Beat The Bear - a website dedicated to investigating the safety and security of food, fuel, water and other key supplies in the developed world.
Beat the Bear is researched and written by a small group of like minded people, concerned to ensure that should instability or unreliability occur in essential services, we are not unprepared or lack plans.
We believe that government and official organisations in the developed world cannot be relied upon to support us if matters become difficult and whilst we have no wish to be alarmist, neither do we intend to be the ones who are dependent upon external agencies for our survival.
Our ideas are not new, nor are they original. Anyone who spends more than a few moments thinking about how modern society works, especially in urban areas, can't help but notice that for the essentials of life, we are all dependent on others than ourselves and, increasingly, long and complicated chains of supply over which we have no direct control or input. For the most part those supply chains have evolved under commercial pressure to be the lowest-cost forms of provision with scant attention paid to reliability or resilience under shock and pressure.
As the Royal Academy of Engineering notes in "Living Without Electricity", conventional cost analysis of loss of electrical power is "Traditionally, [...] based on asking consumers what they think the supply of electricity is worth" and not the societal cost of loss of telecommunications, gas, water and sewage (rapidly rendering urban areas uninhabitable) as we will argue is the likely outcome of any substantial and prolonged outage. In an earlier report "Counting the Cost" the Academy raises serious questions about how about loss of supply is valued and gives case studies of significant real-life political repercussions arising when power has become unreliable.
Electrical power is only one example of several critical infrastructures which underpin modern society. There are also at least the following infrastructures, none of which has been designed for resilience, and the failure of any one of which will severely affect comfort in the short term (potentially survival in the longer term) and with cascading effects where the degradation of one has the potential to affect the others and vice versa.
There are long-established traditions of 'Preppers' or 'Survivalists' who recognise this fragility and make plans for it. There are numerous websites catering for those interests. We aren't ashamed to draw on that body of knowledge and hopefully to present it in a way which is accurate, well-researched and verifiable. We also try to take into account not just 'Zombie Apocalypse' situations (a popular concept in prepper literature, used half-jokingly) but also intermediate situations which preparedness can make a great deal more comfortable, or at the margins, survivable.
In general we are exploring situations which have the potential to escalate into a threat to life rather than short-term minor inconveniences. Rather than describe these as catastrophes or disasters (which are outcomes, not situations) we prefer the term 'Emergency' and will use that description. Emergencies, badly handled, have the potential to turn into disasters: by being prepared, we hope to avoid that outcome.
This site attempts to deliver accurate and well researched information without a doom-laden tone. There is no commercial force behind this site nor any attempt to profit from it. The sister site Beat The Bear .com may, when implemented be more commercially oriented. That is not the purpose of this site. We believe that authoritative information should be gathered and collated as independently as possible.
This site is regularly updated as new material is added. At present it is far from complete but work is being put in during the winter of 2018 to put flesh on the bones.
The name materialised over a few drinks one night, along the lines of the well-worn story about two hikers in the mountains who encounter an angry bear. One of them puts on a pair of running shoes - when the other scoffs at this and says that you can't outrun a bear, the first replies that he doesn't have to outrun the bear, just his companion.
In truth that's not really relevant to what we are trying to do here. Beat the Bear is not about surviving more comfortably at the expense of others, it's about self-reliance and preparedness for realistic situations which may be more likely to occur than we would hope. Read the rest of the site to see what it's all about.