Top 10 Urban Survival Skills for when SHTF

Surviving the end of the world in a city will require skills slightly different from the skills required to survive in the country side. When SHTF in the city… you’re going to see a lot of death and chaos, it won’t be a pretty sight. More than anything, you’ll need your wits and a calm, clear mind which can be achieved when you’ve become competent with the skills required to face the challenges ahead. Here’s a list of the top 10 skills you’ll most likely need:

Important Survival Skills to Have

1. Basic Handyman Skills: Having basic carpentry, electrical, plumbing, welding, and construction skills will go a long way in a SHTF scenario.  You’ll need these skills to construct and repair various items that will help you and your group survive.

2. Medical Training: You don’t need to be a doctor but invest in advanced first aid training which is very affordable with the Red Cross and other organizations. Post SHTF you’ll most certainly be faced with doing CPR, amputation’s, basic dentistry, birthing, dealing with broken bones, cuts, and possibly even gunshot wounds.

3. Gardening and Farming: This is a skill that won’t necessarily be required in a localized disaster but it will be essential in a long term urban survival scenario where civilization as we know it won’t come back. If you don’t already have a garden, you’ll have to start a garden immediately post SHTF. In an urban disaster, the majority of food products will be gone within weeks, and so a garden will be needed as long term resource.

4. Bush Crafting: Even though you’ll be in an urban environment, traditional wilderness survival skills and bush crafting will be required. You’ll want to know about tying various knots, fire making, building shelters, hunting/trapping, gutting animals and etc.

5. Leadership Skills: Leadership skills can be trained and practiced. It’s highly recommended that you take courses or get experience in public speaking, effective communication, counseling, body language, coaching, and event planning as they’ll be crucial in team/family/community survival. The majority of people will be lost amidst the chaos when SHTF and they’ll need someone knowledgeable in urban survival for them to follow. Learning how to best delegate duties and lead others towards a common vision/goal will increase your chances of survival tremendously.

6. Combat Skills: Combat skills will be essential post disaster. Knife fighting, proficiency with firearms, hand to hand combat and having basic tactical knowledge will come in handy. Danger from other people will be at every turn in an urban survival scenario so it’s important that you’ll have the skills to protect yourself and others.

7. Security Services: This is a separate skill from combat skills as security entails a lot more than just fighting. Providing proper security in a dangerous post SHTF environment will require 24 hour guard rotations, designated patrol routes, early warning systems, barricades/fortifications, and extensive planning. There are a lot of books, courses and videos out there on this subject and the knowledge will definitely be worthwhile.

8. Crafts: Crafting skills like sewing, leather working, wood working, blacksmithing, soap making, candle making, basket weaving, pottery, knife making (to name just a few) will become extremely valuable post SHTF. You should get basic experience with as many of them as possible but find one you like and specialize in it.

9. Ham Radio: Ham radio (amateur radio) will most likely be up and running (with 99% certainty) after a disaster and so knowing how to communicate over the radio to gather and share important information will be invaluable in an urban survival situation. You could learn all the essentials and get your ham radio license with about 60 hour’s worth of study (check online for the study guides).

10. Survival Mindset: Having a survival mindset will probably be the most important skill for when SHTF. It’s a skill that can be developed and practiced by challenging yourself and practicing urban survival scenarios. Try living with the assumption that there’s no running water and no electricity for a few days or weeks a few times a year. Take classes in wilderness survival training, realistic fighting systems (such as Krav Maga), and challenge yourself with outdoor challenges or obstacle courses like the Tough Mudder, and the Spartan races. The survival mindset is about being able to improvise, having the will power to push on past your comfort zone, and maintaining a positive attitude while going through hell.