Estimated reading time: 6 minutes
There are hundreds of great books about prepping and survival, but you should take your location into account when buying them. Although every area of preparedness is important, people in the country and people in the city need to focus on different things.
For example, while country people might want to focus more on gardening and raising livestock, city people might want to focus more on home security and self-defense.
If you live in the city, here are 5 awesome urban survival books you should check out.
1. Surviving Doomsday – I already wrote a full review of this book, but I think it’s worth mentioning again. Surviving Doomsday is one of the most motivating survival books I’ve ever read.
The author, Richard Duarte, instills a sense of urgency and tells you exactly what to do about it. He covers every area of preparedness that an urban dweller needs to know about, provides detailed survival shopping lists, explains the most important survival skills, and offers lots of advice based on his personal experiences.
Unlike a lot of books in this genre, Surviving Doomsday doesn’t feel like it was copied off the Internet. Every chapter is both entertaining and educational. Although most of the information is pretty standard (which is true of any urban survival book), the author has a way of writing that causes the words to really sink in. But even if you’re an experienced prepper, you’ll still find some useful ideas in here.
2. The Modern Survival Manual – This book is one of my all-time favorites. The author, Fernando Aguirre, was living in Argentina during its hyperinflationary collapse in 2001. Armed with firsthand experience, Fernando is able to offer advice about situations the average prepper has never even considered.
When unemployment is at 50% and police are stretched to the limit, day to day life goes on–you just have to find other ways to put food on the table and defend yourself. Fernando covers:
How to find a job and make money after the collapse, affordable foods to stock up on, what to do during rolling blackouts, how to protect your home from burglars, how to defend yourself against muggers, which knives and weapons are best, and much more.
I learned several interesting tidbits from this book that I haven’t seen anywhere else. For example, the number of carjackings skyrockets during an economic collapse. In Argentina, many traffic lights were left on yellow permanently so people wouldn’t have to stop.
Even then, the carjackers would throw things at the windshields of moving cars to get people to stop, but you have to keep driving unless you want to get robbed or kidnapped. If you’re concerned about economic collapse and you live in the city, you should definitely read this.
3. The Urban Survival Handbook – This book is very different from most urban survival books. It has no information on food storage, water purification, or generating power. Instead, it teaches you how to handle common threats that could affect anyone living in the city.
For example, the first chapter explains what to do if you’re attacked by a mugger or rapist. While it’s no substitute for a class, it does provide a good starting point and makes a great reference. There are even large, full-color photos that capture each moment of the would-be victim’s counterattack and escape.
The second chapter teaches you how to survive in your own home and covers everything from home security and dealing with intruders to escaping fires and floods. The next chapter is about surviving on the move. This isn’t just about bugging out, it’s about surviving car accidents, crash landings, abandoning ships, and all the other types of travel disasters that claim lives every year.
The other chapters are about surviving terrorism, acts of nature, and how to give first-aid. This is not the type of book you read from beginning to end. Rather, the large pages and full-color pictures and diagrams make it a great coffee table book. It’s a must-have for anyone living in the city.
4. Urban Emergency Survival Plan – This book was written Jim Cobb, survival instructor and creator of SurvivalWeekly.com. At first glance, it seems like a pretty typical urban survival book, but there are a few great features that set it apart.
Most urban survival books are about sheltering in place at home, but what about people who spend a quarter of their time at work? For them, there’s a significant chance that a disaster will occur while they’re away from home. Jim provides an emergency plan for people in this situation.
He also provides a plan for people trying to get home during a disaster, and a plan for people who need to evacuate their homes. The appendices have lists for food storage, everyday carry items, workplace emergency kits, vehicle emergency kits, bug out bags, and get home bags.
One of the most interesting parts is the chapter on governmental disaster plans. Jim examines plans by various government agencies and explains how to adjust your own plan accordingly. By knowing exactly what to expect from the government during a disaster, you’ll be one step ahead.
5. Urban Preppers with Kids, Pets & Parents – One common problem with many survival books is the authors forget that most people have pets, children, and other family members to take care of. What if there’s a major disaster and you have a baby, or a child with a disability, or a parent in a wheelchair? This book was written with people like that in mind.
Throughout the book author James Mushen answers hundreds of common questions about urban survival. He deals with pretty much every scenario imaginable and offers practical advice for people from every walk of life.
At 490 pages, this is one of the most comprehensive urban survival books available. It even tells you what to do during a volcano eruption! My only complaint is that it gets repetitive in places, but then again that can be a good thing when the information is critical. If you’re a prepper with a family, you owe it to them to learn this information.