Living in the city can be dangerous no matter what the situation is. Even outside the realm of disasters and the unexpected, surviving in the city can be challenging. Possessing a number of skills can help you be prepared for anything.
1. Preparing An Emergency Kit
By The Central Intelligence Agency (Escape & Evasion Survival Kit) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
The first step you’ll want to take is putting together a kit that will help you be prepared in the case of any type of emergency. You’ll want to work with your family and gather tips from others to determine what you’ll need. Some suggested items may include food, water, various first-aid supplies and any necessary medicines or supplements, alternative sources of light and fire starters, and hygiene items. You’ll want to put together a kit customized for your family’s needs and possibly put one together separately for any family pets.
2. Stocking Up
Space may be a limitation for you, especially if you live in a packed urban environment. Even so as much as possible try to stock up on as much supplies as you can. This should especially include less perishable food items such as canned and dried good. You may store these in boxes or preferably airtight containers (to preserve freshness and protect from the unexpected) or in a closet or designated stockpile room.
3. Vital Medical Skills
Since you may not have access to health care services during these emergencies and disasters it’s best to have some skills of your own. It is highly suggested you learn some vital medical skills such as CPR and first-aid. Alternately you may also want to learn about various home remedies and stock up on the necessary supplies for them as well.
By Ekmt (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
The time may come when you will have to fight. In case you are unarmed you will want to learn skills in hand-to-hand combat and basic self-defense. Martial arts and other self-defense classes and training are highly recommended.
You will also want to stock up on weapons both lethal and non-lethal and learn how to use them. Some weapons and firearms training will definitely be a worthy investment in case you need to protect yourself and your family.
Sometimes it may be necessary to deal with other people. You will want to learn the art of speech and communication in case you need to talk yourself out of a delicate situation. You should also learn the art of barter and pursue mutually beneficial exchanges in times of need.
7. Urban Gardening
Learn some tricks in urban gardening. You may not have a large piece of lands but potted plants, balcony and roof gardens, and various indoor gardening methods will definitely be a plus. Also make sure you know what supplies you need to get started.
8. Don’t Stick Out
The worst thing you can do an urban environment is sticking out. Make sure you learn how to keep your head out and avoid drawing attention to yourself. Some tips in this area may learning to avoid staring or looking lost or confused. Try to avoid prolonged eye contact with strangers and attention-drawing behaviors such as counting your money in public.
9. Planning and Practice Procedures
Always have a plan for any situation and practice it regularly with your family or group. Examples may include fire escape plans, reacting to natural disasters, or learning how to deal with riots.
10. Escaping Riots
By Elopde (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
Speaking of riots, what happens when you find yourself caught in the middle of one? First you want to understand that it’s similar to swimming in a river. You want to move with the current rather than against it. You also don’t want to run as you may draw unwanted attention or ram into the chaos, but you also don’t want to hold still as you may find yourself being trampled. Keep your head down and slip quietly away and as much as possible make sure to work your way to the sidelines for an easy escape.
You will want to learn how to forage and find food around the city. One source may for example, involve hunting pigeons (though be very careful as many critters carry disease) or learning to scavenge supplies wherever you can find be it abandoned stores, restaurants, officers, or just about anywhere where anything may be stored.
12. Knowing Your Way Home
Public transit motor vehicles may not be an available option for getting home, and you may find yourself stranded just about anywhere. It may be a long way but if that’s your only option make sure to prepare yourself by knowing two or more safe and ideally quick routes home. You’ll want to be able to map this from about any point in the city as well making a priority on frequently visited places (stores where you commonly shop, workplaces, etc.)
As we mentioned some means of transportation may not be available to you. As a result you may need to know how to run or ride a bike if that option is available to you. Make sure to stay in shape with regular cardio activities and know to run quickly but cautiously. This will especially be handy in dangerous situation where flight is a superior option to fight as you may be unarmed, outnumbered, or in other situation that may require fleeing as opposed to making a stand.
If you don’t have a map of your city now is a great time to get a hold of one. Remember that GPS and other devices may not be available to you, so if you don’t already know how to read maps it’s best to start learning and developing these skills.
15. Reading People
Determining whether you can trust someone or if they are a threat or not is vital. Without getting overly stereotypical try to identify features and situations where another person or group of people may be a threat. One example of a good people-reading tip is to determine when you should cross the street (without drawing attention to yourself) rather than walking through or past a dangerous person or group. Don’t ever walk past someone if you have any reason to believe they could be a threat just to save face, and try not to go to dark or lonely areas like alleyways and/or abandoned buildings or neighborhoods.