Survival tips that will improve your security in an urban environment

Urban life is becoming more and more unsettling. You’ll never know when a total stranger will barge into your apartment in the middle of the night when you’re all alone, and everyone is asleep.

Here are ways to survive in a city apartment. (h/t to

  • Change your routine – Vary your route and change the time you enter and exit your apartment. This will keep lawless elements from predicting your moves and ambushing you when you least expect it.
  • Get to know the maintenance staff – Tell them you’re interested in a civil engineering class and want to know more about your building’s ins and outs. They can guide you to the building’s concealed nooks and crannies. Make sure you know how to gain access to the roof (including from inside the elevator shaft) and go through locks that may keep you from doing so. You can also try your local Building Commission. It usually has a copy of your building’s blueprint.
  • Invest in weapons – A handgun is small, light, and handy. A tactical tomahawk is also a good idea. It can help you defend yourself, chop wood, break walls, and pry things open.
  • Know what’s happening  Make friends with your neighbors and catch up with what’s happening. Look out your window and visit the roof regularly. Turn on the TV and listen to the radio for news updates. Get a pair of binoculars or a monocular and scan the area. Install blinds that let you see without being seen. Consider adding an extended antenna up the outside of your building or on the roof to boost reception strength.
  • Use night vision – Using a flashlight or rechargeable light at night, when the city has no electricity may make you an easy target. Consider investing in a night vision device instead. A low-end infrared unit, like the Bushnell Equinox Z, costs around $200. Military-style night vision goggles can cost thousands of dollars and may need a battery to work. But it can allow you to see a threat before it lunges at you.
  • Use signs to signal your presence – Put a biohazard sign and quarantine tape on your door. Fill up biohazard bags with clean trash and bring them outside. Play music audible enough for anyone outside your door to hear, but not too loud as to disturb the neighbors and make them complain about you. Turn on the TV and let those outside hear its muffled sounds.

Summer and winter can be extra challenging because of extreme temperatures that can pose dangers to your health and make it harder for you to think fast on your feet when needed.

Winter survival is challenging because extremely low temperatures can keep you from doing your regular chores. It can also create health issues. Stock up on blankets. You’ll find inexpensive fleece blankets on sale at Walmart, your local drug store, and second-hand shops. It’s a lot easier to keep a smaller space warm, so try staying in a small room. Install plastic sheets over windows to add insulation. Cover windows, doors, and exterior walls with blankets to add even more insulation. Keep as much water in your apartment as possible. Try getting one of those shiny survival blankets that reflect heat back to your body. You may also consider using a cold-weather mummy-style sleeping bag in lieu of the usual regular bed cover.

Surviving in the city can be pretty tough. But it’s harder when an emergency strikes. It’s best to be prepared than to regret your lack of foresight later. You can learn how to become better prepared by reading the articles at

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