For over 50 years our country, with our allies, has sought to avoid war by deterring potential aggressors. Some disagree as to the means we should use. But whatever view we take, we should surely all recognise the need - and indeed the duty - to protect our civil population if an attack were to be made upon us; and therefore to prepare accordingly.
1) Drinking Water: You will need enough drinking water to allow you to survive unaided in your own home for fourteen days. You are unlikely to be able to use the mains water supply after a chemical or biological attack, so prepare your drinking water beforehand by filling bottles. Any bottles will do. You don't have to go and buy Perrier or Evian or any poncy natural water like you normally do. Tap water's improved a lot over the last few years you know. It won't matter whether it's still, sparkling or has natural spring minerals when you're gasping with thirst after two weeks. Do you realise how expensive it is to fill the bath with Volvic for heaven's sake? Go fill a bucket or two from the cold tap now, before it's too late.
2) Food: Don't forget to watch Delia's new BBC series "How to survive", which will be broadcast on all channels in the run-up to any potential attack. Stock enough food for fourteen days. Choose foods which can be eaten cold, which keep fresh, and which are tinned or well wrapped. Remember that your microwave won't work without electricity and that kebabs tend to go mouldy even before you get them back from the takeaway. Remember that pasta is not a staple foodstuff when it's completely al dente. If the emergency continues, be prepared to eat all the Quality Street in the tin, even the nasty yellow ones that nobody actually likes.
3) Tin Opener: Government statisticians have estimated that, across the country, approximately 12,517 families will enter their protective shelter with copious supplies of tinned food but without a tin opener. These families will realise their fatal mistake approximately six minutes after the onset of terrorist attack, at which point husband and wife will immediately blame each other, start a fight by lobbing the tins at one other and suffer serious injuries greater than any that would be caused by gradual starvation. Make sure this isn't you - keep your tin opener with you at all times.
4) Portable Radio and Spare Batteries: Your radio will be your only link with the outside world. You will need to listen for instructions about what to do after the attack while you remain in hiding from smallpox, nuclear fallout or hordes of rampaging asylum seekers. Don't be surprised if you find that Terry Wogan, Sara Cox and those nice people from Classic FM have been replaced by a serious-sounding bloke with a plummy voice warning you to stay at home because your town is under curfew. However much it may sound to you like the introduction to a Frankie Goes To Hollywood classic, be warned that this air attack warning is likely to be the real thing.
5) Warm Clothing: Go hunt through your wardrobe for your warmest clothing, because once the central heating goes off some of you lily-livered modern citizens are going to discover what it really used to feel like living in Victorian times. This is no Channel 4 historical reality programme, this is for real. Nobody will give a damn whether you're wearing your best designer wear or not, so don't be afraid to wear that hideous green woollen sweater your aunt knitted you one Christmas. It's warm, and in a nuclear winter that's all that matters. You might also want to wrap yourself in black bin liners as a precautionary measure. Not only will this help to preserve body heat, it'll also make disposal of your corpse by the authorities much easier too.
Her Majesty's Government wishes you all the best in these difficult times. We're not doing this to be popular, you know, we're doing it because we believe it to be right. Do remember this while you're decomposing in the cupboard under the stairs. However, we would appreciate it if you could make every effort to stay alive at all costs if at all possible, because the Prime Minister would like to be able to count on your vote in the first election after the emergency situation is over. It may be safe to come out by 2006. We'll see you then.
Yours faithfully UK Resilence
Bugger, look at that - it's not a joke after all...