Rural Lifestyle

Life in Rural America

Category: Urban Survival

Urban Survival

Hand Tools For Urban Survival

In an urban survival situation, its important for units to be self supportive. This includes being able to do basic repairs to the home or structure the people are staying in and growing a home garden. This is where the hand tools come into the picture.

Hammers

Unlike an air powered nail gun, or an electric powered nail gun, this amazing device only works with the swing of an arm. You hold it in your hand, grasp firmly and swing.

Every urban survivalist should have several good quality hammers on hand. Do not try to get off cheap. Go ahead, spend the money and get a quality product.

It has been my (Kevin) personal experience that hammers made in the USA are of better quality then those made in China. Also, buying made in USA products helps keep the factories here in the states. That keeps the jobs local which means less people on government assistance. So, buy American and keep your neighbors with a job. Or pay higher taxes and buy your neighbors food stamps, its your choice.

Be sure to include framing hammers for fixing walls and roofs, 4 pound hammers and 8 pound hammers in your collection.

Urban Survival Disaster Preparedness Plans

Putting together a disaster preparedness plan can be a daunting task. To begin, let us start with some basic questions. What kind of disaster should be planned for? What kind of disaster gear should be included in the kit? How many people will the plans have to support? How long will the disaster last?

Location is very important. This is one of the first questions anyone developing a disaster plan should take into consideration.

Everyone that lives within 200 miles of the Southeastern coast of the USA or the Gulf of Mexico coast should plan for hurricanes and/or strong thunder storms.

Anyone that lives in the northern regions should plan on cold weather with lots of snow and ice.

Mountain / arid regions should plan for wild fires in the summer and snow along with ice in the winter.

Tornadoes should be considered, regardless of location.

Earthquake prone regions should plan for just that, earthquakes.

By those examples, each disaster plan and urban survival kit will be a little different. However, each kit should contain some of the same basic items.

Food & Water – most organizations tell people to have at least 3 days or 72 hours worth of food and water on hand. This is an unrealistic number. After a disaster, such as a hurricane, most relief organizations plan on having services in place within 72 hours. What if the family has 3 days worth of food and water, and the relief services are NOT in place during that time frame?

For the sake of discussion, lets say the Jones family has 14 days worth of food and water on hand. The Smith family has 3 days – just like the government advices. On the 5th day after some kind of disaster strikes, the Smith family is asking the Jones Family if they have any food they can spare.

Whatever the government says you need, double or triple that number.

Hurricane Season and Disaster Preparedness Plans

Hand crank powered flashlight at the bug out location

June 1 starts off the 2009 Hurricane season. For those of you that live in areas that might be affected by a hurricane, now is the time to make sure your plans and supplies are in place. Lets just review some basic disaster preparedness plans.

Have a primary and a backup evacuation route. This includes everything from interstate highways to country back roads. Drive these roads every once in awhile – check on construction zones and slow areas. If the traffic is slow during rush hour, its going to be at a dead stop (or barely moving) during an evacuation.

Have enough food and water for double to triple the number of people in your house right now, for at least 1 week (7 days). If you live 100+ miles inland, you might have to receive friends or family members that are evacuating from the coastal area. Do not depend on evacuees to bring their own food – most do – some don’t.

Fruit Tree Considerations For The Survivalist

Fig tree with some chickens

One part of the survivalist preps that is often over looked is the fruit tree. Instead of having to plant a garden every year, just plant a few fruit trees. Take care of the trees, give them some fertilizer, keep the bugs off of them, keep them trimmed and you might just have a food producing machine in your backyard.

Most people have a corner in the backyard where a fruit tree could be planted. If there is not enough room for a full sized tree, look into some miniature fruit trees. Some of miniature types only grow to be 6 – 10 feet tall.

The first thing to do is find out what kind of fruit tree grow well in your area. Some species of trees are better suited for certain climates. Some considerations include water requirements, frost requirements, freeze tolerant,,, the list goes on and on.

Becoming Complacent with Disaster Preparedness

As Hurricane Rita was making its way through the Gulf of Mexico in 2005, the projected path was towards the Houston and Galveston, Texas area. An evacuation was called for parts of Harris and Galveston counties. Which is where the cities of Houston and Galveston are located.

The way evacuations are “supposed” to work, the areas that are nearest the Gulf of Mexico are evacuated first. Which is Galveston, and lower Harris county. That is how its supposed to work in theory. In reality, how does one of the largest cities in the USA evacuate? They dont. There were stories of people spending 18+ hours on the highway and not even going 10 miles.

There are 2 major highways going north out of Houston – HWY 59 and HWY 45. Going east and west, there is Interstate 10, 1960, old HWY 90 and 105. HWY 105 is north of the Houston area. It goes from Beaumont, through Cleveland, Conroe and finally hits HWY 6.

80 years Old and Starting Over

Hurricane ike flooding

80 years old and starting over, that was the sad reality of the facts. There was no denying that around 5 feet of flood water had gotten into the house and there was no denying that the couple did not have flood insurance. The hard wood flooring that everyone had liked so much, after the water went down the flooring swelled and split the walls. There was so much pressure generated from the swelling wood floors, that not only did the walls split, but some of them were pushed off the concert slab.

Having lived in Bridge City for most of their lives, neither the husband nor the wife had ever heard of the type of flooding that was on the way. Hurricane Ike was like a dark cloud in the distance, almost like a bad dream, but this dream was real. For decades Southeast Texas had avoided the critical strike of a major Hurricane.

In 1969, Hurricane Camille made landfall near the mouth of the Mississippi River.

In August of 1992, Hurricane Andrew was working its way towards Southeast Texas and Southwest Louisiana. But the wind currents turned Andrew to the North, and Andrew Made landfall around Morgan City, Louisiana.

In August of 2005, Hurricane Katrina made landfall in the New Orleans area.

Hurricane Ike Aftermath

Flooded roads from Hurricane Ike

These pictures were taken in Bridge City, Texas after Hurricane Ike made landfall in Galveston, Texas. Using Google Earth, and measuring from where these pictures were taken, its estimated that 20 miles inland, there was about a 14 – 15 foot storm surge. This is not a scientific measurement, its just an estimate.

How the storm surge was estimated – my parents house is is about 4 feet above sea level and they got over 9 feet of water in their house. This picture was taken 3 days after Hurricane Ike made landfall and the flood waters had receded about 7 – 8 feet.

Now looking back from the opposite direction. Notice the road has several inches of mud over it. From where this picture was taken, the flood waters got about 5 – 6 feet deep.

Storm surge is only one aspect of a Hurricane, one of the other considerations is the wind. During Hurricane Ike this house collapsed, hopefully nobody was home. Keep in mind this is about 100 miles from where the center of the storm made land fall. Notice the debris on the roof. Not only did the wind make the house collapse, but it was also covered with water by the storm surge. This would have meant certain death to anyone trapped inside.

Barricaded Store Fronts During a Disaster

Barricaded store before hurricane makes landfall

When some type of disaster occurs, the owners of a store will take measures to protect their business and their property. A lot of places like wal-mart will stack bales of compressed cardboard in front of the doors.

These blocks of compressed cardboard act as a barricade to help stop people from driving cars or trucks through the front doors. Most of the time the front doors of these large stores will be made of glass – which offer little to no protection from a car or truck.

During the Rodney King riots, some store owners also used these blocks of cardboard as bullet stops. Its kinda difficult for a bullet to penetrate 3 – 4 feet of compressed cardboard. The store owners were able to band together behind these blocks of cardboard, and stop the crowds of looters from destroying their stores .

These bundles of cardboard are best moved by a forklift, or wrap a chain around it and drag it to the desired location with a truck or car. Even though it weighs several hundred pounds, it is not too difficult to move with a little help. If hand power must be used to move the bundle of cardboard, use jacks to get it off the ground, then get some pipes under the block. Then just roll the block on top of the pipes.

Kevin Felts © 2008 - 2018