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Do It Yourself

Unique Survival Resources Found in an Urban Environment



Many of the survival resources we are going to discuss in this article should only be taken advantage of in a total collapse situation. You should only use these items if they are your last resort for survival. We are not advocating the destruction or theft of any public property.

Go-to Survival Resources

Now that's out of the way, let's get to the article. We are going to go over a number of city-specific survival resources you can use to survive in austere conditions. There is a lot more out there in the concrete jungle than you might think!

1. Vehicles

Vehicles | City Specific Survival Resources

The average parked vehicle is full of survival resources. There will be no shortage of cars in an urban survival situation. Knowing what you can use those vehicles for and what you can strip from then will make survival much easier on you.

  • Fuel – Having the ability to siphon gas from parked cars can increase your fuel stores.
  • Batteries – Car batteries can be strung together to create a full-scale power system. They can also recharge solar panels. We will talk about where you can get them later!
  • Goodies – People store snacks, first aid kits, flashlights, and other goodies in their cars.
  • Tools – Some people even keep tools in their vehicles.
  • Oil – Motor oil can be used for a ton of things other than car motors. You might have machines at home that could use that oil.
  • Insulation – The seats are filled with some form of lightweight insulation. This can be used to insulate spaces in your home or animal pens for winter.
  • Tires – Tires can be used as building materials, potato growers, or other survival uses.
  • Metal – If you have a forge at home the metal you take from the car could be melted down and used to make tools and weapons.

2. Libraries

Libraries | City Specific Survival Resources

Libraries and schools are incredible places to find the precious resource of KNOWLEDGE. With Google around, it is hard to imagine a world where you cannot have a question answered in seconds or a process explained in a video. But what if there's no Internet access for the city?

Books on gardening, woodworking, country living, blacksmithing, medical, and any number of topics will come in very handy during an SHTF situation in the city.

3. Renewable Energy Sources

In case you haven’t noticed, there are all sorts of highways signs and streetlights that are now powered by solar panels. Usually, these solar arrays are right out in the open, well because they must be to catch sunlight.

In an urban survival situation, you might want to “harvest” these kinds of resources to power things back at your home.

4. Cell Towers

Cell Towers | City Specific Survival Resources

Cell towers are great resources for a number of things. The most obvious is to attach a HAM radio antenna and get much better coverage. Another effective use is to attach some kind of HD camera system that will allow you to have an eye in the sky! That goes a long way when it comes to security in an SHTF scenario.

5. Business Parks

One of the lost resources of the urban landscape is business parks. While they might seem like brick houses full of paper and printers, each business has the ability to provide first-aid resources to employees.

Business parks are also great places to find food from vending machines to employee desks. Depending on the type of office, there might even be some less than lethal weapons on-site for security purposes — possibly some communications resources too!

6. Swimming Pools

Swimming Pools | City Specific Survival Resources

To keep this one simple, I will just say that you are dealing with a massive water resource here that has been treated. You could use this for cleaning or even drinking if you filter it properly.

To filter pool water for drinking, you are just going to take a large 55-gallon drum that is filled with alternating layers of sand and charcoal. Drill a drainage hole in the bottom and you can run the water through this filter to get rid of the chlorine.

7. Garbage Cans

Garbage Cans | City Specific Survival Resources

Every home has a trash can for the collectors to pick up. These are incredibly useful in a survival situation. You can use them to move a variety of waste or transfer things like compost to and for. You can even use clean ones to house food for barter. Large bins of food could be traded for other things like fuel.

Know Your Survival Resources

As you can see the cityscape, while mostly barren of natural resources like edible plants and herbal medicines, can provide you with a whole host of benefits when it comes to raw materials or items to scavenge.

There is infrastructure in the city that you will not find in more rural settings. That is another big benefit.

Of course, major metropolitan areas are going to be a nightmare during a collapse. You should avoid these larger population areas, but sparsely populated suburbs might be a great place to settle down and survive!

Do you have anything to add to these city survival resources? We'd love to hear from you in the comments section!

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