Urban Survival Primer
Just what is "Urban Survival" anyway?
Well, what a controversial topic. Urban Survival, which we will shorten to "UrbSurv" for this discussion, is a very dangerous subject indeed.
There are short, intermediate and long term survival situations which could befall any urban area. In the short term, it is probably best to Shelter In Place (S.I.P.). Even then, you may find yourself in such a dangerous situation that you can no longer extract yourself from it.
Worse yet, there are certain types of terrorist attacks where you would have to SIP but in so doing, you leave yourself vulnerable to danger in the aftermath of that terrorist action. What that means is, you can survive the terrorist action by Sheltering In Place and then fall prey to the actions of people who are more criminal opportunist than good neighbor.
Or maybe they will be incredibly desperate to the point of crossing over between the two types of people. How would you react if a loved one could not obtain lifesaving medication? Please spare me all of the, ”I will prepare so well beforehand that will never be a consideration…ALL looters should be shot on sight.” You are going to be one sorry individual if your plans go the way of many well thought out plans…right into the commode.
Anything other than short-term SIP?
Get out of the urban environment, you are already in over your head.
Now, some people can prepare and survive. Look at some of the people in New Orleans. Some of the people that knew they had high enough ground that they would be safe and they had food and other supplies stockpiled and they had the all-important gear necessary for real-world survival - firearms.
Now, firearms are not the panacea for all problems. You can have all of the high-tech armament in the world and you can know how to use it - it still won't purify water or do one hundred other tasks that you will need to know how to do. You will find it hard and sometimes impossible in some situations to keep your supplies, especially food and medications, if you don't have the FINAL WORD of Authority when it comes to your shelter. If you don't have the means to repel boarders, they might just take your shelter from you...and a whole lot more.
Some people think this is paranoid lunacy, well, I would dearly love to see those people suffer under the situations they think they can survive under with a kind word, a smile and simply "reasoning" with people. They'd be out in the cold very quickly...or worse.
Getting back to the fundamental problems of surviving in an urban environment, this is a tree with many branches. For one thing, if you live in a city, you should be practicing your skills every day. That doesn't mean you SIP for a weekend and drink beer. Every time you leave your home, you should be aware of your surroundings. There are so many situations, Self-defense situations, that don't have to happen if you are simply aware of your surroundings, just like defensive driving, you should always be aware of what people are doing around you and constantly searching for your "Out."
Your "Out" is your escape route. The route to safety and you should always be cautious when people try to block you in and limit your Out.
If people box you in on the highway, limiting your choices of escape, then you can get into a situation where you become involved in a crash. Criminals actively seek out people who are not aware of their surroundings and who are not paying attention and they deliberately seek to put you into the situation where you have no Out or where the only apparent Out you have is blocked by the criminal's friends, family and associates in the form of an ambush. The ambush will be a very short and very violent situation.
There are some situations where there is no escape, you will have to fight your way to the Out. Don't believe Good Time Rock and Roll Martial Arts Writers who tell you otherwise, this is why you have to have the capability to fight with and without weapons, because some times, the escape route is blocked.
Living a life with these things in mind is no more emotionally cumbersome than driving defensively, it is no more "paranoid" than defensive driving. People that tell you otherwise are probably terrible drivers and don't really care about driving safely in the first place.
Have you ever watched a driver do something in a parking lot that was so incredibly stupid and their car is all beat to hell from multiple minor accidents? How do you think their car got to be that way? They don't care. They're morons. Take note of their bumperstickers, you will learn a lot about people. No, I'm not kidding, I'm not just taking the opportunity to offer up a cheapshot at people I disagree with, I really mean it, I see it every day.
Watch the shadows around you in life, on the street, use storefront glass and vehicular glass like the rear view mirrors on your car to stay aware of your surroundings.
So, you have to cultivate this mindset that you are always looking for your ”Out,” for your "Safe Passage." There, that term is politically correct and might make you feel warm and emotionally more secure or something “progressive.”
If you don't cultivate that mindset and learn those skills you need and you become the target of some criminal, then you're on your own, you're already behind the reactionary curve with little or no reactionary gap to take advantage of.
Then you have to learn unarmed combat, yeah, I said combat. More than that, Practical Unarmed Combat. Be aware that most of what passes for Practical Unarmed Combat today...isn't very practical. Without dwelling on that any longer, you learn that and move to weapons, or the other way around, as long as it gels together and becomes a Safety Umbrella for you. There is another PC term for you so you feel better about yourself and don't feel like one of those nasty racist Survivalist People that you were warned about.
After all, Self-esteem is paramount, isn’t it?
This is all a part of Urban Survival.
What about the other stuff that doesn't happen every day?
Well, there is SIP, as we discussed before, and then there is getting out, escaping, retreating, bugging out, whatever you want to call it. Call it ”leaving.”
How are you going to leave when everyone else with a brain wants to get the hell out of the area too?
That's a big problem, isn't it sportsfans?
Do you remember the hurricanes of 2005? Do you remember the roads in Texas and Louisiana where people ran out of gas and went nowhere? Hmm...at least if you have a brain you will now know that I'm not just making this stuff up.
If you want to be able to escape a city, you have to see the trouble coming and get out or you have to have a vehicle capable of trumping the other vehicles. Basically, this means a Jeep Wrangler or Wrangler Unlimited (A little more than a foot of extra space!).
It's four-wheel drive and it's compact. Get it with nothing smaller than a 4.0 liter engine as well, you need power and that's a large V6. Two 5-gallon Jerry Cans of gasoline and a full tank of gas should get you out.
Be aware, however, that along with the spare fuel, you might want to seriously consider a mountain bike for everyone bugging out with you and have those mounted on the back with the gas cans. However you can do it. There might very well be situations where you can only get out with the mountain bike and the mountain bike itself is a very, very good idea. If you look at the horror stories of people being on the highway for well over 12 hours and only going a couple of miles, imagine how far they could have been if they were zipping along at a speedy 20MPH on a bicycle? In the time it took some people to reach the next off-ramp just a couple or very few miles away, you could have been 200 miles away from the area and that's including two hours of breaks/rest time (Figuring for 12 Hrs. @ 20MPH).
There are folding bicycles designed to be stored in the trunk of a car, for example. Sometimes you can get away with simply removing the front tire from the bike and all you would need is a good, suitably-sized crescent wrench to reassemble.