Years ago when people just had films about zombies and things that went bump in the night, there wasn’t too much information out there for those who were looking to survive any state of emergency or apocalypse.
Back then, the world only knew about survivalists who had been around since as early as the 1930s and the phrase prepper would come along much later.
Fortunately, today there is a lot more information available on prepping for an emergency and some of the best tips can be found just by turning on your lap top or television.
Due to many websites focusing on prepping tips for those who opt to either live on prepper retreats or in more rural areas, tips for urban preppers are harder to come by.
What urban preppers can take advantage of are real life circumstances like extreme weather or the visit of Pope Francis to Philly in which they can test their preparedness.
Using situations like these, also known as hip-pocket prepping or training, are a great way to discover what your weaknesses are before everything ends up in the crapper.
You can also gain useful tips and learn valuable lessons just by watching shows like Fear the Walking Dead, iZombie, The Walking Dead, and Z Nation or movies such as World War Z.
Although these offerings aren’t really based in any current reality it can still be relevant to urban preppers.
Here is what you should learn by watching them and what you should always prep for.
1. Don’t trust the government.
This has long been the mantra of rebel-rousers, conspiracy theorists and hippies, but that doesn’t mean it’s not true.
On three shows, Fear the Walking Dead, The Walking Dead and Z Nation problems with the government’s special emissaries- the military- are a particular issue because once everything hits the fan expect martial law to be put into place and once leaders have left for parts unknown, expect military personnel to start making their own rules.
On Z Nation, Murphy was forced by the government to be injected with the zombie virus vaccine in order to see if his antibodies could offer a cure for the outbreak. Three inmates were tested and Murphy was the only one to survive not only the vaccine (it killed the other two), but a couple of zombie bites as well.
Not really. Back as early as the 1940s inmates were routinely forced to participate in medical experiments and as early as the 1970s inmates were forced to take medication for psychiatric issues regardless as to whether or not they were dangerous to themselves or others. Usually this was done to help the government convict them of whatever crime was necessary.
On Fear the Walking Dead, the government is keeping people confined in different locales based on what they believe is best for the people. Supplies are rationed out and no one can get answers.
The military (well the National Guard) tells people it killed those who were infected, but after sneaking out of the neighborhood Madison discovers that they killed people who weren’t infected as well.
Eventually they come for Madison’s son because he was an addict.
It is noted that no one they take ever comes back.
On The Walking Dead, as Shane is trying to get Rick out of the hospital, the military came in and shot everyone –alive or dead.
The military was also the ones who bombed Atlanta in season one and although it wasn’t anything like what the Confederates did during the Civil War, it was still pretty bad.
So do you trust the government?
The American public has been kept in the dark on numerous occasions (the Vietnam War, the Watergate Scandal, the War on Terror, the recession, and the CIA’s role in the War on Drugs).
Do you know exactly what’s going on in Washington, D.C.? What about how the local politicians are spending your hard earned tax dollars?
Tax payers are expected to account for every dollar they make, but what does the government do with every cent that they get?
The government has dismantled all the bomb shelters and the supplies have magically disappeared, but yet the White House has constructed their own shelter under 1600 Pennsylvania Ave in Washington with taxpayer dollars and you aren’t invited.
So if you still trust the government despite the fact that they lie to Americans on a daily basis that is your first mistake and, once an emergency hits, it could also be your last mistake.
2. People are bad.
This is a common thread in all of the shows.
They meet some people who are good (on Fear the Walking Dead it’s the Salazar family – for the most part, on The Walking Dead it’s the residents of Alexandria – for the most part, on iZombie it’s Detective Babineaux and Dr. Ravi, on Z Nation it was the Mennonites, but the group turned out to be the bad ones as they ended up robbing the Mennonites, and on World War Z it was Israeli soldier Segen and Tommy’s family).
However, usually, the people they meet are bad and out to hurt them.
Often times you don’t even know a person has devious intentions until it’s too late, which is unfortunately the case on iZombie.
iZombie heroine Liv doesn’t really feel she can trust her own family with her zombie secret and with good reason, but she’s surrounded by people who could do her harm such as her current roommate Gilda who knows she’s a zombie and is spying on her for her boss, Vaughn Du Clark, the CEO of Max Rager which is the corporation responsible for creating the virus.
It has been ventured that after everything collapses there will be people who will seek to do you harm.
This is true right now, but after everything happens it will be more people and it won’t matter where you live or if you knew this person before.
Desperation and fear will cause all the rules to change.
When living in an urban setting and dealing with a large amount of people on a daily basis, it has always been accepted that if someone wants what you have they will find a way of getting it. Eventually.
Currently people are lulling themselves into a false sense of security by moving into the wilderness, building themselves a compound and digging underground bunkers to store their food and weapons all over their property.
The one steadfast rule of the IRS could be applied here: The more you make, the more they take.
3. Don’t try this at home.
The Walking Dead probably does this more than any of the other shows, but that’s because the nature of the show and how it’s written.
Still, it’s a likely scenario in real life especially for those who haven’t prepped.
The tip is simple: Do not drink water from a river, pond, puddle, toilet, bathtub, hose, or lake unless you purify it.
If you do, you run the risk of becoming really, really sick. You may catch some nasty strains such as: Travelers’ Diarrhea, Giardia and Cryptosporidium, Dysentery, Salmonella, Escherichia coli O157:H7 (E. coli), Typhoid Fever, Cholera, Hepatitis A, Hepatitis E, and Campylobacters.
Catching any of these strains because you failed to prepare is ridiculous. On top of that, any medication or medical help used to treat these diseases may not be there for you.
Get into the habit of purifying/filtering any and all water that you use for consumption right now. This way when an emergency hits, it’s second nature to you.
Invest in a personal water filter which you can buy through amazon.com and can be carried around with you. These little devices can filter up to 1000 liters of water.
For more information on purifying your water, please go to: http://www.enviroalternatives.com/watermethods.html.
4. Stock up on other things than just water and food.
If you’re in the early stages of prepping chances are that you have mainly focused on storing water and food because they are the most basic of necessities which is true.
There are other things that you should be storing and the best part is that you probably already have many of these things lying around your house.
On iZombie Liv has to eat brains. It’s probably one of the downsides to being a zombie unless you already have eaten other types of brains such as cow, chicken or lamb and you actually enjoyed it.
She also has an insatiable need to eat spicy stuff so you’ll see her pouring hot sauce on her brain dishes.
Americans have a very different palate than other cultures. A lot of the preferred meals are often processed, fried or fast food. People can’t eat something as healthy as salad without drowning it in a creamy dressing.
Once everything collapses you can forget about the pizza delivery dude, your corner Chinese food restaurants, McDonalds, Burger King, Kraft Macaroni and Cheese (unless you bought tons of boxes and have them stored away), and anything that has to be microwaved.
What you will eat depends on what methods you will have to use to prepare it.
Condiments will be extremely valuable.
Start saving all those packets of hot sauce, ketchup, honey, soy sauce, duck sauce, jelly, mustard, mayonnaise, taco sauce and anything else you can get your hands on.
The next time you go grocery shopping stock up on any condiments you like especially if they’re on sale. Think about condiments like ketchup, barbeque sauce, hot sauce, mayonnaise, salad dressings, vinegar, oil, and a variety of spices.
Keep in mind their expiration dates and use them before they go bad, but always remember to replace them.
On World War Z, Brad Pitt’s character Gerry Lane, used duct tape to wrap the handle of a knife and taped magazines to cover his forearms.
Doing so protected zombies from biting his arms.
Duct tape has been an important part of pretty much everyone’s home supplies as it has hundreds of uses. It should also be something that preppers have an ample supply of.
Newspapers and magazines should also be items that you have a good supply of.
Both items can be used to wrap around a broken arm to create a cast.
There are multiple ways you can use them besides using them as toilet paper or reading material when everything gets boring and they’re good to have on hand.
To keep them from getting moisture damaged, place them in a large black trash bag, seal it up and place them in an airtight plastic container that has a lid.
5. Be prepared.
The one thing that all these shows have in common is that nobody was prepared.
The characters now have to hit the streets and scavenge for food as well as other critical supplies.
For one reason or another, with the exception of iZombie’s Liv, they have no permanent residence and roam from place to place.
On The Walking Dead in season two, veterinarian and farmer Herschel Greene seems to be prepared, but he isn’t. There is still scavenging for mostly medical supplies and when reality finally catches up to the venerable doctor, he has to go out to a bar so he can get drunk.
Once Herschel is really tanked bad people come into the bar to kill him, Rick and Glen. Things turn out badly for the bad guys.
There’s also the issue of the fences which can’t even keep the cattle in let alone keep out uninvited guests.
On Fear the Walking Dead the Clark-Manawa family mistakenly decide to leave their home for the unknown which is mistake they will really regret.
These people, who are still clueless about the outbreak (not out of stupidity, but because the apocalypse is still in its infancy stage), think that if they go somewhere more remote it’ll be safer.
Unless you must leave (there is a tsunami, hurricane or tornado headed straight for your home) you should stay put.
Going out amid the masses once an emergency hits is the worst idea ever.
This has been covered on Fear the Walking Dead and World War Z. It is important to note that the frenzy as well as madness that all these characters experience by going into crowded streets is actually a pretty accurate scenario.
Anyone who was in New York during 9/11, in Los Angeles after the cops were found innocent of beating Rodney King or the Watts riots in 1965 can attest to that.
If you take the time to stock up on needed supplies you’ll survive.
Wondering around aimlessly regardless of how many weapons you have is reckless and eventually you’ll run out of bullets or your knife will break. Someone could also come along who will relieve you of your weapons.
Just remember there will be no director around to yell. “Cut”.
The burning of Atlanta: http://www.post-gazette.com/local/city/2014/08/31/The-burning-of-Atlanta….
Inmate experiments: http://www.pbs.org/newshour/rundown/medical-slideshow-code/
Inmate psychiatric medication: https://www.law.uh.edu/healthlaw/perspectives/Mental/030530Involuntary.html
Vietnam War: http://www.nytimes.com/2001/06/29/opinion/lying-about-vietnam.html
Waterborne diseases: http://globalhydration.com/resources/waterbone-disease