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Surviving the City

Surviving the City

Just a few months ago there was a report released concerning global warming. It spoke of dire consequences if we continue the path that we are on. I don’t care if you believe in global warming or not, there are people that don’t believe in gravity, but their unbelief doesn’t keep them from falling. The big question is how we will survive. There are tons of survival guides out there but none of these address the obvious and that is a large portion of this country lives in our metropolitan areas. When speaking of survival, most experts suggest that you leave urban areas for the country.  This is a good strategy, if you can leave.  None of their strategies will work if you live, and are stuck, in New York city. So, what can you do to increase your chances for survival?


The water in the city will become unusable. You must develop the ability to purify whatever water you can find.  Investing in a system like a Kataydyn portable system.  At the very least purification tablets or a Life Straw, if your funds are short, is a necessity. Water can be also purified by boiling, bleaching and straining, who wants twigs and leaves in their water, not me. In the advent of a crisis, the first thing you should do is fill every container in your home with water. While you are trying to locate a viable source, it is important to not be thirsty. No matter how many supplies you have the lack of water will dictate what you can and can’t eat.


There is not that many, if any, survivalists that discuss the importance of hygiene in a crisis. In the history of our planet, this is the only thing responsible for more deaths on this planet that we ourselves. Water will be so precious that it must be used primarily for drinking and food preparation. Using alcohol is an option for keeping the body clean, at least for a while. Eventually a good source of water must be secured if you want to be clean. Human waste disposal is even more important because the lack of it will draw predators of both the four legged and two-legged kind.  If you’ve never dug a trench for a latrine now would be a good time to learn.


Having lived through a hurricane and endured loss of utilities, I can tell you that security is a major consideration especially in the city. In the city, most people live in condo’s or apartments.  The proximity to other people will put you and your family at risk from violence and disease. Most of your neighbors will have little to no survival skills, this will turn them into marauders. They will be at your door to deprive you of all your supplies eventually. You should have firearms to protect yourself, but this will not be enough. Having martial arts training and access to bladed weapons will be essential. Bullets will become more valuable than money and should only be used in dire situations because it will alert your competitors to not only your location but the fact that you do have some supplies. You will become a target.  Most self defense situations will be handled as they‘ve always been, within bad breath distance.


No travel should be attempted during the day, it would be quickly fatal. Just like shinobi, you will have to learn to be invisible. Foraging and hunting should be done after dark as well. in a brick jungle camouflage will be useless. Your knowledge of your environment will be important. Maps and the ability to read them should be cultivated also knowledge of the sewage system/subway systems could assist you in moving silently but understand that you will not be alone in having this info and a subway track could very well be a killing zone.


This will be the biggest hole in your survival plan.  No matter how well you can barricade your condo it will not keep out many attackers, it doesn’t mean that you don’t try though. Barricading of windows should be done well enough to prevent any light from escaping the cracks, it can be seen from a long distance away. Having another way to get out other than the door would also be a good idea if possible. About lighting I have a suggestion, solar lighting.  Solar lamps can be purchased even at dollar tree stores. It’s not as ideal as a generator but it will last longer, a generator is only as good as the last gallon of gas you have.


You can be sure that in the early stages of catastrophe the pharmacies will be raided first. Family members with severe illness will have little chance of survival. Stockpiling medicine will help but you will have to deal with the inevitability of running out.


Starvation will occur within only a few weeks of loss of infrastructure. You will have to learn how to trap and hunt.  The animals available will be most likely vermin. Pidgeon’s, rats, opossums, racoons, snakes and the like will provide the bulk of your diet. Soaking this game in a vinegar/brine solution will draw as much of the impurities of these animals out but you will have to cook then very well done before attempting to eat them, make sure you bless your food before eating. The cleanest animals to eat will be house bound pets. They have most likely lived indoors all their lives and been fed well. It may detest you to eat your precious “child” but remember your pet wouldn’t hesitate to eat you, most likely your nose, lips and ears first. Purchasing a book that features edible plants will help you to round out your diet. You will have to deal with the possibility that what you eat will make you sick.

Hand to hand combative skills

For long term survival it is necessary to have the ability to fight in close quarters. Knowing how to be effective with your firearms is a great skill but eventually you will run out of bullets. The ability to dispatch an opponent quickly and quietly without drawing attention, is essential to your survival. Not only having good quality knives but knowing how to use them, both as tools as well as weapons is a skill set that can’t be ignored. Learning how to use improvised weapons will work as a compliment to the above-mentioned skills.

Mental health

The most important component of you and your family’s survival will be your mental outlook. In my studies, I have found that the desire to quit is the quickest killer in survival situations. Spoiled people in this country don’t have the metal toughness to survive hardship. Most adults in this country don’t have the skill sets to feed themselves, this gives way to dire consequences for the overall society. It will turn most of your neighbors into scavengers and raiders One of the greatest assets in this environment will be books. Books contain all the information necessary for human survival. Purchasing books such as the coast guard’s survival book will provide you and your clan with concrete survival information, it even has a guide to tell you how much water is required to digest which type of food. Let’s not forget entertainment. There will be no television, cell phones or technology, it is important that you keep your mind engaged.

Final thoughts

Even though we are far removed from where we originally were, we can survive a natural disaster. It not only has been done before but is currently being done in less affluent countries all over the world. The time to develop your skills are now, the prepared survive. Don’t rely heavily on technology because it can be taken from you or run out of electricity. It is your own mind that will get you through until normalcy can be restored, if ever.

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Modern Warrior Disclaimer: At the Modern Warrior Project we value the benefit gained by leveraging various experts in the field. One of the many ways we do this is by sharing post from a number of guest authors on our site. Like most things our opinions may vary on different topics, techniques, and various other things in which most of us hold deep opinions. While we may not always share the same opinion of any given author we think it is important to let it be heard and let the reader determine their position on any given topic of discussion. Provided the material does not fundamentally go against our values or we consider it to be ‘Bad’ advice we will alway lean towards publication. Bottom line: The opinions and statements expressed in our blog are those of the author unless clearly stated it is an MWP  positon on the given subject. 

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