Most usCrow articles encourage preppers to bug out if they’re in the city, but what if you can’t? This article will give you plenty of tips on how you can survive in the city. As with all our articles we suggest you evaluate your situation. Reality is – most people will be unable to leave the city. Many preppers have to stay in the city, and rely on it for their livelihood. Others might have family members with physical disabilities inhibiting their ability to bug out.
Regardless of your individual situation you should be fully aware of the risks associated with bugging in so that you may be adequately informed. No matter the disaster your city faces – the result will be the same for one simple fact; American cities are incapable of sustaining themselves. Cities across the nation will succumb to a systematic breakdown…
Disaster Scenario, the Power Grid is disabled
Disaster scenario. The date is 9/11/2014, the 13th anniversary of the 9/11 World Trade Center Attack. There have been reports alleging ISIS (Islamic State of Iraq and Syria) had plans on attacking 10 major American cities. The U.S. Government ignored these reports, much like they did in 2001.
3:52pm Mountain Time, vans in ten major cities are strategically parked in various substations. Each van contains barrels filled with; ammonium nitrate, nitromethane, diesel fuel, blasting gel, and etc. At 3:53pm Mountain Time the vans are detonated. Across the nation ten major cities instantly have their power grids completely disabled. Does this sound impossible? Think again…
“Destroy nine interconnection substations and a transformer manufacturer and the entire United States grid would be down for at least 18 months, probably longer.” – Federal Energy Regulatory Commission
If this happens, shit will hit the fan. Communication will be shut down; cell phones, internet, television, and radio will be inoperable. Water pumps will no longer work, meaning all the faucets will quickly be tapped out, and sewage will back up. Your home will lose its heating. ATMs, debit and credit transactions will be impossible. Hell, even gas stations will shut down. Now, what happens next?
Society Collapses in The Face of Disaster
Let’s be realistic here. Whether it’s a soccer game or a nuclear bomb, humanity will jump at any excuse to act like Neanderthals. So what do you think is going to happen when Americans have an actual reason to flip out?
Mob psychology dictates the minute we get together in a disaster event we develop what’s referred to as ‘herd behavior’ – as seen in; the Ferguson riots, LA Riots, Tulsa Race Riot, and every hockey game in Canada. At its core, the driving factor for herd behavior is mass panic, mass evacuation, and the absence of readily available; food, water, and infrastructure.
‘The cause of herd behavior may have its roots in the man’s social conditioning to mimic the behavior of the herd. By nature, man finds it easy to conform rather than being labeled as a dissenter. Man is mentally conditioned to fall in line with the general opinion of the group which also saves them the pain of any rejection and doubt.’ – Innovate US
Herd Behavior in Disasters
Every single disaster in American History coincided with herd behavior. Food stopped getting delivered to grocery stores, water stopped running, power went out, and people instantly panicked. When Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans, Louisiana – the grocery store shelves were cleared in minutes.
Looting and crime ran ramped. Not only that, peoples reliance on government assistance and their inability to leave the city resulted in over fourteen-thousand people being ‘herded’ into the New Orleans Superdome which resulted in; mass assault, murder, dehydration, malnutrition, and over 42 reported rapes. When the tiny veil of psychological order disintegrates – humans are nothing more than animals. I don’t know about you, but I’d rather be a prepper than an idiot in a Superdome.
Herd mentality would converge the moment the mass exoduses of residents leave their homes in search of food and water. At this time, people will start to loot privately owned businesses and homes in search of basic staples. Some will attempt to leave city limits which will cause a complete gridlock on all the major highways leading out of the city. When those cars run out of gas you will have thousands of lost, hungry, thirsty, and desperate people who will start to panic, if they hadn’t already.
Surviving in the City
For whatever your reason, you’ve decided to ‘bug in’ or ‘shelter in place’. Let me make this perfectly clear, even if you’ve decided to bug in, this is not a permanent solution. After reading the precautions listed above, I’d hope you rethink your decision. You’ve made your decision, and you’re going to defend what’s yours. Let’s hope we can help you survive the apocalypse in the city…
Fortify Your Home
The first thing you will need to do is read the usCrow article ‘Fortify your home against attack in 5 simple steps’ – this article goes over a few low cost steps to protect your home. Looters will slowly make their way to you, after the house next to yours has been completely ransacked – yours is the obvious choice. The mentality behind looting is not steeped in bravery; looters will ransack an easy target over a difficult one.
Other prepper websites suggest building neighborhood based emergency plans, which should be taken with a grain of salt. This presents a risk to your PERSEC (Personal Security). Yes, they are your neighbors, but your neighbors have their own families to feed and may not be as adequately prepared as you are. All the neighborhood emergency planning committees won’t prevent the one or two procrastinators who were not nearly as motivated as you.
Great, now you have a neighbor with personal information about your survival strategy which includes; the food and water you’ve stored, your home fortifications, and defensive techniques. That’s a pretty big problem… Learn more about OPSEC and PERSEC by reading the usCrow article ‘OPSEC for Preppers and Survival Groups’,,,
Food and Water Storage
As a prepper your primary responsibility is storing food and water. We have two guides available to you written by usCrow that pertains to Water Storage and Food Storage for two years. However, if you are in a city you are most likely in a condo, or an apartment – which limits the amount of food and water you can store. Realistically speaking, you can’t expect to have two years’ worth of food and water stored and still be able to move around your home.
As previously mentioned, we strongly advise against city dwelling after SHTF as a permanent means for survival. With this in mind you should store three months of food and water. For each person in your home you will need 45 gallons of water, and 3 months’ worth of food which costs about $359.00 on Amazon.
Now let’s think about this. 45 gallons of water is about the size of a large trash can, and 3 months word of food for just one person is about the size of a medium sized dresser – and that’s just for one person. Imagine if you’ve got 3 people in your home. It’s going to take up a lot of room, so you will need to strategically hide your preps throughout your home. With this in mind the food and water should be stored and hidden in each family member’s room, in their closets, and if possible – use ply wood and 2×4’s to create a compartment to further hide your storage.
If you’re in the city and you’re lucky enough to be in a home with a yard, the most effective way to hide your food and water would be to bury it. When burying food and the water – both need to be in airtight containers. Your food and water cache should be buried in a 6 ft deep hole that is 4 ft x 4 ft wide. You should line the bottom and sides with a tarp. The hole should be covered with a 4 ft x 4 ft piece of plywood with 6 inches of sediment (dirt) thrown on top. Use sod and anything else to make the ground look undisturbed. You can use garden gnomes or other markers to ID your underground cache. Keep in mind you have to read the articles above to understand the details that come along with burying food and water.
Defend Your Home
In the City you and your family will be up against; marauders, looters, murderers, rapists, and every other nutcase that’s looking for a reason to act like an idiot – all within a 3 mile radius. Sound safe? It isn’t, but you’re here for at least three months and you need to prepare you and your family to defense yourselves. These people won’t be bringing tides of goodwill, they’ll be bringing the pain and you need to be ready…
First thing’s first, and I can’t stress this enough – if you have guns in your house, and you have children in your house – you must teach them firearms safety. Not only should everyone in your home know the fundamental safety guidelines, but those capable of shooting should be taught how to shoot. Family range time is never a bad idea.
Just like food and water, ammo/guns should be stored and hidden. Unlike the food and water, your arsenal should be spread out through your home in secure and well hidden locations. The family members inside your home who have been taught how to handle a firearm and to shoot responsibly should be aware of their locations, but not aware of the security measures they are encased in.
Storing Light Sources
With the power grid down – don’t expect any of those light switches to do anything when you flick them. You’ll need lighting. You can store hand-cranked LED lanterns, LED flashlights, olive oil (candle fuel), wicks, wax, solar powered rechargeable batteries, and etc. Hell, this is the 21st Century and solar powered electronics are plenty available. Stock what you feel best suits your family.
Avoid Detection in the City
Most preppers store lanterns, flashlights, HAM radios and all the other doodads that’ll announce to to the world that you’ve got more than them. You need to keep your presence undetectable. With the home fortifications listed above you can include detection testing in your preps. All you need to do is put up your home fortifications in the middle of the night and turn on an LED lantern in each room and close the door. Have a family member go outside and look for any light sources, allowing you to identify any areas detectable from the outside. Additionally, if you have a fireplace – do not light it unless you have absolutely no choice i.e. hypothermia – which you’ll need to prepare for a possible attack soon after…
Time to Bug Out
You had intended on bugging out in three months, but the city is a warzone and your family won’t be able to ward off another attack. Whatever reason kept you in the city is now meaningless, your family’s life is on the line and you need to leave. I sincerely hope that if you are a prepper you’re smart enough to have a 4×4 truck, that has been stocked with extra fuel, medical supplies, ammo, 30 days water (15 gallons per person), and 30 days of food. Everyone in the vehicle will need to keep their eyes open for threats, whoever rides shotgun will need to be armed with a semiautomatic rifle.
Bug Out Location
Logically speaking, if you decided to shelter in place – you most likely didn’t have anywhere to go to begin with, but your situation is looking dire and you have to leave. Where are you bugging out to? This is America! We have close to 800 million acres of forests with an abundance of natural resources. If you’re going to bug out to breadbasket land – be sure to train your family in bush crafting, fishing, hunting, camping, etc. Cover your tracks and don’t let anyone follow you to your bug out location.
This article has been read  times.