Everyone has heard of people who prepare for the end of the world as we know it and they are ready to go into the post-apocalyptic chapter of civilization, Mad Max style, with a gun in one hand and a survival kit in another. You know this is just not you and you know your family will never cooperate with you if you present survival with that image. However, you are not blind to the fact that disasters do happen and you want to be ready. While you are a skeptic about doomsday prophecies and are skeptical about the need for becoming the next Rambo, you want to make sure that you and your family survive any catastrophe that may come to your city. If you feel this applies to you, you might want to look at this urban survival guide for skeptics.

1. Discuss the idea with your family, your partner or your roommates but do it rationally, calmly so that they don’t think you are off your rocker. After all, if and when you find yourself in that emergency situation, it is not as though they won’t need to eat and drink so they might as well listen.

2. Pack a small bag with the things you will need in the event that disaster strikes and you are not at home. Just in case you get tempted and become wayward, we are talking about a small bag here, ideally something you won’t have to throw into the trunk of your car; something that will fit in somewhere in your office desk.

In this bag, make sure you have a pair of walking shoes, water (1 bottle, not half a dozen), an extra shirt, sunglasses, a bandanna, a flashlight, a small radio and some energy bars. You bring this bag with you wherever you go. You do not leave it in the car five floors away from your workplace.

3. Collect your supplies and store them. Do not put them in the basement and forget they ever existed. Unlike tax returns, they need to be visited and changed regularly. Yes, regularly, maybe once in two months check them out and change the ones that are too near their expiration date.

Food is your greatest dependency and having a storable food reserve is a pretty simple matter that can make a huge difference for you and your family.

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4. Apart from your get your small survival bag ready, get your bigger, main survival bag. This is the bag that has the things you need to survive for three days but you still have to be very discriminating about the things you put in your bag. A rule of the thumb to follow where two items serve the same purpose, the lighter and smaller item gets in.

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5. Plan a route for evacuating and master it. Map out the surface streets you need to go through in case the freeways are closed. While you’re at it, make an alternate route. Have the map ready and in your bag. Once you are under pressure, it becomes easy to forget names of streets, the number of the exit you are supposed to take. You could even be in such a panic you might forget your name.

6. Be ready with sanitation supplies. Good wipes, tissue paper, hand sanitizers –all these are necessities you don’t want to forget.

7. Get a good medicine kit together – not a cute white bag with cute little band aids. Be ready with good plaster, elastic bandage, alcohol, antibiotic cream and disinfectant.

8. If it is possible, learn how to operate a ham radio. If there is no electricity and cell sites are destroyed, your only way of getting in touch with people in other places will be a ham radio.

9. Try to be as healthy as you possibly can be. Remember, fainting won’t work. The age of chivalry is dead and people who faint get relieved of the contents of their pockets and bags.

10. In the meantime, read, study and practice your survival skills. Go on with life as usual. Do not start wearing your fatigues. Unless they come in your favorite shade of pink.

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