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Prepping while living in a city

We all agree that living in a city during an event is not the ideal situation. We see the risks involved in living there as high for several reasons;

  • There are too many people there who won’t or can’t move.
  • Many of these people are feral and quite willing to use weapons.
  • There is virtually no privacy.
  • Leaving during or immediately after an event will be next to impossible.
  • Leaving after the initial exodus will find the roads blocked.
  • Gardens are small and there are few areas where you can grow your crops in secret.
  • You are only a short distance away from almost everything.
  • There are a lot of places where you can be watched an ambushed.

These mean that the risk is much higher you will be spotted and your home raided. There may only be a few people in your area but they can very quickly find out where there are people in your area and where there is any food at all. The survivors will likely be more than happy to use whatever means to obtain whatever you have and will have no hesitation in killing you if you get in their way.

So based on the above we can all agree that living in a city after an event is a high risk activity.

Two things you have to remember though;

  1. Unprepared people survive most events.
  2. Preparing reduces risk and increases your survival chances.

So you know the major disadvantages and we have discussed before some of the advantages so let us look at what you can do to improve your chances of survival.

First of all we talk about coming the Grey Man. Someone that nobody notices in the crowd. In the city that is OK while we are prepping but after we want to be a ghost not grey. We need to do what we can to stay out of the way. That may be easier said than done and although you may not be able to move out of the city you can move to improve your position. Something that is not overlooked is ideal. Perhaps high up or behind an industrial estate. There are a few places around. Go out at night when you have too.

There is then the waste requirement, either our own waste or simply food waste. You need to dispose of this so it is not apparent that someone is there. People will wander during the day and a new bin bag will attract attention. Find somewhere to dispose of it where it will be invisible or not found.

OPSEC is critical here. No light pollution, no noise pollution as either of these would attract predators.

You should slso keep your eyes and ears open. Listen in on radios and watch what is going on outside your home. Set tin can traps and erect barriers trying to make them look natural as much as you can. It will give you advanced warning of scavangers.

I’d also be watching where I put my stores. There must be hundreds of places that you could store your preps where they would be safe. The issue you will have is getting them there in the first place without being detected. Just make sure that you don’t have to make too much noise retrieving them.

Another advantage you may have is that you may be able to acquire some firearms from some of the bad guys in your area. Just try and get something with a suppressor, you don’t want a gun fight with an intruder as that will give away your location.

It is all about thinking ahead. We all prep for the same things; to feed ourselves, to be able to drink, to grow food, etc. So we need to look at each area but add on the additional work of thinking about it in a built up area. So concern yourself with hiding from blocks of flats or if you are already in one how to gain access secretly and secure the area. After all when the power goes nobody is going to be walking up and down the stairs all day. Consider destroying the stairs in key locations to cause delays and problems.

It isn’t certain what will happen. Too many variables and scenarios available and living in a city is just another variable. We all have an element of risk but as with everything else the more planning you can do for your particular environment the better your chances.

It is all about adaptability. The city survivors will have it and so must you.

13 comments to Prepping while living in a city

  • rush2112

    “The survivors will likely be more than happy to use whatever means to obtain whatever you have and will have no hesitation in killing you if you get in their way.”

    This is true regardless of location. I live in suburbia, same issues just lower concentration of people. An advantage of being in a built up area is there is plenty of shelter available and places to hide. I look for “in-between” spaces like between a housing area and an industrial area, or between industrial estates. my first choice would be abadoned commercial property such as an office. careful you dont pick a place right around the corner from a food warehouse or such. just a typical out of the way empty office.

    option two is to join one of the many gangs/organisations that WILL form after the event. if one has valuable skills and/or equipment perhaps they will let you be as long as its worth it for them to keep you around. medical skills such as suturing, setting broken bones. Maybe you can cook for the them. something like – you guys gather the stuff we need and i’ll feed all of you in a sanitary matter so your not puking all over the place. being able to provide potable water in a consistent manner would be good too. Anyway you see where I’m going. If you cant beat em, join em.

  • fred

    There is then the waste requirement, either our own waste or simply food waste. You need to dispose of this so it is not apparent that someone is there.

    That’s one of the most difficult it seems to me.

  • rush2112

    maybe in the city environment it would be easier though because of the large amounts of trash already there? If you move from place to place in the city shouldnt be too hard to hide the scat and trash. a pile of trash in the country stands out big time.

  • rush2112

    SD, i thought this was a great piece and very thought provoking. Shame it seems hardly anyone saw it, and have all been going on and on with Meg’s thread about which is better. doesnt matter which is better, you have to survive where you happen to be. wish i had the resources to move to a country estate with a bunker, well water, wildgame, etc. but i dont so have to plan accordingly for my situation while maintaining modern life.

  • Meg

    Have to agree with rush2112.
    You have presented a well balanced article SD.
    To often the two sides of dwellers i.e. Urban and countryside are at loggerheads yet both are useful to each other. After all a city is just another wilderness.
    As for which is better rush?
    Who cares as long as people learn from one, the other, or both of them. Discussion leads inquiring minds to learn and knowledge is king.
    Even if women make better preppers!
    (Hah, just couldn’t resist it).

  • Rearfang

    One advantage of a built up area would be looting ( only in extreme circumstances of course not legal)
    Neighbours abandoned homes leaving tined and dried foods tools

  • bigpaul

    That goes for rural as well as urban areas RearFang, you be surprised what can be found lying around, maybe not the same things in the country as in the city but useful all the same.

  • Highlander

    It has already been said,.. `Knowledge is King`,… people can and will survive in any situation and in any environment, the city is no different to anywhere else, providing you know what to do and how to do it,… I can survive in the country, but I would die in the city, because I don’t know the environment, the same as city people would die in the country.

    Maybe as prepers we should all learn more about each of the environments, after all a country boy could be in the city when an event takes place,… if he cant get out, whats been the use of his years of prepping

  • bigpaul

    i have lived in both city and countryside, i believe i could survive in either, but come SHTF i would prefer to be in the latter.

    • franc

      country dwellers caught in the city would have one big advantage over city dwellers caught in the country, the simple ability to walk, or cycle for miles, as opposed to being stuck finding working transport, waiting for a bus, or a car.

  • aestheticwarrior

    Surely when living in a city it is not possible to prep your supplies… I’m knew to this finding it hard to keep up with all the posts! How would someone go about prepping if they were more ‘on the move’. I am a student and therefore don’t have my own property to start storing supplies, for know, what is there I can prep (even if it is just the basics stuffed into a large bag). What would I need to survive?

  • Skean Dhude

    Many people don’t prep for the long term and just prep with what they can carry with the intention to use thier brains to build what they need from what is available. That is a perfectly valid way to prep. Knowledge goes a lot further than a few tins and tools.

  • midnitemo

    I agree with SD your lack of storage space is a pain but it doesn’t mean you can’t build up other knowledge and skill’s maybe consider putting together a bug out bag / make an escape plan to your parents home / lay down some caches on the route of march then maybe start building some stores at the family home , all this can be recovered to your new homebase when you get to put roots down

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