How to Prepare in an Urban Environment - 2 Principles for Preppers
This week, I received a call from a neighbor. For the sake of her privacy, let's call her Susan.
I could tell right away that Susan was tense and anxious by the tone of her voice.
First, she told me that her oldest son was about to graduate from college. He took a job in New York City that starts this summer.
"Congratulations!" I told her, "But what's worrying you?"
Susan told me that they had always practiced preparedness at home here in Northern Idaho. Now, she confessed, she had no idea how to advise her son to prepare for a crisis in the big city.
80 percent of Americans live in crowded urban areas
If you live in a larger city or have loved ones living there, this may be the most important message you read today. With over 80% of Americans living in urban areas, this affects nearly all of us and many of our loved ones.
Recently, urban preparedness is on the rise. In fact, local groups like NYC Preppers have reported that their membership has tripled since the terrorist attacks of last fall in Paris and San Bernardino, CA.
I told Susan not to worry. I mentioned to her that even a country boy like me can help our fellow patriots in cities get prepared. I tell people all the time, there is no "one-size-fits-all" preparedness plan. Where we live is usually the biggest factor in our planning. Preparing in the city has its own unique challenges. I'll share a few of those challenges in just a moment.
Ultimately, there are two rock-solid principles for urban preparedness that I told Susan to pass along to her son. If you can build these principles into your urban preparedness plan, you'll set yourself up to stay safe and secure, regardless of the type of emergency.
2 PRINCIPLES FOR PREPPING IN THE CITY
As I said earlier, there are unique challenges to urban preparedness. Basically, it all boils to population density. More people in less space. For example, if you live in an apartment, you probably won't be able to stockpile a bunker's worth of supplies. However, you do want to ensure you have on hand ample resources for survival - as they'll run out extremely fast in the city.
That's why the following two principles are absolutely critical to consider in every step of your preparedness journey. If you follow them, you can make the most out of these limitations - and thrive when an emergency strikes.
Urban Preparedness Principle #1: Have a Plan B, C, D and E
When you live in the city, it's easy for an emergency to catch you off-guard. Something could happen while you're at work, during your commute or in the middle of the night. To put it simply, the more options you have, the better.
Plan an emergency route from the city
This is why it's a great idea to have emergency kits prepared:
It's also essential that you plan for several options to leave the city in the event of an evacuation or long-term crisis. This includes leaving by car and by foot.
When it comes to emergency food, we have options for all your contingency plans. Our emergency food supplies are specially designed to save space in cramped apartments. With our signature slim-line totes, you can easily slide our food under a bed or stack the totes in a closet. Buckets are often bulky and heavy - not suitable for an urban dweller who needs more efficient options. For a look at our most-popular space-saving food supplies, click here.
Giving yourself options is huge for preparing in the city. When an emergency strikes, you'll have to decide the best course of action. Having more options helps you figure out the best path when the pressure is on.
It's also an excellent idea to practice your preparedness plans in advance. If you have to walk 30 miles to get out of the city with a 40-pound pack on, you're going to need to get in shape to do that. You're going to need to understand the terrain first-hand so you know what kind of obstacles you might encounter - maps and apps can't provide that information - especially if cellular service is disrupted (think 9/11 or Katrina). In a true crisis, the only person you can rely on is yourself, your experience and your plan. This leads us to urban preparedness principle #2...
Urban Preparedness Principle #2: Learn Urban Self-Reliance Skills
Planting rooftop gardens are popular
Most city dwellers are used to having all the conveniences of the modern world at their fingertips. When an emergency strikes, those conveniences will probably be gone in an instant. Let's face it, you won't be able to rely on an Uber during a crisis. Even more important, access to food, water, fuel and power can be restricted or severely limited.
Here at My Patriot Supply, we always preach self-reliance. It's important for everyone to learn, but it can be difficult to know where to start when you live in a city.
For example, it might seem impossible to grow your own food without acres of land. I'm here to tell you it's not impossible. You can grow vegetables in potted plants on rooftop gardens. You can even grow certain foods - especially herbs like basil - in sunny southern-facing windows. You can also look into community gardens in your area and get your very own urban patriot garden plot.
Learning to grow your own food is an extremely valuable skill. Not only will it help you prepare for emergencies, but it will help you start over if you have to leave the city and resettle. We carry a wide variety of seeds designed for almost every growing environment. Our Survival Seed Vault is the perfect choice for starting your own Urban Patriot Garden. Don't miss this year's growing season. Start your city garden today. Click here to order your seeds.
There are many creative ways to grow an Urban Patriot Garden
In addition, you can forage many foods in an urban environment, despite the misconception that you are disconnected from nature. Search for foraging groups in your city to learn what you can pick and eat in your area. While others will have to battle the panicked crowds at supermarkets and empty shelves, you can supplement your food supply by living off the urban landscape.
Gardening and foraging are just two skills that will help you be more self-reliant and survive in an emergency. The key to Principle #2 is to never stop learning new ways to provide for you and your loved ones. In a city, the last thing you want to do during a crisis is rely on someone else for help. Chances are, thousands of other folks are waiting for that same help. Do yourself a huge favor and skip the wait. Learn to be more self-reliant - we'll be here to help you every step of the way.
In summary, if you can internalize the two principles above, you'll be on your way to total urban preparedness. Don't get overwhelmed. Keep these two principles in mind and take it one step at a time.
We'll be sure to share more urban preparedness tips in the future, so stay tuned. And if you need any help, our preparedness experts are standing by for your call at 866.229.0927.
Stay safe and alert out there, Urban Patriots!
Read last week's Survival Scout: PREPAREDNESS LESSONS LEARNED FROM THE RACE FOR THE WHITE HOUSE ON CNN