A Cold Hard Truth: How Urban Survival Knowledge May Save Your Life

A Cold Hard Truth: How Urban Survival Knowledge May Save Your Life

In an unpredictable age, preparedness has become more important than ever. With the massive changes the world has began undergoing due to globalization, climate change, and more, emergencies are more frequent than ever before. 

For this reason, it's important to take a closer look at what it means to be able to survive in both rural and urban environments as a means of self-preservation.

What Is Urban Survival?

Abandoned City

While it can seem a bit superfluous, the reality is that emergency evacuations, for instance, are much more common than we think. Urban survival to many means the ability to last despite any number of possible incidents whilst trapped/having to navigate an urban area with a large population.

Many assume these incidents are like the purge, with maniacs running around causing havoc for the sake of entertainment. After everything from hurricanes to transportation disasters or man-made disasters, there is or can be a panic that can lead to the population density being a very dangerous thing for anyone located within the area.

Most people have no plan.  As the adage goes, “If you fail to plan, you plan to fail.”

Urban Survival Situations That Can Occur

Imagine, you’re at your place of work. You hear an explosion, and then another, and then another. You look outside your office window and realize there is something suspicious going on. You check your phone, no signal. No one knows what’s going on, but below you see the entire city in a panic.

  • What do you do?
  • How do you get home?
  • What do you have on you?

Many people, run for their cars, get trampled in the crowd or injured just in a frenzy. When it comes to urban survival, going the well-traveled way in many cases can get you seriously injured or killed.  Congestion from traffic, emotional escapees and more can derail any sense of safety, because nothing is more dangerous than a mob. A few urban situations can be:

  • A terrorist attack that leaves debris, dust, and more in the air with many in a frenzy
  • An earthquake or tornado that results in damaged buildings, disrupted streets, and limited responsiveness from the police and other emergency services
  • Man-made disasters such as power plant failures, plane crashes, or disease outbreaks

Each presents unique opportunities, and while some have lower chances for survival, being ready raises your chances, which is all that matters.

3 Urban Survival Tips

Man Carry Bag Out Bag

There are a few key things that can make a huge difference when it comes to surviving any catastrophe.  When it comes to urban survival, they are:

  • Have A Bug Out Bag & A Get Home Bag
  • Plan For Evacuation As Well As Contingencies For If You Are Stuck At Home/In the City
  • Stick To The Plan & Have The Means To Defend Yourself

Each may seem obvious, but they are easy to overlook because of how obvious they seem. Having a bug out bag as well as a get home bag can be the difference between never making it out of your office/workplace and getting there quickly/surviving where you are trapped if you have to. 

It's important to have a plan for yourself as well as your family for each type of catastrophe that is applicable.  These can include man-made situations from invasions to system failures as well as "acts of god" such as hurricanes and other natural disasters.  Ensuring your family understands the plan and sticks to it is critical for ensuring it works.

If you plan to leave, ensure you have thought of every method of getting there. Nothing is worse than expecting one road to workout only to have it blocked by gridlock traffic or worse, destroyed. 

If you plan to stay at home, take care to have a means of having food and water that lasts at minimum a few weeks to months as well as a means of disposing safely of waste, and staying abreast of what’s happening. 

The last thing to consider is the security of where you plan to be.  If you intend to stay, having added protection in the form of bars, locks, or surveillance can help keep any potential threats at bay.

Whether you decide to stay or go, it's essential when urban survival is prepping to look into firearms/alternative means of protecting yourself and your family in the event of a threat. This can include knives, rope, multi-function tools and more, with each offering their own merit beyond self-defense.

What Is A Bug Out Bag

Mentioned earlier, was the bug out bag. The bug out bag is essentially the emergency preparedness package for when things hit the fan.  The bug out bag is essentially filled with:

  • Non-perishable food and water (enough for a few days at least)
  • A first aid kit
  • Emergency documents
  • Money
  • Knife
  • Compass and map
  • A radio
  • Needed medication
  • A water purification tool
  • A much more

As you can see, these things are meant for the user to be able to take and escape at a moment’s notice without having to worry about packing and wasting precious time. 

What Should It Contain?

Bug Out Bag Contains

While the aforementioned list covers the main areas of what should be included, the bug out bag should also account for your local climate and situations that are likely to happen in your area. Fresh extra socks for wet or cold weather climates, as well as tarps and a rope for when quick setup of shelter is needed.

What Are Must Have Tools And Supplies For Urban Survival?

Beyond what’s mentioned above, another mentioned term earlier was the get home bag.  While the bug out bag is usually bigger and more exhaustive whilst still being manageable for mobility’s sake, the get home bag usually contains far less.  It is a miniature version meant for you to keep with you that will allow you to get home and to your go bag. 

The extras that this bag has is things meant for paving a way/making it to where you are headed. This means a means of protection as well as a handheld glass breaker for when you need to make a quicker than usual exit.  Beyond that, it’s mostly just a more accessible bag for if you can’t get to your primary bag easily/quickly.

Do you have any questions? Comments or tips based on your own survival situation.