According to the U.S Census, approximately 80% of Americans live in urban areas and according to the United Nations, up to approximately 55% of the world’s population lives in an urban area. All of the metrics have those numbers moving upwards—with up to 68% of the world’s population expected to live in urban centers by 2050. That’s only the number of people living in cities. That’s not even mentioning the fact that many people live in rural areas and commute to the city every day.

Why are we taking the time to mention the fact that billions of people liver or work in urban centers? It’s because people in urban areas are going to have different survival challenges than people living in rural areas in an SHTF scenario. People who would be better off if they took some time to learn some basic urban survival skills that could help them during a bad situation. That’s precisely what we’re going to address in this article.

Why Learn Urban Survival Skills?

As we’ve already stated, billions of people live or work in urban centers, so they need to develop the skills to protect themselves against potential disasters. Disasters that include everything from civil unrest, to earthquakes, tornadoes, hurricanes, or even pandemics. A lot of people prepare for survival situations in rural or wilderness areas, but not a lot of people prepare for urban survival. We’re going to change that right now.

Preparing For Urban Disasters

Now that we’ve introduced the purpose of this guide, we’re going to jump right into some of the steps that people can use right now to be better prepared in an urban situation. So let’s jump right into the thick of things and explore these preparation steps for urban survival.

Step One: Everyday Carry Items

Everyday carry items, otherwise known as EDC essentials, are the tools and equipment that a person can carry with them on a daily basis. EDC essentials can be as simple as carrying a few items on your person while you’re going about your daily basis, or it can be several items placed into an EDC Backpack. Let’s take a look at some of the items that are often a part of a person’s EDC.

Absolute EDC Basics:

These are items that can easily be carried on a person’s body or kept in a vehicle.

  • Cell Phone
  • Notebook
  • Tactical Pen
  • Keys
  • Sunglasses
  • Wallet, Cash, ID
  • Water Bottle
  • Multi-Tool
  • Penlight

Building an Advanced EDC Bag

An advanced EDC bag will contain a larger variety of tools that are useful for both urban and wilderness survival. These items can include:

  • Lighter
  • Firestarter
  • Paracord
  • Multi-Tool And/Or Survival Knife
  • Tactical Flashlight
  • P-38 Or P-51 Can Opener
  • Water Filter
  • Water Purification Tablets
  • Energy Bars

Step Two: Learn Urban Steal Techniques

During a disaster, one of the biggest sources of danger to urban survivalist is other people. When things go bad, people become fearful and may do things that they wouldn’t ordinarily do. And that’s not even mentioning the fact that crowds of people can easily turn into angry mobs under the right circumstances. Therefore, the best way for a person to protect themselves in these situations is to go unnoticed.

One of the best ways to go unnoticed is to utilize what is known as the Grey Man Concept. These are a set of techniques that are designed to camouflage an individual when they’re moving around a city or a town. And the essence of this technique is to wear clothes that match the clothing styles that most of the people in the area are wearing.

For example, suppose a person wanted to blend in at a hockey game. If they wore a 3-piece suit at the hockey game, then they’d stand out pretty quickly, wouldn’t they? Now, imagine if the same person was wearing a hockey jersey, blue jeans, and a hat. They would be able to fade into the crowd pretty quickly, wouldn’t they?

This technique works anywhere there is a crowd. If you’re working or living in a particular area, then you should have clothes that match the vast majority of the people in the area. This will allow you to sink below the consciousness of most people. However, for this to work, you not only have to dress appropriately, but you also have to act in a way that isn’t threatening or suspicious.

Why does this technique work? It works because the human mind can only process so much information at a time. In situations where there is a large number of incoming stimuli, the mind has to make choices as to what’s important and what isn’t important. That means that the brain is filtering out huge numbers of people in the crowd. And it starts by filtering out the people who seem like they belong in the crowd. Someone proficient with Grey Man Tactics can use that to their advantage and pass through an area virtually unseen.

Step Three: Have An Escape Route

The next step to preparing for an urban disaster is to have an escape route. This is important for anyone who lives or works in an urban area. This means going over routes on the map, observing traffic patterns, and then figuring out the ways out of an area by car and on foot. Just keep in mind that it’s important to have multiple escape routes out of an area in case one or two of them are unusable—because of a traffic jam, for instance.

Step Four: Have A Shelter-In-Place Plan

It may be impossible for you to exit a particular area due to the nature of the disaster, so in those cases, you must have a shelter-in-place plan. This plan gives you a safe place (or multiple safe places) so that if you can’t exit the area you can still protect yourself. This can be a broom closet in an office building, your brother’s house, or any place else that you can hold-up until the dangerous situation has passed.

Step Five: Bring All Of Your Skills Together

The last step to urban preparedness is to bring all of your survival skills together. This includes learning how to forage or collect water in an urban setting, how to protect yourself, and learning how to navigate the urban terrain. If you can do that, then you have a good chance of surviving any urban disaster.