If you’ve ever been in a city hit by a supply shock, you’ll know precisely why we’re touching on this subject today. Because in the city, we get complacent. There’s your choice of 24/7 supermarkets, for the most part it’s generally safe, and the crowd of people are a welcome society, one that most of us enjoy being a part of. But as soon as a crisis hits, these norms and standards go out the window. Because big cities are unsustainable. You’ve got too many people crushed into one area, which puts a real strain on the underlying infrastructure.
We saw it in the pandemic. Supermarket shelves were stripped bare as people “stocked up,” and that was when trucks after truck was delivering supplies. If a disaster cut off these resupply routes, you’ve got less than a week before everything in the city is consumed. I see some real risks of living in a dense metropolitan area, and have chosen to leave for a more rural lifestyle several years ago, but I appreciate many of you don’t have this choice. So today, I want to cover the risks you need to look out for in the city, so you can be better prepared no matter what crisis comes your way.
Society will implode
You’ve probably already seen riots in other cities, and think “well, that would never happen, here!” But you’d be terribly wrong. Because the norms that hold our society together all depend on balance, and a crisis tips that balance. We’ve seen police looting during Hurricane Katrina, choosing to look after their own instead of the population they’ve sworn to protect. Same again with the L.A. riots, when the protestors realized the police wouldn’t stop them, they started looting, burning, and taking their frustrations out on their city. Now of course, not everyone has this mentality to go full anarchist once the rule of law collapses, but in a big city, you can bet a significant part of the population will. That’ll cause society to implode, until there’s any sort of repercussion for their actions.
The key consideration here is that you need to be as self-sustainable as possible, so you’re not having to venture out onto the streets for anything. Build up a stockpile of supplies, the food, water, medicine and everything else you may need, so you can hunker down at home.
Looting will escalate
Another one that we’ve seen in recent months has been riots, and it’s inevitable that a lack of supplies without any law and order will lead to one ultimate conclusion. Looters will reign havoc in your city, as they fall into the mentality that it’s “every man for himself.” Trucks will be raided and supplies stolen, as the people who have eaten their pantries dry will do anything they can to get their hands on the next meal. No home will be safe, as the stores are stripped bare first and the bad guys turn their sights on raiding people’s homes for the supplies they so desperately need. It won’t stop until things return to normal. Or perhaps if the national guard decides to step in, from which you can expect strict curfews and a harsh application of martial law to keep things civil. Although it’s much more likely that you will be defending your home yourself, with whatever firearms you have on hand.
The key consideration here is to have a SHTF plan that includes home defenses. Harden your entire residence against those who may try to do you wrong, and ensure you’ve got the firepower you need to keep the bad guys out, no matter what they try to do.
The grid will go down
Finally, and this is something we all take for granted, but the grid will go down. Depending on the level of the disaster it might happen sooner rather than later, but it’s inevitable. In any long-drawn out crisis, the grid will fail. Your appliances will no longer turn on at the switch, water won’t run out of your taps, and things we all take for granted, like a toilet that’s able to flush will stop working. Without flowing water, power and gas, all the modern niceties we’ve had our entire lives will be gone in an instant. Over a prolonged period of time, this makes it very difficult to survive in a city. It will feed the anger and desperation of the crowds, and also cause faster food shortages, as everything that’s refrigerated or frozen will thaw and spoil. Not to mention the backed-up sewage.
The key consideration here is to ensure your home is as self-sufficient as possible. Yes, even in an apartment building you can use small wind turbines for power, or setup rain catchment systems on the roof. So you’ve got options when the grid does fail.
You need an escape plan
In my opinion, the best thing you can do if you live in a city is to have an escape plan. Find a family member you can impose on, or buy some rural property and set up your own bug out location far from the crowds. If you choose to stay in the city, you’re rolling the dice. Hoping that things will return to normal before your supply of food is gone, or that the looters and rioters decide to skip your home. Neither of these are outcomes you can rely on, so it’s far better to put your own plans in place, and ensure you stay in control.
With so many people living in the city these days, it’s inevitable there will be hardships if a localized SHTF event were to hit. But with a little planning ahead, and thinking smart about how you’ll successfully navigate these three major challenges, you’ll be in the best possible position to survive. No matter what (or who) comes your way.