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Advantages of living in the city

I’m sure we all know the disadvantages of living in a city or a heavily populated environment. People. However, there is one advantage that living in those areas gives you. Material and housing from those people.

After an event we all know that people will be dying off through lack of food and the cold, depending on the season at the time. The cold may be longer in coming but it too will add to the toll. This will leave lots of houses empty, except for a few corpses which you must deal with.

It is very unlikely that any food or water will be in those houses as they are likely to be eaten by those there or emptied by scavangers hunting for food to eat. So you will probably be out of luck although you should always look especially in places like pantries and garages where people store spare tins and packets. You may come across bottles of water or juice but beware opened and unlabelled containers, you never know what is in them.

What you will easily come across though is plenty of abandoned clothing, bedclothes, gardening tools, machine tools and other such items. There will be abandoned cars, motor bikes and even pedal bikes and fuel because people will be looking for food and not wanting to go anywhere. Car batteries coupled with the solar panels on roofs and solar heating systems will be there for the technically minded. Every house will be a treasure trove to us while we scavange. We may even come across weapons and other illegal items which we can add to our stores. Don’t forget items like water butts, swimming pools, bricks, piping and other building materials. Keep your eyes out for chemicals, fuel, oils, etc. they are always handy. Not forgetting items such as toys for the kids and you never know, toilet paper and paper towels.

Don’t forget to keep your eye out for plants that you can move. You may come across fruit trees that can be uprooted or cuttings taken, raspberries, gooseberries, etc. as well as potted plants that will provide food as well as packets of seeds, seedlings in greenhouses or sheds that may have been missed.

I’d suggest that you get out there and scavange what you can as soon as the event occurs. Better stored near you than for someone else to get and take home although you must reduce the risk and let someone else get some stuff so you are not compromised. As this is likely to get us all our requirements except for food and water you should consider concentrating your resources on food and water, burying what you can, and making do with what you can scavange from your local area.

I’m intending to remove a few roofs as well. After a few months when everything will have been searched and this will enable me to grow food in houses and nobody walking by will know. They will look in open gardens or greenhouses. If there are some out of the way gardens or greenhouses I’ll be using them as well. The gardens in houses will be easy to maintain especially if I keep them close and the only clue will be a missing roof. Look around for any flat roofing on offices, they won’t get too many scavangers after the initial few months but the roofs can be used for water collection as well as growing and storing food. Spreading the load also reduces risk as it provides spare capacity in case one place is discovered. As well as that I will have the pick of the local houses when mine springs a leak, or burns down or simply when we want to spread out a bit.

36 comments to Advantages of living in the city

  • Luci ferson

    Love the idea of taking the roofs off deserted houses and growing in the upper floor.
    since most houses already have a water tank in the loft area. all thats left is to build a rain catcher for them.
    Thanks loads, id never thought of it.

  • bigpaul

    good advice as always SD!

  • Kenneth Eames

    Excellent SD, As normal a very good, sensible article. As I live on the edge of a small town it will apply to me as well. At first I will Bug Out, but will still keep a recce of the Town. When things settle I will find myself a nice house and start rebuilding my life. Kenneth Eames.

  • Luci ferson

    I’m in same position as you keneth eames.
    I have an allotment with a hidden bunker that I can protect without being seen as a bug out till things settle, but I was intenfing to return to a house as soon as viable.
    Although i have a few concerns that im unsure of a solution too.
    The main one being condensation on windows when we sleep.
    anyone who walks the street early on a morning will have seen the condensation on the inside of windows of the rooms where people sleep.
    Only thing I can think of is taking out the glass or overboarding the windows from outside.
    neither is perfect, but id rather not be found by marauders as soon as Ireturn because of condensation.
    Im not into killing and would prefer as few options to have to as possible.
    hopefully someone has already thought of this and got a better idea.

    • Skean Dhude


      Get some heavy curtains and cover the windows. No condensation, it quitens your movements and also if you are using lights it can’t be seen.

      • Luci ferson

        thanks for the curtain advice SD but I already tried that,
        i had it as window then blinds then the boards then a curtain over the boards.
        someone suggest ed bubble wrap so instead ive got some dual layer greenhouse plastic an put that in.
        so now its window then blinds then the composite glazing then the board then the curtain.
        im asuming the condesation will appear on the plastic glazing and therefore wont be visible from outside at all because of the blinds being there
        its been on all day .
        If it lasts longer than 3 days il know ive cracked it.
        Sofa bed is out ready to find out.
        if it dont work , il scrap the idea and just plant bushes under the window, its only really bad from bottom to about midway up anyway.

  • Luci ferson

    I suppose a few cleverly planted thorny plants like brambles etc under windows would soon overgrow and hide the visuals of condenstaion as it usually gathers at the bottom of the lower windows.
    they would also offer some protection as an intruder detererrant.

  • bigpaul

    forget condensation, the main problem would be light pollution, ALL windows would have to have “black outs” either well fitted curtains or boarded over.

  • Luci ferson

    id already considered the light polution. and its pretty easy to get round.
    simply by black out or even just limiting the amount of light id be using.
    id rather not board over as it could also draw attention.
    although i will be anyway on the inside just for security.
    condensation on a window would be a dead give away that the building is occupied though.

  • Luci ferson

    id already considered the light polution. and its pretty easy to get round.
    simply by black out or even just limiting the amount of light id be using.
    id rather not board over as it could also draw attention.
    although i will be boarding anyway but from the inside just for security.
    condensation on a window would be a dead give away that the building is occupied though

  • Luci ferson

    my thinking is , people see a house securely boarded they will try enter it just to see if there is anything in it since its secured.
    so if i close the blinds and lock the double glazed units, then board from the inside using reynoboard composite material ( its plastic sandwiched between two zinc alloy sheets ) i have 24 boards of this measuring 10ft by 4ft so they will cover all windows but from inside.
    these will be strengthened with 2×2 from inside.
    leaving no signs from the outseide that the house has had anything done to it.
    other than the blinds are closed.
    sadly we tested it for 3 days last sept in the living room.
    me and my partner slept in it for 3 days.
    first night was fine, second night there was slight condensation on the windows in the morning and third night they were soaked.
    I could limit it a little by leaving a vent open slightly but it dont cure it, it still gets bad at the bottom.

  • bigpaul

    INTERNAL boarding was what i meant, they’ll have to get VERY close to see condensation…what are you using for self defense?

  • Luci ferson

    main self defence is to be undetected.
    Im pretty much pacifist.
    however, I already own one air rifle, and im in the process of buying another that can be modified after an event that left us lawless.(cant modify it yet)
    I also have a solar powered electric perimiter fence (designed for allotments) that i am planning on modifying to cover what I want instead of a fence.
    other than that it would be just me and my little penknife (modified machette on a stick lol)
    but like I say im pacifist so id rather not.
    but sometimes we have to do many things wed rather not.

    • PrepperLeigh

      Luci, without being funny, please ensure you forward me your address if TSHTF!
      After reading the thread, if they’re close enough to see your condensation and showing signs of entry, you’ll need to defend you and your property and “deal” with the threat.
      9-9-9 will NOT be an option, single addresses will be very low on priorities for the police.
      Even in a riot locally, YOU WILL BE ON YOUR OWN for some time.
      Can I suggest that you look greater in perimeter defence and also consider when bugging out is your only option.
      The longer you can delay an intruder, the longer you have to prepare and/or bug out.
      View your proprty like a castle, literally.
      You need to review points off entry to make it hard to get in and points of exit to make it easy to get out. Ways to prep for this are:

      1. Home made pepper-spray water guns (look it up on the internet)
      2. Nails through wood pointing upwards at entries into the property (needs prior planning)
      Boarding up of windows ( don’t forget that the glass is insured, unless under riot) so plan to board the inside.
      3. obstructions in halls and stairs (but not if it hinders your escape though)
      4. Plan your defence and retreat if needed. This will give you the upper hand but be prepared to amend it as threats change and TEST IT!
      5. Your modified spear needs to be your “alamo”. Are you ready to defend yourself from a few feet away? From bitter experience, it’s very hard to get yourself into the frame of mind you need…
      6. All defence is based on engaging agressively at the furthest distance possible. Close engagement is an “ambush” and requires overwhelming force. There are two schools of thought, one is that if the property is so well defended, there must be a worthwhile booty inside or Why continue to bother at this address when the property next door is an easier target. Now matter how well you love next door, make them the target, not you!
      Hope this helps.

  • Luci ferson

    oh forgot to mention the chilis im growing that im hoping to use as animal repellant, and maybe even purify into a pepper spray.

  • Luci ferson

    these wont protect me very well from the initial marauders who will likely be gangs of feral youth,
    the same gangs that now hang around late at night looking at condensation on windows to see who is home and who isnt before breaking in.
    the same gangs that can take a house appart in less than 20 mins. and I know i can reload an air rifle that many times, that fast.
    and i know nothing weill keep them out when theyre starving.
    Im really really hoping on going undetected.

  • Luci ferson

    solution would be to move to better area, preferably closer to my allotment, but thats never gonna happen.

  • fred

    What you will easily come across though is plenty of abandoned clothing, bedclothes, gardening tools, machine tools and other such items.

    Which in itself is a security risk.

  • Ellen

    Try bubble wrap on the windows. They say it is great insulation and it should keep condensation from forming on the glass. Give it a try. You wet the bubble wrap and apply to the windows. At least it would be a way to fake someone out. But remember you are going to have to have areas in your place for being able to look out and see what is going on.

  • Luci ferson

    thanks for the idea about the bubble wrap, il give it a go.
    if not il just plant bushes under the downstairs windows and let them get over grown lol.
    the plan would be for us to sleep downstairs and all the downstairs to be fully boarded in with the fireboards.
    (with 2 escape hatches 1 fron 1 rear).
    and the upstairs to have view points as I have 3 walls with windows giving me most coverage and from high up.
    Also planned is lockable hatches at each of the upstairs windows so I could open them and pour nasty things out on any would be attackers.
    an escape plan from upstairs would be ideal too, but so far im at a loss with this.
    not the best plan , but Im hopeing il get it perfected long before theres ever a need.
    Its only to keep me safe untill we can get to bug out. and store a few usefull hidden things in the hope of returning to when things quieten down again.

  • Luci ferson

    good point about some of the things left lying around being a security risk fred.
    ive seen kids taking cars appart with nothing more than a screwdriver, a brick, and a stick from the fence.
    the damage that could be done using some of the everyday things left lying around would be a lot worse in this situation.
    maybe il have to become a womble lol

  • bigpaul

    a Womble…is another word for a SCAVENGER-which we will all become POST SHTF, some of us are already!!

  • Luci ferson

    sorry bigpaul dude, i am pretty new to all this and dont know what youve got names for or what you havent.
    by womble i meant, tidying things away even if i have no use for them.
    not just scavenging.
    but actively removing things and putting themout of the way to make my are more secure.
    good to know that womble is actually already a term you use though.
    I suppose theres already people refering to their bubouts as hobbit holes too.

  • bigpaul

    you may not have a use for items now, but they could be used post SHTF. i really think its time you joined the main forum.there is so much more info on there, and some much more experienced persons than yours truly.

  • Luci ferson

    not really an advantage to city living but.

    yesterday my daughter (9) came home from school and said.
    “Dad youve got a form to fill in so that someone can come out to look after us if were attacked by meteorites.”
    I looked at her confused and then read the form she had handed me.
    Registration for flood notification and rescue services.
    nothing to do with meteorites, however I live in an are of the country that so far has never flooded, even when the rest of the country floods.
    even in torrential downpours the only thing that floods is my back garden and thats cos its clay.
    we are nowhere near any rivers, and the closest streem is 2 miles away and runs through a nature reserve that is designed to flood but rarely does.
    Looks like the Local council is Prepping too, or atleast theyre data gathering.
    It might not be much, but atleast theyre doing something for the familys and old people.

  • Luci ferson

    ive emailed requesting registration for the main forum bigpaul,
    ive worked out that theres a lot of smart people here, the amount of info on this site is testimony to that.
    ive learned more in the few days ive been here than i have in the 6 years ive been looking.
    cant wait to get in there and learn more.

  • bigpaul

    i look forward to that.

  • Northern Raider

    To the council, cops, government and military you and your kids are just statistics, your continuity must only ever be in your own hands. The council think about clearing up bodies after an event, rarely stopping the event from occuring.

  • Luci ferson

    Well said northernRaider couldnt have said that better myself.

  • Luci ferson

    took my local council 8 months to get the heroin addicts needles removed and disposed of in my garden.
    Id hate to see how long it would take them to actually do anything in an emergency. (other than sit around and discuss the need to have a discussion, about the need to debate)

  • bigpaul

    i think we can say that about most councils these days, apart from emptying the bins, i could go for years not even knowing if we had a council!!

  • Luci ferson

    so true
    and they changed the bins from weekly to fortnightly.
    now there issuing us 2 new bins and changing to monthly.
    theyl be asking us to take it to the recycle stations and tips ourselves soon.

  • Northern Raider

    The only way to get the public sector to give you any time is if you are a black or asian one legged , HIV positive lesbian vegan from Romania in a relation with an an undeterminded gender Liberal democrat living in Toxteh in a battered spouse shelter.

    Other than that your role is only to give them lots of money through indirect taxation.

  • See Luci, you’re starting to plan now.
    Meteors, zombies, etc may come but true prepping is about looking at potential local events such as power failure for days, civil unrest ( there is no such thing as a good area, it’s does not exist any more now) You quietly watch, descreetly plan, read, learn and plan to you and your families needs accordingly, test those plans and adapt, share your thoughts and fears with this great forum and then be ready. Hopefully, we’ll al die of old age and our last thoughts will be the time and money spend prepping! But if not and with all our help, the last thing i’ll want to do is to stumble into your home whilst wombling!
    Prep well.

  • Northern Raider, talking about councils, I recently done some research into Medway Council’s disaster preparedness risk assessment…
    It turned out to be written in 2003 and due for renewal in 2008…
    Not done!
    I’ve started to pi@@ off the council now because I’m not letting it go.
    The 2003 assessment basically says they’ll handover to the emergncy services and that’s it.
    So, why don’t we all get onto our councils and see what stink we can stir up!

  • Hi I have been thinking about this for sometime
    and being trapped in a city area the best most protected buildings I can find are the industrial units with high fencing, land / grounds, protected windows and steel doors
    lots of storage I was going to look it getting one as a central bug in place for like minded fokes but its the big trusts thing who do you trust when the SHTF


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