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Urban Survival Skills: Staying Safe in the City During a Crisis

Within the hustle and bustle of daily city life, there comes a time when you may forget about the need for urban survival skills—especially in today’s society, where everything seems to be right at your fingertips. However, it’s good to always be prepared, and there are certain skills you need for your and your family’s safety.

From natural disasters to unexpected emergencies, urban environments pose unique challenges that demand distinct preparedness measures. This comprehensive guide will teach you exactly what the top priority should be. This article explores a range of practical skills, from self-defense techniques to resource management and preparedness for urban dwellers facing the uncertainties that urban city life may bring.

Urban Survival Skills

What is an Urban Crisis?

An urban crisis consists of most things sub-urban emergencies consist of. This can be natural disasters like tornados, earthquakes, floods, blizzards, and heat waves, which can range from minimal to severe. There are also manmade disasters to think of, such as industrial accidents, infrastructure failures, cybersecurity breaches, mass transportation incidents, and riots or civil unrest.

Developing a Personal Safety Plan

Establishing an Emergency Contact List

Establishing and maintaining a robust network of emergency contacts is a proactive step toward enhancing your urban survival skills and ensuring a coordinated response during challenging situations.

Here is how to begin compiling your list:

  • Create a list of trustworthy individuals who could assist in an emergency.

This can be friends, family, co-workers, doctors, therapists, or anyone in your circle that you have a trustworthy relationship with. Make sure to label exactly who they are to you and verify the contact information is current.

  • Include Professional Contacts

Write down local police, fire, and medical services near you for immediate emergencies. This helps so no one is searching for the correct number to call.

  • Utilize Technology

Keep these lists on your phone. You can edit your contacts so people who assist you in an emergency know who your main point of contact is.

  • Create Emergency Cards

Although we usually always have our phones near us, it’s a good idea to have a physical copy of these contacts in case of power or technology failures.

Create a Communication Plan

Now that you have a list of trustworthy contacts, you’ll want to have open communication. Create a communication plan and share it with your point of contact, your spouse, or your children so they know what to do during a crisis.


Emergency Sheltering Strategies

Adding to your urban survival skills should be a backup plan of where to shelter in case your home is unavailable.

Identifying Safe Public Spaces

  • Public Buildings and Facilities

Schools, government buildings, and community centers are built with disasters in mind, and these locations will be available for you to shelter in case of emergency.

  • Underground Spaces

Spaces like subways and basements could be a temporary shelter from inclement weather or other external threats.

  • Transportation Hubs

All public transportation stations, like train and bus stations and airports, will have safety and shelter plans in place when emergencies strike.

  • Communications with Authorities

Listen to local authorities for where to go for shelter. Authorities will often provide information right away about evacuation routes or safe places to stay.

Urban Survival Skills

Urban Survival Skills for a Crisis Situation

Create an Urban Survival Kit

No matter where you live, crafting a survival kit is a great way to practice preparedness. Part of honing in on your urban survival skills is having a kit that’s ready to grab in the face of a crisis.

Need a hand on what to keep in your kit? Here are a few items to get you started:

Depending on personal preference or items that would take higher priority, you can add more or less to your urban survival bag.

Self-Defense and Personal Safety

Gaining self-defense skills for urban survival involves physical training, mental preparedness, and situational awareness. In an “anything can happen” type close-quarters living space, it’s good to be able to care for yourself.

  • Enroll Yourself in a Self-Defense Class

This is one of the best urban survival skills you can have. This is a life skill that can protect you in almost any circumstance.

  • Just Learn the Basics

If you cannot make it to a full-blown course, you can just learn some basic skills like basic blocking and striking to prevent you from becoming a victim.

  • Focus on Key Vulnerabilities

If an attacker is larger than you in stature, it’s good to know the vulnerable points on a person’s body. By learning these points, you can use them to make a quick escape.

  • Practice Daily Drills

Muscle memory keeps you sharp and ready in case of an emergency. You can research different drills or search for some on YouTube to follow along.

  • Stay Fit and Active

Keeping yourself in shape is not only good for you but also serves as an urban survival skill to help you run, jump, and, lastly, fight if absolutely needed.

Carrying Legal Personal Protection Items

Carrying personal legal protection items can enhance your safety during an urban crisis by providing you with tools and resources to address potential threats. However, it’s crucial to be aware of local laws and regulations regarding the possession and use of such items.

Some items can include peppery spray or mace and alarms for non-lethal protection, as well as lethal protection items. These items can give you more empowerment in a crisis or keep a safe space from you and an attacker.

Regardless of the item you choose, make sure you know just how to use it, that it is legal in your area, and that you have any documentation that may be needed.

Resourceful Use of Urban Materials

One unique urban survival skill to learn is how to use different materials. There are a multitude of ways you can accomplish this and reuse seemingly everyday items in ways you never thought of.

Here are a few examples:

  1. Using pieces of clothing as bandages.
  2. Building shelters from urban debris like fallen wood, cardboard, or plastic tarps.
  3. Using glass and mirrors as a way of signaling.
  4. Repurposing electronics to aid in communication.
  5. Retrieving fire-starting materials to start a fire.

Where to Learn Urban Survival Skills?

Local Community Centers

Many community centers will offer classes or workshops to build basic urban survival skills. Check with your local community center or city government to see when and where they are held.

Local Police Departments

Police and emergency departments may provide community outreach programs, seminars, or materials on urban survival skills and personal safety.

Online Courses

Like most of the world, it’s hard to find the time to set aside when we are already running at full capacity. But the good news is you can search out online courses that will teach you urban survival skills.

Library Books and Classes

If you’re strapped for cash, your local library is filled with books on how to learn almost all survival skills. Many times, libraries will host seminars or workshops on basic survival lessons that can get you learning.

Urban Survival Skills

Wrapping Up Staying Safe in The City: Urban Survival Skills

Learning urban survival skills is not just a precaution; it’s an investment in personal safety and well-being. By staying informed, practicing preparedness, and developing a plan, individuals living in city environments will have confidence in facing unexpected challenges. Remember, urban survival is not only about withstanding emergencies but thriving amidst them with a proactive and informed approach.

Check out your local survival schools to learn more ways to keep you safe and prepared!