Introduction

February 1st, 2012

Welcome!

My name is Nic.

I am a survivalist.

No, not the running with the wild, living off the land type — but someone who is determined to be prepared for whatever comes his way.

I grew up living a comfortable childhood, oblivious to the rest of the world. Now that I am older, I understand that many of the luxuries we live with every day could be taken away from us at any time (either temporarily or permanently). I’ve always been a bit O.C.D. as far as organization and preparation goes, and I’m sure this a cause of my survivalist tendencies.

I live and work in the Seattle area. Professional (and social) reasons keep me in the city and not in the country (and thus the urbansurvivalist). Hard-core survivalists consider the urban environment to be completely unfit for survival preparedness — but not all of us have the luxury of living on the outskirts of civilization or owning a retreat property. I live with my S.O., who has similar survivalist inclinations (though she may not be as outspoken about it), so I am determined to prepare for both of us. Luckily, she is very understanding :)

What’s a survivalist? Why prepare?

There are many reasons to be prepared, and many scenarios you can prepare for. One cannot be completely prepared for every situation, but a little knowledge, training, and a bit of supplies can go a long way.

So you’re like me, living in an urban (or suburban) environment and want to be prepared. What are you preparing for? There are a few situations that come to mind:

  • Short-term disaster preparation (1 day to 1 week). Short-term situations (such as power-outages) should be the easiest (and cheapest) to prepare for, and every household should prepare now. A bit of supplies and some research will get you ready, so when (and not if) something happens, you can feel safe and comfortable in your home environment. Getting prepared to stay at home for a few days without electricity is easy and cheap, and preparing now will ensure you don’t panic when something happens.
  • Medium-term (a week to a few months). Medium term disasters, such as temporary infrastructure collapse, pandemics, terrorist attacks, and major natural disasters can all lead to a situation where you are on your own for a while. Will you be prepared for it? Will you stay where you are, or try to make it somewhere else? What will you do?
  • Long-term (TEOTWAWKI – a.k.a. the end of the world as we know it). What if? Not something easily prepared for (and not the main focus of this blog), but preparing for shorter term emergencies will help you survive in case something bigger happens.

What can trigger an emergency situation? There are many things — caused both by humans and nature — that could catch you (and the rest of society) by surprise:

  • Natural disasters: Earthquakes, tornadoes, hurricanes, floods, volcanic eruptions, landslides, blizzards, wild fires
  • Terrorist attacks: Bombs, attacks against the food supply, water supply or infrastructure
  • Pandemics (large and small): Flu, plague, other diseases, famine
  • Infrastructure disruptions or collapse: Power outages, food shortages, water supply contaminations

I am not an alarmist! The intention of this blog is not to freak you out, or get you worrying about every little thing that can happen. Instead, I will use this blog is to share things you can do to be prepared for most disaster situations.

This blog will focus on two topics:

  • Survival preparation and readiness techniques
  • Tools and supplies to help you survive

I am not an expert. However, I have invested time researching survival techniques and preparing the necessary supplies so that I am ready. My goal for this blog is to share my thoughts, experiences and research with others who want to survive.

I am determined to be prepared.

Are you?

  1. April 10th, 2008 at 22:44 | #1

    This post is inspiring, fresh and ultra awesome! You have a very progressive looks. Reading this blog is a great pleasure.

  2. Maggie
    May 19th, 2008 at 11:46 | #2

    Hi,
    My husband and I have been survivalists for the last 14 years. We have had to use our stores and depend on them several times when we moved, he had surgery and couldn’t work.
    I believe we are in for the worst time ever as the economy all over the world seems to be caving in. We have started a garden which we haven’t had in 5 years. We are trying to get prepared to do without electricity if necessary but as with everyone else it is hard with gas prices and living costs going up.
    I think we all need to turn to other survivalist to make sure we haven’t forgotten something very important.

  3. May 19th, 2008 at 16:06 | #3

    Sing it.

    I hope you come back and work on this blog at some point. We need more people educating others on the subject of preparedness.

  4. DonDan
    December 8th, 2008 at 10:48 | #4

    You have the beginings of a great idea, however there’s not alot of responce. I am a single parent with a preteen daughter. My girlfriend who lives about 30 minutes south also has a preteen daughter. We each have accumulated a good month of food and supplies but we have no plan in case of an emergency. As a fellow Washingtonian I was curious what others ideas may be.

  5. cqb101
    January 5th, 2009 at 20:03 | #5

    I just had to move to Portland this year from a rural area. I’m still trying to get adjusted and learn about surviving in an urban area. I really hope that this site works. If not let’s get our own little group together.

    cqb101@comcast.net

  6. Winsett
    February 18th, 2009 at 14:28 | #6

    Like your site. Open and honest. I look at living and or working in the city as 3 levels of prepardness. 1- me, myself, I , ( fanny pack ready) , getting to my home base or family ( truck ready, 3 day level ) , Home base, 3-4 weeks survival , extra food , water , protection.
    Also be ready to have extra people . IE family members. Everyone will be looking at you for answers. Because your smart enough to plan for the worst and hope for the best.

  7. Istvan56
    February 25th, 2009 at 07:06 | #7

    A good source for anyone who wants to prepare for any type of disaster is http://www.fema.gov/areyouready/ FEMA’s free “Are You Ready” manual covers virtually every type of disaster.

  8. Katbalou
    February 27th, 2009 at 21:25 | #8

    I have been attempting to warn friends and acquaintances for the past two years — all to no avail until just recently. With the economy deteriorating by leaps and bounds, unemployment rising, foreclosures hitting, etc., etc., etc., people in Seattle FINALLY seem to be “getting it.” Anyone who is not preparing for a SHTF scenario in the very near future by putting 6 months to a year’s worth of supplies aside (yes, prepping) is out of their tiny mind, in my not so humble opinion.

    Bear in mind that we live in a heavily populated metropolitan city whose grocery stores are dedicated to immediate sale/visible shelf space (as opposed to back room inventory areas). We have the proverbial “just in time” delivery system which means that if anything truly dire occurs, store shelves will be cleaned out within 12-24 hours. It would also be wise to consider that the federal government has announced recently that it intends to cut off water subsidies to the drought-ridden growers in California (think San Joaquin Valley and suppliers of much of the fruits, vegetables, and nuts for a goodly portion of the U.S.). To me, this is a clue to put aside everything from canned fruit cocktail and vegies to tomatoe sauce.

    Well, suffice it to say that a great many people who were disbelieving a year or two ago are now sitting up and paying attention. Had they bothered to stock up food supplies, toiletries and any medicines they may need some time ago, the worst that could have occurred is that they would have had to use items that they had purchased at a lower price than is possible today.

    I sincerely hope that I have influenced just one person to get their act together and prepare for what may be very, very difficult times ahead. There are all sorts of written materials available and the internet is a great resource. Speaking of which, thank you for this blog spot and I wish the author would update it.

  9. Nic
    March 30th, 2009 at 22:53 | #9

    I had written quite a few posts, without publishing them (waiting to be polished first), since the original. My job took the best of me, and I lost focus. More and more lately I’m being reminded to stay on top of things — thanks to all of the feedback, I’m picking up where I left off and hope to see some of you back soon!

  10. June 16th, 2009 at 16:40 | #10

    I took a survival course in the US Army and one of the teachings that stuck with me is the following:
    In the novel “One Second After” the US is hit by an EMP (electromagnetic pulse) strike which wipes out all electronic and electrical components. It does not take long for a nightmare scenario to take hold.
    In the novel I was struck by how many people hit the road, refugees, wandering the roads going no place mindlessly.
    One of the lessons I learned is first “Stop” then “Think” followed by “Assess and Plan”. Running around wastes energy. Of course, having a plan before an emergency is best because it removes fear and focuses one’s mind on the task at hand. Even if you have a plan, each situation is different so you have to assess and modify the original plan. Having an original plan gives you confidence.
    It’s important to start small. For example, if you commute to work for one hour think how you would get back home without your car. A small backpack with comfortable clothes and good walking shoes? Food to last 4 days? A water canteen? Some basic tools like a Swiss Army Knife, a small hatchet, matches, flashlight? Anything else you can think of?
    If disaster strikes just changing into your field clothes will give you a chance to pause, think and execute your plan. You will then fulfill your mission with confidence. Not wander around mindlessly.

  11. Nic
    June 16th, 2009 at 19:05 | #11

    I whole-heatedly agree Ed. My third post, http://urbansurvivalistblog.com/2009/04/12/short-term-disaster-preparation-part-2-staying-alert/ touches that very topic. A big part of being prepared is mental — once you create a plan, not only does it get you thinking about things before, it prepares you mentally for after something happens. A plan, even one that’s not incredibly detailed, will give you strength and guidance when your senses may be overwhelmed from other angles at the time of a disaster.

    Stay safe,
    Nic

  12. June 17th, 2009 at 06:49 | #12

    Just expanding on my previous comment, and thanks, Nic-even if you stay put, and you have supplies, food, weapons you should always plan for the possibility that your location may become dangerous. In One Second After, people are displaced by roving gangs whose members pillage, rape and kill. If your house is in danger to be attacked and you know that they will arrive in 4 days (by keeping alert and listening) then fall back to plan b-which should include sturdy back packs, a good tent, sleeping bags, weapons. Then move away from urban centers and highways-hit the woods. Gangs are going to concentrate on urban areas because those areas are rich in loot and people. There’s nothing for them in the woods.
    While at home get maps, plan where you will be going to if you have to move, plan your route, look for water sources, move at night, use stealth, avoid built up areas and highways, avoid large concentration of people (disease avoidance). There are many national parks everywhere-just in Michigan, you can be out of rural areas quickly.
    This is where your survival skills move up a notch relating to hunting, preparing food in the field, sanitation, water purification, and finding a semi permanent area to smoke venison if you do bag a deer. Get maps of your area 1:50,000 and maps of surrounding areas. Be familiar with the terrain.
    And, keep training by reading!

  13. June 17th, 2009 at 14:27 | #13

    I’ve been reading some posts here expressing many concerns. One is food types.
    When storing food items you’re planning to remain at that site. However, that may not be possible as I explained in my last comment. If the conditions are long terms, the site may become less secure as potentially violent elements start moving out of cities into the surrounding country. Some of these bands may be organized under a leader and their numbers could become an overwhelming force.
    Setting that concern aside, I find that various rice types and dried beans store very well. Many types of rice can be bought at Oriental Markets in large quantities. Already sealed in thick burlap bags, they can be stored easily in Rubber Maid containers. Dried beans are usually sold sealed in plastic.
    Rice and beans I find establishes a base for anything added to them.
    Next, powdered mashed potatoes. You have to remove from the cardboard box and pour into large glass containers which can be sealed, like Mason Jars with a rubber seal. Same with powdered milk. But with powdered milk pay attention to the expiration date on the box. This is where it gets tricky-whereas rice and dried beans don’t have an expiration date, just about everything else has such as canned items.
    Coffee and sugar dont but must be kept sealed.
    Oats, dried cereals, barley all those store very well provided they are totally sealed.
    Canned goods will have to be rotated. Same with any dried beef, canned meats, even wine. Pay close attention to the use by date on cans and boxes.
    Now if you are forced to move keep in mind that you will need rations which can provide 1600-1800 calories per person per day. You will need at least a two week supply per person until you can supplement with available game.
    A side note- they do have available small shotgun shells for handguns; I have found that to be a real good idea if you are hunting fowl/turkeys and small game. Such an item I think would be invaluable in the field.

  14. June 17th, 2009 at 16:26 | #14

    Just a note on emergency rations- 1- Mainstay 3600 emergency food rations; a case of 10 rations is quite affordable. 2- Quake Kare; 2400 calorie food bar and 3600 calorie food bar; also Quake Kare provides emergency dog and cat rations too.

    Such rations would be used when on the move. What I outlined earlier is great as long as you’re staying put.

    I think that Maistay and Quake Kare provides an excellent choice if one has to be on the move to another safer location where hunting can occur.

  15. Nic
    June 19th, 2009 at 12:13 | #15

    I must admit that food prep and storage is one area that I need to do more research on. I have some stocks of rice, sugar, etc, but they are simply in the original burlap bags I got them in. I should figure out more long-term storage solutions.

    Interesting you mention Mainstay 3600 emergency packs — I had just ordered the 10-pack from Amazon.com (along with the Mainstay Emergency Drinking Water (60 Pack) (7.5L). They arrived last night and seem very sturdy. I will report on their taste shortly :)

  16. June 19th, 2009 at 17:20 | #16

    Nic, long storage of dry goods is very important because very small bugs will eventually invade any open stock. I trust Rubber Maid but make sure you clean even a new container before storing any rice or beans. Any rice should be kept sealed in its original bag. Double sealing in Rubber Maid containers ensures protection.
    Anything boxed like powdered mashed potatoes must be removed from the box and sealed in big Mason jars. I would throw a teaspoon of rice at the bottom to capture any stray moisture.
    Of course canned goods are great but do expire. On the wine example, boxed wine also has an expiration date; sealed, corked wine can last a very long time.
    I also have collected, and still collecting seeds from Heirloom Seeds. I think, besides food stockpiles one should have a large collection of seeds, corn, beans, etc., Seeds are going to be a premium treasure if things wipe out and should be one of the things taken if you have to make a move. I would consider seeds more valuable than gold in a long term survival situation. Start your collection as soon as you can, and get lots of them.
    I have not touched on the medical issues but what impressed me in One Second After is the rapid deterioration of the medical infrastructure and rapid medication shortage.
    I have looked into herbal tinctures and even looked outside the box such as amazon-botanicals.com; there are powerful herbal tinctures which can treat serious medical conditions. As an RN, that aspect interests me very much. If you think about it, most of our medications came, once, from plants. Besides food and water, I would look into a broad spectrum of herbal tinctures for long term storage.
    I really believe that medical knowledge besides basic field survival knowledge will be extremely important. For example did you know that if you strip the red bark off Red Willow, scrape the green underneath to the wood, let it dry (it will turn red) it can be used as a powerful pain killer-I had a killer headache once and placed some under my tongue; within seconds the headache was gone. Herbal knowledge will be very important.

  17. June 22nd, 2009 at 16:53 | #17

    Going back to water-bad water can make you so sick so fast. Plus, the secondary complication, dehydration thru fluid loss can precipitate a life threatening situation.

    You may go rigid at the cost, but ask yourself one thing: is your life worth it?

    An excellent product is the Katadyn Endurance Series, Katadyn Pocket, $289.95. Its filter life capacity 13,000 gallons; output: 1 quart per minute.

    Replacement ceramic filter $179.95.

    For a filter which can easily fit in a backpack, the Katadyn Pocket meets water filtration requirements. I would still purify the filtered water one more step with a chemical to ensure virus destruction. Viruses are probably the most dangerous microorganism around.

  18. DC
    July 9th, 2009 at 10:46 | #18

    Nic and Ed,

    At home I emphasize implementation of what we have learned. Storing food for years without using it under emergency/field conditions is pointless. Having a plan without testing it, useless. Please emphasize to your readers to drill regularly, modify what doesn’t work so well, only then are you truely prepared. Rotate your supplies as you use them and do use them. Please talk about water filters more, especially DIY filtration systems.

  19. Ed
    July 14th, 2009 at 18:01 | #19

    DC, I can’t agree more-and rotation of supplies was covered to include water filters, as illustrated by the Katadyn Pocket filter above.
    And also, having a plan-totally agree and that was also mentioned earlier.

    Survival in a field situation is going to be very difficult. You find out how difficult it is 24 hours into the exercise after one week of training-I’ve done it.
    Survival without a plan is doomed to fail. If you are talking water, you should have primary, secondary and tertiary water sites planned out on a map. I absolutely agree on a high quality water filter-however, even the Katadyn Pocket can only filter out bacteria and protozoa- you have to purify one more step with tablets to destroy viruses.
    If you care to read previous comments, you will find that we are aware of rotation, expiration dates, and types of rations to be used on the march such as Mainstay rations. If at all possible, share with us your expertise with the group rather than tearing us down.

  20. September 15th, 2009 at 14:24 | #20

    I was BORN a survivalist (now before you roll your eyes) it’s because the fight was to survive what I was affected with even before birth and given best prognosis of 3 months. Now, 40 years later, yeah I’d say I’m a survivalist!

    Now onto more meaningful qualifications, I lived in Miami, FL for most my life I went through hurricanes (Andrew and Francis my worst) and due to expecting and preparing for the worst, it was pretty much easy goin (aside from mosquitos & the heat).

    Now that we’re all pretty much wondering ‘what’ is going to happen, when and how bad, I found myself preparing for a much longer term of ‘survival’ mode. As I’ve always been one to seek and share knowledge. I’ve built a website to be a single point of information on surviving most natural disasters, terror attacks, Civil disorder and things that go along with it.

    I’m highly resourceful especially in times of disaster/panic where average people would freak out, shut down and ultimately FAIL. I guess it’s all due to how I came into this world…already in PANIC mode!

  21. November 23rd, 2009 at 22:18 | #21

    An MRE is not dehydrated so does not require water or boiling water to prepare and provide 1200 to 1400 calories per meal. These are a fantastic choice for your preparedness of family outings and all your emergency packs.

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