SHTFPreparedness may collect a share of sales or other compensation from the links on this page.
When it comes to preparing for a survival situation, any of us need to plan for urban survival. Based on where most of us live these days, you’re more likely to need to put your survival skills into practice in an urban setting than anywhere else.
As a man who likes to plan for these worst-case scenarios, the safety of my family comes first. However, I also know that comfort is going to be important to keep my family’s mental state healthy. And I know that I will have to work with what is available to me.
In an urban setting, other people are going to be scavenging for all that they can find as well. Those who have not planned ahead like us will go to the most obvious sources for the most needed resources. These places will get scavenged out, essentially.
So, what do you do?
If you are in an urban setting, you will run out of certain resources in a collapse. There are going to be certain items in high demand, and you can guarantee they will disappear fast. You will find a time when things get tight.
That is just the nature of survival. When things start to get tight, people get scared. When people get scared, they start to do stupid and dangerous things.
Finding and Using Valuable Resources
Things will get picked clean pretty quickly. However, there will be plenty of resources like wood and raw building materials that have been left behind. Do you know how to take advantage of those?
Do you know where to scavenge to find both tools and food? If you can isolate a good scavengeable location, then you may have the ability to survive an urban collapse.
While it all sounds very complex, you can find great places to search for food and other items if you sit down and think about it. However, the location of these resources is only the first step. You also need to get in to get after them without getting killed.
This is another big issue. People are going to be literally fighting to the death over valuable resources for survival. Your key lies in knowing how to scavenge for the most important items in places where few or no other people will look.
Here’s a list to get started:
- Abandoned homes
- Used car lots
- Personal storage units
- Lake marinas
- Trucking or distribution centers
- Abandoned businesses and small offices
You’ll see grocery stores are not on the list. Avoid your local Walmart, Target or similar store, as well. These are the most obvious locations and everything is going to be picked clean, or you may have to fight other crowds while you’re there.
Understanding the Locations
Now that you know where to go, let’s talk about why we picked these places and what you should be looking for. For some, it may seem obvious, but this is why we plan. In an emergency situation, you need to be able to act on instinct.
When SHTF, people just want to get out of Dodge, and fast! There will be many great things like tools, supplies, food, and comfort items left behind in abandoned homes. You could get by for a long time on things left behind.
Used Car Lots
These cars and the buildings on the lots will have supplies that can be very valuable. Look for the smaller, off the beaten path locations first, as the big ones will be easier targets for other scavengers.
This is not the first place that most will think of when they are in survival mode, but it can contain tools and other useful supplies. Get there first, and you can get all the goods.
Personal Storage Units
Usually, these centers are locked up tight, but during an emergency situation, you may be able to get it. Loads of things can be found in personal storage and the office buildings connected to them. People will usually not think to go here.
More Locations to Check in an Urban Setting
If you live near an ocean marina, it will have likely been picked clean as people used it to escape the area. However, a lake marina that doesn’t go anywhere will be abandoned.
Trucking or Distribution Centers
You could find food, tools, and other supplies here. It’s often worth checking and not usually the first place others will scavenge.
Abandoned Businesses and Small Offices
When people leave these places, there will be a lot of tools and gear that are overlooked. If the disaster struck when they were not currently in the office, they probably didn’t go back to it to pick up supplies. If it did happen when they were at work, many people would leave and rush to their families, leaving supplies behind.
Safety While Scavenging
Safety is always at the top of the list in a survival situation but one very important thing to be aware of while scavenging. A home or building may look abandoned but still have people holed away inside. You should always proceed with caution.
You should find the safest route to get to where you’re going and explore it on a map first, whenever possible. Main roads might be too dangerous to travel, and it’s usually safer to go at night.
Depending on what caused your emergency situation, you may need to be cautious at night as well. And if there are any animals still alive in the area, they may be hunting at night. It’s important to keep all of these things in mind when you scavenge.
Why Is Scavenging Important?
Why is it so important to know how and where to scavenge? You can stockpile now but when the time comes that you need it, supplies will eventually run out. There are some items that will run out faster than others.
There are different situations where preppers will need to scavenge for goods and supplies. Even if you’ve fully prepped, you may find yourself in need of something you didn’t expect. You could also end up needing things for longer than you had prepped for and supplies run out.
When this happens, you’ll need to head out into the world and scavenge for those things that you need. In fact, depending on the size and the scope of the disaster you are dealing with, you may need to go out and do some urban scavenging on a regular basis.
Knowing where to find what you need to use, and how to avoid the places others have already scraped clean is one of the most important tips you’ll have for survival. Whether you are just bugging in, or locking yourself away in a bunker, you can use this plan to help you survive.
With these great urban survival tips in mind, you’ll be able to find all the great scavenger hot spots, even in an urban setting. This is how you can know that you and your family are truly prepared.
Bonus: How to Make Pemmican, the Original Survival Food
Invented by the natives of North America pemmican was used by Indian scouts as well as early western explorers.
Native Americans spent a great deal of time on the go and depended on having portable, high-energy, highly nutritious, and filling foods that would last for long periods of time without refrigeration.
Pemmican is a portable, long-lasting, high-energy food. It's made of lean, dried meat that's crushed into powder and mixed with hot, rendered fat. This makes it one of the ultimate foods to have stockpiled for when SHTF or disaster strikes.
People really should avert their gaze from the modern survival thinking for just a bit and also look at how folks 150 years ago did it.
These guys were the last generation to practice basic things, for a living, that we call "survival skills" now.