Urban survival techniques

A.  3 Stages Of SHTF
14 February 2014, ModernSurvivalBlog.com, by Ken Jorgustin
Pasted from: http://modernsurvivalblog.com/modern-survival-ideology/3-stages-of-shtf/

urban slideSlippery Slope
The first stage of SHTF begins with creeping normalcy and shifting baseline. This is happening now, and has accelerated rapidly. It has been happening slowly for many years… the inability of people to react to significant changes that occur gradually. People that do not make themselves aware of gradual change, suffer eventual undesirable consequences. The powers that be have always known that change needs to be gradual to be accepted; at least until such time that a critical mass of useful ‘idiots’ have accepted it, which results in a very rapid final push towards the final change or changes. We have reached that point and are moving beyond it.

 Collapse
The next stage of SHTF is collapse. Societies along with their life support systems suffer abrupt failures after the long term ‘slippery slope’ decline of its culture, its civil institutions or other major characteristics of it as a society, eventually and suddenly collapsing after triggering or passing a tipping point when they fall off the cliff, so to speak. There is no turning back. Factors that may combine and contribute to collapse are economic, social and cultural, overpopulation, resource depletion, or major natural or man-made disaster including war or invasion.

During collapse, and for a time, power becomes decentralized and people tend to be more self-regimented and have many more personal freedoms with a slackening of social rules, although what’s left of society as a whole is suffering chaos. Geographically speaking, communities become more isolated.

 Lock Down
The third stage of SHTF is lock down, a state of containment or a restriction of progression to prevent people or information from escaping. It is ordered by someone in command and implemented by force. Martial law or takeover imposed on an unstable population. It accompanies curfews, the suspension of civil law, and civil rights. This final stage can be the most dangerous in that it will encompass a time of either total compliance or civil war, or a mixture of both.

Preparing for, and functioning under each of the three stages of SHTF involves different methods, choices, and behavior. While we are most definitely in Stage 1, the slippery slope, many people instinctively know that we are not far from Stage 2, collapse. It may benefit you to consider each of these three stages and form a plan how to prepare and survive through each of them.

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B.  The 3 things you will always need in an Urban Survival situation
SurvivalCache.com
Pasted from: http://survivalcache.com/urban-survival/

WTSHTF maybe you are prepared for an extended survival scenario away from civilization, but you have to get out of the city first (maybe). In a disaster situation that might not be so easy. If you have these three things in place you will greatly increase your chances.

1.  Get Home Bag (GHB)
Imagine for a minute that you work downtown in a large city, maybe you ride the subway or take a bus to work every day. You are in a large office building with many floors, thousands of people, and you are on the fifteen or twentieth story. If a disaster strikes how are you going to get out? I mean literally. If there is an earthquake, or a catastrophic man made event how are you going to get out of your building? How are you going to get down the street? How are you going to get home? Do you want to be one of the people covered in dust wandering around in shock? I sure don’t.

But I have my Bug out Bag you say!

Oh really, where is it? Even if it is in your car it is useless to you at this point. The parking garage is at street level and possibly blocks away. That could mean life or death in this situation and you need to act now.

Even if you could get to your Bug Out Bag, how much good would it do you in this environment? Most people’s B.O.B. is packed for survival in the wilderness. Camping gear, food, clothing, etc.

A Get Home Bag contains an entirely different set of tools and serves one purpose: To get you from wherever you are to your Home.

…How to Choose an Urban Survival Bag
Your GBH should contain things that are going to get you out of the building like a prybar. Things to help you make it through the aftermath like water and breathing masks. Things you might use to help rescue others like flashlights or radios. Things that will help you on what could be a very long walk home such as food and maybe shoes.

Clearly a GHB is not a Bug Out Bag. Sure they have some overlap, but a GBH can be much smaller, less weight conscious, have more specific tools, and be planned for one purpose. Do you have one cached in your office or place of work?

…Gear for your Get Home Bagurban GHB
Use Sunglasses to Maintain a Tactical Advantage
The Platypus Collapsible Water Bottle
Dust Mask for Toxic Dust and Debris
Window Punch: Because It’s Quieter Than a Rock
Ear Plugs could make your Urban Survival more Bearable
Bandana

 2.  A Bug Out Plan
So you made it home, now what? Let’s assume that the SHTF out there. You have surveyed the situation and determined that the city is in mass chaos and you need to get out now. What do you do ? Again, you have your Bug Out Bag, but you still have to get out of the city. Do you have a Bug Out Plan?

For our purposes here let’s assume that your Bug Out Plan needs to get you from your home to your serious survival cache or Bug Out Location outside of the city. I understand that not everybody has caches hidden in various places, and even fewer people have a dedicated But Out Location. While you should probably be working on that, you still need a Bug Out Plan.

There’s no way I can go through all of the various problems you might encounter while trying to bug out of your city so you will have to plan for yourself. What I will give you are some questions to consider and one rule: Contingency. Is your way out double, triple, and quadruple backed up?
If the highways are shutdown do you have a surface street route?
If no roads are passable do you have an off road route?
If driving is out of the question do you have a planned walking or riding route? (Do you have maps of your area in your Bug Out Bag?)
Do you have a rendezvous point with other family members?

3.  A Bug In Plan
Lets back up a minute. Pretend you just got home again, but this time you surveyed the situation and decided that you are not in immediate danger but are still not at situation normal. Now what do you do? A Bug In Plan is for emergency situations where you can stay in your own home but have to rely on your own preparations to survive. This might just mean that you will be without power or water for an extended period. Maybe it means you actually can’t leave your home at all for whatever reason.

What plans do you have in place to live like this? A Bug in Plan should include food and water preparations first and foremost. What will you eat since all of the food in your refrigerator is going to be bad soon? Do you really want to live on the backpack meals out of your Bug Out Bag when you don’t have to? (Be sure to stock the Top 100 Items that will Disappear First.)

How much water do you have stored? Do you have a sewage system set up. (No water=no sewage: it’s always the little things….) Do you have unprepared neighbors to worry about? (To help or guard against?)

Starting out a survival situation in an urban environment is almost an immediate set-back compared to those bugging out from more rural areas, but with a Get Home Bag, a Bug Out Plan, and a Bug In Plan you are better off than most people.

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C.  Scavenging for Survival After SHTF
12 May 2013, USCrow.org, by Website Administrator
Pasted from: http://uscrow.org/2013/05/12/scavenging-for-survival-after-shtf/

urban scavennge1

Looting, scavenging, call it what you will. When the SHTF, you might need to do a little scavenging. Scavenging after SHTF carries significant stigma, invoking your most dreaded nightmares. During man-made or natural disasters (including war), scavenging is a common occurrence.  Practicing subscribers to usCrow and other various prepper or survival websites are more prepared than others. However, even the most faithful survivalist will need to scavenge.

There are several reasons to scavenge. In the short-term you might need parts for your shelter, vehicles, equipment and etc… In the long-term you will deplete your two-year food/water/supply storage. If you don’t have a renewable food and water source as pointed out in CMF Contributor Black’s Victory Gardens article… Either way, get ready to scavenge.

This guide will attempt to explain the basic parameters for scavenging on an operational level. Instead of aimlessly wandering out to find day old tacos, you will approach scavenging with a strategic mindset. The human condition will never change. When the shit hits the fan, you damn well better know the whole of humanity will revert to the laws of nature and natural selection.

While survival groups are safely hunkered down in their various BOLs (bug out locations), looters will be hard at work clearing out the shelves. We’ve seen it time and time again. The unprepared will go into panic mode in the presence of disaster. That panic will lead to a frenzy, sending the most legitimate and ‘stand up’ people into desperation mode. That desperate frenzy will not only cause mass casualties, but it will also leave factories, grocery/department stores, farms, and etc completely bare.

Not only will looting leave stores bare, but it will turn any suburban center into a complete wasteland (if said suburban centers weren’t wiped out in the initial disaster). It takes one disrespectful asshole to ignite a plague of destruction. A present day example of looting and destruction can be seen in; any Occupy protest, post game celebrations, natural disasters and etc…

The Threat of Scavenging
Scavenging will most likely require your survival group to visit highways, population centers, government facilities, farms and other various installations. Evaluate each mission. Prior to a scavenging operation send a scout out equipped with a direct line of communication to your base of operations. Scouts should be fully versed in travelling through hostile territories, preventing a hostile force from tracking your scout back to your base. Service members who were snipers in the military are ideal for scouts. They are well-trained, well-disciplined, and an essential element of your survival group.

Scouts should survey the target area from a safe distance using standard surveillance techniques to avoid detection. Such evaluations should consider; hostile occupying force, environmental risk (chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear and natural conditions), variables, and operational costs. Operational costs include; distance, weather conditions, force elimination. By establishing operational costs the scout can report to the commander of the survival group outlining how much food, water, fuel, required equipment, force needed, and munitions the scavenging operation will cost. At which time the commander can make the call.

If it’s not worth it, it’s not worth it! Should your commander make the decision to carry out the operation, those assigned to carry out the task must be well versed in combat theater and tactical operations. Scavenging like all other ops must maintain command, control, communications and intelligence.  In addition, MOPP Standards should be applied for all operations.

Where to Scavenge after SHTF
Your scavenging target shouldn’t be some random location like Wal-Mart; your target should fit your need. Going to a random location with no direction would likely force your group into a shitty situation. Aimlessly moving from one location to the next is strictly prohibited. It’s prohibited because it will tire your group while exposing them to the human and natural threats in theater.

Scavenging operations should not only have a specific target, but two backup targets should be established (when applicable). The following are examples of scavenging needs versus targets;

  • Automotive Parts – Logic would dictate the last place looted would be automotive shops. I don’t see a Mad Max scenario happening because most of today’s generation can’t even change a tire. In the absence of an automotive shop you will need to scavenge from nearby abandoned vehicles. Luckily a part replacement scavenge op will most likely only need a three-man team; two assisting cover operators and a mechanical engineer. Note: in all usCrow articles we highly stress the need for a mechanic in your survival group.
  • Renewable Power – Again, this could easily be considered a low-risk op with a three-man team. Excellent locations include federal installations. Federal installations are equipped with commercial grade solar panels. Such locations include; power-substations, federal office buildings, freeway lighting and etc.
  • Fuel – Fuel can be scavenged from abandoned vehicles by siphoning the gas out of abandoned tankers (if operable take the tanker), cars/trucks, convenience store fuel holds, and etc. You will need a vehicle to transport the fuel when applicable and a four man team to acquire it.
  • Ammunition – Had you taken our advice you’d be reloading your own ammo. Even then, you could possibly run out of ammo. This means you will have to take on a high-risk op. Ammo will be a hard thing to come by and in the event of scavenging for ammo you will need a five man team. Five are required not only for adequate force but for adequate manpower. Ammo is heavy! Such targets include; military bases, law enforcement vehicles and stations, gun stores, and dead bodies.
  • Food and Water – Food and water will be extremely hard to come by when scavenging (food more so than water in most locations). Think unconventionally. For food, target wholesale distribution warehouses. You will have to establish these locations prior to disaster because they are not easily identified. In addition to distribution centers, food can be acquired from; abandoned homes, tractor trailers, grain mills, farms and etc. Read the usCrow SHTF Water Source Guide for potential water scavenging locations. See: http://uscrow.org/2013/02/15/shtf-water-sources/
  • Niceties and Necessities – Niceties and necessities include various items that make survival much more tolerable. Necessities include; birth control, prophylactics, Lysol, bleach, soaps detergents, and etc. Niceties include; entertainment, board games, toys for the kids, electronics and etc. Birth control is priority. Pregnancy after SHTF will not be easy. However, if a member of your group becomes pregnant, that child is not only the mother’s responsibility, but the entire group’s. Children take priority over all. The acquisition of these items should not take precedent over the safety of the group. These items can be acquired from several locations, you just have to be smart.

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D. How to Scavenge After the SHTF
30 October  2014, Urban Survival Site, by Alan
Pasted from: http://urbansurvivalsite.com/how-to-scavenge-after-shtf/

urban scavenge2

I know what some of you are thinking: “I won’t have to scavenge because I already have everything I need.” Maybe, maybe not. Even if you’ve been prepping for years, it’s still possible you forgot a few things. But even if you didn’t, you could still end up in a situation where you need something you never thought you’d need.

What if you have to take in a pregnant woman or a parent with a small child? You may have to go looking for baby formula. What if your mother’s prescription medications are lost or destroyed? You may have to go looking for replacement meds. What if vital equipment is damaged? What if you need parts for your shelter or vehicle? These are just a few possibilities off the top of my head. There are dozens more situations we won’t think of until we’re in them.

The point is, you might have to scavenge for supplies after the SHTF. If someone’s life is on the line, you’ll have no choice. But before I explain how to scavenge after the SHTF, I want to clear up some confusion about the difference between scavenging and looting.

Scavenging is Not Looting
After hurricane Katrina, were the people running down the street with arms full of jewelry and electronics scavenging or looting? I think that’s pretty clear. Looters are not looking for things they need to stay alive; they’re just taking advantage of the situation. Looters know someone is going to miss the stolen items. They know the owner will eventually return and find out what’s missing. For these reasons, looters are no different from common thieves.

Scavengers are a different breed altogether. They search for things they need to live through a disaster, and they only take things that have been discarded or are unlikely to be missed. There could be a situation where you have to take food or medicine that will be missed, but I believe this is justified if someone needs it to live. Taking food or medicine right out of someone else’s hands is another matter.

I know of some legalists who insist that stealing is stealing no matter the circumstances, but morality is not a simple list of do’s and don’ts. Frankly, people who are squeamish about morally gray areas will not do well after the SHTF. Now on to scavenging.

Send a Scout
If you know the area you want to search, it’s a good idea to send a scout with binoculars, a radio, and a gun. Scouts should watch the area for a few hours to make sure no one is living there and that there are no bandits lying in wait. It might sound paranoid, but some people become very dangerous when there are no police to keep them in check. The last thing you want is to get robbed or possibly killed while scavenging for supplies.

The radio is so your scout can stay in touch. If the area is compromised or not worth the trouble, the group’s leader can instruct the scout to return or to check another area. If you lose contact with your scout, you’ll know something is wrong and can send reinforcements. But the reinforcements need to be careful not to wander into a trap. The purpose of the scout’s gun should be obvious.

When surveying the area, the scout needs to note any obstacles that might make the area more trouble than it’s worth. Examples include barbed wire fences, high walls, ditches, streams, and so forth. All these things might make it too difficult or dangerous to lug back supplies.

The scout should also note whether any buildings in question have been damaged by things such as bombs or and earthquake. You don’t want the stairs you’re climbing to collapse or a ceiling to fall on your head while you’re digging through rubble. You and your group will have to weigh the costs versus the benefits and the risks versus the rewards before searching an area.

Make a Plan
Once you’ve decided where to go and what to look for, you’ll have to decide who to send. Never send someone alone. He or she could twist an ankle or something and need help returning to camp. Also, there could be heavy obstacles or supplies that require at least two people to move. And remember, one person is far more likely to be robbed or killed than a group of people. Ideally you would send several people, but that depends on how many you can spare. You don’t want to leave children alone at your camp.

Everyone who goes should bring a sturdy backpack along with several empty bags (cloth, mesh, or even trash bags for light stuff), work gloves, a multitool, a good knife, a flashlight, a gun, a face mask, and goggles. Those last two are in case the location’s air is full of dust, smoke, or toxic chemicals. At least one person in the group should also have a crowbar. And if you need gasoline, don’t forget to bring a siphon and a gas can.

If you have several areas to search, you’ll have to decide the order in which to search them. It’s better to start farther out and work your way back toward camp so you don’t waste energy carrying supplies farther than necessary. But if you know the heaviest items are going to be in a particular place, you might want to go there last. If scavenging your area is going to take several days or weeks, you should get a map and mark the locations you search so you don’t accidentally visit the same place twice.

Where to Look
Pretty much everywhere! Here are some possible targets and what you may find within them.

•  Automotive Shops – You have a better chance of finding the part you need here than in a department store. It’s true now, and it will be true after the SHTF, too.
•  Cars – You’ll want to check the glove box, under the seats, and in the trunk for snacks, tools, and other useful items. Parts of the car itself might prove useful, too. The mirrors could be used for signaling, the wiring for cordage, the upholstery for bedding and insulation, the battery for power (if someone in your group is mechanically inclined), and of course the engine parts if you need them for your own vehicle.
•  Distribution Centers – Most people will hit grocery stores first, so it will be a little longer before the warehouses are picked clean. Even then, there may be a few things that were overlooked. Also check the semi-trailers. You may find non-perishable foods and other supplies.
•  Dumpsters – It won’t be fun, but you might find some hidden treasures in dumpsters.
•  Fire stations – You may find food, supplies, and clothing. Plus, the fire engine has a tank with hundreds of gallons of water. It will need to be filtered, though.
•  Gas Stations – These will probably be picked clean, but you never know.
•  Government Buildings – Most federal installations have commercial grade solar panels. You may also find backup lighting and emergency supplies.
•  Grocery Stores – These will probably be picked clean, too, but you may find food in less obvious places such as under shelves and behind displays. Also check the bathrooms, the offices, the stock room, and the loading dock.
•  Hospitals – Obviously these should have lots of clothes and medical supplies.
•  Houses – Check everywhere–rooms, garage, basement, attic, backyard, storage sheds, the garden if there is one, etc. The water heater has up to 70 gallons of drinking water. Better yet, look for houses with swimming pools. Also keep an eye out for metal mailboxes which can be converted into woodstoves.
•  Manufacturing Facilities – They may have fuel, batteries, tools, and first aid supplies.
•  Marinas – Check abandoned boats. They usually have supplies like emergency rations, communication equipment, fishing equipment, and possibly guns.
•  Office Buildings – Check break rooms for vending machines and check desks for snacks and small tools. There should be fire extinguishers in most rooms and cleaning supplies in the janitor’s closet.
•  Pawn Shops If you’re lucky you’ll find weapons, ammo, and other miscellaneous gear.
•  Pet StoresIf your pets are still okay, a pet store might make it possible for you to keep feeding them without giving up any of your own food. You could also eat it yourself, but I wouldn’t recommend that unless you’re really desperate. There are no FDA regulations on pet food and it could make you sick if you eat too much.
•  Restaurants – These will probably be empty, but check anyway. There may be a few cans or bags of food that were overlooked. Anything that was in the freezer will have gone bad, though.
•  Retail Stores – See “Grocery Stores” above. Consider grabbing some non-electric entertainment such as books, cards, board games, sports equipment, etc. •  Schools – There’s a lot to be found in schools–tools, fire extinguishers, first aid kits, cleaning supplies, and possibly food in the cafeteria.
•  Self-storage Facilities – If you have time to pry open all of them, it might be worth it. You probably won’t find any food or perishable items, but there ‘s a chance you’ll find some clothes or useful gear and equipment.

Hopefully you’ll never have to go digging through any of these places, but you should prepare for the possibility. Good luck!

(Survival Manual/ Prepper articles/ Urban survival techniques)

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