Urban Survival | Urban Survival Skills
Essential Urban Survival Techniques
All manner of threats to the enjoyment and quality of life loom large all across urban America. Arming yourself with adequate knowledge of urban survival skills pays dividends if times of danger or adversity.
Accurate Situational Assessment
Different crises require differing urban survival techniques. Although home preparedness is important, the streets represent your greatest source of potential danger and disaster.
Extreme emergencies like homelessness and assaultive situations mandate special survival urban skills. Below are some basic urban disaster survival techniques that are universally valuable for all crisis circumstances:
Maintain Maximum Physical Fitness
Join or build a home gymnasium and begin a weekly workout regimen. Concentrate on cardiovascular aerobic exercise and body building. Large muscles have little value in urban survival situations; superior ability to climb, jump, and run can literally mean life or death.
Know Your Surroundings
Learn your residential and work areas well. Get to know your neighbors and major exit and entrance thoroughfares. Avoid gang territories and high-crime areas. Locate the nearest hospitals and stores.
Keep A Cool Head
Keeping your wits about you is the most vital of all urban survival techniques. Be determined not to accept defeat. Survival is a victory, no matter how it is accomplished. Positive attitude and persistence are your friends. Doubt is your foe. Think before you react. Never turn to crime for urban survival. It will only exacerbate your plight by placing you in even worse jeopardy.
Seek long-term shelter at least two hours before sunset. You may need temporary warmth or concealment in short-term crisis situations. Always consider dangerous debris like glass and stagnant water or unstable building structure before choosing a spot.
Examples of urban survival self-help shelters
- Abandoned buildings and houses – ensure that no other “guests” have already taken up occupancy.
- Wooded patches – great for conducting covert surveillance as you kneel or squatt behind foliage and shrubbery
- Covered alleyways – be careful not to trespass on private property
- Dumpsters – make ideal hiding places in a pinch. Enter carefully to avoid hypodermic needles, broken glass, nails, and other hazardous refuse.
- Stairwell undersides – enclosed designs are most ideal. For long-term use, locations near or adjacent to heating grates afford warmth in the wintertime.
Urban Survival Water
Potable water is essential for urban survival. Dehydration is a dangerous condition that can kill you! Contaminated water contains millions of harmful microorganisms and chemicals. No matter how thirsty you are, never drink any of the following liquids:
- Ocean Water
Urban Survival Food
Although you may survive several weeks without eating, severe hunger weakens physical strength and your will to survive. Pigeons are an excellent food source. Be sure to cook them thoroughly prior to consumption to kill any possible parasites, however.
Grocery store dumpsters often yield valuable discards like bent canned goods and expired items. Scrupulously avoid raw meat that may be contaminated with toxic viruses and bacteria. Find out where “soup kitchens“ run by social service agencies are located.
Urban Survival Self Defense
Knowing how to fight off assailants is a mandatory urban survival skill. If possible, take basic self-defense or martial arts instruction.
Some common items that are useful as self-defense urban survival gear include:
- Glass bottle
- Walking cane
- Stun gun
- Pepper spray
A flashlight, radio, and spare batteries also help identify possible safety hazards and potential assailants in unfamiliar urban terrain.
Home Sweet Home
Home preparedness is also an important part of any competent plan of urban survival. Widespread power outages, medical emergencies, and general chaos often occur immediately after natural or manmade disasters. You may even be incarcerated within your own home. Maximize your survival odds with the following implements:
- Crowbar or ply bar - (for escaping dangerous post-disasterfallout)
- Extra shoes and clothing - (helps if you become stranded far from home)
- Earplugs - (drown out noisy rescue efforts)
- Visor cap
- Firearm and ammunition
- Non-perishable food items
- Adequate bottled water supply
- Temporary toilet for sewage disposal
- Getting Out of Harm’s Way
If you have advance warning of impending trouble, evacuate as soon as possible. Maintain reserve funds to ensure prompt transportation out of the area. Find out which local community centers, churches, or schools offer emergency disaster shelter.
Many Helping Hands
If you should exhaust your urban survival resources, assess matters realistically. Although you should be your own best resource, do not be afraid to seek outside assistance, if needed. You have paid income taxes that support governmental relief programs. You can always give back to private relief organizations by volunteering your time after getting back on your feet. Although urgent circumstances associated with urban survival crises are never pleasant, keep a constructive attitude by anticipating a better day.
An old adage posits that “whatever doesn’t kill you only makes you stronger.” Keep that thought firmly in mind as you conquer current obstacles to a brighter tomorrow.