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Some thoughts on survival in an Urban/Suburban environment as I see it.

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    Some thoughts on survival in an Urban/Suburban environment as I see it.

    Admittedly my thoughts are UK bias, I'm open to input from across the pond and I hope some of you might find something of use or interest.

    For better or for worse many of us live within the urban sprawl, whether by choice or circumstance this is where many of us make our first stand in any SHTF scenario.

    Chances are if you can make it through the first 28 days (it’s where they got the idea for the title of the story 28 days later) then your long term survival prospects increase significantly.

    Security if the watchword for the would be “ Urban Survivalist”, everything you do could have a negative impact on your security and that of your group.

    Cooking, Light, Smell, Noise can give you away and compromise your security.
    Heating, Light, Smell, Noise can give you away and compromise your security.
    Light, being seen after dark while everyone else is stumbling/slinking around can compromise your security.
    Movement/Being seen, obviously you don’t want to bar the door and be done with the outside world until yourself imposed quarantine of 28 days is over, you’re going to want intel if nothing else during this period. You don’t want to stand out from the crowd so forget your gucciflage and shiny kit, you want to look like Joe Average, if others are looking scruffy and grubby that’s what you need too, try to keep your distance from people as you don’t want to stand out as looking well fed and healthy while everyone else is suffering from malnutrition.

    HEATING:

    It’s better to keep one room heated than try and heat a whole house for obvious reasons. Given as most homes face onto a road of some description, a room at the back of the house away from prying eyes and hungry mouths would probably be the ideal.

    Paraffin Heaters are an option, even if just getting one of the small greenhouse heaters, these usually do well on fuel (the greenhouse heaters really well) although they require ventilation due to the build up of fumes and from memory don’t give out an enormous amount of heat but they will take the chill off a room.

    Blankets are good too keep around either the cheap thermal/fleece or better merino wool type if you can get them. You gain a surprising amount of heat just sitting on a blanket wrapping yourself up just adds to your comfort level.

    Gas Heaters, I don’t have too much experience with these, some time in a caravan while in my teens and the big industrial ones while working in a factory, so I honestly couldn’t comment on fuel efficiency or consumption (Anyone throw me a bone?). Fuel storage is one thing you’ll want to take into consideration though you won’t want gas canisters laying around the house, so somewhere secure in an out building away from main residence would be better.

    Wood/Multi Fuel Burners, these things are great although they’ll burn anything remember security, smoke and smell will give you away. With that in mind I’d suggest a supply of smokeless fuel be added to your stores enough to cover at least 2-3 weeks.
    Food and water.



    You don’t need acres and acres to grow enough food to feed you, you can with careful planning grow enough food to feed you on your average suburban plot, fruits, herbs, salads, staples and meat. Weeds, herbs, flowers, fruits and other non easily recognizable foods at the front if OPSEC is a concern. Snail Farm, ducks, chickens, rabbits, guinea pigs and fish are all relatively easy to keep in a small area and will provide good sources of protein (yeah bugger all fat on rabbit I know, work with what ya got).
    Foraging, trapping and for the lesser part hunting are all possible in an urban environment, parks and waste grounds are great for foraging and trapping.

    Most if not all older cities and towns are built on old trade sites which were all on or around water, water was important for trade both travel and consumption. How clean it is for drinking……. That’s down to you, there appears to be a popular train of thought in some quarters that in a SHTF scenario people are going to be throwing their rubbish and dead bodies in the rivers and canals, when pressed no one has yet to come up with anything to support this line of thought. I’m of the opinion it would soon become apparent to even the most brick stupid of chavs they’re going to be needing that water the phrase “don't s**t on your own doorstep” springs to mind.


    Food:

    Lots of people go overboard on rice, I can understand why though. You can store a large amount in a small area, it fills you up and it’ll feed quite a few people, it’s easy to prepare and there's a variety of dishes that can be made up or added to rice. The down side is the amount of water it takes to prepare, cooking, washing, reheating, I’d suggest pasta as an alternative bulk food.
    Initially it might be a good idea to avoid foods that require too much water to prepare. This is where tinned foods and inventiveness come into their own. Now this sucks for people like us who don’t eat/store allot of tinned stuff, (store what you eat, eat what you store). Quite allot of tinned stuff is quite edible cold so if fire or heating runs the risk of compromising your security.... at least your belly will be full.

    Water:

    Although I don’t foresee the taps going off overnight in most SHTF scenarios, it doesn’t hurt to be prepared (that’s why most of us are here after all). I won’t go over water too much as its a subject done to death because it’s so vital to survival. Water in an urban environment presents its own challenges. Going with the initial 28day period I’ll just add these thoughts for you to consider,
    How much water can you/do you need to store? (Washing, cooking, drinking)
    How do you gather/collect more?
    How are you going to clean it for consumption/use?
    I have my answers that pertain to my location/ situation, yours depending on location and resources available may vary greatly.

    Ease of access to emergency services
    (crime historians not included) but fire, ambulance, doctor, hospital.
    Ease of access to employment I used to be within an easy 30minute walk, now its an easy 30(ish) minutes drive (something I’m trying to fix) but with multiple routes access is still relatively easy, even without the car then the tram, train and bus are all there.

    Any disaster hits a nation, cities and large towns are the first to receive aid, obviously being a prepper/survivalist means we takes steps to not be reliant on outside aid, but the aid will get there first:
    It’s the cities and towns the lights will go back on first.
    It’s the cities and towns the water will go back on first.
    It’s the cities and towns the medicinal aid will get to first.
    TBH I’m of the opinion that for most realistic SHTF scenarios the city (outskirts of) could be pretty hard to beat. Obviously TEOTWAWKI is another discussion but all bets are off on that one and it’s a subject for another thread.

    Put yourself in badguy mode, your choice is urban environment where there will be plenty of witnesses the best way is hit and run before your disturbed or seen. OR the country where you have crops, livestock, fuel, machinery few witnesses and plenty of time due to remoteness. Either way badguy runs the risk of having a fight on his hands but in a remote location he can take his time. As seen with Ann Timson on the news (Supergran) it only takes one person to stand up to goad others into action the city provides that buffer. Look at Argentina SHTF in 2001 when the economy tanked, according to ferfal (blog made some interesting reading) home invasions in the country increased because of remoteness and isolation. Being mugged and robbed on the street is one thing but someone moving in for the weekend holding you as prisoner in your own home, your sanctuary…………. Man that’s something else.

    Selco writes about survival in an urban environment during the Bosnian conflict of the 90's as much as gangs and snipers were a problem in the cities, you had gangs and troop movements in the country whole villages were laid to waist.


    Country?

    Every year it seems we have news reports of villages being cut off and snowed in, usually followed with how food and fuel is running low. Wouldn’t happen to you because your prepped? What about your neighbours? Gonna help em or jack on em? (I'm all right jack sod you) If you're going to jack on your neighbours your neighbours could be a problem just like in a city and you negate the small town values everyone pulling together scenario so many think is going to happen.

    During a prolonged SHTF or TEOTWAWKI scenario gangs won't stay in the city, we have commuter thieves, poaching, stealing livestock, stealing farm equipment and fuel and crop theft NOW while law and disorder are the norm throw in a little SHTF action and it’ll only get worse.


    #2
    I garden quite a bit and can usually feed myself, but not entirely from the garden. I found this table on how much you need to plant to feed a family. I find it unreal. Do any of you really think you can feed your family entirely from a garden?

    http://www.fromscratchmag.com/much-n...t-feed-family/
    Tuesday is soylent green day

    Comment


      #3
      I actually did a local class once about prepping....

      prep in stages and prep in layers.

      Stages in the sense that you can't suddenly have 1 year's worth of everything and suddenly know everything. So you start with 1 month's worth of food, and basics on gardening and other beginning topics.

      Layers (and this is where I am going) because you don't want to rely on any one sources of anything. Water, food, shelter, etc.

      a garden is great for a layer. canned and dried goods- layer hunting fishing-layer foraging- layer...... etc.

      The comparison on layers is finances.... the experts tell you about having multiple streams of revenue in case one craps out.
      Go Space Force!!!

      Comment


        #4
        Originally posted by Night View Post
        . Do any of you really think you can feed your family entirely from a garden?

        http://www.fromscratchmag.com/much-n...t-feed-family/
        Oh hell no, not in my current location. We might get by growing and foraging/ trapping maybe throw in a lil guerrilla gardening.

        Great link thanks.

        Comment


          #5
          I left out trapping..... good catch there smudge.
          Go Space Force!!!

          Comment


            #6
            Originally posted by Smudge View Post

            Oh hell no, not in my current location. We might get by growing and foraging/ trapping maybe throw in a lil guerrilla gardening.

            Great link thanks.

            I found the amounts in that link to be mind boggling. I had no idea it took so much.
            Tuesday is soylent green day

            Comment


              #7
              Originally posted by Night View Post


              I found the amounts in that link to be mind boggling. I had no idea it took so much.

              Allowing for no crop being guaranteed and I believe they're talking a yearly yield I can well believe it, but I wouldn't consider it gospel.
              I remember reading an article that suggested potatoes and milk provided a complete diet, yeah I know there was a thread on SB about it at some point but the article I'm thinking was much older. Having lived on a diet consisting primarily of potato for a period of several months, I can attest to the fact it's doable even if not ideal.

              Adding anything else into the diet is flavour and variety, I don't buy into food fatigue myself but no harm in hedging your bets.

              Comment


                #8
                In the Little House on the Prairie Books, specifically The Long Hard Winter, they lived months on one loaf of bread divided among two adults and 3 or 4 children. No butter, no jam, just one slice of bread. This was the winter of 1880-81 in Dakota Territory where the blizzards started in October and went non-stop until April or May, I believe. The trains were blocked and towns were cut off for months.
                Tuesday is soylent green day

                Comment


                  #9
                  Originally posted by Night View Post
                  In the Little House on the Prairie Books, specifically The Long Hard Winter, they lived months on one loaf of bread divided among two adults and 3 or 4 children. No butter, no jam, just one slice of bread. This was the winter of 1880-81 in Dakota Territory where the blizzards started in October and went non-stop until April or May, I believe. The trains were blocked and towns were cut off for months.
                  I love those books.

                  This is entirely possible, and touches upon one of my favorite subjects - "Should humans hibernate?" (I vote yes ) It's what was done in times of winter hardship - slow down the body, keeps watch in rounds, get through the winter.

                  In 1900, The British Medical Journal reported that peasants of the Pskov region in northwestern Russia “adopt the economical expedient” of spending one-half of the year in sleep: “At the first fall of snow the whole family gathers round the stove, lies down, ceases to wrestle with the problems of human existence, and quietly goes to sleep. Once a day every one wakes up to eat a piece of hard bread. ... The members of the family take it in turn to watch and keep the fire alight. After six months of this reposeful existence the family wakes up, shakes itself” and “goes out to see if the grass is growing.”
                  http://www.nytimes.com/2007/11/25/opinion/25robb.html
                  .

                  Comment


                    #10
                    I tend to claim there are 3 essential F's in pure survival. These also reflect the instinct of the human predatory creature. There is a good argument to adopt these early, and a good argument against it.

                    When you stare at something, you are tapping into a primal sector of your predatory brain. At which point you have activated what I term the 3F mode in your brain. At that point you wish to do one of the following:

                    Feed on it

                    Fuck it

                    Fight it

                    You can argue semantics about fight or flight, and lust vs love, etc etc. But at the core those are your needs. So when all hell breaks loose, I would watch out for someone staring at you, especially the fat kid.
                    Textually Active

                    Comment


                      #11
                      sea dats why i bee arount

                      i lernt sumtang ant wilt incorperate into my shitake
                      "Virtute et armis"

                      Girls play with dolls. Men play with dead animals

                      https://www.uso.org

                      Islam is right about women

                      sde: Because it was trolling and by damn God, that's what we fucking do here. Always have, always will

                      #learn2code

                      Epstein didn't kill himself & neither did Qassem Soleimani

                      Eric Ciaramella is the whistle blower

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Originally posted by Night View Post
                        I garden quite a bit and can usually feed myself, but not entirely from the garden. I found this table on how much you need to plant to feed a family. I find it unreal. Do any of you really think you can feed your family entirely from a garden?

                        http://www.fromscratchmag.com/much-n...t-feed-family/

                        My experience of gardening and attempts at self sufficiency are the following:

                        1. it will take you 5 or more yrs to create a garden capable of fully sustaining you IF YOU ALREADY KNOW HOW TO GARDEN. this is because gardens have to be broken in. The dirt's not ready, got no humus. hard, dry, full of weed seed. There's only so much you can break in each year; and you can't just throw seed on the ground in a crisis and wait for rain. Certain plants won't feed you for five years - eg an apple or feijoa tree. your garden will take time to grow vertically, which is what you will need with such limited space.

                        2. Jon Jeavon's "Grow Biointensive" is the most land intensive growing method I know of, without introducing tilapia into a system you can feed a family of four, vegan style, on 1/4 acre of garden. They won't get fat though. And that is not 1/4 acre property with a garden on it however. Bring the fish in and you create the most fantastic symbiotic growth environment. When people say 'you can feed your family from your back garden' they mean ' you can produce a few salads in summer and six stir fries in winter'. The other blinding error gardeners make is to grow a whole packet of seed at once: so 70 lettuces come ripe that week - and none for the rest of the year. the "How to feed your family on 1/4 acre" book will help you learn to only propagate per week what your family will eat per week; keep a rotation going of flats of seedlings, plant out in rotation those greens and delicacies that don't take a whole season to grow. Things like kumara and capsicums however, are going to take a good season to get a result from, so you do them all at once as early as you can manage for a crop.



                        Now to react to Smudge:

                        Country is far better than city; who cares if the water goes on in the city first if you're on rainwater in the wops and never lost it in the first place? You can go hunting, you probably have a few livestock in the back paddock you can eat; and you will probably have a wood stove or similar for a fallback position when the power goes out. You might even have shutters on your windows.

                        Parrafin and gas will kill you in an enclosed space from the carbon monoxide unless flued. Maybe a russian stove that emits nothing but CO2 out the chimney, and has a 95% efficiency rating?

                        In a zombie crisis keep bricks in the house; when it strikes, brick up all windows and doors. Only leave an egress from the 2nd storey or roof space via a rope ladder.

                        Other than that: disappear. Smash a couple of windows in the front and then put black painted board behind them.

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Originally posted by Absolutely! View Post
                          Now to react to Smudge:
                          You could have worded that a little less ominously.

                          Originally posted by Absolutely! View Post
                          Country is far better than city; who cares if the water goes on in the city first if you're on rainwater in the wops and never lost it in the first place? You can go hunting, you probably have a few livestock in the back paddock you can eat; and you will probably have a wood stove or similar for a fallback position when the power goes out. You might even have shutters on your windows.
                          And you can have and do all those things in a city (or outskirts thereof). We have kept chickens in the past, we have a multi-fuel burner in the living room, I have hunted (small game) and trapped (snared and primitive live trap) we even have rainwater collection. Choosing the right location is obviously as fundamental to "prepper/ survivalist" city living as it is for the country counterpart.


                          Originally posted by Absolutely! View Post
                          Parrafin and gas will kill you in an enclosed space from the carbon monoxide unless flued. Maybe a russian stove that emits nothing but CO2 out the chimney, and has a 95% efficiency rating?

                          Paraffin Heaters are an option, even if just getting one of the small greenhouse heaters, these usually do well on fuel (the greenhouse heaters really well) although they require ventilation due to the build up of fumes and from memory don’t give out an enormous amount of heat but they will take the chill off a room.
                          Originally posted by Absolutely! View Post
                          In a zombie crisis keep bricks in the house; when it strikes, brick up all windows and doors. Only leave an egress from the 2nd storey or roof space via a rope ladder.
                          It's an option, I don't want to talk about zombies I'm kinda bummed Glen died last night but we do have precut boards that can be nailed through the window frames.

                          Originally posted by Absolutely! View Post
                          Other than that: disappear. Smash a couple of windows in the front and then put black painted board behind them.
                          I'd thought along similar lines a while back but the danger of that is if people think it's deserted they might decide to have a look and see if there's anything salvageable and come a looking..........


                          Please don't misunderstand OP I'm not looking to say one is better than the other that's a pissing match for a different forum, I'm not really looking for anything other than maybe some idea's I hadn't thought of that I can add to OP and just sharing my choice and why I've made it.

                          The vast majority of "prepper/survivalist" types will say country hands down with little or no thought, the majority have come to this conclusion from other "prepper/survivalist" types and so on I believe the originator of the fallacy that cities are death traps was Kurt Saxon.

                          This is an interesting read, obviously I don't take it as gospel but it's interesting all the same: Ragnar Benson Urban Survival http://www.modernsurvivalonline.com/...20Survival.pdf

                          Comment


                            #14
                            EXCELLENT Post, Smudge Old Boy! And some really good replies thus far!

                            See, the BEST of the SB crowd is ALREADY here!

                            I have some errands to run this morning, but by noon (Eastern Time in the US), I will add a few of my insights to an excellent topic....

                            DocZeus
                            AKA
                            The BRB One.....

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Food:
                              You will need enough food to make it to the next harvest, or have some way of obtaining food. Ideally, you should have enough to last you until the second harvest, in case the first fails.
                              You will need a way to protect that harvest. If those first critical weeks of a disaster/collapse happen during growing season, and you don't have a way to protect your crops, they will be gone.
                              You will need people to guard your stuff, crops, etc. You can't do it alone. You will then need a way to feed those people. Friends, family, and community will probably play an vital role in most people's survival.
                              Instances of prepared people in small groups making it long term, I believe, will be more likely to happen in isolated locales.
                              I don't know.

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