Oliver Dowden
Deputy Prime Minister Oliver Dowden (pictured) will advise people to make contingency plans
Families will today be urged to stockpile three days' worth of food and water to help build national 'resilience'.

Deputy Prime Minister Oliver Dowden will advise people to make contingency plans for dealing with potential emergencies such as prolonged power cuts, cyber attacks and floods.

Last year, Mr Dowden said people should stock up on 'analogue capabilities', such as candles, torches and wind-up radios, to boost their 'personal resilience'.

Today he will go further by encouraging people to stock up with enough food and water to survive for three days without leaving their homes.

Whitehall sources insisted that the plan was not designed to create a nation of US-style survivalists. One said Mr Dowden's intervention was not meant to be 'alarmist' and was simply 'common sense' advice.

Comment: Indeed it's common sense, but they admit there's a reason they're making the announcements now.

Ministers believe preparations by individual households will help take pressure off the emergency services when dealing with a crisis.

Comment: Lockdowns demonstrated that the emergency services are already approaching system failure, and the situation has worsened since then.

They also hope it could avert the kind of panic-buying seen at the start of the Covid pandemic, when supermarket shelves were cleared of basic supplies of items such as toilet rolls.

Mr Dowden has been inspired by similar preparations in countries such as Finland, which operates a '72-hour concept' for coping in situations where 'society's services are disrupted or even discontinued'.
Floodwater rises as the River Calder bursts its bank's in the Calder Valley town of Mytholmroyd on December 26, 2015
Finns are encouraged to stockpile food and water and to be prepared to 'shelter indoors' by taping up gaps in windows and 'waiting calmly for instructions' on the radio.

Last year, Mr Dowden introduced an 'emergency alert' system, which allows authorities to trigger an alarm on millions of mobile phones to inform people of a potential crisis.

Comment: Alert systems were being tested, and rolled, out across the West last year: US is latest Western country to test new nationwide emergency alert system to phones, TVs, and radios

It comes after the Prime Minister warned last week that Britain had 'some of its most dangerous years' ahead and was at a security 'crossroads'. Describing the threats on the rise, Rishi Sunak highlighted a new axis of anti-western states including China, Russia, North Korea and Iran. Among other challenges were rising immigration and artificial intelligence.