Urban survial?? The city is your friend....use it!

Discussion in 'Survival Zone' started by neothespian, Nov 19, 2007.

  1. neothespian

    neothespian Member

    There's been countless texts and media done on what a proper "survival" kit should include. Many are very complete and concise but there's one problem:

    They're not made for us "city slickers".

    The problems we have in the big city are numerous and things that most of you guys in the suburbs or in rural areas have never had to contend with such as..

    -No storage space
    -Limit on weight (for those of us in high rises)
    -Prohibited or proscribed equipment/weapons/chemicals
    -Limit on funds
    -Different applications

    So, I've added a few different items to
    the traditional "emergency" kit, omitted a few others and modified the rest. Realize that I made my kit for (and for when I return soon) a large "modern" city of Phoenix, AZ. It is a post-war sprawl loaded with technology and people with major highways instead of the traditional road connecting them. It provides some different midsets as opposed to a "European" style city such as Boston or New York, but the concerns are the same usually except more extreme.

    THE KIT:

    -Standard medkit stocked with the best you can get. I also try to keep a hold of whatever mid-level painkillers I don't use since I ALWAYS end up breaking something in a year's time and with my religious beliefs I avoid taking any kind of painkiller or narcotic unless I am not able to choose for myself. Just because I don't use them doesn't mean it couldn't be a litteral life saver for someone else down the line (especially if they have a condition like HBP or Diabeites where an increase in pain could cause stress levels to create a far worse situation). My kit is one that is suggested for up to 8 people. It's a bit on the big side, but it's one thing you cannot skimp on and should be available to anyone you come across.

    -5 gallons of sealed fresh water in 1 gallon allotments. I would keep more, but space keeps this from happening. Seperating the water supply makes it far easier to move as well. I also include litmus paper and water purification kits/tabs. Also remember that the city runs on 4 things: Fuel, water, air and electricity. There are plenty of water sources that are safe to drink, or give you the best source for water that can be purified. Toliet tanks, whirlpool/pressure bath tanks, irrigation resivors, and even fire suppression systems are excellent sources.

    -Lighter, matchbook, and propane mini-torch. Each flame source gives you different options and can be used for more than just starting fires (Such as sodering and brazing with a propane mini-torch, or even freeing a stuck bolt or door latch with a little heat and a blunt object). Remember that a city is full of equipment, and sometimes a little heat gets metal and plastic to move when it won't otherwise.

    -Multi tool. Nuff said

    -Tools. Small list that includes a compact metric/SAE socket set, small prybar, reversable philips/flathead screwdriver, adjustable cresent wrench, and flashlight of some fashion. Why? Cities are built by people and depend on machinery to function. Without the right tool you won't be able to open some doors, start some equipment or simply get out of the way. They're also the most heavy so consideration should be taken into application and location.

    -WiFi detector. This is a small keychain device with either one or a series of LED's depending on the type that is powered by a watch battery. What this device does is detect the presence of 802.11 a/b/g/n wireless data networks. Why? Because many home servers and corporate networks are designed to reboot to SOP (standard operating procedure) when a power spike forces a reboot, even if there is nobody around to do so physically. This device will let you know what areas have power, and if there is power, you very well might be able to even log onto the network if you're lucky for communication. At least you will know where there is power within 100 meters and that can be a godsend. Also, many PDA's and laptops have the same feature, but allow you to determine the strength of the network and the name of it for even better location, but power might be an issue with such large devices. A WiFi detector can run for either weeks or months depending on the manufacture. These can be found on newegg, frys.com, and even best buy occasionally. Ebay is also your buddy on this.

    -Firearm (pistol) and Firearm (longarm). Obvious so I won't beat this one to death (since there are others far more qualified on here for this), but the biggest problem when in an Urban environment, simply because of laws. Many large cities have strict bans on certian compact weapons and with Katrina we've seen how even having a visible weapon chances the psycological dynamic. While protection is paramount, you also have to consider how others perceive YOU. If you are toting around an AK-47 and full tactical gear, you're going to be one scary guy to the family who's just trying to find a Red Cross unit. Best thing is to maintain a neutral position because you never know who you will encounter...foe...or even friend!

    -FRS 14 channel (or greater) radio. While not a CB, it's cheap, common and low voltage. If anyone's going to be lost with a family, they're going to be using one of these radios. Also, FRS channel 9 is a universal emergency channel that the Red Cross does scan on a regular basis.

    -Food allotment. Whatever you can store sensibly and applies to your needs. Again, stupid obvious.

    -Batteries/Powercells freshly recharged. Included in this is also a universal charger (such as one from Bestbuy) that can accept several generic connections and a spare one for you phone. The advantage of an Urban environment is that there WILL be a source of power SOMEWHERE. It's not a matter of "IF" like in alot of the US but "when". Best to take advantage when you need it. I have also recently aquired a folding solar charger that accepts Lithium and Nickel Metal Hydride battery cells for $30 off Ebay. It's the same principle as a plug in charger but its....well...solar. Not as fast but it will do the job. Many also have adapters for common cellphones and iPods.

    -Copy of my Driver's license. You'd be surprised how useful this will be since the first people who CAN help you will be LEO's or military. If you lose your wallet or for some reason lose yoru ID, they're not going to bother trying to get a state system up to check your data. Better safe than sorry.

    -Most recent city map (hardcopy). Don't trust GPS whole-heartedly. Chips fry, and power cells die. You'll need a block by block map in case you're stuck downtown and you need to be elsewhere.

    -Shoes. Quality, druable shoes that you can walk on pavement and hike in for extended periods of time. Again, basic, but consider that in most cities when a SHTF situation happens, there will be NO way to get a car down clogged streets or dead mass transit.

    -Backpack. Again, obvious. Quality type. I have a heavy canvas over the shoulder non-frame type. Comfortable and decent sized. It's of the "tacti-cool" variety, but that was only because I got it at a gunshow for $15 and it's the most druable one I've owned, so I'm not going to complain.

    -Glowsticks. Non-battery lightsource. Cheap. Also, kids love'em

    -Durable jacket with removable liner. Just an extra level of protection and comfort. The one I have is a copy of an East German style short jacket with a liner from Target, of all places.

    -Radio with weatherband. Again, a given.

    -**Only of able** Digital camera, with removable memory, video ability of at least 640x480, and at least 4MP. Why? Look at Katrina. Insurance companies will want evidence of claims. Things that you may do to survive very well might come back to haunt you as well. Also, if you see something or someone who needs help and you aren't able to assist, a picture of the site could help a LEO, Red Cross operator or National Guardsman track them down and assist if you don't remember the direction or location (something that actually happened quite often during Katrina with many people and their cellphone cameras)

    -Ammo. Again, dependent on firearm which we won't go into since there are plenty of excellent articles on this.

    -Strobe beacon. There are many types on the market, with most being of a wearable variety. It's perfect for an inner city with questionable power, since search and rescue will notice a flashing LED strobe that is moving over a regular filament lamp.

    This is just an example of what I have. It's a small enough selection that fits in the bottom of the linnen cabinet and has enough for me to get out of a city. With an urban kit, it's all about maneuverability and city application. Using the machinery, power systems and remaining infastructure around you, you can effectively communicate and evacuate with ease by using the emergency infastructure in a city. While the city might be without water, power or law, the ENTIRE city won't be. The key is moving to a safe area, knowing what resources are there, and communicating it to other members of that city who are of a like mind. Communication and teamwork are key to surviving in a hostile city. There is saftey in numbers and finding others who are in the same position as you are allow you to increase your chances.

    And again, this is just MY take on things.
  2. elguapo

    elguapo Guest

    Good post, neo!

  3. Fenix

    Fenix Guest

    Great stuff, thanks alot :D where i live i'm halfway between urban and rural so i'll try to think of some stuff to add

    SHOOTER Z Well-Known Member

    FRS channel 9 is a universal emergency channel that the Red Cross does scan on a regular basis.

    True but 1 hitch while your radio it would be channel 9 on mine it is ch 20 or frequency of 462.675 [pos PL of141.3] Not critisizing you just passing it on
    Good posting tho :D
  5. I never thought of using a wifi sniffer as a power sniffer. It's so simple it's genius!

    Thanks for a great post.
  6. good post. my urban kit is what I posted as my bop(bug out pocket) kit. I keep it in my bag at all times. I had a wifi detector but it went fubar on me.
  7. Z28Driver

    Z28Driver Member

    Great post. The WiFi sniffer is a good idea...think I will look into that myself. :wink:
  8. My local WalMart has wi-fi sniffer key chains. So that might be another option.
  9. radio shack carries them as well. There are many designs on the market. Some just give signal strength, others are capable of telling you the security type(open, wep, wpa)
  10. 69burbon

    69burbon Well-Known Member

    Well done. That is basically the same as what I have with some exceptions. I am in more of a suburban area so that opens up my options.
  11. I'm living in a mildly densely populated college town for shcool(boone, nc). Since i'm not there year round(nor all weekends) and I just moved in this year my on hand setup there is limited.

    In addition to my bop I have a small bob with multiple basic first aid kits, glow sticks, flashlights, batteries, knive(s), firestarters, space blanket, extra clothing, etc.

    Home is in a less populated, but still medium town enviroment and has plenty of stocked up food, water, etc.
  12. azcarbine

    azcarbine Guest

    Also keep a supply of various medicines you might need. It doesn't have to be prescription drugs but maybe something as simple as antihistamines if you have bad allergies.
  13. Uraijit

    Uraijit Guest

    Great post Neo!
  14. neothespian

    neothespian Member


    I just took what I had learned from my folks and living in Belfast in the 80's (which in a word, sucked) and thinking from the angle of a guy who builds entire environments for a living. Most people start freaking out when the stuff they depend on to exist yet know nothing about fails on them. Ever see the average middle class housewife or middle management schmuck freak out when they lose power for an hour? Or when an elevator gets stuck?

    Most people don't even know how to change their own tire!

    If the unfortunate does happen, you have to remember that the city runs on machines. Therefore, when it comes to survival it's not about hunting for food or scaling ravines, but opening hydraulic controlled security doors, firing up fuel powered generators and finding juice for communications equipment.

    This is why alot of the kit I do keep on hand deals with machines, power and communications. While in the rural areas of the US (which it has alot of), you have to concern yourself with food, shelter and protection from others, in an urban environment the more people you can connect with, the better you will survive. You may be handy with a wrench but if in your journey out of a city you encounter a mechanic, a med student and a resturant manager who speaks Spanish, English AND knows how the company's food supply chain in your city works, you chances increase a thousand fold.

    When people work together, you can achieve far more (such as during 9/11). When there is dissention and resistance, there is chaos (such as in New Orleans Katrina)
  15. Excellent Post neothespian...!!!

    Lots of great ideas and information there... thanks!!!
  16. I'm going to join the chorus of voices and say great post.
  17. Kelotravolski

    Kelotravolski Member

    great post. However if I find myself in a SHTF scenario I am going to head for the hills. Population centers turn into war zones during a disaster. Both gangs and LEO's can be a hazard. I would much rather be on one long extended backpacking trip than in a Katrina situation.
  18. I am just glad I don't live in or frequent a city........
  19. If you have a pre-determined place to go it might be a fine idea...On the other hand you may want to read this little nugget. I have posted this before so please bear with me...

  20. dirtimdebbie

    dirtimdebbie Guest


    Zombie- A guy that just realized his BOB is empty.