For instance if you work downtown or take public transportation from and to work, you probably share your space with several hundred people a day. Perhaps you work in a tall office building or near coastal areas. All these factors have to be taken into consideration when putting together an urban survival kit.
Many people have an urban survival kit at home, assuming they’ll be at home when they need it. What happens if you are in transit to work when an earthquake hits? What if you are in the 20th floor of your office building?How are you going to get down the street? How are you going to get home?
Below are 3 things you can do to your urban survival kit today to greatly reduce your vulnerability during an emergency.
Via Survival Cache
Imagine for a minute that you work downtown in a large city, maybe you ride the subway or take a bus to work everyday. You are in a large office building with many floors, thousands of people, and you are on the fifteen or twentieth story. If a disaster strikes how are you going to get out? I mean literally. If there is an earthquake, or a catastrophic man made event how are you going to get out of your building? How are you going to get down the street? How are you going to get home? Do you want to be one of the people covered in dust wandering around in shock? I sure don’t.
But I have my Bug out Bag you say!
Oh really, where is it? Even if it is in your car it is useless to you at this point. The parking garage is at street level and possibly blocks away. That could mean life or death in this situation and you need to act now.
Even if you could get to your Bug Out Bag, how much good would it do you in this environment? Most people’s B.O.B. is packed for survival in the wilderness. Camping gear, food, clothing, etc.
A Get Home Bag contains an entirely different set of tools and serves one purpose: To get you from wherever you are to your Home.
Your GBH should contain things that are going to get you out of the building like a prybar. Things to help you make it through the aftermath like water and breathing masks. Things you might use to help rescue others like flashlights or radios. Things that will help you on what could be a very long walk home such as food and maybe shoes.
Clearly a GHB is not a Bug Out Bag. Sure they have some overlap, but a GBH can be much smaller, less weight conscious, have more specific tools, and be planned for one purpose. Do you have one cached in your office or place of work?
Via Survival Cache
So you made it home, now what? Let’s assume that the SHTF out there. You have surveyed the situation and determined that the city is in mass chaos and you need to get out now. What do you do ? Again, you have your Bug Out Bag, but you still have to get out of the city. Do you have a Bug Out Plan?
For our purposes here lets assume that your Bug Out Plan needs to get you from your home to your serious survival cache or Bug Out Location outside of the city. I understand that not everybody has caches hidden in various places, and even fewer people have a dedicated But Out Location. While you should probably be working on that, you still need a Bug Out Plan.
There’s no way I can go through all of the various problems you might encounter while trying to bug out of your city so you will have to plan for yourself. What I will give you are some questions to consider and one rule: Contingency. Is your way out double, triple, and quadruple backed up?
If the highways are shutdown do you have a surface street route?
If no roads are passable do you have an off road route?
If driving is out of the question do you have a planned walking or riding route? (Do you have maps of your area in your Bug Out Bag?)
Do you have a rendezvous point with other family members?
Via Survival Cache
Lets back up a minute. Pretend you just got home again, but this time you surveyed the situation and decided that you are not in immediate danger but are still not at situation normal. Now what do you do? A Bug In Plan is for emergency situations where you can stay in your own home but have to rely on your own preparations to survive. This might just mean that you will be without power or water for an extended period. Maybe it means you actually can’t leave your home at all for whatever reason.
What plans do you have in place to live like this? A Bug in Plan should include food and water preparations first and foremost. What will you eat since all of the food in your refrigerator is going to be bad soon? Do you really want to live on the backpack meals out of your Bug Out Bag when you don’t have to? (Be sure to stock the Top 100 items that will Disappear First).
How much water do you have stored? Do you have a sewage system set up. (No water=no sewage: its always the little things….) Do you have unprepared neighbors to worry about? (To help or guard against?)
Starting out a survival situation in an urban environment is almost an immediate set-back compared to those bugging out from more rural areas, but with a Get Home Bag, a Bug Out Plan, and a Bug In Plan you are better off than most people.
Urban Survival Kit Planning Factors
Via The Bugout Bag Guide
Bug out situations that occur in urban centers have a number of unique factors to consider when building your Bug Out Bag packing list. These urban survival factors include:
- Having to deal with building debris and glass in the wake of the disaster event
- Increased likelihood of opportunities to scavenge water and food from abandoned buildings
- Possibility of finding supply caches in abandoned buildings – looting is not endorsed by this site but if abandoned supplies mean the difference between life and death, go for it
- Increases likelihood of encountering humans – This can be both good and bad based on the disposition of the people encountered and how you handle the situation. Other survivors can be bartered with and be valuable sources for information as well as dangerous criminals. Approach them with caution in mind.
- Less need for emergency shelter as there should be many buildings around and debris available to cobble a shelter together if need be.
Some urban survival kit gear that will help you deal with these factors:
- Crow bar/pry bar – For scavenging and removing barriers and debris as well as hammering out glass.
- Tool for Fire Hydrants/Gas Mains – This is useful if you find yourself in a house with gas leaking or if you want to access a fire hydrant for some clean water.
- Work Gloves – If you have to break glass or move debris these will save your hands and keep you working and moving much longer. These can be picked up in any hardware store.
- Dust Mask – If there are collapsed buildings in your area this will protect your lungs from airborne debris particles. These can also be picked up in any hardware store.
- Permanent Marker – The nature of the urban environment will give you opportunities to leave markings or notes for yourselves or others in your party.
- Can opener – In an urban survival situation there will be many more opportunities to scavenge food than in a rural locality. A can opener will enable you to easily access preserved food that you come across.
- Metal Spork – Scavenged food will need a way to get to your mouth.