Urban survival: 15 Items that you’ll need when SHTF
08/23/2019 // Zoey Sky // Views

No matter where you live, planning and prepping are crucial to ensure your survival when SHTF. If you're an urban prepper, having these items on hand can make a big difference when disaster strikes. (h/t to AskAPrepper.com)

First aid kit

When SHTF, hospitals or emergency services may be inaccessible or overwhelmed with patients. Have a first aid kit ready so you can quickly treat minor injuries and prevent major trauma.

Prepare a first aid kit with supplies that will help you deal with common injuries, like an assortment of bandages and burn ointments.

Emergency face masks

Urban areas are often exposed to manufacturing industries that deal with toxic chemicals. These installations are vented to prevent toxic fumes from polluting the environment, but when disaster strikes these industries may leak the toxic fumes.

Emergency face masks can protect you from these pollutants.

Water purification system

According to the American Red Cross, you need at least three gallons of drinking water per person during an average crisis.

It can be hard to find clean drinking water when the grid goes down. Preparing a water purification system before SHTF means you can have drinking water at home or in your bug-out location.

Consider options such as water filter straw, water purification tablets, and activated charcoal.


When the power goes out, you need a lighter for candles, boiling water, or food prep. Keep several lighters and fire-starters at home and in your bag, just in case you lose access to most of your gear.


Fire extinguisher

If SHTF, you may have to put out fires caused by gas leakages or disrupted electrical cables. With a high-quality fire extinguisher, you can deal with any fires without having to wait for emergency services.

Buy a reliable brand and practice how to use it so you'll know what to do when SHTF. Check the expiration date of the fire extinguisher regularly.

Solar charger

You need a solar charger for your flashlights, emergency phones and radios, and rechargeable batteries. Electricity generators and solar panels are great choices for alternative power, but a portable solar charger is more convenient for small rechargeable devices.

Plastic sheeting and plywood

Disasters like hurricanes and tornadoes often leave destruction in their wake. With plastic sheeting and plywood, you can make temporary repairs at home.

Stock up on enough plastic sheeting and plywood for each opening in your house, then learn how to properly board up doors and windows.

Plastic sheeting can also be used to collect rainwater, make temporary shelter, build a solar still, or patch leaks. Since there are different types of plastic sheeting, it is best to get several types to cover your various needs.

For example, thick, black plastic sheeting (6 mil) is best for covering a window or patching a leaky roof. Meanwhile, thin, clear (3-4 mil) plastic sheeting is suitable for building a solar still or waterproofing containers.

Tactical flashlight

During long-term power outages, a tactical flashlight is a godsend. Store your flashlight in an accessible location.

Crowbar or small pry bar

A crowbar or small pry bar is useful for opening jammed doors and windows during emergencies. Practice how to use them properly before SHTF so you don't waste time when someone needs help.

Bolt cutters

Bolt cutters are excellent scavenging tools. You can use them to take temporary shelter in boarded up and locked abandoned buildings.

Bolt cutters will also work on alarm cables, handcuff chains, power cables, and security fences. However, possessing this survival tool doesn't mean you can simply break into someone else's property with the intention of looting it.

Use your tools responsibly.

Emergency toilet

Preppers know that sanitation and hygiene are just as important as a survival stockpile when SHTF. If a major disaster affected the water and sanitation systems, your toilet could become unusable.

Prepare for the inevitable by having an emergency toilet, which is a specially made bucket for your bodily wastes. You can either make or buy an emergency toilet for your family.

Self-defense weapon

During emergencies, you may be forced to defend yourself against attackers and looters. Common options include knives, pepper spray, and firearms.

Whatever weapon you choose, learn how to use it properly to avoid accidents.

Shut-off wrenches

You need shut-off wrenches to prevent gas and water leakage if your property was damaged by a natural disaster. Cutting off gas and water will also prevent fires and floods.


A high-quality multi-tool will do in a pinch if you have no access to a tool kit or your survival gear. Choose a multi-tool with features that meet your preferences.

Work gloves

Get a pair of sturdy work gloves to protect your hands if you need to clear broken glass or debris from your home.

Don't wait until it's too late. Prepare these 15 essential urban survival items before SHTF.

Sources include:



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