In the previous article the advantages and disadvantages of the city where discussed. In this article we’ll move out from the city and into the suburbs around the city. What is a suburb though, what differentiates it from the city and from rural? Suburbs are outside the city proper, typically have few if any tall buildings, and are mostly residential. Businesses will typically be small and centered around the needs of the community. With that clarification out of the way lets start with the advantages of being a prepper living in a suburb.
- People – While suburbs aren’t usually packed as tightly as a city will be, there are a good number of people to draw upon for assistance after the SHTF. One thing you’ll probably have an advantage of is the skill set available. It costs more money to live in the city than the suburbs, so many of the trade skilled people will probably be in the suburbs like Plumbers, Electricians, and others with helpful skills.
- Space – The suburbs are not densely packed, with most people living in homes with yards. This space also translates into a larger living space most of the time which equals more storage.
- Garden – With the additional space comes the capability to grow a garden. Depending on the size of the yard it could be a large garden. You could also have room for a small Greenhouse.
- Farm Animals – Every suburb is different, but many have zoning laws allowing some “farm” animals. Mostly it’s small animals like chickens or rabbits, but every place is different in what they will allow. If you can get some chickens going for eggs and rabbits for some meat you’ll have a little advantage if something happens.
- Wild Animals – Most suburbs have more trees and grassy areas then a city so there will be more wildlife in the area to hunt and trap. Many suburbs have an overabundance of Opossum, Raccoon, rabbit, and coyote just to name a few. While not all of these may taste good they can all be eaten if you’re desperate enough.
- Water – Just like cities, some suburbs have waterways running on top of the ground, while others have it underground. If you live in a suburb with above ground water you have a potential water source.
- Foraging – With more space there is more possibilities for wild edibles growing in the area around you or in parks.
There are lots of possibilities for advantages if you live in a suburban area. Some are similar to city advantages like people and water, but others are unique to the suburban areas over the cities like more space and farm animals. On the surface the suburbs are looking pretty good as a potential bug-in possibility. Before that final call is made though, let’s look at the disadvantages to living in the suburbs.
- People – Like the cities people can be a blessing or a curse. If you know your neighbors well you could all join together to help each other get through the rough times. Of course there are not nice people that live in the suburbs also, so you may have to watch you neighbors as a possible problem. You will also have to worry about people that are trying to leave the cities coming to knock on your door for help.
- Aid – If it is a short lived event, aid will likely appear in the cities first and flow out. Depending on the size of the city and the location of the suburb it could take some time to get aid to you.
- Water – This is another blessing or a curse situation. If the water is below ground how are you getting it? If the water is above ground is it even drinkable. If the water source is flowing into the city from your location you have a better chance of being able to drink the water once treated and boiled. If the water source flows by you after going through the city, drinking the water could be dangerous, especially after a disaster with people doing who knows what in the water.
- Garbage – In a suburb you still have a large number of people with no place to put all of the garbage that people generate. Sure people in a suburb can pile it longer having more space, but eventually the garbage issue will get out of control. You might think you have enough space to burn it, but be careful around homes.
- Heat/Air – While not always a problem modern homes in suburbs can have a problem with this. If you live in an older home in a suburb with a fireplace you have some way to heat your home a bit. Many modern homes are foregoing the fireplace or putting in gas with no chimney. The gas will run out and you can’t burn wood safely so it can be a problem. Air is a little easier since opening windows helps a great deal, but they are not designed for summer heat without the AC unit.
- Death – People will die and their bodies will have to be dealt with. They can be buried or burned, but just like in the city they can’t be left to rot. Disease and rodents will be the result, which is a leading killer in a post disaster situation.
- Fire – Though not as bad as in the city, most suburbs are still packed in pretty tight. A fire in one home could easily spread to another, especially if it’s windy and dry.
- Traffic – You are one step further out from the city if your plans are to Bug-Out, but you will still need to be quick on the decision to leave to avoid the traffic. On the upside there are usually many different ways to exit a suburban area so walking out is a possibility.
Much like the advantages of a suburban area the disadvantages have many possibilities of bad things, but no too much over powering. Having more space and not quite as dense a population helps to mitigate some of the disadvantages, but they can still be a problem. Of course aid was a potential advantage in the city, but no so in the suburbs. You can plan for many disadvantages though if you know about them to mitigate them even further. Please leave a comment if you agree or disagree with my points or think I missed some.
Stay active, pay attention, and get prepared.