Urban Emergency Survival Plan – Review
Urban Emergency Survival Plan is the latest book from Jim Cobb. In the book Jim covers the many aspects of urban survival, starting from assessing threats to making a plan and carrying out that plan. Don’t let the title fool you, while Urban Emergency Survival Plan is designed for the urban dweller, there is plenty of value for the non-urbanite as well.
Many of the areas in the book apply to rural survival just as well as the urban environment. After all, no matter where you go, food and water as well as shelter and security will be equally important in a survival situation. But with that said, urban areas carry several more areas of concern than other areas and Urban Emergency Survival Plan will help you in overcoming the challenges that come with being ready for an emergency in the city.
The first thing that struck me about the book is how easy to read it was. It is obvious to me that the book was written for a broad audience to understand the contents. I appreciate this about a preparedness book because it can actually serve the purpose of doing the most good for the greatest number of people. This is not always the case with books, even if they are supposed to be written to help people.
As I read through Urban Emergency Survival Plan, I also noticed how well thought out the content is. For example, you may be familiar with bug out bags and even the various reasons why you need one but have you ever given any thought to where is the best place to keep your bag? Jim covers this type of information and a whole lot more! From first aid to fire and pistols to procuring clean water, Urban Emergency Survival Plan has what you need. I could go on about the valuable information in the book but it might just be best for me to outline the chapters and highlight one of my favorites things about each chapter.
Chapter One – Urban Threats
The amount of effort spent on putting the book together is obvious by the extensive level of detail in the list of potential threats that may be faced by a person living in the city.
Chapter Two – Governmental Disaster Plans
Are you familiar with how the government may respond to a disaster in your area? You will be after you read this chapter.
Chapter Three – Making Emergency Plans
Do you have a plan for what you would do if you were stuck at work as the result of a disaster? Urban Emergency Survival Plan will give you the tools to make a plan in the event that you do end up stuck at work.
Chapter Four – Emergency Water
Jim covers not only how much water you should store, but how and where you should store it. There are also methods outlined on how to make water safe to drink.
Chapter Five – Food Storage
Food is expensive enough to make eating on a day to day basis a concern for many people. This further makes spending additional money on food for storage even more difficult. There are some practical strategies outlined for obtaining food affordably, not only for later but for the present as well.
Chapter Six – Sanitation, First Aid, and Shelter
Just because there is a disaster doesn’t mean that everything stops. You will need a plan to deal with bodily functions, injuries, and maintaining your shelter. It’s all here…including what the best alternative to a toilet is.
Chapter Seven – Security and Defense
There are some great pointers in this section. I was actually surprised at some of the things that Jim points out that I had not previously thought of. I also really appreciated the layered approach to security and defense that Jim lays out.
Chapter Eight – Bugging Out
Should you stay or should you go? That is the question that everyone is forced to contemplate in the wake of a disaster. Urban Emergency Survival Plan contains a number of criteria that should be considered when deciding whether to bug out or not.
After finishing the chapters that make up the bulk of the book, you will find a section of useful appendices that includes checklists for a:
- Workplace Emergency Kit
- Get-Home Bag
- Vehicle Emergency Kit
- Bug-Out Bag
These are very useful, especially for the person who is trying to put these kits together but is not sure where to start or if they are on the right path.
I also asked Jim a few questions about Urban Emergency Survival Plan and his books as well as survival in general. Here is what he had to say:
In the last three years you have written five books and have a sixth book scheduled to be released early next year, how do you manage to write books so quickly?
I’m very fortunate to have a day job that affords me a fair amount of free time each week. In between assignments and such, I’ll work on writing or editing. I also do some writing a few evenings each week but I try to keep that time free for family stuff. Rarely ever do I work on writing during the weekends. Plus, with these books I’ve always truly been writing what I know and what I’m passionate about, which helps make the writing go quicker.
Your latest book, Urban Emergency Survival Plan, is clearly focused on surviving an urban scenario. Would you rather face a survival scenario in an urban, suburban, or rural setting?
I’m a strong proponent of community-based survival planning. I feel there is safety and strength in numbers. However, it is sort of a balancing act because in any disaster scenario, once the immediate danger has passed, your biggest threat is likely to be other people. Personally, I lean toward the suburban angle for the most part. You’re far enough out from the city that you can avail yourself of natural resources, but you also have a community to work with and that can support you.
Of the choice to bug in or bug out, which is the most important to have a plan for in your opinion?
I firmly believe bugging out should be your last option, not your primary plan, for most disaster scenarios. So, sheltering in place or bugging in would be the plan to work on first, in my opinion. That said, you need to have a bug out plan as well, just in case.
A bug out bag (BOB) signifies that you will be going somewhere. If someone is not planning on bugging out, do you have any recommendations for how a kit should look for someone who is planning on staying in an urban area?
Every kit, whether we’re talking bushcraft survival, bug out bag, or get home bag, needs to be set up to satisfy as many of your basic survival needs as possible:
- First Aid
An urban survival kit really isn’t that much different from one you’d use out in the wilderness. Snares would still be useful, as there is a surprising amount of game present in cities. Water filtration and purification gear is extremely important, of course. Shelter needs can often be met by buildings in the area, but there are safety concerns with ducking into an abandoned structure. You might find yourself going from a bad situation to one far worse due to the structure falling apart or suddenly learning the abandoned home is actually occupied.
Any kit needs to be assembled in such a way as to take into account the person’s individual skill sets and experience, too.
What is the most challenging part of being a prepper?
As with most people I’d guess, time and money. Never enough of either to get everything done.
Do you find that shows like Doomsday Preppers has made it even more difficult to be a prepper because of the extreme image that is portrayed?
Yes and no. Shows like that have certainly increased the awareness of disaster planning, which is a great thing. I’ve heard from many people who have said it was through watching one or another of those shows that they started thinking, What if? On the other hand, though, most of those shows go out of their way to find and profile the most extreme representatives of the group, so to speak. While most of the audience is intelligent enough to realize not all preppers are like the ones seen on TV, every once in a while you run into someone who really does think we spend all day every day cleaning our 10,000 firearm armory and praying for the day the black helicopters come to get us.
If you had to start prepping all over again, would you do anything differently?
I don’t know, maybe. Given the choice, knowing what I know now, I might have pursued more of the self-reliance skill sets at an earlier age. The thing is, even though I’ve been at this for thirty years or so, I’m still learning. I don’t know everything, no one does. So, even though there are things I wish I’d learned earlier, that’s not to say I can’t learn them now, y’know?
What advice would you give to a new prepper?
Take it slow, don’t let yourself get overwhelmed and burned out. Try to do at least one thing every single day that will get you further down the path of disaster readiness but don’t try to do it all at once.
If you could have only five items with you at all times in the event that there were a disaster, what would they be?
Fully charged cell phone, knife, lighter, flashlight, handgun.
Besides your books, how can people follow your work?
My primary home online is Survival Weekly. There, we post articles, product reviews, book reviews, all that fun stuff. My consulting business is found at Disaster Prep Consultants.
I really appreciate Jim for sending me a copy of Urban Emergency Survival Plan and for taking the time to answer these questions. The book is great and in my opinion, it would be a great addition to any prepper’s collection. It is full of valuable information. I also enjoyed getting to read Jim’s thoughts in response to the questions I sent him. It is always enjoyable for me to get to hear what other people’s thoughts are on survival and preparedness.
If you are interested in picking up a copy of Urban Emergency Survival Plan, you can find it on Amazon or through other book retailers.