And Stewart adds, an urban survivor faces unique challenges and increased risk in 4 areas:
1. Evacuation routes: Cities become virtually impossible to evacuate during large scale disasters. Mass exodus will leave roads virtually impassible. So you may end up having to stay put.
2. Access to resources such as water, food, medicine and fuel: Large numbers of people congested into small areas will deplete available resources in a matter of hours. And the majority of people don't have food and water storage in their homes.
3. Sanitation: Especially in a "Grid Down" scenario without working water, sewers and trash services, sanitation (and the associated risks) will become a major concern.
4. Rioting, Looting, Armed Violence: Desperation and lack of order bring out the worst in some people. Violent crimes will sky-rocket. This is the ugliest side of any disaster.
What the Perfect Bug-Out Bag Includes
If you're forced out of your home and need to survive on your own for at least 72 hours, Stewart says to remember the Core 4 Basic Human Survival Needs: Shelter, Water, Fire and Food – and to make sure your bag covers them all.
The standard Bug Out Bag Supply Categories are:
Water and Hydration Food and Food Preparation Shelter and Bedding Clothing Fire First Aid Hygiene Tools Lighting Communications Protection and Self Defense Miscellaneous Supplies There are many items that make up the supply list for these categories, and below are several items that have a special and meaningful place in every Urban Bug Out Bag:
Shelter: a light weight tarp or poncho shelter, a light-weight sleeping bag Water and a means by which to purify more if necessary Fire: fire starting tools, don't rely on lighters or matches Food: light-weight, eat-on-the-go items such as power bars, a cook set, a mini stove First aid kit with sanitation wipes, rubber gloves, garbage bags, N95 Dust Masks and waterless hand sanitizer Tools: prybar, lock picking set, premium multi-tool, fixed blade knife Self defense: pepper spray, handgun (and the practice/experience to use it effectively and safely) This applies to ALL cities – whether you are legally allowed to have one or not.
Lighting: flashlights, and a headlamp Misc supplies such as a map & compass, paracord, small emergency radio, extra cell phone battery, bandanna, detailed area map marked with at least 3 evacuation routes All should fit into a single backpack that you can grab fast and strap on quickly.
The At-Work, Military-Pilot-Style "Get Home Bag"