I’ve been looking forward to reading this book for sometime. Not only is Urban Emergency Survival Plan: Readiness Strategies for the City & Suburb written by my friend Jim Cobb, who runs Survival Weekly, but it approaches the subject of overcrowded cities and suburbs in a unique way. Jim tells us that it’s ok to live in a city and you can still be a prepper even if you live there. You can survive disaster and SHTF situations in a city or suburb, and he gives you a step-by-step guide for doing just that.
Stay Safe in the City
Here’s the book that won’t advise you to flee the city and set up a homestead to avoid potential disasters. With many other survival-planning resources emphasizing that approach, urban dwellers that plan to stay put in the city, no matter the circumstances, have been overlooked. Not only do 58 percent of Americans live in cities, but certain risks are higher in cities than elsewhere.
Jim starts off Urban Emergency Survival Plan: Readiness Strategies for the City & Suburb with going over possible disasters explaining exactly what might threaten a city dweller. Some you might already know about and even already be prepared for, however Jim provides a pretty comprehensive list that might make you think of scenarios you haven’t thought of before.
Next Jim explores US government emergency plans. I knew these plans existed, but I’ve never thought of them to be of much value. After all if the SHTF I’m not going to plan on depending on the government. But Jim explains that these plans do have some value and examining them can help you make your own plan, especially in a city.
While the information may not be disaster-specific, the plans should first give you an indication of how much, or how little, the powers-that-be have thought about the various types of disasters likely to befall your area…You can use the government plans as a reference when making your own.
Jim goes on to explain the importance of having an emergency plan. He examines sheltering in place at home, sheltering in place at work, getting home, and evacuation from home. He also goes over the importance of keeping a binder with your plan inside and other important information. (I’m so honored that Jim recommend The Preparedness Planner as his planner of choice) Of course knowing Jim, it’s no surprised that he drives home the importance of practicing your plan.
Next Jim goes over water storage in the big city, which is one of my favorite chapters. I get so many questions about this. It’s hard to know how much to store and the right kinds of water filters to buy. Jim does a great job of laying out all the information in a easy to understand straightforward way. Jim tackles food storage in a city or suburban setting too. Again laying out all the information in a no-nonsense way as only Jim Cobb can do.
Bear in mind, too, that you cannot expect to be able to server five-course gourmet meals in a disaster. Instead, the purpose of food storage is to reduce what that great philosopher and honey connoisseur Winnie the Pooh would call, ” the rumblies in your tumblies.” Forget the diet plans and the low-carb/no-carb nonsense. Worry about being able to get to sleep at night without the missed-meal-cramps keeping you awake.
Then Jim goes over sanitation, first aid, and shelter. Yup, we might have to find an alternative toilet. Not fun to think about but very necessary to plan for. Next, Jim goes over the basics of first aid kits. Finally, in this section he discusses your shelter, not in the sense that you don’t have a house but in the sense of how to keep it habitable. In other words, what do you do when there is no heater in the winter or no A/C in the summer.
Jim tackles the subject of security honestly. He tells his readers that although security is not more important than all your other preps, it’s notable that all the food in the world won’t do you any good if someone steals it from you. He goes over some strategies to help you keep you and your family safe.
There is safety in numbers, of course. By networking with your neighbors and getting to know them, you can begin to recognize strengths they have which you may lack.
Even though this book deals in large part with sheltering in place there are times when it’s necessary to get out of Dodge and bug-out. Jim goes over strategies and tools to get you through some of the worst scenarios. After all, if you’re in a city full of people and lacking ground to farm inevitably this might become your long-term survival plan.
The back of the book comes with helpful check lists to help you put together the best emergency plan to keep you and your family safe, comfortable and strong in the worst of circumstances. Definitely a must have for your preparedness library.