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Five urban survival tips

Tip #1 – Move fast before exit routes are clogged or closed

There is a clear first-mover advantage when evacuating a highly-populated area. Once everyone around you gets the same idea, getting through the exits – bridges, tunnels, highways, or train routes will become hopelessly clogged. To ensure a speedy exit:

Make sure your survival kit is packed and ready to go. While the 10 C’s of Survival matter even in Urban settings there are a few other things you might want to have. Plan now to have them on-hand to get you home from the office or to get you from your home out of the city.

Make sure everyone you are bugging out with is on the same page for when to initiate your bug out plan and where to meet

When in doubt MOVE! Don’t wait for everyone around you to agree, get going. Be a survivor, not a statistic.

Tip #2 – Be prepared for environmental hazards

The modern urban landscape if full of dangers that become exposed in any type of disaster.

Damaged buildings put all manner of dangerous debris in the air from asbestos and concrete dust to broken glass and toxic smoke. We need to be sure that our bug out bag has the proper protective gear to keep us moving through such hazards, you never know what you will need to scramble over or through to get to safety.

Sturdy shoes, and well-made pants and a long sleeve shirt should be your default bug out clothing even in summer to protect you from jagged or burning debris.

Additionally, consider having environmental protection gear to protect the rest of your body:

  • Eye protection
  • Hearing protection
  • Respiratory/lung protection
  • Hand protection

Tip #3 – Be a Grey Man or Woman

The idea of being a “Grey Man” (or Woman) is based around being fully prepared but inconspicuous as to not draw unwanted attention to yourself.

This serves two purposes:

Being a Grey Man will help you blend in with a crowd if people are being singled out or if you are trying to evade a pursuer

It will make you seem like a regular person instead of a target of opportunity for aggressive people who are less prepared than you

There are many ways to be a Grey Man and a lot of them just come down to common sense and not advertising your presence:

  • Wear normal looking clothes, not camo or other tactical looking gear
  • Remove any military style logos, or anything that might indicate you are armed
  • Do not open your bug out bag in a public area where others can see that it is loaded with food, water, and survival gear that they may need.
  • Avoid staring or unnecessary eye contact, but do be aware of your surroundings
  • Conceal your most important survival gear on your person, that way if you become separated from your bag, you will still have basic necessities on your person.  This could be a simple as a knife and someway to start a fire.

Tip #4 – It’s better to look like a threat than a target

In an urban scenario, you are inherently more likely to encounter other people. Some of these people may be aggressive, desperate, or seeking to take advantage of others in the chaos. It is best to deter such advances before they even start by making yourself look like more trouble than it is worth to bother you.

Travel in a group if you can, single people are far juicier targets than two or more people who are obviously together

Have a self-defense weapon ready to deploy if you are approached, this can be pepper spray, a firearm, knife, or another hand weapon. Showing you are armed and ready to defend yourself shows that you are not a target of opportunity

Be aware of your surroundings – If you are being followed or possibly entering a dangerous area keep your eyes open and change course immediately

Keep in mind the Grey Man tips above to keep off the radar of inquisitive people

Tip #5 – Follow your instincts, not the mob

When a disaster hits 99% of people are completely unprepared. Since you are reading this you are obviously of a mindset of preparing for the worst BEFORE it happens. Stick to your bug out plan and improvise when necessary.

If a mob of people is heading one way it doesn’t mean that is the best way for you. You don’t need to go in the opposite direction as everyone else but look for the safest way for YOU to reach your destination.

Follow your instincts when faced with a hard choice, not just the path of least resistance.

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