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What are Urban Survival Skills? Why are They Important?

Urban Survival Skills
Life is always full of surprises, and may unravel Pandora boxes at the most unexpected times. Urban survival skills is what is required in such situations. Here's some help...
Narayani Karthik
Last Updated: Mar 15, 2018
Before I start with some urban survival tips and abilities, I want you to envision yourself in the below situations. Let's say, this is an urban survival skills test for you to check how much emergency preparedness sense you have and can develop.

Q1: You go on a trek. While indulging in the beauty in nature's lap, you suddenly drift away unaware. No one has observed your absence. Suddenly, you stare into the face of a grizzly bear! What do you do?

Q2: You leave office at 10 PM. It is raining cats and dogs on this particular night. While you are driving home on the eerie highways with little or no vehicles in sight, your car suddenly stops in the middle of nowhere. What is your immediate reaction?

Q3: You are just walking down to the parking lot of your office building. The whole office has left for Christmas, with you being the last person to leave. As you just leave, you find yourself being stalked by a few ruffians. What can you think of to protect yourself? (Remember, the scary scene of the movie P2, where workaholic Rachel Nichols is stalked by an insane security guard, played by Wes Bently?)

Q4: There has been a hailstorm, and it has been reported that the city will be cut off from power and communication pertaining to bad weather. With little groceries that would suffice for a day or so, and with restricted movement, what could be your plight?

Q5: There has been a fire accident in your home. You saw the flame of your scented candle just catch the tip of the curtains of your home, and in less than a few minutes, your beautiful home got transformed into a ghastly inferno. What will be your corrective action?

The above questionnaire was prepared to state the importance of what we call 'urban survival skills'. When I started to write about them, the famous lines from the movie Forrest Gump ringed in my ears: "Life is like a box of chocolates. You never know what you're gonna get." So true! Life is just like the mystical Chinese box which keeps unraveling a new box of surprise each time. What cannot be anticipated is, whether the surprise will be pleasant or otherwise. But that does not imply we accept things that come our way. As the saying goes, "Prepare for the worst, but hope for the best". It is always good to train ourselves with some skills, to combat any pesky situation, should it arise.

Tips for Surviving in an Urban Setup
Basic survival abilities always start with the will to survive! As you might have heard every now and then, 'Where there is a will, there is a way', and where there is a way, you can always get out of mettlesome situations, come what may. Preventing a disaster may not always be in our hands, but surviving it and coming out of it is definitely possible.

Play Safe
Being a female myself, I would first start with some tips on self-defense and safety. Venturing alone is not a matter of concern. But venturing out alone in risky pockets of a city (infested with hooligans) at odd timings can put you in dicey situations for sure. People do not get into such situations by choice, but should such a situation arise, one has to be prepared mentally and physically to combat it well. A small Swiss knife or a spray should help you out. And, it is better to learn the tricks of self-defense like karate and taekwondo, which would be quite helpful in pulling you out of such odd situations.

Preparing for Treks
When going for trips like hiking, camping, and trekking, make sure you make a checklist of things to have in a survival kit―food, sleeping bags, a pair of fresh clothes, a Swiss knife, a torch, set of personal toiletries, water bottles, first aid kit, and polarized glasses. When going out in a group, make sure that you are with the flock all the time. It is not safe to venture alone, as trekking in forests and mountains can expose you to unknown perils.

Be Prepared for the Unexpected
Natural calamities can be forecasted but cannot be stopped. Instead of throwing a lackadaisical attitude around, prepare to survive. Food, water, shelter, and first aid are bare essentials in such grave conditions. Also, be careful when spending rations of food and water, as they are sparsely available at such a time. Such high-impact scenarios not only include natural calamities but also nuclear fallout, mass civil arrests, and war times. During nuclear attacks, covering the windows and doors with thick plastic sheets is a good idea to protect yourself. Earthquake survival kits are soul savers during these natural disasters that are uncalled for.

Protect thy Home
Fire accidents can happen with a small spark turning an entire building into a hellhole. So keep a fire extinguisher at home, which can come handy in such cases. Water and CO2 are good examples of fire extinguishers which are available at home. Not to miss, carelessness is the easiest gateway for tragedies to strike. So, when you lock your home, check thoroughly if the gas connection and all the electronic appliances (like geyser, iron, etc.) are off.

Presence of Mind
This is a quality which cannot be taught, but develops over a period of time with the help of instincts and intelligence. A person may get caught in a situation where he could be stranded with no aid. That is the time when he has to keep his cool and think of ways to get out of situations in the most diligent way. This quality can be of sole help in cases like stated in the questionnaire above: (Q1, Q2, and Q3). Keeping cool is very important in the most difficult situations. This is because, worrying and fretting will never help you out. On the contrary, they will lower your confidence level. Presence of mind is an inborn quality in everyone, which only needs to be nurtured for good.
Man With Pepper Spray
Man with a stungun