Survival Tips & Tactics…
Number 1 – Police Scanners:
When a disaster does occur, a police scanner can be a valuable tool in your arsenal, especially if you are looking to evacuate. Police and fire scanners can alert you to where the disaster has occurred, is spreading, or if there is more danger in the way. This is vital especially if you are in an urban environment and your escape routes are limited. The Boston Marathon disaster is a good case study as many Bostonians took to a police scanner to stay inside while police were chasing the suspect around Boston. There are many devices available, as well iPhone and android police scanners, that you can pick up for a modest cost. We would recommend you invest in a scanner instead of an app just in case cell networks and internet streaming is down, which often happens when a disaster does occur.
Number 2 – OPSEC:
OPSEC is your best friend, especially if you’re in an urban environment. If you live in a high-rise or apartment complex it will be very difficult for you to conduct preppier actives with your neighbors all around you. This is one downside to living in an environment of this nature. You will need to practice and hone your OPSEC techniques and give more consideration to how much attention you draw to yourself during a disaster. Due to the number of people in an urban environment this is extremely valuable and you should practice scenarios where you bug-in and hold your ground. Avoiding attention in these scenarios is vital to your survival and extending your preppier timeline.
Number 3 – Car Maintenance:
Learning how to jump start your car is vital, especially in an urban environment. Your best bet of escape when you decide to bug-out is with your car. You won’t have the luxury of lying low and moving slowly through a forest like a rural preppier. You need to make a decision to evacuate and move as quickly as possible. If your car for some reason cannot start or is not properly maintained, the consequences may prove fatal. Make sure that you understand general maintenance on your car and how to handle simple problems, such as a dead battery. Make sure your oil is always fresh and that you keep at least a half a tank of gas in your car at all times. You never know when a disaster will occur, and the extra time it may take to fill up your car can be the difference between survival and death.
Number 4 – Bug Out Bag:
In an urban environment, time is of the essence when you make the conscious choice to evacuate. You may not have the luxury to go home and get your bug-out bag. And you might not have the luxury to make it back to your car before a disaster occurs. We recommend you store two 48 hour bug-out bags and one 24 hour bag. You should keep one 48 hour bag in your home and one in your car. You should keep the 24 hour bag at your work if possible. A small duffel bag that you can keep in a closet or in a drawer at work would be ideal. This will allow you to always have supplies should a disaster occur and evacuate imminent. If you can make it to your car or return home, you should consider this a bonus, but never assume it’s a guaranteed that you will make it to these locations.
Number 5 – Evacuation:
Knowing the difference between staying and evacuating is crucial when you live in urban environments. This decision and making this decision could be the difference between life and death, especially in an urban environment. Leaving immediately after a disaster occurs can leave you vulnerable to riots or additional attacks. You may also have to abandon your vehicle if you are stuck in mass traffic. There are certain scenarios where waiting out a disaster may be more beneficial than evacuating immediately. This may be contradictory to what we mentioned above and the majority of the time it’s better to evacuate immediately, but you should take some time to brainstorm and plan for disasters where your ideal scenario is to stay put for a few hours or decide to hunker down. Staying put in an urban area is also very difficult due to numerous factors, ranging from a large population to less than ideal conditions if you are living in a high-rise or apartment. Long term survival without power will require heating sources which are almost impossible in these locations, unless you want to risk burning your home down or you have the proper supplies. So keep this in mind: if you are going to plan to hunker down for an extended period of time without the proper supplies. Ideally if you have to wait out a disaster you should have enough supplies to last for a few weeks before making the decision to bug-out to a more rural or undercover location.
Number 6 – Container Gardening:
Container gardening is extremely beneficial, especially if you are living in an urban environment. You don’t need large plots of land or soil to grow your own produce. Container gardening is great because it allows you to grow your produce without taking up a great deal of space. Not only is container gardening a great hobby to start but it may one day save your life. If you are going to hunker down in an urban environment, learning how to container garden is essential. There are numerous books and YouTube tutorials on container gardening that can help you start out slow. Container gardening is also very inexpensive, with most starter kits at a reasonable price. Several tutorials can help you create your own DIY container gardening kits. This is essential when during a disaster and you may need to create a garden out of only the limited supplies you have access to.
Number 7 – Navigation:
This may seem like common sense to new readers, but many people don’t know how to properly navigate a new city or environment. Even if you’re on a trip or only staying in a city for a few days, you should still take some time to learn the major roads and intersections. Just because you’re on vacation or a business trip doesn’t lower the chances that a disaster might occur. Take a few moments before you leave or when you are traveling to look at a map and identify the major thoroughfares. If a disaster does occur you will quickly be able to recollect this data which may eventually save your life and allow you a quick evacuation.
This same principal applies to the area that you currently live in. Many people know their city like the back of their hand, but still some people rely on their cell phones for navigation. If you are one of these people you should learn both the main and back roads. Cell phone towers are usually congested and fail during a disaster so you need to build up your navigation skillset.
Number 8 – Proper Heating:
Cooking and heating are going to be two of your main problems if you decide to hunker down in an urban environment. There simply isn’t a lot of space and cooking, and heating in your apartment will be quite difficult and very dangerous. There are slow and low burning fuel sources that you can utilize to help heat your food supply that you can purchase online. The problem that you may encounter is that long term survival will require large fuel sources. You may need to have access to a rooftop or patio to safely use these fuel sources. This can lead to unnecessary attention and can be problematic especially if unwanted persons figure out that you have a comprehensive food supply. Whatever your goals may be there are fuel sources online that can help you achieve your goal. We recommend that you look into investing in these products.
Number 9 – Water Filters:
When living in an urban environment, one of the first problems that occur is a stoppage of running water. With poor sanitation and a lack of fresh water, living for prolonged periods in an urban environment will not only lead to disease, but also dehydration. While the human body can survive without food for weeks, only a few days without water can lead to massive problems. In addition to having enough water storage in your home, you should have numerous portable water filters. Ideally you should also learn how to make rain catchers that you can attach to your roof or outside your windows. There are tutorials on how to build these rain catchers and there are also pre-made kits you can buy to keep in your home and your bug-out kits. Water filters can save your life, especially if you are evacuating on foot and need to replenish.
Number 10 – First Aid:
Urban environments are prone to more injuries than rural environments as there are usually more debris, sharp objects, projectiles, and exposed metal in an urban environment following a disaster. Learning how to treat a wound is essential to your survival and that of your love ones. Simple cuts can quickly become infected and quickly reduce your survival timeline. Learning how to properly disinfect and treat these wounds is essential when living in an urban environment. Proper sanitation and disinfectant knowledge is also crucial, especially when sanitation services stop and bacteria and disease begin spreading. Knowledge of first aid should also be combined with comprehensive first aid kits in your bug-out bags and survival caches.
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Blogger: Denise Ruiz -Founder of APTA