How to Be a Prepper in the City

Bunker Bob
4 min readJan 24, 2021


Living in the Big Apple Without Getting Eaten Alive

New York City is congested, expensive, and difficult to navigate. When preppers think of top bug out locations, New York City is definitely at the bottom of the list. As tough as it is to live in New York City, it’s also filled with opportunity. Some say that if you can make it in Manhattan, you can make it anywhere. Whether you agree with this or not, the big apple will always be a major attraction for those that enjoy a hard and fast lifestyle. So, if you live in New York or another major metropolitan area, are you living in a prepper’s worst nightmare? Not necessarily. In this post, I explain how to be a prepper in the city.

SHTF Events are Rare. Focus on the High Probability Preps

I know many of us have our list of possible SHTF events. I certainly do. But, if you live in a big city, each day is filled with risks. Give less brain space to the possibility of terrorist attacks and nuclear disasters. I don’t think I’ve ever seen advice for preppers in the city address the day to day. Muggings, hostile encounters, and car accidents are high probability events relative to doomsday scenarios. Most city slickers understand not to take their eyes off their belongings while riding on public transportation. That’s common sense. These days, though, cities are becoming more dangerous. The economy is again crumbling and people are becoming desperate. Everyone living in the city should protect his or herself.

My wife carries pepper spray in her purse. I have a tactical knife on me while walking my dog. These aren’t pricy preps. If you want to learn how to be a prepper in the city, then you must start with your personal safety. Whether you’re male or female, there’s always a small risk of being harmed when going out. Watch out for bikers, construction, and cars running through red lights. Don’t get too drunk if you’re walking around alone. These tips may be obvious to some, but I’ve known people to get too comfortable living in the city. Comfort breeds complacency. The complacent are vulnerable.

If SHTF, Do You Have a Long Term Plan?

No matter how remote the possibility of SHTF may be, you should have a SHTF plan. Do you plan to bug in, or bug out? Are your family and friends familiar with the plan? The coronavirus pandemic provided everyone living in big cities with an important lesson. SHTF events can last much longer than you may have planned for. I can guarantee that most of the city’s inhabitants wished they bugged out as soon as the first New Yorker was diagnosed with the coronavirus. Cramped apartments and a public transit system that acts a petri dish for infection aren’t ideal for those waiting out a global health crisis. So, everyone living in a city should pack a bug out bag and have an escape plan.

One of the most important aspects of an escape plan is time. Most of us think about short term escape plans. But again, the coronavirus pandemic hasn’t been eradicated. Do you have a long term SHTF plan? Are you prepared to adapt to a completely different lifestyle? Few people wondering how to be a prepper in the city realize that adaptability is a necessity. If you’re unwilling to move, then you need to learn to roll with what life throws at you. The city you moved to won’t be the same city in the midst of a SHTF event. Prepare to adapt.

Work With What You’ve Got

Nearly everyone living in a big city has less space than he’d like to have. While rental prices are finally coming down, apartments with 1,000 square feet are still unaffordable. So, how do you prep within these confines? Plan for a two week bug-in. If there is an acute SHTF event like 9/11 or the Boston marathon bombing, you should hunker down. Few people that lived through these horrific events knew how long it would be before the worst was over. Build a survival cache that can sustain you for two weeks. A two week supply of food, water, and first aid won’t take too much of a footprint in your space-constrained apartment. But, it’s enough to get you through most SHTF scenarios. Again, you should have a longer term SHTF plan. Nevertheless, the worst possible scenarios force people to think in short timetables. Two weeks will give you enough buffer to think further into the future.

Do You Now Know How to Be a Prepper in the City?

Simply put, prepping in a city is hard. You need to be practical, adaptable, and have short and long term plans. The world at large is dynamic, but cities are the centers of change. Your preps, therefore, need to be flexible. Be proactive, but continue to learn from the latest events like the coronavirus pandemic. Only then will you be able to survive a SHTF event in the city.

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