I’d like to share some random urban survival tips. These survival tips are mostly things I came up with off the top of my head. Some of them are tips that didn’t fit in with any of the posts I’ve made so far, but they’re all important.
1. Buy some lighters. There’s a plethora of information on ways to start fires (matches, bow drills, fire pistons, etc). I recommend magnesium fire starters since they can’t break or be ruined by water. But don’t forget to buy a bunch of Bic lighters, too. They’re cheap and they last a long time.
2. Designate a common contact. This is someone that any member of your family can call and leave a message with in case you all get separated and are unable to communicate with each other directly.
3. Don’t attract hungry people. If there is a food shortage where people are actually starving, avoid eating things that have to be cooked and opt for foods that can be eaten right out of the can or box. If you do cook, don’t cook with spices. You don’t want the smell of your food attracting dangerously desperate people.
4. Dryer lint makes great kindling. Once you get it burning, add paper, then progressively larger kindling. If the fire is weakening, add smaller shavings again.
5. Find alternate routes. Most cities have an official evacuation route. Study it carefully, then look for an alternate route because the official route will be too crowded.
6. Get all the water you can. If you get a warning that a disaster is about to occur, fill up every container you possibly can. Fill your bath tubs, your sinks, trash cans, Tupperware containers, pitchers, jars, everything. Get every faucet in the house and your water hose going. Don’t worry if the containers aren’t clean. You can purify the water as you need it.
7. Get plenty of sleep. During a crisis, it can be difficult to sleep, but it’s very important if you want to stay effective and alert. Get a sleep mask and ear plugs and sleep in shifts so you won’t have to worry about keeping an ear out. If you don’t get enough sleep, you could make a life-threatening mistake because of your fatigue.
8. Get some Pepto Bismol. It’s hard to function in an urban survival situation if you have an upset stomach, and dehydration is dangerous if water supplies are limited. If you haven’t yet, stock up on some extra Pepto Bismol.
9. Go old school. Start thinking about how people used to get along before all these modern conveniences. Next time you visit the flea market or a yard sale, keep an eye out for motorless push lawnmowers, hand crank mixers, manual typewriters, clothes lines, and so forth.
10. Grow high calorie foods. When people start their own gardens, they usually like to grow easy foods like squash, tomatoes, cabbage, and other common vegetables. The problem is that most of these don’t provide many calories. When gardening, try growing high calorie foods like nuts, beans, corn and potatoes.
11. Hide cash around the house. Lately everyone has been worried about price inflation. However, if there is an earthquake, hurricane, terrorist attack or some other type of temporary disaster, most ATM’s won’t work and stores will only accept cash.
12. Keep your freezer full. A freezer that’s completely packed will keep meat frozen for two days, but a freezer that’s half full will only keep meat for one day. If you don’t have enough food to fill your freezer, add water bottles until it’s full.
13. Remember to breathe. If you find yourself starting to panic, breathe in deeply for 3 seconds, hold your breath for 3 seconds, breathe out for 3 seconds, hold your breath for 3 seconds, and repeat. If you hyperventilate, you’re liable to freeze up in a dangerous situation and put yourself at risk.
14. Soak up the sun. Many people don’t realize this, but sunlight is incredibly good for you. It helps your body produce vitamin D which kills harmful microorganisms and strengthens your immune system. Also, if you put water in a clear bottle and leave it where the sun will shine on it for a few days (a total of 48 hours of sunlight just to be safe), your water will be purified.
15. Stock up on Clorox wipes. Proper sanitation can be a huge problem after the SHTF. Without running water, disease spreads quickly. Instead on using up your water supply to wash your hands, keep Clorox wipes or individually packaged alcohol wipes on hand.
16. Store your batteries longer. If you have batteries in something like a radio or flashlight that you won’t use until TEOTWAWKI, there’s a good chance the batteries will be dead by the time you need them. Wrap the batteries in plastic wrap before putting them in the device. This way they’ll keep their charge longer.
17. Take care of your feet. Make sure you have good shoes and extra socks. If your feet get wet, dry them off and keep them warm. On the other hand, if they dry out too much, use lotion or bag balm to keep them from cracking. Painful feet can ruin your morale and effectiveness.
18. Turn your flashlight into a lamp. You can do this by strapping the light end to a milk jug full of water. This trick helps distribute more light around the room.
19. Use superglue to close wounds. Although you’re probably better off using something like Dermabond, superglue can also be used in emergency. Depending on the severity of the gash, it could take several bottles. Be warned: it will sting, and some people could have an allergic reaction.
What to read next: 45 Random Survival Tips You Should Know