Monday, November 12, 2007

Urban Survival During a Severe Crisis

Natural or manmade disasters can befall any community. That can be bad enough, but in the inner cities especially, things can get real ugly in a hurry. There, extreme duress can bring out the very darkest side of humanity. It is the kind of stuff that used to shock the world: widespread rioting, looting, and general mayhem triggered by things such as electricity outages, court decisions, or even just general fed-upness of the people...such as what happened in France not that long ago. Then there's Katrina...where even rural and small town communities were raped and plundered by out of town gangs, and even by their own neighbors.

If you ever find yourself in a severe crisis situation that turns your world upside down, and your fellow man turn into predators, here are a few lessons borrowed from Katrina Hell that might help you survive:

1. Water is top priority! Lots of pure drinking water, and the ways and means of purifying the worst possible polluted water. Think viruses (pandemics), radiation, sewage, industrial accidents and other toxic scenarios. Do NOT even count on rain. After Katrina, it did not rain for weeks. Droughts happen.

Prep action: Scout out all possible sources of water now. A Google-search using the keywords "hydrology" and "hydrology maps" and your location could be rich with little known sources of water. A good hydrology map will reveal abandoned wells, natural springs, streams and other sources of water in your area.

2. Prep for various ways and means for purifying water and cooking meals. My portable "mess kit" has saved me much grief over the years. I keep one at home and another in my vehicle. It is a sturdy school-style backpack that contains a few propane bottles, a single burner rig that screws onto the propane bottles, plus other ways and means of "making heat", boiling water and cooking foods: pots, utensils, homemade "hobo stoves" (more on that in a future article), alcohol, candles, Sterno fuel, a flint & steel kit, Bic lighters, matches, and a few pieces of heavy duty aluminum foil to serve as wind foils and as a pot "lid".

3. Prep heavily on instant meals, MREs, dehydrated stuff, and canned goods for low profile heat-and-eats that also conserves fuel, which will likely be limited.

Concentrate on low, low profile meals, as in NO COOKING ODORS. You would be amazed at how far the odor trail goes...and the trouble it can bring back to you.

4. Secret temporary retreats (important IF you are few in number, or could possibly be overrun). This can be inside fake walls, fake closet backs, etc. Use your imagination and plan ahead of time. Preparing for this possibility now may be your saving grace later.

5. Low tech barrier "alarms" might buy time for you to prepare for fight or flight. Almost a hundred years ago, some French Quarter residents would place large broken pieces of slate on the ground beneath the windows, so that the crunching sound of the intruder's footfalls could alert the householders. Some still do. Use your imagination with whatever materials are handy...

During the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, I strung clean empty tin cans (with a small hole punched near the open top for passing a string through) and beer cans onto fishing string. Then strings of cans were tied to gether in such a way that it made a hellacious racket at the slightest movement. I pinned bunches of them onto curtains, and also used them in other rigged up contraptions that made lot of noise if triggered...

6. If your home/apartment already looks looted, AND uninviting in an unappealing kind of way...gangs, and other Bad Guys will move on quickly.

Edited to add: This advice may be useful
only in certain situations (such as mentioned in #4, "IF you are few in number, or could possibly be overrun", and if you decide to hide or leave the area...). Every situation is different. More on this in a future article.

This bit of advice may not always
prevent theft, but it might discourage looters and other two legged critters from hanging around too long, or camping out at your place.

Prep item (don't laugh): Large jars of superstinky homemade catfish bait with screw lid caps. These can be opened and hidden near likely points of entry, and in the kitchen area, etc.

Heh. Now the Bad Guys think the place has already been picked over AND there's a lot of dead and rotten things in there...phew! They might be more inclined to set up camp down the road in better quarters.

PureCajunSunshine's Looter Repellant...duh huh...this plan just might work almost too (gag) good.

This may be reprinted by you for noncommercial use, if the following credit is given:

This article is an excerpt from Mrs. Tightwad's Handbook #1: HOW TO SURVIVE DISASTERS AND OTHER HARD TIMES. For more information, see the left sidebar on this site:


ArmedSkeptic said...

Good stuff. Very nice info, and concise.

PureCajunSunshine said...

Thanks! Being concise and putting it all into a nice and neat nutshell 'taint easy for a blabbermouth like me to do.