Whether you have seven gallons of water in your basement - just in case, or your pantry hasn’t seen an edible item in months, knowing how to survive in the city when It All Goes Down is a skill no one should scoff at.
Urban areas present the everyday survivalist with unique challenges and assets. To get to the essentials of what we need to know, Thorin Klosowksi of Lifehacker spoke with Dr. Arthur Bradley, author of The Handbook to Practical Disaster Preparedness for the Family and Disaster Preparedness for EMP Attacks and Solar Storms.
Dr. Bradley broke types of survivalists into three categories, Klosowksi writes:
- The Stockpiler: someone with a wide assortment of supplies but very little knowledge of how to actually do anything.
- The MacGyver: someone who can jury rig anything with duct tape, a pencil, and a pack of chewing gum.
- The Survivalist: someone who can find dinner in an old stump and keep warm using a roll of toilet paper and a rusty coffee can.
So what do we do with this information? Take the one piece of advice that really fits all sizes: find balance.
It’s best to take a few tips from each of the different survivor types and turn yourself into an all-purpose urban survival master, but knowing your own skill set and strength can help you focus your attention on what matters.
For example, it’s good to know what the Stockpiler, the MacGyver, and the Survivalist would do to find clean drinking water in the city. As we know, water is soon to be one of the hottest commodities on the market.
- The Stockpiler has a recommended seven gallons of water in a cool, dark place. Most plastic water bottles have a two year expiration date.
- The MacGyver takes a more dangerous approach: purifying water with bleach. The Center for Disease Control (CDC) states you can add 1/8 teaspoon of non-scented bleach to a gallon of clear water (1/4 teaspoon if the water is cloudy), mix and wait 30 minutes before drinking.
- The Survivalist gets creative. Walk down to the basement and tap into the hot water heater. Cut the power, close the valve to the water supply, open the valve on the bottom of the tank, and turn on a sink - drinkable water will pour out.
To learn how to cannibalize a car for shelter, pick a lock into a home or building, cook food with a battery, and stay safe during a natural disaster, among other fine tips, study The Urban Survival Skills Everyone Should Know.