Is Urban Survival really possible?

One survival topic that doesn’t receive the attention it should, is surviving a long-term disaster in an urban environment. Now I’m not talking about your average natural disaster — which has its own host of concerns that makes urban survival a problem — but in this case, I’m talking about a long-term situation where essential services have stopped, and hopes of things returning to normal are slim.

During a real-world urban disaster situation, one where essential services are disrupted for a long period of time, is living in an urban environment really a safe thing to do?

Urban Survival presents a number of challenges in a big city.

Sanitation Issues

Sanitation Issues: Garbage will likely become one of the largest problems during a total collapse scenario. But it’s not just garbage that poses a threat to your health and safety.

It’s not a pleasant thing to think about; but if the water ever stops running, and the sewage systems stop working, those living in an urban setting are in for a world of hurt. Can you imagine how fast things will spiral out of control? Big cities will quickly become unsanitary hell holes that will pose a huge threat to your health and safety.

This single issue has the potential to spread disease, pollute the waterways, and kill a large number of people. In fact, even in today’s world hundreds of thousands of people die in Third World nations every year because of a lack of adequate sanitation.

Street Gangs

Gangs & Raiders: Let’s face it, even during the good times there’s a segment of our population that’s just not right in the head. From people who go nuts and riot after their team loses a stupid sports game, to violent street thugs, criminals and gangs who are already terrorizing big cities, a total collapse of the system could make urban living almost impossible.

I suspect that well-armed gangs will quickly take control of most major cities. In fact, during most disasters we see a small-scale version of this play out almost every time — people looting, stealing and trying to take advantage of a bad situation are usually a pretty common scene. Once things go really bad, these people will make traveling anywhere in a big city a nightmare scenario.

Guy Holding a Gun

Being well-armed will not save your ass:  There are a number of people who think they’ll be able to fight off anyone who comes their way — you know the type; the guy who swears he’s going to take everyone on with his small arsenal of firearms.  Well, there’s a major flaw in that type of thinking: It’s not going to work.

This isn’t a movie….
no matter how bad ass or well-armed you are, it only takes one bullet to end it all.

In an urban situation almost everyone you come across will be a potential threat. If you look at a city like L.A. that has over ten million people, you quickly realize that even being well-armed might not save you. Half the damn city is already well-armed, and the criminals probably have weapons that are far beyond anything you have. In my opinion, staying and fighting is not an option — especially if you want to survive.

Al Gore

It’s Not sustainable: I’m not trying to go all hippie, or Al Gore on you, but living in an urban environment during a collapse is not sustainable.

Our modern infrastructure has helped big cities thrive far beyond our founder’s wildest dreams. That same infrastructure will spell disaster during a total collapse.

Most people don’t realize how little modern stores actually carry. If the system ever collapses, most big cities have less than a 3 day supply of food and water on hand. And when reality hits, that food and water will probably be gone within a couple of hours. After that, all hell will break loose.

So is Urban Survival Possible?

It really depends on your location, and what type of city you live in. But in my opinion, it’s really like fighting a losing battle.

If you live in a city like New York, L.A. or Chicago, where crime is already a problem, I would guess urban survival will be damn near impossible. If you live in a smaller city or suburb, then you might be alright for a while — but things will eventually affect you as well. If you are planning on staying, you really need to start studying your city and what urban resources will be available to you after a collapse.


  1. Paul
    August 8, 2011 at 3:40 pm

    Another factor is mobility. Most people in major cities rely on public transit or taxis. What happens when they stop running and you can’t get around? Can’t get to the store, the doctor or even the makeshift shelter? Forget leaving by the main roads, they will be gridlocked or blocked by the authorities. Also, living in a high-rise means stairs instead of elevators. How many people could climb ten flights of stairs several times a day? Heart attacks waiting to happen. Humans are not meant to live in large, tightly packed cities. They are breeding grounds of diseases and violence.

  2. I would imagine 99% or more of urban dwellers wouldn’t survive a true SHTF scenario for whatever reason. Having said that I would also assume that it is possible for a select few who have the wits and determination to survive in a large city. So, to answer the question: Is it possible? Sure. Is it probable? Heck no!

  3. Bob Johnson
    August 8, 2011 at 4:50 pm

    Watch what the govt does and do the opposite. Have an early exit strategy in place or welcome to your new iraq.

  4. Ryan
    August 8, 2011 at 6:44 pm

    I dont think its possible what so ever. people are no where near tight nit as they used to be. in fact, people are afraid of general society. tech has brought us away from our tightly nit communities. just like any other species,if your not well socialized, your afraid or aggressive. in this society more than any other time in history, we are far from intimately socialized with our communities. Do you know your neighbors?

  5. Interesting post.

    Just read a post on ZS about a guy who described living in Sarajevo for 3 years without running water, electricity or other utilities.

    They all did it.

    They made wood burning stoves, fetched water and ate whatever they could. Talked about making dead fall traps in and around his house to catch and eat rodents.

    Some supply was still available for him in limited quantities.

    If interested, check it out.

    I think it largely depends on the human element. If you can’t work cooperatively with neighbors and friends, your chances for survival decrease. But if you can, obviously they increase.

    I don’t agree that everybody you see will be an enemy. In many cases, people bond together stronger when disaster strikes. I was in downtown San Diego for a couple of large earthquakes last year. I was out on the street talking to neighbors I never had before.

    A couple months later I heard an explosion after midnight one night. I ran down the street at top speed in my pjs and bare feet-cell phone in hand. As I was calling 9-1-1, and arriving on the flaming scene, there were several other people gathered around already directing emergency personnel in and making sure people were ok.

    There’s always outliers and exceptions, but it’s definitely not impossible.

    After all, humans started specializing and living in cities for some reason.

    Great post.

  6. Interesting post. My first inclination was to say “No, of course it’s not possible to survive in a urban environment.”

    But UrbivilistDan makes a great point. The trick would be to some how outlast the gangs and ne’er-do-wells. Once most of the population has fled or otherwise been removed from the equation, it may be possible to survive in a larger city. Challenging due to lack of resources, but possible if you can first outlast the violence and chaos.

  7. Mexico has it’s own SHTF situation going on now with the cartels and people are moving into cities because the rural areas are too hard to defend from large gangs. South Africa and Argentina also saw/sees gangs from the city traveling to the rural areas and back for raiding. It’s worth noting that city dwellers will, if possible, target suburbs and rural areas sooner than you might think.

    A small town or village seems more ideal for a long term SHTF. It takes communities coming together to stop determined looters/rioters.

    • Mark Kincheloe
      February 25, 2014 at 3:07 pm

      “…It’s worth noting that city dwellers will, if possible, target suburbs and rural areas sooner than you might think. “.

      Rob has it exactly right. We are seeing it right now and the media doesn’t cover it unless one of them gets hurt.

    August 15, 2011 at 8:37 pm

    It’s allready started.Prep smartly my friends.

  9. David
    August 15, 2011 at 11:40 pm

    Yes it has already started so learn everything you can about how to survive and become skilled with weapons, as well as gathering survival supplies now, which not only includes food but of course weapons,gas mask etc… if you have not watched it you need to check out the videos on YouTube Sons of Liberty Guerrilla Warfare Training there are 7 parts to it and even if you do not believe in what the Sons of Liberty CD talks about the Guerrilla warfare training videos can pretty much prepare you for any kind of SHTF event

  10. joe E. Balogna
    August 18, 2011 at 9:58 am

    Rob… Excellent point. However, with well thought out defensive tactics, pre-placed anti-personnel devices, (of course I mean legal instruments), and the ability to take immediate action should the situation demand it, I believe it’s possible to survive in both settings.

  11. kyle
    August 19, 2011 at 5:44 pm

    I live in wichita ks and I think it’s totaly possible to live in a city during a emergency. The city is where the trade is gonna take place and where people with different skill sets are gonna be. In ks everyone is a prepper in some way and if you try looting here good luck in our largest city it seems everyone has a concealed carry licsence. house out in the middle of nowhere are easy to surrond and have no support. Think about this what if the minutemen at the lexington green bugged out instead of staying and fighting for there town.

    • Chris
      July 23, 2012 at 5:07 am


      You mean like how so many people were able to live in New Orleans after it was hit? And that’s the thing, once the food runs out everyone will be fighting each other for food or trying to escape those that are fighting/looting. Then gangs/raiders will get worse as certain groups (who have weapons) start banding together to take from others.

      Sure, after the emergency people will return to towns/cities, but that requires the situation to have stabilized and things like food to be available.

  12. church
    September 4, 2011 at 1:38 pm

    you’re all nuts BUT I’m with ya defended to the end……know your surroundings know witch way to go the best rout in and out….and don’t turn your back on any one unless you’ve put a bullet in them first…

  13. Patriots Knight
    September 16, 2011 at 9:22 pm

    Don’t be afraid to talk to people in your community about topics like this. Heck, make up a story and say someone asked you if you are embarrassed to talk about it. I did and was surprised about how many people think about it. Some will flat out talk your ear off about it. So be active in your area, talk to friends, family, neighbors, whoever. I talk to my kids about such topics. Not to scare but they won’t be taught in school about it. My wife and I have a plan for emergency situations. We mapped out an area that we thought was the safest route for her to get home. Least powerlines, wide roads, no big trees, stuff to consider in a earthquake area. She even has a BOB and a firearm in her vehicle in case SHTF while she is not with me. Learn to be a survivor and teach your family. The more we are all self efficient the less I have to shoot for trying to rob me. PATRIOTS KNIGHT on facebook. Horses, quads, and a 4×4…

  14. Ken
    October 4, 2011 at 7:59 am

    Praise Odin I live nowhere near a city, but my concern is that in a SHTF situation, some of these social wastes of DNA (gang members and such) will probably think of coming to the country for a raid. Think about it: rule the city by day, raid the surrounding rural towns by night. That’s what I’d do.

    either way, SHTF, I go to the woods with my AK and lay low.

  15. Chris F.
    October 6, 2011 at 5:45 am

    This is scary stuff, and a topic that everyone needs to think about. Especially with the blunders our government is making and the increasingly violent populace, but I don’t know how to start preparing. I have a limited budget and I don’t know where to begin or which steps are more important. Excellent article.

    • poorman
      September 20, 2013 at 6:21 am

      Start prepping from right where you are. Next time you go to the store buy a couple of extra cans of something you eat. You might buy a bag of beans,buy a bottle of water and put it on a shelf. You have just started prepping.

  16. Blackthorn
    October 8, 2011 at 1:10 am

    Funny thing is people have survived SHTF scenario’s in urban enviroments, Argentina and Bosnia both immediately spring to mind, going back a little further the depression saw people leaving the country looking for work in the city. A lot depends on sit-x, desperate people and criminal elements aren’t just going to sit and starve when most cities are surrounded by farmland.

    Of course locations and situations vary across the globe, here in the UK we have crop and livestock theft, poaching on the increase and commuter criminals both often city gangs heading into the country for easier pickings. Not every SHTF is a mad max fantasy, depending on sit-x a urban enviroment could be a better option.

  17. alex mowry
    October 11, 2011 at 2:32 pm

    i with the right information and knowledge it is almost unavoidable for a small group or family to survive. if i had to suggest a really good survival guide to almost any survival scenario you could think of [famine, nuclear war/fallout, earthquakes, ect.]i’d suggest “life after doomsday a survivalists guide to nuclear war and other major disasters” [by Buce D. Clayton, Ph. D]. this book will tell alot of info to a person who knows nothing to almost everything about emergency preparedness. the main subject of this book is nuclear war [because if you know how to survive nuclear war you know how to survive the rest] even though it will still tell you info on other stuff.

  18. Johno
    October 12, 2011 at 5:21 am

    I get concerned when “survivalists” talk about the weapons they have and say they will use,I dont know if surviving in the their society is any better than dying,no one seems to know that a team effort is required to survive,even special forces will tell you that,thats how they succeed,cooperation over killing,I think some need to change their mind set

    • poorman
      September 20, 2013 at 6:26 am

      John that’s because to a lot of these people their weapons are an extension of their…. well you know.I fully believe in having weapons and training in place but that said no one but an idiot looks forward to having to use them.In general the only people that want to get into a fire fight are the ones that have never been in one.

  19. bonnie
    December 9, 2011 at 2:45 pm

    I am only upset when I hear that survivalists with guns will just take from those who cannot defend themselves. That makes you no better than the Government. You do not have any right to anyones stuff no matter what. How is law going to be restored when you create more mayhem? Remember, we all answer to God. Stealing is stealing.

    • poorman
      September 20, 2013 at 6:30 am

      Unfortunately Bonnie that is what is going to happen. You can be upset if you want but you also need to prepare for the fact that when the balloon goes up people will revert to survival of the fittest. In the animal world the stronger one’s take from the weaker one’s and don’t think anything about it.

  20. Luis
    December 19, 2011 at 8:59 pm

    These movies should help:
    The road
    The book of Eli
    Escape from NY

    • doze
      February 13, 2013 at 3:31 am

      This is a joke right?

    • wkotch
      February 1, 2014 at 9:51 am

      Book of Eli is a good movie, I would also recommend the tv shows Jericho, and the walking dead.

  21. Scott
    December 21, 2011 at 6:11 pm

    but it won’t be easy
    the Russians actaully resorted to canibalism when the germans lay siege to them stallengrad

  22. doc
    January 30, 2012 at 10:58 am

    I was raised up around fort drum ny where 10th mtn does winter training, lived in arizona and am familiar with the desert, travelled around central america and been in the jungle..lived in country, lived in the city, did a bit of prison back when i was young and wild…
    My attitude is wherever i end up i will adapt and survive. I will lie steal cheat and kill if necessary, that isnt even a question in my mind. By alll means read the stories by Selco, the guy in bosnia..national geos “doomsday preppers” is a good program. I garrantee if you cannot defend it, it isnt yours..thats your country, street, your ass..literally. it definitely will not be at all like the movies. Is god going to save you? The law?.. all i can say is lotsa luck. I reckon such notions are comforting to some folks.

  23. James
    February 6, 2012 at 7:47 pm

    My 2 cents here… In any situation like this, you always talk about the gangs, and people trying to raid you. But, noone ever suggests this; form up your own group of people you know will cooporate, and can adapt. If they can have safety in numbers, why can’t you?

    I’m not saying you need to be a violent gang of people stealing from others, but just try to defend something, and live off the land.

    Heres a tip relating to that though: I am 17, and I know most of my generation is doomed when such an event occurs. They cannot adapt, and are mostly a bunch of princesses. Many will starve due to stubborness, many will die from sickness. Bathing in purell doesn’t protect you from sickness, it makes you more suseptable when you do get it.(You guessed it, my hopes are not high, but I’m going to keep on going)

    • larry
      September 9, 2013 at 5:57 pm

      I feel for your generation. I have found that those who live in poor areas, especially rural/country areas where you learn to get along with daily access to stores, service stations transportation will have a definite advantage. Kids out where I am can work on their own cars, learn to make shift old quads, 3 wheelers, lawn mowers and ride them around. They hunt for what they eat many times. Not that this is what it takes, but they are more prepared. They understand doing without and city kids don’t know to put oil in a car. Read, read read, and spend time in preparing. My advice, get the heck out of the city. Yes that is where all the business is, but in case of EMP, earthquake, attack, flood, or whatever, country folk know how to grow their food, protect their land which is not right next door to two thousand hungry and angry neighbors. I have maybe 10 neighbors in a 5 mile radius. Many gangs will not have the fuel to come out this far. (30 miles from small town, and 75 miles from town of 35,000). Be prepared if someone does come because that’s when the danger is there. No one to help if your over run. If you choose to stay in the city, plan on going no where for at least 72 hours. Hide out, hopefully your place of residence looks like it has already been vandalized and not a fancy place that looks like it should have something of value. To many gangs, and people to fend off. And don’t know about you, but I am not willing to kill another human (outside of my military days), unless no other option. I do believe in sharing when necessary. I can’t see hoarding food and watching those around me starve. That is a weakness, but I have high moral standards. Try to sustain life here, but prepare to meet your maker. It is he who will judge you, and eternity is a lot longer time that our time here on earth.

  24. Chris
    February 10, 2012 at 8:14 pm

    It really depends on the SHTF situation. In nuclear war chances are that the larger cities are going to be targeted for the most damage done per bomb. So you’re potentially screwed before you can even start trying to survive. If it’s a massive collapse with people raiding and what not, then your best chances of survival revolve around your ability to hunker down for as long as possible. The less you have to go out the better your chances of survival while everyone else kill each other off. But naturally you’re still going to want to be able to protect yourself in your residence in case people try to raid it while looking for supplies for them to survive off of.

    In a lesser SHTF situation people have already stated how a city could be a better place to be. So the real trick is surviving the first bit with minimal leaving the residence (first 3-14 days).

  25. Violette
    February 16, 2012 at 12:49 pm

    My husband and I are starting to get our plan together right now…especially with the announcement that there is another BIG CRASH of the economy coming. We are stocking up, buying shotguns, getting our house security ready and yes planning on hunkering down as long as possible. We live in a suburban area and we know our neighbors and we are pretty sure we could depend on them and vise versa….I would like to know what some of you think about securing the house. What methods will be the most effective? electric fencing? razor wire? Lighting? Then what weapons would YOU choose? I say shotguns where accuracy is not that important. Do you think a CB radio and scanner would be handy just to keep a finger on the pulse?
    I need lots of input! Thanks!

    • Daniel
      September 9, 2013 at 6:13 pm

      A hand held CB is essential, as is a two way, or walkie talkie, even short wave would be nice. Electric fence is great until power is out and that could be the initial problem in EMP, nuclear, or even government contolling areas. Back up generators make to much noise, and solar is best option for electric fence. Perimeter warnings such as trip wires with shotgun shells (blanks or rocksalt) unless it gets real bad. But that is dangerous even for those at home. Security like as tinted film over windows and fence material over that is my choice. I can still see out and the fence material is secured thru the walls. Touch it and I feel like hitting it with my 1 million volt stun gun and someone will get the point. A dog is a great warning system, but they can be shot or poisoned. Still a great option. Doors should have 3 1/2 to four inch screws in all hinges also into door. Secured with L brackets from inside with 2×4 or 2×6 across doors. Motion lights with solar are great. Hook up horn to power with light and you have inexpensive warning system. Shot gun is great, pistol 9mm or larger is essential as most the time you will not be carrying rifle around property or if you go somewhere to do trade. Semi auto is also good to have around. I also have crossbow. I practice with that because quiet is going to be importance, as is hunting and protection. Those suckers are awesome. Learn to throw knives or axes. An ax is easy to learn, and I am throwing it at around 18-20 feet with great results. Dont trust neighbors. Find like minded you can trust. Don’t tell anyone around you you have anything or guess where they will be when they run out. Or their friends or family, or worse when the government offers them bribes for hoarders, or anti government (which is what they are already trying to do). Think of it, what would you do if you were starving and the government offered you food for informing them of neighbors who may be hoarding food, have guns, etc. It happened throughout history. Governments have killed more than 500,000 million people. Research your history. Remember loose lips sink ships. Not just a saying, it will be imperative you don’t tell even your best friends. Water, water, water, as drinking and sanitation will be huge factors. Do you have alternate way to use a toilet. With no power no toilet flushing. Not bad for a few days, but a few weeks, months, neighbors with same problem. In history most die from disease.

    • LMD
      November 9, 2013 at 11:50 pm

      Violette: Congratulations on your initiative to plan. Any plan is better than no plan, and speaking of plans there are a few pros and cons to consider. Choices: “which way do you want to go on these matters….?” Food- how much is enough,one month-six? Keep in mind we all have budgets and as ‘preppers we will either become a genius for preparing,or ‘fool’ for wasting our time and money. If you pay attention to the news you could have one to five days to buy what you need if you can determine how bad the disaster will be. Either stay home and prepare, ‘bug out’ or prepare for both. Neighbors ? Strength in numbers but how much are you willing to share and with how many? Again your choice. Medical supplies, sanitation issues, most important….water. Are you able to defend what you have 24 hrs a day ? CB, Scanner all great ideas, maybe a HAM radio for long distance. I know you need a license but I’ll take my chances with the FCC. Unless you need to arm a small army a few weapons or one sidearm and one rifle or shotgun each should be adequate. Consider adding a small .22 revovler /9-shot -and .22 rifle, you can buy 500 rounds for about $35.00. Shotguns are ideal. What if power goes out. What fuel source can you obtain. For an alarm system, even empty cans strung on a perimeter beets nothing. Oh yeah try and keep $100.00-$500.00 in cash at home. If power goes out stores may take currency but not credit cards.
      You guys will be alright. Just be prepared for two things: PEOPLE MAKING FUN OF YOU,-THEN- PEOPLE TRYING TO GET WHAT YOU HAVE… regards, LMD

    • Publius
      August 4, 2016 at 10:55 am

      lol. cute. there was “an announcement” that the economy will crash? hmmm.

  26. curley
    February 19, 2012 at 10:21 pm

    Guns 22cal,12ga,Ammo.. Traps leg, snares,rat Fishing,,,, Wild plants you can eat.. Seeds … Learn how to clean water ,start a fire, silver dimes, caned meat,

  27. Xavier
    March 19, 2012 at 11:06 am

    After discussing our current options, we have decided that for the short-term we will bug-in, in suburban St. Louis. We are making our plans to protect ourselves and our townhouse and stocking up on MREs and such. The ultimate plan is to head to family property in Arkansas, but depending on what the actual situation is, traveling that distance may be difficult or impossible.

  28. Ranger7796
    April 29, 2012 at 11:30 am

    I live in a moderately sized city called Flint, Michigan. While it’s not as large as Detroit or New York, we still have one of the highest crime rates per capita. I don’t have money to buy a bug out location, but I’ll be damned if I’m staying put in a city when the SHTF. My plan so far is to bug out with my family to northern Michigan where there are thousands of acres of state and national forest land open to the public. The key to my plan is to bug out before law enforcement and civil services breakdown and while the back roads are still accessible. Good luck everyone.

  29. Scott S.
    August 21, 2012 at 3:36 pm

    I cannot afford the time to dream about retreating to a piece of land away from everything, or building my own retreat where I can keep me and my “group” totally safe from whatever may come. I have a responsibility to deal with realities. (Of course there are so many fragments of reality to be considered right now, that gets really complicated.)

    I will, if possible, hunker down within my current metropolitan area, though not in a hardcore urban zone. If you truly know your environment, you have one big advantage over “escaping” to a totally unfamiliar location. I do know my area’s detailed strengths and vulnerabilities. I also have some serious family responsibilities that had to go into my decision. One big issue that I did not see mentioned in the comments or the posting above is the possible response of the powers that be to an imminent crisis or to the societal reaction to such a crisis. If you have not given consideration to that factor, you may well find all of your preparations moot.

    I will admit that I have been late in coming to this party, because I have a strong bias against whimsical speculation. I have put a lot of effort into a rigid adherence to facts and logic. The problem is I have now gathered enough facts to greatly reduce the range of possible outcomes ahead. What was left refutes many of my strongly held hopes and expectations. The greater dangers may not be merely lack of services and roving scavengers or disorganized gangs. The greater danger may become the price exacted for the services that are offered and the incentives presented to encourage you to accept those services. (Yes, I am intentionally choosing obtuse language, because I do comprehend the capabilities connected to the technology I am to share this with you.)

    Prepare well and be safe.

  30. Scott S.
    August 21, 2012 at 3:52 pm

    Check out – the article on “Update: Marine Vet Still Held …” in the right hand column near the top of this page!

  31. Jon E
    November 27, 2012 at 3:38 pm

    I live in a small town in mid-America. I actually discuss options with the guys in my church, and continually emphasize community responsibility. A tornado would force me to relocate to a friend’s farm, but it is possible to survive in town here. A river is only a mile away, so I can transport water if the electricity fails (need pumps to keep water towers full). I run a camp kitchen for teens in the summer, can feed 25 at a meal, for a full extended weekend without running out of fuel or food. Only real issue is my wife has real medical needs, so those must be dealt with if there is a long-term problem. We can survive in-place for a month.

  32. wayne
    November 27, 2012 at 5:45 pm

    After divorce and returning from mosul sgt land leased me An old apt broke and broken.yet with no running water, electrtic cable or heat ive survived.i work, keep clean,no b o and survive.noone helps me.I have to chuckl when i hear life is hard for NYers with no power and heat for two kids gave me a c ruz tablet and. I get free wifi.its hard,i hate it but can be done.two winters and still surviving, cold in WV

  33. Shannon
    April 22, 2013 at 2:03 pm

    Reminds me of The Stand by Stephen King. I really hope it wouldn’t get that bad.

  34. Zach
    August 5, 2013 at 10:27 pm

    Old notion, but one that still (I believe) has some merit; that is, the golden horde. Once you get refugees traveling out of the cities together, either in an organized group or as a mass wave, there is definitely going to be a struggle between them and what’s left of the agrarian communities in the country. But the future will most likely lay with those agrarian or near-agrarian communities, those that aren’t taken over or exterminated by the horde.

  35. Bhuds
    August 13, 2013 at 6:08 pm

    It depends on the city, lets take a trip to Texas and we have three different cities that are perfect examples.
    Dallas, Urban, but spread out unlike most modern cities, filled with military surplus stores and such that could help, as long as you can avoid the gangs, easy considering the cities layout, spread out and spacey.
    Houston, closed in, lots of stores again, but very very enclosed, gangs are hard to avoid and are definitely inevitable, not sustainable.
    San Antonio, close to the border so already has mild to heavy Cartel presence, not unlike Tijuana or other border cities, it would e seized and become a dead zone. Not unlike Tijuana already is.

  36. Alan18
    September 17, 2013 at 3:48 pm

    For those of you that think these gangs will come to the country to loot I have one thing to say. I hope they do! Anyone that can’t out run a deer is going to have a bad day! I can gut a deer and run a trot line, a country boy will survive! Go ahead and surround a house in the country and try some crap! You think all rednecks are just dumb hicks? Many of us have been preying for something to jump off so we will have something else besides deer and beer cans to shoot at! It would be like Christmas if that happened. Hell my buddy has been complainingsince he cAME back from Iraq he doesn’t have any one worth shooting at anymore. LOL! But seriously though, the whole looting the countryside idea would be just plain dumb. City folk don’t know what they are in for if they try that. Sure they might find an old lady or two they might rob and get away with it but eventually they are going to run into some preppers or militia or even some good old boys and they will have a VERY bad day!

    • poorman
      September 20, 2013 at 6:43 am

      Alan 18
      Your comments show just how ignorant you are. Hopefully if and when it happens you will grow up quickly as you sure don’t see the fact that if you are shooting at people they are shooting back. I am quite sure you don’t think you will be shot but if you have ever seen someone with a bullet in their stomach screaming in pain and nothing you can do about it but watch them die you would change your tune. As for your friend… you are a liar.

    • LMD
      November 9, 2013 at 11:58 pm

      Alan18 You sound very young…

  37. Sug
    January 7, 2014 at 12:59 pm

    These are my two cents. History is full of social collapses and I tend to think a process similar to the disintegration of the Roman empire could be what a Economic Social collapse could be like. When Rome fell the empire fracture into many city states where the highest ranking general/officer simply took over power and became a self proclaimed Kings or Dukes. THese small city-states began to fight each other to increase their territories. Through politics, coercion and war what we know as modern countries today came to be. I look to the middle aged for inspiration and guidance on how a collapsed society/world might evolve. I think that anyone who gives this subject honest deep thought would come to the conclusion that we better fight for the social order we have, because even with all its shortcomings it will be far better that a world with out it.

  38. Len
    January 26, 2014 at 7:02 pm

    I disagree: Urban survival will be better than all of the folks bugging out simply because every one has that idea. Also, the new America is not going to allow anarchy no matter how much we hope for it. Martial Law will be declared lickety split and it will not be the Crips or Bloods or any other lazy gang that you have to worry about but it will be the federal government. Urban prepping boils down to this. Out of sight out of mind and hide in plain sight. If you do that–your odds are just as good as the tens of millions of folks pouring into woods and farms to ‘live off the land,’ and kill each other in the process.

  39. tommy
    February 28, 2014 at 10:06 am

    This is just my thoughts, have talk to a lot of people about this subject. The one thing we all agreed on was the fact you’ll have about three days before actual hell brakes out. The way I see it you have two options one head to the hills or stay put in the city. The government will come in and declare martial law take over supplies and you’ll be rationed. The government will wipe out most of the violence or put a lid on it so can survive, but that will take about two to three weeks depending on the city. Your smaller cities will most likely b wipe out do to violence. If you head straight to the woods you will have a different type of warfare. People will needing and wanting what supplies you have, so that puts you in even more danger. With no wall to hide you or for protection you will a sitting duck. I’m sorry to say u cant defend your self with a tarp and a gun if your sleeping. The first three days you need to get as much supplies as you can food, water, medicines, you can forget about driving anywhere cause the roads well be blocked with kayos. so were ever you are needs to be boarded up really well. Sneak outside if you have to sneak around or to hunt for more supplies. two to three weeks most every one will starving and worried welling do anything to survive let them kill off themselves before you head out to the woods or were ever your going to go then most people by then have establish safety and are secure with what is going on.

  40. Jammer
    June 1, 2014 at 1:04 pm

    Everything you say is accurate. But there are a few real world considerations that people in cities need to understand. First where are you going. Do you really think our national forest (almost all the un-owned land) are going to be able to support the population of a city? If you are on private land, do you think the owners will NOT defend it against squatters? Are you assuming that a benevolent sole will give you and your family(along with dozens others) sanctuary?
    Bottom line is there is no way surrounding mountains and rural areas can become an evacuation point for a cities population. Cities have resources for sustaining life and rebuilding a society. even if its for trading materials (Unless of course you can mine ore and make metals in your backyard). The question is how do you defend, expand and hold on to what you have against the bad guys? And the only answer is organizing a group, preferably with professional military medical, engineering and other core people which is large enough and well equipt enough to sustain life. Quality gear, Quality people and numbers can get you through a Urban situation. There are companies out there such as Universal survival innovations which know how to accomplish these types of operations,there not cheap but they are very professional and good at what they do. But even if you don’t hire a company for your group, get one organized and start working on a game plan. The big bag is just around the corner and those who haven’t done anything are gonna do one of to thing. Die or become something they probably didn’t want to be to survive.
    “ignorance is what will kill you”

  41. Pete
    November 27, 2014 at 12:19 pm

    99% of the commenters here will be dead in a week after shtf.
    All talk.

  42. Kyle
    February 4, 2015 at 1:09 pm

    I think people on here are over-thinking this way too much! All you need to do is look at the facts. In an urban environment, after a large scale collapse, food will run out in just a few days. When that happens, it will become utter and complete chaos for a short time (until most everyone is dead – from starvation or violence). All this is assuming some country (or our own) doesn’t wipe your city off the face of the earth with thermo-nuclear weapons. So, after a month at the most, I’d guess that 90% of your urban center will be dead. Now, if you could see the signs, you would obviously want to bug out of the city WELL BEFORE and chaos erupts. Within 24 hours maybe. But if you couldn’t get out, then you would have to have enough food and security to lay low and hide (in sanitary and safe conditions) for a month or so. Perhaps you could live off of the city for a time, but you’d be eating rats and dogs eventually. So if it were me, I would GTFO, or if trapped, lay low for a month or so, then move out of the city to bug-out locations within a reasonable (week or two) hiking distance. Honestly, it would be a miracle to survive a week. Much less a few months. But if you did make it 6 months, perhaps you could live a lot longer. All this requires an intense amount of preparation, training, and flexibility. And luck. But maybe some people would survive.

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