By MICHAEL CARROLL
Solar fear … dad Larry Peters and daughter Lily who believe Earth will receive devastating strike
A British family are gearing up to survive a global disaster they believe is imminent and will plunge civilization into a lawless new dark age.
Computer repair man Larry Peters, 42, is convinced a giant solar flare will strike the Earth at the end ofTHIS YEAR, knocking out communications, energy and food supplies and resulting in worldwide anarchy.
To give his family the best chance of emerging from this “catastrophe”, Larry has joined in the US phenomenon of “prepping” — stockpiling food and water and teaching his kids, including nine-year-old daughter Lily, to HUNT and GUT animals.
Larry has also kitted out his family’s three-bed terrace in Cornwall, to cope with every eventuality.
They have installed a generator for back-up power, horded a two-month food supply and they keep ten chickens for a constant supply of eggs and have cultivated a 150ft vegetable patch in the garden.
They have splashed out £10,000 on a 4×4 in case they need to flee, spent £1,200 on guns and ammo and filled giant tanks with water to build up a 700-gallon reserve.
Larry said: “We’re preppers, we believe in being as self-sufficient as possible. As a family we’re about 99 per cent prepared for the end.
“Food, water and power are all in place. I’m ready for it. In a way I want it to happen. Humans need a fresh start.
“We’ve gone too far from our old ways and need to return to nature.
“Solar flares are from the sun — energy particles sent towards the Earth. These flares have the ability to disrupt human technology such as radar, radio, mobile phones, the internet — everything modern society depends on to keep running.
“By the end of 2012 a huge flare is predicted that will wipe all this out. It will be a total breakdown of society, complete anarchy. Lots of people are going to die.
“The Government and the super-rich know this is going to happen and they are prepared. That leaves the rest of us to fend for ourselves.”
Larry has to work hard on his prepping to ensure the safety of his family — wife Shelley, 41, their children Jago, 12, and Lily, plus Shelley’s kids from a previous marriage, Darren, 22 and Sharlene, 21.
On a typical day, Larry wakes at 6am, takes his two terriers out hunting for two hours then spends an hour getting the younger children ready for school.
Once he opens his computer repair shop, Larry spends three hours checking for solar flare updates, looks on YouTube for new conspiracy theory videos and catches up with preppers from across the world.
Larry has just started spending an hour a day on cardiovascular exercises and must spend two hours gardening in spring and summer.
In total, his prepping takes up 50 hours a week — more than many full-time employees spend at work.
He said: “Seventy-five per cent of my day is survivalist. “I first became aware of prepping a couple of years ago. “I came across the website of the American conspiracy theorist and former wrestler Jesse Ventura.
“He wrote an article about governments building underground bunkers in preparation for solar flares. “I watched his documentary and conducted my own research online.”
Larry, a licensed firearms holder, has been perfecting his hunting skills over the past year. He uses three guns — a .22 sniper rifle and two shotguns.
Thirsty work … 700 gallons of water has been stockpiled by the family Every week he takes Lily out into the wilds with him as he teaches her to track and kill prey.
Lily said: “I think the solar flares will come out of the sun and knock out all the electricity. There will be no lights and cooking. I help out by hunting with my dad and gardening with him. When we’re hunting I help by skinning and gutting animals we catch.”
The family still shop at Asda for essentials such as milk, butter and cheese, but each time they go they buy something to squirrel away for the impending disaster.
So far they have amassed 20 tins of potatoes, 15 tins of carrots and peas, 15 tins of steak and kidney pie and 100 tins of beans.
They also have 12kg of pasta, sweets for the kids and their water store. They even have half a pig, which they slaughtered themselves, in their chest freezer.
As summer approaches, the family plan to install a wind generator and solar panelling. Larry said: “We plan to stay at home but we would use the Mitsubishi 4×4 if we had to ‘bug out’. Bugging out is when you leave your home to survive.
“I believe the safest place in Britain would be Scotland, as there is more space and fewer people.”
To further complicate the prepping plans, two years ago Shelley’s eldest, Darren, was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis and now takes intravenous medication.
The family are prepping for Darren by searching for alternative sources of medication for when the catastrophe hits. But one member of the family does not buy into the philosophy — 12-year-old Jago. Larry and Shelley have to disguise their wild food as shop bought to keep Jago fed and happy.
Jago said: “I like to play Xbox. If there was a solar flare I would be shocked. “I don’t eat wild food and I hate gardening. I leave the room if they start talking about a solar flare. I really don’t like it.”
Family affair … nine-year-old daughter Lily has been taught to hunt and gut animals. Shelley’s daughter Sharlene is moving to Tenerife this summer with a friend to work as a holiday rep — and she fears she may never see her family again.
Sharlene said: “I think prepping is a good idea. It will be useful if the world does end in 2012. ”I’m going to Tenerife and I have no plans to come back this year.
“If it does happen I may not see my family again — I will miss them terribly. I don’t get involved in the prepping because I like to go out and party. I couldn’t eat an animal if I saw it get killed.”
Shelley is fully committed to the family’s lifestyle — becoming skilled at slaughtering and skinning animals — but she considers herself a survivalist rather than a prepper.
Shelley said: “My husband has researched the solar flare phenomenon and it is something that has happened in history.
“I’ve changed our lifestyle in case something happens. I don’t believe the world will end but if there are problems we know what to do.
“We both care about our family and that’s the bottom line for us.”