Survival Kit: 10 Essential Pieces of Urban Survival Gear

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Survival favors the prepared. When we venture into the wild, we're wise to bring emergency supplies in case we run into trouble. The concrete jungle is no different. Urban settings have their own unique challenges and hazards, even on a good day. Add a calamity to the mix, and the streets can turn even meaner. To improve your chances in an urban emergency, stock up on these ten items and pray you never need them.

1. Flashlight
An emergency that includes a power outage can leave a lot of people in the dark in an urban environment, both day and night. In windowless rooms and hallways, you'll be glad you have your own source of light.

2. First aid kit
Medical supplies are some of the most likely gear you'll need during an emergency. When people panic, people get injured—and it doesn't take much to create panic. For 10 med kit essentials, click here.

3. Folding knife
A big Rambo-style knife makes you look like a trouble maker in an urban setting. A discreet folding-blade knife, while still useful for self defense, won't draw as much attention from law enforcement and other urbanites.

4. Cord
Some light rope, 550 cord, or similar binding material can have hundreds of uses in urban survival. A paracord bracelet is handy, but it takes several minutes to unravel the thing. A bundle of cord stashed in your knapsack can be deployed immediately.

5. Drinking water
Contamination of municipal water is a not unlikely occurrence during and after a significant emergency. Make sure you have safe water with you at home, at work, and in your car. Take some with you if you must evacuate. The American Red Cross suggests three gallons of water per person for the average emergency.

6. Lighter
This cheap and humble item can give you both fire and light. Keep one in a pocket and a few others scattered throughout your emergency gear. I know you've heard the redundancy mantra before, but remember that "two is one and one is none…"

7. Radio
A small emergency radio will provide you with bulletins and information. A NOAA weather radio might even be a life-saver in certain disasters.

8. Small pry bar
This might seem excessive, but a tool that can open stuck doors and windows could prove invaluable. It can also be used to chop through walls, jimmy locks, and for assortment of other tasks. This item makes a great escape tool during a difficult bug-out event.

9. Your mobile phone
A no-brainer. If the lines aren't swamped, you can call for help, connect with friends and family, and receive information about the situation.

10. Cash
If telecommunications are out, it's likely that your credit and debit cards will not be accepted as payment for vital goods and services. Keep some cash hidden at home and on your person to give you the upper hand when negotiating for things you need, like food, bottled water, transportation, and so forth.

Please tell us what you carry as EDC gear and urban survival equipment in the comments.