What are the differences between survival in an urban, suburban, and rural environment?
Are there any differences in survival depending on the environment?
What should you be thinking about and planning for depending on which environment you live in?
Those are all great questions that many preppers ask themselves. Sometimes on a daily basis. The reality of survival is even if you know nothing about survival you have probably asked yourself these questions. You worded them in a different manner and never even thought that you were concerning yourself about survival in the long run.
Firstly we need to define what is each different environment.
Urban environments are areas of high population density surrounding cities. Most people in urban areas work and live in that same area. They have non-agricultural related jobs.
Suburban areas are often times lumped into the urban category. I agree with this for the most part but, for our purposes, we will treat suburban as its own category. Suburban areas surround an urban area and are primarily used as residential areas for the workers that work in urban areas. You will mainly find residential single-family dwellings, shops, and schools here.
Rural areas cover the rest of the places. They cover wide open areas that exist outside of an established urban environment. Population density is much lower than that of urban areas. Travel distances to reach stores, schools, and other critical infrastructure can be much higher than that in the other two environments.
Survival Threats and Problems.
Urban areas have a high population density as we have already discussed. This leads to a whole host of threats and problems.
Conflict is the first threat that you will have to face. This might not even be a conflict that you are directly involved in but, in a large urban area, conflicts can spill over and affect people that have nothing to do with it. Sadly there is nothing that is done for this one besides have a defensive plan in place to protect yourself and your family.
Terrorists are another concern. Not the fact they will target you but, the fact they choose targets that maximize collateral damage. All of the targets of this type are in urban environments. Again this is a threat that you have to be aware of and plan for but, sadly beside a defensive plan in place, it is not much you can do about it.
Disasters, whether they are naturally occurring or man-made, can have a more profound effect. Flooding like the type that follows a hurricane can have a much worse effect because of all the man-made structures that can’t survive the damage that can be dealt with them. Disasters also have a profound effect on the population in urban environments. When you get so many people living in such a small space leads to trouble when a disaster makes it impossible to get to food and clean water.
Violence and crime related activities are among the next and usually the first threats that you will have to face in an urban environment. This threat exists on normal days of the week much less when a disaster looms. Violence and crime will escalate when there is no longer constant police protection. During such disasters, police and emergency personnel will be overwhelmed in times of a large scale disaster. Just like everywhere else you will be on your own.
Rural areas have their own considerations that you have to face when you live there.
Natural disasters are still a threat. They will be a threat no matter where you live. Only in rural environments, you have many different considerations. The man-made structures are far less and that makes the threat much less from them but, the threat increases from local rivers and water sources. Rural areas are also further away from emergency personnel so response time will be much higher than if you lived in an urban environment.
Terrorist threats, violence, and crime are much less of a threat. The wealthier targets being in the urban environments there are fewer targets in the rural areas.
Rural environments are home to activities like camping, fishing, and hiking. Those types of activities bring people from all over to rural environments. This means you have to consider other types of threats. Getting lost in the woods while hiking, dumping a raft or boat while you were on the water, and run-ins with unfriendly animals are just a few of the things that you need to think about if you decide to live in a rural environment.
Suburban environments have a blend of both threats. There is a high population density so all of the threats that come with them. Most of them less than the urban environments but, still higher than in rural environments. Disaster both man-made and naturally occurring is still a possibility when you are living in a suburban environment. Effects can be varied. Most of them worse than rural areas but, less than urban areas. Most houses that are built in suburban areas are just not built to handle a large scale disaster.
There are normal priorities that humans have to take into consideration no matter where you live. Food, water, and shelter are the top three that you will have to think about. Health and wellness are the other two but, they warrant a whole article just themselves.
Food, Water, Shelter.
Urban areas are the worst places to have to worry about food and water. Urban areas require them to truck food in from other places. Usually from rural areas that produce the food sources. If you are stuck in a prolonged disaster that you need to worry about food, urban areas are not the place that you want to be. Grocery stores and shopping centers would be out of food in less than three days. Unless you plan ahead and store large amounts of food for you and your family there is nothing in the urban areas that you can rely on.
Water in urban areas is just as bad. Water is usually piped in from a central water source. Lakes, springs, and rivers are among the sources that urban centers will use and pipe to the houses and businesses. Once the power is out or a disaster has forced the plants to shut down you will not be able to get water even out of your pipes.
Suburban areas are a little better off but, not by much. They still rely on city water and food delivery sources just like in urban environments. The only thing that suburban areas have going for them is a larger area. Houses and apartments larger in size than those in urban environments. Also, they have a slightly lower population density than those in urban areas.
Rural areas are much better off for the production of food. Plenty of areas to plant and grow crops. Natural sources of food like forests and such. There is also more sources to hunt and fish to produce more protein sources.
Water is a problem. Most places in rural areas rely on the power to run the water pumps on the wells. The only advantage is there are more natural sources of water. Creeks, streams, and rivers are much easier to come by in these areas.
Priorities of survival are the same no matter where you live. Food, water, shelter, and medical are some of the first things that you are going to have to think about. Different areas have their advantages and disadvantages. The one and only common theme among them is to stay aware and stay prepared.
Here is the basic information. You decide on the outcome.