Survival Prepping for Hunkering Down in the Cities

When preppers are thinking of survival gear, they are usually talking about going to a safe place in the countryside in case of emergencies. Natural disasters or widespread civil unrest will force the country folk to relocate to a safer place with family, pets, livestock, and whatever else they can take. In most cases, those who live in the wild opens spaces of the US have a habit of keeping a survival kit ready for unforeseen emergencies.

Women Standing in a Boat viewing at city buildings

But how many people in urban areas think that a survival kit is important? In fact, I doubt whether we city dwellers ever think about how we are going to manage if there is a long-term power outage, or if there is a war-like crisis situation! Our usual port of call is 911 but this will not help us if there is a major power outage. Although the authorities do their best in rescuing and helping the public, isn’t it our duty to have some sort of equipment handy in case of emergencies? At most, we may keep some canned food, water, and a flashlight in a bug out bag. What about safety and other aspects during a crisis situation? So let’s correct the lacuna and plan survival prepping for hunkering down in the city.

Who needs to pack survival prepping gear in the city?

An Urban Survival Kit

Here’s a scenario: You are an academician with no survival skills in the wilderness, the temperatures are dipping to subzero, you have a family with kids and senior citizens, and you haven’t planned any bug out location. So here’s a list just for you. In fact, this list is for all those who have never needed to hunker down and stay in a safe place with minimum conveniences while the world is going crazy!

A natural disaster, riots, and other unforeseen calamities will compel people belonging to all age groups to find safer places. While the authorities are prioritizing by helping the elderly, infirm, and small children, you as an adult have to learn some techniques which will keep you safe for a while till the crisis is over. Canned food, a first aid kit, drinking water, and a few clothes are probably what you would think of as survival prepping gear. But what about defending yourself against muggers? What if you cannot open the empty warehouse you have earmarked as a bug out location?

Additional survival gear needed for hunkering down

A set of survival Tools

These are some of the other essentials you may have not thought about but will be very useful if you need to hunker down in a safe place away from trouble:

  • Crowbar – this is what you need in case your bug out location is locked or boarded up. With the crowbar, you can break the lock and enter the building or warehouse or shed where you intend staying for a while. Your break-in is not with the intention of stealing anything but just to find a safe place for you and your family until the crisis situation comes back to normal.
  • Bolt Cutter – this tool is very handy in cutting chains. If the bug out location that you intend using has a gate with a chain and padlock, you will need a bolt cutter to gain access to the building. The cutter can also be used to cut metal fences, handcuff chains, power cables, and alarm cables if necessary.
  • Sheets of plywood and/or plastic – when the weather dips further, you will need some material to close the gaps in the window panes where you are hunkering down. Irrespective of whether you are caught in the middle of riots, a hurricane, tornado, etc. you might have to keep repairing broken windows and doors till the crisis abates with the help of these sheets. If you have one sheet for each window and door it will do for a few days depending on the severity of the situation.
  • Activated Charcoal – once your stock of drinking water is over you may have to depend on the nearest source of water available. This may not be potable water but you have no choice. What will you do under such circumstances? Boiling and filtering will not get rid of the chemical contamination. So if you stock activated charcoal tablets in your survival prepping gear, it will help you to purify the water and make it safe for drinking.
  • Makeshift toilet – although this is not a pleasant topic nor is it convenient to use, you will need some contraption for crapping! So your survival prepping gear must contain a bucket that will serve as an emergency toilet while you are hunkering down at the bug out location.
  • Fire extinguisher – fires are a common occurrence during natural calamities like tornadoes, hurricanes, earthquakes, etc. Keeping a fire extinguisher handy will mean a matter of life and death under adverse conditions.
  • Solar charger – all your communications and lighting systems are dependent on a power supply. When a natural calamity strikes, both the power supply and the communication systems are affected first. But having a solar charger will keep your cell phones, rechargeable batteries, flashlights, emergency lights, etc. in working order. For charging these gadgets a small charger with foldable solar panels will suffice.
  • Weapons – guns are the most commons weapons used in the cities and the wilderness for self-defense. Whether you own a gun or intending buying one, you must also keep other forms of self-defense in the survival prepping kit like plenty of pepper-spray, a knife, etc. Of course, the crowbar can double as a self-defense weapon as well. Sometimes even your kid’s catapult can be a good weapon for defense.
  • Heavy-duty gloves – when you have to repair broken window panes or replace a broken piece of wood you will definitely need these. The gloves will protect your hands against wood splinters or pieces of broken glass.
  • Face Mask – when there are toxic fumes in the air, the emergency face mask is the survival prepping gear which will keep you alive. After a terrorist attack or nuclear attack, the toxic debris causes the maximum number of casualties. All other gear will seem superfluous compared to the mask! So it is a good idea to keep a face mask for each member of the family in your survival prepping kit for hunkering down.
  • Axe – this is another essential that will help you to get into a building if the lock doesn’t open with the cutter or crowbar. It can also double as a self-defense weapon to keep rioters or muggers away. If there are trees nearby, you can use the axe to cut wood for heating.
  • Pet supplies – you are definitely not going to leave your pet behind when there is a crisis! So your survival prepping kit will also have to consist of pet food, tonics, and medical supplies for your pet’s common ailments.


Survival prepping for hunkering down in the cities is slightly different from survival preparedness in the countryside. Although the basic requirements would still be food and medical supplies, you will need a few things in your bug out bag that are specifically needed in urban areas. For example, in the wilderness, you will need a rifle to ward off predators or to hunt game for consumption. Whereas, in the city, you will need self-defense weapons like pepper spray or a pistol. With this list of additional prepping equipment, you will be safe till the environment is back to normal and you can return home from your bug out location.

Adam John | Author @ The Survival Prepping Blog

Adam is a prepping enthusiast, Adventurer and a student of International Studies. He has found his passion in read, write and live prepping. He is extremely positive person, and he does so by achieving peace of mind through prepping well for bad times.

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