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Fact: Your Chances of Surviving a Post-Collapse Urban Environment are Slim

Jeremiah Johnson
October 26th, 2017
ReadyNutrition.com
Comments (45)

This guide was originally published by Jeremiah Johnson at ReadyNutrition.com

urban

Simply put, urban survival will be quite a bit different from survival in a remote wilderness area or even a sparsely-populated suburban area. Let’s game some options, remembering that these options are general. These actions aren’t specific to the type of breakdown of society (external by an attack from a foreign nation, or internal from economic collapse, for examples).

So, we have our collapse. Let us “X” out a nuclear war/nuclear terrorist attack, as we can deal with all the other scenarios in variables without radiation to contend with. Let’s identify the largest challenges faced for that high-rise apartment resident in Manhattan, or the family in the brownstone on the South side of Chicago. First, let’s game the scenario:

After “The Day,” the city was almost completely without power. You and your wife and two children were not able to leave town. All mass transit was halted or discontinued. It has been three days, and your family has been listening to static on the radio for the most part, with “campy” pre-recorded disaster broadcasts that have not been helpful or informative. One of your neighbors left this morning after saying goodbye: he and his family had a boat, and they were heading out of the harbor, hoping to use one of the major rivers to make an escape.

They didn’t have room to take you or yours, but you wanted to stay put and not follow your neighbor’s idea: that there were plenty of boats whose owners were not going to use them…probably dead following the rioting and civil breakdown. You’re beginning to think you should have listened to him. Now you can hear angry voices outside, and you go to the window. A mob has gathered at the top of your street! They’re armed with rifles, bats, axes, machetes…and there are about 500 of them. As you watch, they’re making a move toward the first house on the opposite side of the street. Your house is less than half a block away. There are no more cops, no more laws, no more order, and no help will be coming…on The Day After Doomsday.

Sounds pretty bleak, huh? That’s because it is unless you keep a cool head about you and stay in focus. Here are your primary tasks, and in this order:

  1. Defense: without a clear plan and the means to execute that plan, you’re going to have problems.
  2. Secure Domicile: in itself a part of the defense, as if you live in an easily-entered structure, you’re going to need to fortify it and have a security system and a guard/lookout schedule.
  3. Food and Water: always critical. We touched on some of this in the last segment with water. You should have at least a one-year supply for each member of your family of nonperishable food.
  4. Medical supplies and equipment: This entails the ability to perform first aid, to perform long-term supportive measures, and both short and long-term definitive care for special needs members of the family.
  5. Cohesion: your family needs to function akin to a well-oiled machine, as best it can. Faith will be a key element: in God, in one another, and in what you are doing. The inner discipline for each family member and for the group as a whole are key to enabling success for you and ensuring your survival.

Now let’s talk about what you’ll be facing, keeping in mind we already did not specify what type of disaster caused the end of it all. A nuclear war will have radiation and probably foreign invaders at some point.  An asteroid impact will have traumatic weather catastrophes and cataclysmic effects all over. What we are focusing on here is a city that is (for all intents and purposes) physically “intact” but is no longer functioning…its infrastructure is crippled, the social order is defunct, and chaos is the word for the day. What are you facing? Here are some of the challenges:

  1. Complete lack of food outside of your supplies: akin to a swarm of locusts, people will descend upon the grocery stores, convenience stores, dollar and discount stores, and big box stores…until the stores are no more…looting everything and anything they can grab. Happened in New Orleans, I’m here to tell you…and it’ll happen again. Dogs, cats, birds, and anything else that crawls, walks, flies, or runs…will be eaten. All of this within the first week to two weeks.
  2. Cannibalism: when the disaster strikes, there will be a lot of people who will actively hunt other humans for food. For those smiling naysayers, you may wish to read about the Donner Party, the Andes aircraft crash, and numerous other accounts of such things. You can take it to the bank that it will happen again…and the “Drive By” also becomes the “Drive Thru.”
  3. Disease: it is a well-known fact that dead bodies, poor sanitary conditions, and lack of clean running water and working sewers will all contribute to diseases. Typhus, E. coli, and plague will all return…diseases that are not a threat will quickly become out of control after the SHTF.
  4. Bad Guys:  Lots and lots of bad guys (and gals, not to leave you out of the loop!) doing really bad things and trying to do more bad…to you and yours. We’re going to do a piece just on this, so I’m not going to burn out all my fire at once. Suffice to say there will be gangs and small packs of “opportunistic entrepreneurs” out roaming the streets of your town…and they’re not looking to sell you on “Amway.” They’ll take what they can…including your life.

So, what to do? Well, here’s the first step to defeating all these factors:

Have a plan, and work that plan until it takes effect, and get out of town!

You’ll need to train, game out the scenarios, and work on your preps if you must hunker down. The best thing to do is get out of the city or town. In a high-rise apartment building, you’re going to be very limited in what you can take out of there effectively if the vehicles are not working and the electricity is out. It’s hard to carry hundreds of pounds of gear and supplies down a dark staircase fifty stories and then escape a city in ruins or turmoil. The odds are against it. The key is to have a place…a safe place with supplies that you can reach…and when the time is right, get out of that city.

It will be important to form teams, within your own family, and potentially including others who live near you of a like mind. Here’s a rule to follow:

No “free rides,” any allies outside of the family must have their own supplies and be self-sustaining to be a legitimate ally.

You must trust them implicitly: A real trust, not the BS handshaking of men and the hugging of women once a week at a card party or barbeque. No, a real trust based on knowing them well, and for as long a time as possible.  You don’t want to undertake an endeavor, and then end up at the rendezvous point, and having them kill you and take your supplies. Gasp! Ohh! Perish the thought, right?

Wrong: Know that human nature means in a disaster a “switch” can be flipped at any time and those you thought were your allies are now attackers.

You’re going to have to get together with your family and the other family or two who are on your “team” and figure a way to exfiltrate out of the city with as many supplies as you can carry. Most of the gangs will be looking for easy pickings, therefore if you present a unified defensive posture…everyone knowing their functions and carrying their weapons and moving as a unit…this will dissuade them. Wolves usually prey on the young, the weak, the old, and the sick first. Men are no different. They would prefer a bunch of fatsos sitting around in their living room with their supplies than a group of families that has their “S” together and can defend themselves.

This is not to give you false bravado. There are skills you need, happy family, to be able to make it through. I hope one of your family members is a veteran. If not, seek one out and pick up some training.

“Thank you for your service,” is the BS line that everyone uses on you when they haven’t served…it makes them feel good when they say it to you…as if they have checked the “patriotic block” on a form.

You’ll really thank a vet if you’re trained by one. How about this for an idea? If there’s not one in your family or on your “team,” then find one…and pay the veteran to train you. I can see the frowns now. Nobody likes to open that wallet. I guess you’ll have to weigh what is more valuable to you and determine where your priorities lie.

Thank the veteran with more than lip service in this instance, and learn valuable skills that you could have picked up if you had served. You will need some combat skills, such as how to work as a fire team, how to clear a room, and communication between members, be that vocally or with hand-and-arm signals. In the end, it will be up to you, and you will only receive in proportion to what you extend of yourself.

You’ll need to practice and drill getting out of your locale. You’ll also be wise to equip your team (your family and another family working with you) with Motorola’s and stick them in Faraday cages until it’s time to move out. There is still time to game and implement this thing; however, the more quickly you move on it the smoother you can make it for yourself and others. The time to be prepared is yesterday, and the disaster can come tomorrow. Let us know your thoughts and any suggestions you have, and stay in that good fight! JJ out!

 

This article was originally published by Jeremiah Johnson at Tess Pennington’s ReadyNutrition.com

Jeremiah Johnson is the Nom de plume of a retired Green Beret of the United States Army Special Forces (Airborne). Mr. Johnson was a Special Forces Medic, EMT and ACLS-certified, with comprehensive training in wilderness survival, rescue, and patient-extraction. He is a Certified Master Herbalist and a graduate of the Global College of Natural Medicine of Santa Ana, CA. A graduate of the U.S. Army’s survival course of SERE school (Survival Evasion Resistance Escape), Mr. Johnson also successfully completed the Montana Master Food Preserver Course for home-canning, smoking, and dehydrating foods.

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Author: Jeremiah Johnson
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Date: October 26th, 2017
Website: http://readynutrition.com/

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45 Comments...

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  1. southside says:

    Thank you,sir,for your service in providing these posts

  2. rabbitone says:

    “…They’re armed with rifles, bats, axes, machetes…and there are about 500 of them. …” my disaster training says this is far fetched. Trying to get 2 people to do anything together they have not prepared for in a disaster is next to impossible. People go to what they think is safety in a disaster scenario. Small roving gangs of thugs are a probability once hunger kicks in. Most disasters are closer to random pandemonium with each person looking for their families safety…

    • Red Leader says:

      You are wrong. I worked the Rodney King Riots. We had over 30 two man police cars at the Imperial Courts housing project and we got chased away by hundreds of people. If we had not left so quickly, they would have been shooting at us from the roof tops.

      The big city is another world in a emergency.

      • Plan twice, prep once says:

        One of my dads jobs was chief engineer for a commercial rebuilder. The guys who fixed heavy duty stuff. One of their bread and butter items was repairing and rewinding big elevator motors and mechanical parts. They often sent teams into the slums to fix the elevators in some of the most dangerous parts of the cities. The building manager would get the word out that the elevator repair guys were coming. They were always greeted by the gang that controlled the building. The gang split up, some protected their trucks, others helped carry equipment and a protection detail kept them safe.

        You see all the gang bangers had wives, girlfriends, sisters and mothers living in the building who had been walking up stairs for sometimes weeks. The gang members were told in no uncertain terms to protect the elevator repairmen and treat them like royalty or find another place to sleep.

  3. Stormy says:

    I’m ready. A few improvised spears and all your loose pets are mine for the eating! BAR-BE-CUE!!

  4. watching and waiting says:

    Fact: Your Chances of Surviving a Post-Collapse Urban Environment are Slim

    True.

    Statement: Chances of Surviving a Post-Collapse Rural Environment are Slim.

    Gangs, Thugs and so on are not not just prevalent to the urban area. The entire country is infested with them.

    • Colt M4 says:

      One of the best things you can do to help yourself, if you don’t have someone with military training in your group, is to get some military combat training manuals. They can sometimes be found on the net for free, if not most Army surplus stores have a good supply for cheap. They will teach your group how to fight, and move as a team, how to use the same combat tactics as the military uses. Plus how to fight, move, and defend your group in a urban setting. Just remember to read them, and train with those tactics, BEFORE the SHTF, not after.

    • WhereEaglesDare says:

      @Watching and waiting, Very True. I live in small town U.S.A. and I saw 4 different mexican gang members in our local walmart.

  5. “A bunch of fatsos sitting around their living room” uhhhhhhhhh,,,, I can here you!!!!rude!

    • Hatchetman says:

      RUDE! The truth hurts, doesn’t Bctruck. Obesity is an epidemic in this country. Numerous numbers of people prefer sitting in front of the boob tube (TV) drinking beer, eating
      cheetoe’s and watching over paid, whinny brats play some stupid sport, rather than learning what is really going on in this country. Your remark shows that you are part of the “fatsos”.

  6. Sierra Dave says:

    Large crowds can be managed with some old gas. Keep a few gallons around. It will still burn well enough even if years old. If the wind is right, it should be pretty damn smokey too!

  7. Prepared Pastor says:

    To urban and too remote are both mistakes. Lone wolves don’t live long. A sustainable community is a necessity.

  8. Cactus Critter says:

    The best video I’ve ever seen on this exact scenario is here – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OtP80Z08lfg. “After Armageddon” from The History Channel of all places. I think they aired it once and it was too real to do it again.

    • Plan twice, prep once says:

      That was a great video, a bit depressing, but very good, and realistic. It assumes a desert environment with severe water limitations.

      Like the father in the video my dog had an infected nail once that I treated with epsoms salts. My vet seemed honestly annoyed that I cured my dog on my own.

      Old time cures are the lesson here.

  9. The Founding Fathers Patriot says:

    About 96% of this is just about spot on in a real life scenario. Most people will hunker down within major cities & urban towns. Out side of that is human survival of the wild. In the mountains will have a number of people thinking they are gonna live there, But one problem not everyone can survive the mountains like some folks whom have lived in the wild mountains off the grid with the untamed wild life that can kill you because you are a moving piece of meat in there eyes. If you are not prepared to hunt then stay off the mountains because it’s only gonna get allot worse when it gets cold during winter (means snow as well)Most people who are not prepared freeze to death without warning. Do you think mother nature is gonna care weather you live or die. Nope mother nature is a mean & brutal fact when the wild mountains can kill you at any time, even places like the mojave desert. How about the jungle be very glad you don’t live in the jungle or africa or middle east or siberia. Many places can kill you if you are not prepared to survive the worse. your Tv days on the couch is gone as well as social media it’s gone for the next 25-50 years. for those whom didn’t pay attention to the 2014 video of Sgt Major Dan Page. The video is about 1 hr and 15 min long what he tells you is not a game, he is telling you like it is he is a former soldier who has seen it all. Go talk to some special forces soldiers what life is like behind enemy lines now apply that life behind enemy lines in your home town whom you think your friends have your back. Nope you are very much on your own unless you have one heck of a trusting bond with someone for life who has had your back from past experience. If you do not you are very much rolling the dice on your life to trust someone else unless you can sleep with one eye open like trained skilled soldiers that are trained to do & it’s not easy to do because they have been trained in the sere training program. I wish you all the best & hope we all don’t have to see the day after worse case scenario. when it becomes the start of a new life struggle of survival mode.

  10. aljamo says:

    These doomsday scenarios are concern worthy. Sitting here in the middle of the rat race just getting out would be a struggle. I’m picturing the hurricane and the days long backed up interstate traffic but worse. Another great concern is the police looking to separate me from anything of value along with the roving hoards. Extremely concerned with traveling really anywhere. I do feel the impending doom approaching so my paranoia is pulsing. Even the yearly snowbird invasion is giving me the creeps.

    • Colt M4 says:

      One of the best ways to make sure you’ll still have a running car, or truck after an EMP attack is to plan ahead. Since most cars, and trucks now a days have computers running the engine, transmission, and ABS brakes, you’ll need working replacements. So go to your local junk yard, and by replacement computers for all those systems. Then pack them away in a home made Faraday cage. Then the day after an EMP attack happens, while everybody else is waiting around for the government to come save them, you can install your computers, load up your truck, and leave. Remember you’ll need to do this right away after an EMP attack. Because if you wait until the mob figures out that help isn’t coming, you’ve waited to long, and won’t make it out of the city alive. One last thing, set aside at least enough extra gas in 5 Gal. gas cans to make it to your bug out location.

  11. Heartless says:

    There won’t be anywhere safe unless you make it so. The world described simply requires 100% acceptance that your life is your’s to preserve. The responsibility for staying alive falls solely on your shoulders. Ally with those who agree with that. All others will be your enemies.

  12. two2wisper says:

    Joining your state militia is pretty much key . Can’t speak for all of them but around here it is more than prepared for the St.Louis thugs . It also helps having local law enforcement folks part of the group .

  13. James says:

    If faced with this scenario, lets’ face it you are screwed. You waited too long and you will not make it out alive. So do the best you can and take out as many as you can so they can’t go to others. This is why those with a huge armory and biblical amounts of ammo will end up supplying the very folks you were preparing for.The survivors will thank you for the supplies. God Bless, James

  14. Old Guy says:

    A few well placed rifle rounds into the gut’s and butt’s of the fattest ones even a crowd of 500 will run away. You see some fatty gut or butt shot laying there screaming you bet it will unnerve you. and the others aint gonna risk getting shot trying to lug ole 400 pound fatty away.

  15. Kevin2 says:

    Years ago a maintenance contractor tradesman from Louisiana working in the oil refinery I woke at in the north east said something quite interesting. Using country logic he said, “The problem is cement”. “NY city is all cement and all problems”. “Here its some cement and some problems”. “Back home there’s no cement and no problems”.

  16. Kevin2 says:

    worked not woke (damn auto spell)

    • Boink says:

      Kevin2, everyone with a clue knows what you meant, no need to correct simple slips 😉 As for the cement analogy; Joe Soucheray of “Garage Logic 1500 ESPN” radio program says: The closer you get to the tallest buildings, the closer you get to the “Mystery”; the clueless, feel good Libs who have too much time & $ for their own good and love spending everyone else’s money thru their self-rightous charitable socialism causes knowing full well any costs won’t affect their way of life.

      • Karl V. says:

        Good ole Joe ought to vacation in Vermont some time.
        Doesn’t really look much like Manhattan; but it’s overwhelmingly liberal.

        Unfortunately, over the past fifty years, huge numbers of left-wing New Yorkers and Mass-holes have migrated up into northern New England. It used to be very conservative up here… not any more.

        We are now overrun by liberal carpetbaggers who — like most people who move into a new area — can’t wait to turn it into a carbon copy of whatever shithole they have just fled.

  17. wd40 says:

    Not me dude. Five Guys Burgers and Fries is my BOL. Gonna hook up my generators and
    fire up the grills and fryers. Charge people 3 oz. of silver for a bacon dbl chzburger.
    Gonna have my own security team to make sure there’s no problems. They get free food.

  18. After years of training in survival/sar/sere in USAF, After all my preps for my family, After stockpiling Ammo,food,water, medical and gear…
    It will be my firm belief and faith in Our Lord God that will get me through whatever comes. Keeping a sound mind while all those about you lose theirs is The Key to Survival.
    God Bless and Protect us all.

    • Sailing Jim says:

      Mac, I can’t help but notice my early comment has yet to appear, grqnted, it was critical of JJ’s article, but that’s the joy/burden of the internet

      I support your statement 100%, I believe in my faith first in God, 2nd in my ability, and 3rd our Constitution.

      But I am disappointed when my critical comment seems to be omitted this long of th original article, I was unfortunately medically discharged from active duty, but I served as a civilian for 10 years making annual deployments to 5th fleet, I’ve been harassed by SOH smugglers, I’ve talked to Iranian patrol boats in the Arabian Gulf (under the watchful eyes of drones and folks on SIPR) I’ve supplied small navy crews off the coast of Somalia, so I’ve done my part to support our great nation as best I can.

      So why is it, when speak critically of the articles on the site, my comments get “omitted”? Or lost in cyber space?

      I wish nothing but the best for Patriots and like minded thinkers for the future of our great nation, but know it’s going to take those thinking outside the box to bring it all together effectively, and fairly as designed by our fore fathers.

      All the best,

      r/
      Sailing Jim

  19. Linda S says:

    You need to check your history on the Donner party & the Andes survivors.

  20. I highly disagree with everything in this article. Does it make valid points? Absolutely, but the will to survive coupled with knowledge you will be able to adapt and overcome. My YouTube channel dedicated to survival in an urban setting will give you a mindset to survive.

  21. Cyberrifles says:

    I always wondered what to do. If people come to my front yard and get aggressive like they want to attack. Do I shoot to kill,fire warning shots, shoot to wound–what? I would like suggestions.

  22. Bill says:

    Spraying a crowd with gasoline and then lighting it is a super good idea. Also, be sure to poison some of your food (and be sure you know which ones they are) so whoever steals it will have a nasty death.

  23. helmuth faulkner says:

    I recall the cuban missle crisis as a kid and in a few hours the grocery stores were empty. those who had food did not share it with friends. NO food tough luck buddy I got mine and I an mot sharing attitude. My parents had only a few days supply on hand to we ate out until food was back in the stores again. Very quickly it was dog eat dog and civilization was starting to crack I do not live in a city and I never will they are death traps on a good day.

  24. Robinson says:

    It would be nice if you would stop scaring city dwellers. How about helping us find a place to move to. How to buy raw land. What to look for ex. Water, septic, solar, wind, access, etc. What to avoid pig farms, nuclear plants, size of city,etc.