s about a month’s worth for a family of three.”
She noted her husband felt her food store was lacking in crisps and chocolate.
Her tips for those housebound with children is to get stocked up with games or books from a charity shop or library. Her other top tips for surviving self isolation centre on structure: “It’s about having structure, having goals ... not about slipping into some depression because you’re not keeping active. It’s time to dust off those exercise dvds and there are loads of online exercise classes and different apps you can download.”
She added: “Don’t let meal times drift....It’s also about being kind to yourself. If you do feel a bit down or a bit anxious that’s fine, These are difficult times,
If you are working from home have a clear delineation between what is work and what is relaxing time.”
Last weekend she prepared in another way: “I just spent a day in to see how it felt.” She said it made her realise she needed more hobbies.