The smoke of your mind begins to clear. Your thoughts are still racing but at least they are all going the same direction on the track. You look up and the reality hits you. You are surrounded by hundreds of thousands of the deadliest creatures to ever have walked this earth, and they are all going to end up hungry very soon.
This is not the start of the zombie apocalypse. It is the situation you find yourself in if you are living or working in a city when a major catastrophe happens that brings a city to a halt. It’s what makes life different for a city prepper. After stores close the hunger games begin!
Depending on where you live this could be anything from ice storms, fires, tsunamis, floods, mudslides, earthquakes, avalanche, riots, economic meltdown, or some other act of God! Whatever it is that is keeping stores closed and causing the people to become hungry. At least all the people that haven’t planned for such an event.
Damage to Infrastructure
Depending on the damage to the infrastructure is going to determine two things. One is how long it is going to take to get something close to normal society put back in place. Second is how fast things are going to fall apart socially. If an area is devastated by the loss of infrastructure on a large scale, you can expect things like looting and robbing to begin almost immediately.
The extent of how overwhelmed rescue crews and first responders are will also play a role in how well the fabric of society holds together when things go bad. In the event of something like an earthquake knocking down 60% of the buildings in the city, the rescue workers are going to be all hands on deck trying to get people out of the rubble.
That is going to make it very hard for them to try to do things like stop crime. Their first priority on such a large scale crisis is to try to save as many people trapped as possible and as quickly as possible. Feeding the people will take a back seat to rescue efforts if there even is a plan or the ability to help feed everyone put in place, to begin with.
After million people lose everything they have at the same time you might find yourself counted among that number. What is your plan if your house is in ruins and any supplies left in it are most likely gone for good? I wrote about the importance of a bug out bag and a bag for getting home here. You can pick up a bag for yourself here!
Grabbing the supplies you have left in your car might be your only option. Even if the car itself is unusable, the items in your bag should be. Now that you have your basics what is your plan?
If you have ever seen the movie “The Hunger Games” they talk about the people stuck playing the hunger games should never go for the supplies that are laid out in the opening of the cornucopia. That is the items put into place by the game makers for the sole purpose of getting the people to fight over them.
I know that is a movie and no one is trying to force people to group up for the purpose of killing each other, but there are some real dangers during emergencies that go hand in hand with that concept. I have heard people talk about things like when things go bad it will be the ones with the most guns who win.
Imagine that for a moment. Picture a Black Friday sale that people show up to with guns and knives. That does not sound like a very good way of making it through a crisis and I would not want that scenario to be the one I had to live through in order to feed my family. Your best bet is to get your family to a place where there is an abundance of resources, shelter, safety. That is where prepping comes in. You should know ahead of time if there is ever a massive problem like the one in this scenario that you have a place for your family to go that will safely meet your needs.
Safety in Numbers
The acronym for T.E.A.M. is Together Everyone Achieves More. This becomes especially true when SHTF. If you are trying to travel or even bug in, your best bet is to have a group of people who can trust and help each other. There is definitely not safety in numbers if there is no initial bond that brought everyone together, to begin with.
In different shows about zombies, you often see people thrown together out of the fact that they are survivors so they feel they should stick together. This always brings about some kind of drama when people don’t see eye to eye on how the group should be run. I am not saying that when things go bad you shouldn’t help out strangers but I do feel that you should already know who is in your group and what their roles are before anything ever goes that bad in life.
You can always use the family hierarchy to decide who is in charge in a time of crisis. Maybe grandpa is weak so his son John should take over leadership to get everyone to work together. Maybe you make a board of every head of household gets a say and a vote for what needs to be done. That would work if people were brought in to the group after a crisis. The head of their household would get a say on how things are running too.
Knowing that there is some form of hierarchy in place helps bring stability and hope to a bad situation. Kind of like when you had a bad day as a kid but you got a big hug from dad when you got home that evening. Everyone knowing their place helps cut down on arguments about who should do what from people who want to complain.
For many people this becomes the biggest issue or problem to try to overcome when it comes to prepping. What if you are a person who was born and raised in the projects the same as all your friends? You may not be the kind of person with friends who have a cabin at the lake or families with a ranch. It may seem like an obstacle that is too hard to overcome. Bugging in seems like the only option to you.
What if that option is taken from you? What if the building you are in becomes too damaged to use and you have to find a new place to stay. Again you don’t want to have to face that scenario in a city with millions of others trying to figure out a solution to the same problem.
I can assure you that FEMA camps are not the option you want to take. Having friends who lived through the ordeal of hurricane Katrina in New Orleans I can assure you lots of heartaches if your plans include waiting around for the government to make things better. If I honestly thought the government was in any way in a position to handle a major crisis on a grand scale I wouldn’t have a website about prepping, to begin with.
There are a few ways you can go about finding a place for bugging out. First, you can try to find like-minded people outside of the city and offer your services to them if things have gone terribly wrong. Services can include things like just bringing manpower to help them on their farm and to provide safety in a crisis situation. A commercial farm that no longer has clients to sell to may need people to help with harvest or even be physical manpower to help keep the place safe from looters and robbers.
Another option is to save up money for a piece of land to use for you and your group that can be purchased and prepped ahead of time. There are several ways you and your friends can come by some extra cash to buy a few simple acres away from the chaos. Once it is bought you will have a place that you can store items and a destination for all involved to get to out of the city.
The third option would be to find a place in a public park outside of the city that you can use for a place for your group to basically regroup and rethink the situation. In this scenario, I am talking about something like a national forest and not a city park. Finding a solid campground big enough to handle your group but also far enough away from major cities might be a challenge. You might even have to deal with the parks being “closed” to the public when a crisis hits. You will have to find a workaround to just walking in the front door but it will work in your favor if the government is trying to keep people out of your spot. That only works if they don’t know you are there yourselves.
We are in the day of the internet and I am sure with time and research you can come up with a safe alternative to being stuck in the city as it slowly becomes a horror film. Find like-minded people who are willing to work together. You might find someone with resources who could use your help getting a homestead off the ground. That could be a rallying point later for you and your group. Time to get inventive and see what you can make happen.
Life can be harder for a city prepper, when things go bad it is so much more of the human element that they are going to have to deal with. Death and sickness can easily become a major concern in the city. Any time there is a true large scale crisis it is almost always better to get out until the area is made stable again. You do not want to be in a situation where you are fighting for the left over scraps for you and your families survival. There are so many better opportunities if you just prepare yourself now. – D. W. Mann