What do you do when disaster strikes in an area with millions of people? Disasters range from nuclear strikes to natural ones like earthquakes and hurricanes. What do you do when suddenly you’re cut off from the rest of the world-telephone lines are down, electricity is out, and you’re at the heart of the city center?
Perhaps it was a normal Monday morning at the office and suddenly there are mass riots over some political issue that had been hanging like a cloud. Urban survival and wilderness survival are two very different things. In the wilderness, your main concerns are the forces of nature and animal attacks.
In the urban jungle, your biggest threats are the cause of the disaster, the fall out effect, and the millions of people around you. How do you make it?
1. Get Out
Get out fast. This is you topmost priority. You’ll deal with your insurance coverage later. Cities have a number of ways in and out. There are highways, bridges, tunnels, and train routes.
Depending on the scale of the disaster, they will be clogged in minutes or a few hours. You need to get ahead of the curve. So ensure that your bug out bag is packed and ready.
It’s better to take a secondary route out of the city as fast as you can since the main paths are the first to get clogged or blocked by police or military. Ensure those you’re bugging out with know where to go and rendezvous with you. You don’t want to be stick in a highly populated area.
Remember the LA riots after the trial of Rodney King? Citizens turned on each other, burned their own buildings, and even destroyed fire trucks sent to put out the fires gutting down their very own city! In the case of a disaster such as an earthquake, there’ll be panic. But there’ll also be a bunch of people ready to make a killing from free goods.
There’ll be theft, violence and assault. Don’t stick around waiting for it to escalate. Move out as fast as you can.
2. Protect yourself from your surroundings
Live electric wires on the ground, buildings ready to topple, bridges about to collapse, damaged pipes filling the air with poisonous gas, broken glass from buildings, smoke from burning vehicles and property-the list is long. Protect yourself.
Always have gear to protect your body nearby, especially in your bug out bag. Protect the vital organs of your body- your eyes, ears, lungs and limbs. You won’t be able to make much movement if any of these are critically injured.
3. Blend in
There are different kinds of people you will encounter in case of an urban disaster. Some will be scared and desperate, seeking a way out. Some will be aggressive, wanting to take survive at all costs, even if it means harming others. There are also those who will want to take advantage of you. What do you do? You don’t want to look like a target. That will draw thugs and increase your chances of being assaulted.
You also don’t want to look like a threat. For instance, you don’t want your police badge sticking out on your arm in the middle of a city with gangs, and you have no back up. Wear normal clothes and ensure any survival ear on you is discrete.
Don’t get involved in fights. This will only deplete you of resources and energy. If possible, travel in a group. In addition, have your self-defense items ready- things such as pepper spray, a hand weapon, or even firearm. The first goal is to blend in and avoid trouble. But if trouble finds you, be ready to protect yourself.
Remember to avoid mob psychology. When disaster strikes, people panic, and there’ll be a guaranteed trend of mass hysteria. People will follow other people even without knowing where the crowd is going, or what it is running from. Trust your instinct. Stick to your escape plan. And most importantly, don’t give in to the panic.