Thoughts on Urban Survival

Discussion in 'Wilderness & Survival Skills' started by B Griffin, Apr 25, 2009.

  1. powernoodle

    powernoodle Power Member

    Jul 21, 2004
    I have not suggested that anyone violate the law. :) I carry everywhere it is legal (which for me is most places), and - to the extent possible - avoid places where I cannot carry.

    For my part, I would avoid going into a park that might be infested with s***bag lowlifes, even if it were lawful to carry.


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  2. B Griffin

    B Griffin Gold Member Gold Member

    Dec 22, 2007
    I know, I just wanted to point that out about here. Legislation is in the works to change that.

    Well...for the most part we go there during the day. I only go after dark for information now.

    The problem is that it was "our" tax money that paid fro the parks here, and nottheir drug money. That's what really fries my ham about them taking it over. They haven't completely succeeded but if everyone were to just stay away then they win. As long as good people still go there the cops will feel obligated to protect them rather than just giving up as has happened in other cities.
     
  3. Davyd

    Davyd

    324
    Aug 24, 2007
    Discussions like that make me glad to be here in Oz where the people threat is much reduced in most areas.

    In bayside Melbourne the real threats are much more flood (ww are only marginally above sea level) tempest, pandemic and then power, water gas cutouts. We lost gas for a someweeks a couple of years ago - hot showers became a premium and people died trying to connect bbq gas to hotwater heaters etc. Now most homes will proably have both gas and electric capability to some degree

    In that context strategy #1 is wait it out - or to misquote the bushfire strategy (critical for those in rural areas) leave early or be prepared to stay and defend. Stay and "defend" means beign prepared for food and other essentials for 14 days and being prepared for the aftermath cleanup. The idea of taking my young family on clogged roads with only what we can carry on out backs at least 60km to a friend place or some temperary camp is singularly unappealing and something to avoid if possible. A good knife would not compensate for being in a shanty town with everyones bugs sniffles lack of hygiene, erratic food supply, possibly no one we know to trust and work with, etc. Obviously there are times this is unavoidable but I won't be joining a rush unless really necessary

    I suggest looking at this from the Australian Red Cross - compiled from the red cross expereince in a number of disasters around the world. http://www.redcross.org.au/ourservices_acrossaustralia_disasteremergencyservices_default.htm

    Notice it alos features working with your neighbours that would be an important issues for us - particularly if we needed to provide some level of security and joint clean up in the short term

    For long term survival preparedness the 7th day adventist manual looks pretty good - again it also empahsises working in groups
     
  4. B Griffin

    B Griffin Gold Member Gold Member

    Dec 22, 2007
    No...a knife all by it's self means very little actually. As pointed out before the best tool in any situation is knowledge. Sharing some knowledge is the whole point of this thread. People can benefit from the knowledge of others in other places.

    Thank you for the links, I like to study from reports on Red Cross experiences, there is always some very useful knowledge to be gained from them.
     
  5. shecky

    shecky

    May 3, 2006
    Despite the worries, some perspective is called for. TN violent crime rates haven't changed much for the last 15 or so years. Murder rates are lower now than they were going back to the 60s. Same thing here in CA. To the extent that the drug trade causes problems, is a problem with drug prohibition. It's going to remain so as long as we demand a tough on crime war on drugs policy. Worries about MS13 for the average person are pretty overblown. As long as you aren't dealing in contraband or hanging around with thugs, it's very unlikely you'll ever have any interaction with them.
     
    Last edited: Apr 29, 2009
  6. B Griffin

    B Griffin Gold Member Gold Member

    Dec 22, 2007
    Trust me, after some years spent living in Dallas Texas and a Few in Miami and Metro Dade County I know other cities have higher crime rates and more dangerous areas. I was hoping more people would step in with the "you think you have it bad" perspective and show pictures of their own (though I am not asking anyone to take any risks by photographing drug deals and such, in fact I'd advise against it) so more can be aware of what is taking place in our cities. It's not just in the HUGE cities any more it is spreading to smaller ones. That is why the gang activities here have become such a point of interest to me.

    I know the crime rate in Tennessee as a whole has decreased. However I think while maybe it has dropped in other cities such as Memphis and Nashville it has actually risen here. I do know that there is more gang violence and that the recent occupation of the park by the the drug dealing gang members is relatively new...it has only happened over the last few years. When Lisa and I met six years ago we spent a lot of time there at all hours of the night just walking and talking and we never saw this activity going on.

    There may be several contributing factors...I am just taking notes. One of those factors could be that the only two actual homeless shelters in this town...besides the Salvation Army (which is too rigid and too structured for many younger people) were torn down, one of them due to concerns about it's proximity to a school built across the street. The empty lot with the flowers in the picture below is where it once stood. We do still have a community kitchen, I think I may drive through that area in the next couple of days.
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  7. milani74

    milani74

    Feb 15, 2009
    I have been thinking of this recently due to all of the events unfolding and I have a question.
    In the event of a very serious disaster, I feel that no matter how prepared you are, you could never survive because of the other survivors which would be so desperate that they would try and take by force your supplies.
    I have a family. Could I really fight off and protect my home versus a mob that knew that I have water and food? The simple fact is if I board my home up, people would know I was still there. I could shoot one person, but how could you fend off like 25 people? Most homes have too many windows to be defend able.
    Would I want too do that in front of my kids?
    How do you all plan on this factor?
     
  8. B Griffin

    B Griffin Gold Member Gold Member

    Dec 22, 2007
    I New Orleans people set up neighborhood groups after Katrina where they completely closed off entrances to whole neighborhoods and turned the entire area into a camp on the alert. Some members of my family were there to give aide and studied this. As the old saying goes there is strength in numbers. We have only become viable as islands of independence due to the protection of law enforcement officers. In times of disaster, where there are dangerous armed mobs and looting, for one to make a stand alone would probably be unwise. Most of my neighborhood is my family and friends I have known for many years. There are are two ways into it and the majority of us have already developed a plan for closing it off and defending it. If the situation became dire culverts could be destroyed making the road impassable at each end without going through gated properties that are very defensible.

    A note here....the children of the people who settled this nation saw a lot of violence that I am very sure their parents would have never wanted them to see. As a people when were we stronger...then or now?


    However times can change due to more than disasters and wars, economic collapse can lead to some very major changes in lifestyle. Even if it is only one's own economic collapse.

    One of the things I am looking at from an urban survival perspective is available food sources for the hungry. This brings back a lot of memories for me. I remember a winter in St. Louis where one of the best meals I ever ate in my life consisted of Turkey necks and noodles served on a Saturday at some mission.

    The homeless shelters that once existed here have been torn down. One of them due to it's proximity to a new school being built across the street and efforts to "revitalize" the area. The empty corner lot with the flowers in it in the picture below is where that shelter stood.

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    One of the things I am notating for future reference is the availability of natural foods in the wooded areas of the parks and the surrounding areas. There are several acres of woodlands and wetlands that join one of the parks.

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    With many trails large and small.

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    There are some natural foods in the parks...

    There are wild onions growing all over the place, though I personally would choose the ones not in the grass as I don't know what herbicides and pesticides the city uses now.

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    Blackberries grow in a lot of the more open areas that get sunlight. They are blooming now...but it won't be long till the berries pop out.

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    There are birds that are easy to get close to that could be taken with a slingshot. Slingshots are used a lot by people in other countries. People use them in the U.K. to hunt birds and such and in Venezuela they use them to hunt iguanas.

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  9. B Griffin

    B Griffin Gold Member Gold Member

    Dec 22, 2007
    I also saw lots of squirrels but there were at such distances that they could hardly be seen in the pictures and I took the pics. I also jumped a few rabbits but wasn't nearly fast enough to catch them with the camera. There are Cattails, or bull rushes in an adjacent water course.

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    However a closer look at the water down stream shows how people could easily find food stuffs from this particular water source unappetizing.
    This is about fifty meters from those Cattails. You can see the film on the surface, but there is life moving below.

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    and this is another couple hundred meters further downstream near to the spot where the water course enters the river.

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    and then there is the Tennessee river itself where there are several species of fish, lots of turtles, and lots of Muskrats. There are even a few Beaver ponds off of it here and there further downstream away from town

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    More on "conventional" foods later
     
  10. milani74

    milani74

    Feb 15, 2009
    Good point on the block defense. My point though is that only you and your family would be ready with food stuffs and water, while the vast majority of people even in your neighborhood would be ill prepared and thus be a potential enemy due to hunger/thirst.
    Also, while there might be food in nature, my guess is that the sheer load of people would think similarly and exhaust that resource. Or, even as a point of fact, it would be very dangerous to leave your home to scrounge for food. My guess is that survivability rates would vary greatly due to where you started off when the disaster took place. It would also depend on if simple things like electricity and basic services were available and depend on your neighbors' status.
     
  11. PrimitiveMan

    PrimitiveMan

    916
    Dec 16, 2008
    I think it would come down to a question of scale.

    If it were a localized situation like Katrina or an earthquake, the National Guard and military would be activated and things might be locked down for a bit. The ability to hunker down, either individually or better yet, in small protective groups would be optimal. The event would be fairly short lived (Days or weeks) so a larder and some supplies might see you through.

    For a Nationwide event, like a full blown plague or a civil war or something similar lasting months or years, the major cities will be locked down, but there is not enough troops to cover the entire country and at that point there would be little trust of any government entity anyway, so in the suburbs that were not covered, those with the weapons are going to take from those that don't. Brutal and harsh, but that's the way it is. Typical gangs would have little impact outside the cities because they would be out of their element. I don't think they would fare too well trying to get help at the farm in the country. Martial law would not eliminate their operations, but would certainly reduce them. No drugs would flow in and not many would want to waste their supplies trading for them. They would be reduced to stealing what they could, and taking what they could by force, but ultimately would be sustained by Gov't handouts like the rest. Major cities death toll would be in the millions. The further away you lived, the better your chances of survival and the lower the death toll. People in Appalachia wouldn't even know something happened, it would be just another day to eek out a living and survive by what they could hunt and gather.

    So the answer is, if you want to survive an urban event, move before it happens, because once it does, your cooked.
     
  12. Davyd

    Davyd

    324
    Aug 24, 2007
    The key points of agreement is
    - That some form of group is necessary though it may fragment over time if more pressure is put on it
    - Leaving a well preapared and stocked home and established relationships to be one of the masses on the move leaving most of your resources (not least shelter)is to be avoided if possible. What security do you have for family or posessions in a bush or refugee camp. Some refugee camps are brutal

    The other point is - if you assume that most events are temperary, being part of a regional group (i.e. community) means help and mutual support in recovery - and also your major asset your home is less likely to be damaged/looted
     
    Last edited: Apr 29, 2009
  13. B Griffin

    B Griffin Gold Member Gold Member

    Dec 22, 2007
    I have several reasons for studying this up close. Because of my wife's and daughter's school situations and my wife's work situation. Both of their schools are not far from the main area I am studying closely. Both have been known to, because of field trips and performances (my daughter plays in the Chamber Orchestra at her school) and what have you, be at their schools after dark on Fridays. My wife works downtown and this area is in her route to and from. I feel the need to recon the environment because one never knows at what time whatever happens will occur. If I am to study it then I intend to study it completely. I want to know every way there is to get there and get back whether it be in a vehicle, on a bike, by boat, or on foot. If something does happen and one of them get stuck it will be me that has to get to them and get them away. I have all of the roads in the area memorized well even down to which yards could be driven through to get to which streets. I have the by water well worked out and have for years...now I am looking at trails and pathways from here to there and taking a close look at ALL of the inhabitants of the areas I may have to pass through under whatever conditions.

    One of the things I have been putting some thought into is the tools I carry on my outings in the course of these studies. I am used to carrying medium to large fixed blades but for this that in not practical. I have carried my SOGs in my shoulder bags when out with my family but I believe it would be best not too when I am alone in certain areas simply due to the nature of the areas themselves. I'd really hate to try to explain the presence of a bowie knife to a cop. So I first looked at a smaller hunting knife, which will be fine for certain times and areas, it is small enough to be unobtrusive depending on where I am. It's relatively small and in a dark sheath so not too easily noticeable.

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    But then a friend of mine sent me one a little smaller, and more easily tucked away on the body. This is a TOPS Mini CQT, and the sheath is primarily designed to be a neck-er I believe. It sure is one stout little knife and he put an awesome edge on it first. So this one will definitely be traveling with me. I think this may very well be the stoutest small blade I have ever seen, thank you my friend, awesome new toy.

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    So these will be my most common tools

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    and likely most often these two.

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    I really think I should maybe look into a good stout folder. However, just as a thought, if it comes to forced urban bushcraft techniques, a common kitchen paring knife can be of use.

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  14. chewbacca

    chewbacca

    929
    Mar 17, 2007
    My main concern, if we need to leave is crossing a major river. I am on one side, and most of my extended family, and resouces are on the other. I have been studing maps to see possible crossings we could make with vehicles or on foot. The possibilities are pretty far apart if on foot, leading me maybe 20-30 miles out of the way.

    My main causes for concern include a couple of nuke plants within 50-60 miles, tornados, and a good possibility of flooding.

    In response to Milani - keep your mouth shut, if you have supplies don't flaunt them, stay inside and keep your head down. Your neighbors and others will think you are just as hungry as they are.
     
  15. PrimitiveMan

    PrimitiveMan

    916
    Dec 16, 2008
    Milani,

    Shotgun shells come in boxes of 25, so yes, I would be able to shoot 25 attackers.

    Can you defend all your windows from hungry people? I don't know, but after you shoot one or two, they are probably going to move on to one of the many houses that are not armed.

    And YES, if need be, I am physically and mentally prepared to defend myself and family in plain sight of my loved ones if necessary.
     
  16. Carolina River Rat

    Carolina River Rat

    Oct 29, 2008
    Greatest thread ever! I've spent the whole morning reading and thinking. I currently live in a very small town (2,000 people) with no serious potential for man-made disasters. We do have a significant hurricane threat, which might make the lowlifes come out of hiding and try to loot the house. I'm moving from here in August to Greensboro, NC for college, and that'll force me to do some research. I've never lived in a city that big before, and I'm not at all certain of everything that's there.
     
  17. B Griffin

    B Griffin Gold Member Gold Member

    Dec 22, 2007
    Very good advice. A lot can be learned from reading through the diaries of survivors of occupation such as in France during WWII and Serbia they will give you views from the people's perspective not the soldiers.

    Rivers can be a major problem, small boats can often be found in the papers here. A note here...if you ever find yourself with no chance but to cross one swimming, and have the time, you can build a small raft and then strip, put your clothes on the raft and either push it or pull it to the other side then have dry clothes to put on.


    But only five at a time unless you have a tube extension.

    Me too.


    Glad you are enjoying the discussion, I had hoped people might.

    Greensboro wasn't too bad the last time I was there but that was 16 years ago when I traveled up there to build the bar and put in the finish work in an Applebee's (sp?) up there...a lot has changed here since then so I am certain a lot has changed there as well.
     
  18. PrimitiveMan

    PrimitiveMan

    916
    Dec 16, 2008
    Mistwalker,

    I have more than one gun so I can keep going......and going....and going.....

    Just like the old westerns, the little uns know how to reload when I pick up another.
     
  19. B Griffin

    B Griffin Gold Member Gold Member

    Dec 22, 2007
    Glad to see there are still some people out there that aren't affraid to teach their children the older ways of life.
     
  20. PrimitiveMan

    PrimitiveMan

    916
    Dec 16, 2008
    Well, it all sounds macho and such, but when it comes down to it, it's ugly, but families stick together.

    I have no doubt my kids would follow every request to the letter if the sky fell.

    I don't know how I would fare, but I can assure you, it would be better than my neighbors.
     

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