1. ITV Report

One adult 'could survive for 55 years' on contents of average supermarket in the event of an apocalypse

One person could survive quite well on the tinned and non-perishable goods in a supermarket, the doctor said. Credit: PA

A typical British supermarket has enough supplies in it to keep a person fed and watered for over half a century in case of an apocalypse or major disaster, according to one scientist.

Large stores are stocked with enough tinned and non-perishable goods to last one adult 55 years, Dr Lewis Dartnell said.

The author and astrobiology scientist conducted the research on how the UK could survive a potential apocalypse ahead of his appearance at The Big Bang UK Young Scientists and Engineers Fair in Birmingham next month.

His research also found that roughly one-third of the population (36%) keep a "grab-bag" off essential items to hand in case of a disaster.

While the research shows food (61%), medical supplies (53%) and even mobile phones (47%) were top of people's lists to grab as they run from home in the event of an emergency, fewer recognised the importance of taking matches (22%) or a simple bottle (10%), which could be used to disinfect water.

Dr Dartnell, author of The Knowledge: How To Rebuild Our World From Scratch, said:

Clearly we shouldn't be worrying 24/7 about a potential apocalypse but it's interesting to take a snapshot of where we are now and how we'd fare - individually and as a society.

People's survival instincts are strong but without a greater focus on Stem (science, technology, engineering and maths) skills, the speed at which we'd return to 'society as we know it' would be seriously impeded.

Rather than duck and cover, the country needs to know how to stand and recover from any disaster.

– Dr Dartnell