So What is Urban Survival? What Does it Mean?
We've been hearing a lot about emergency preparedness in the news these days. The earthquake in Haiti, Hurricane Katrine and even the recent shutdown of flights all over Europe from the volcano in Iceland disrupted a lot of lives.
Then of course there's the danger of terrorist attacks, pandemics or even, on a more personal level, long term unemployment. Because of these things many people are taking steps to prepare themselves in case of an emergency situation.
Now there are a lot of sites and experts out there that tout that the world is turning Apocalypse on us and we should all move to the woods, get off the grid and start growing our own food.
But what if the worst doesn't happen? What if you move, give up your life and nothing happens (or it's not so bad)?
Approximately half of people in North America live and work in or near a major city. We call them urbanites. I'm an urbanite myself. And most of us have no interest in becoming a mountain man up north to protect ourselves.
There are other ways to be prepared in case of emergencies without giving up your life. That's really the idea behind urban survival - how to survive and thrive if you live and/or work in the city should an emergency happen.
While the topic of urban survival is way too broad for just one article, here are a few tips to consider to help you prepare for an emergency:
#1 Consider Storing Some Food Long Term
Finding food in the city in case of a major emergency will be near to impossible. And trust me, after a few days you won't even want to try - people get nasty when they're hungry and they can't find food.
Instead of heading out and battling the hoards, if you have your own store of survival foods stored away, you'll be both safe and have a full tummy.
There are different types of survival foods but many people choose to buy freeze dried foods as they have a long shelf life (up to 25 years) and don't take up much room (so your neighbours don't have to know you have food stored away).
#2 Store Jugs of Water
We can go without food for several days, even weeks, if necessary. But a few days without water and forget it. Make sure you store several large jugs of water - rotating them out every few months. You can also use the water in your hot water heater for things like washing clothes or basic cleaning.
#3 Learn Some Basic Self Defense
If you're careful, have food and water stored along with some other basic essentials, you probably won't need to head out into the mad crowds in an emergency situation. But if you do, it helps to know some basic self defense.
Consider taking a practical self defense martial art like Wing Chun or Jeet Kune Do. And keep practicing to keep yourself fresh.
#4 Outline an Urban Survival Plan With Your Family
Sit down with your family and go over what each person will do in case of emergency. For example, have a place you all agree to meet up should you get separated.
Have a specific phone number (maybe Dad's cell phone for instance) that everyone will call to check in. When everyone is aware of the plan, you're less likely to get separated and lose track of anyone in the family.
#5 Get a Bug Out Bag or a Survival Kit To Have On Hand
These are kits of prepacked items that are easily mobile in a moment's notice. All you do is grab and go.
They usually contain food, water and other basic items that you'll need if you have to leave your home. There are even specialized kits like hurricane survival kits or earthquake survival kits that you can get depending on where you live and which disasters your city is vulnerable to.
Most Survival kits however are really only good for 72 hours so don't really on a survival kit to get you through a major emergency.
So those are a few urban survival tips you can do to prepare yourself in case of emergency. You don't have to move to the country and become a mountain man to protect yourself. Take a few basic preparation steps and you'll be able to weather out most emergencies in basic comfort.