When we think about traditional survival skills, we often imagine someone who is surviving in the wilderness or in a desolate place away from civilization. But we also should consider what it takes to be urban prepper. Survival in a big city presents a whole different scenario. If you live in a large city, then take note! While you can still prep in the city (and you should!), you’re going to have some special considerations to think about. Here are some safety skills you need to learn and put into practice today so you will be fully prepared if disaster strikes in your area.
Know the Area and Your Neighbors
This is crucial in any prepping situation, but especially in larger, urban areas. You need to know your neighborhood, and your neighbors. Know what type of vehicle they drive, and try to be aware of anything that looks suspicious. If you have elderly neighbors, work with them to come up with an emergency plan and help keep a watch out for their safety. You and your neighbors could make a powerful survival team and working together can definitely be an advantage.
You also want to know several routes in and out of the neighborhood and the city if major roads are inaccessible or out of service. It’s probably a good idea to know bus routes, and how to use other forms of public transportation, especially if gas for personal vehicles is rationed. You may have to get your family out of the area quickly, so you want to have at least 2 reliable routes in your mind. You should also map out the closest store, gas station, hospital, and police station along with the quickest way to get to them. Phone lines could be down after a disaster so you need to be able to get to these places without calling. Find them in non-emergent situations, so when you do need them, getting lost won’t play into the equation.
Preplan Your Home Security
Keeping your home secure is definitely more challenging in an urban setting. Make sure all entrances to your home – including windows – can be locked securely. If you have an electronic security system, don’t give out the code to just anyone. If you live in an apartment building with a fire escape, make sure that exit only unlocks from the inside. You don’t want it to be accessible to intruders. Make sure your children know never to open the door to anyone they don’t know. If you keep firearms in the home, make sure they are stored in a place where you as the adult can get to them – with the bullets stored in another place – away from where kids can have access to them. Do not be afraid to defend your family and home if the need arises. If you have tall grasses or trees and bushes on your lawn, make sure they are trimmed back so that you can see any unwanted visitors or intruders. Landscaping is crucial for urban preppers. Don’t give the enemy an easy hideout!
Use Street Smarts
Using some common street smarts will also help to keep you safe. Don’t go into areas you don’t know that well after dark, or venture anywhere alone during times of unrest. Don’t knowingly go into situations that could put your safety at risk if you don’t have to do so. Keep a watchful eye out when you’re in crowded places and be vigilant for anything that looks “off” or out of place. Your observations could save a life! While you don’t want to walk around paranoid all the time, you do want to be aware of what’s normal and common for your neighborhood.
One of the things you may need to do to help protect your safety in an urban situation would be to carry some items on your person that would be of assistance to you if you were attacked. This could be a small knife, pepper spray or Mace concealed in a key chain. You may also want to consider getting a concealed carry permit to carry a handgun, if you feel that might become necessary. While that’s not a requirement, it may help you to feel more secure. If you don’t have a cellphone, you should consider getting one for this reason alone. If you frequently go out alone, you may need that extra protective measure. Keep in mind that no one expects a disaster. If a terrorist attacks your city, no one will be expecting it to happen. Everything will turn to chaos within the blink of an eye and you will only have what you are carrying to get your home unscathed.
None of these are really unusual ideas, but they are things you might not have to think about as much if you live in a more rural area. As an urban prepper, your challenges will be a little different, but planning ahead and being proactive about protection can be a game changer in a survival situation.
Do you live in a big city? How are you prepping to survive a large-scale catastrophe?