For a breakdown situation, whether epidemic, riot, or other, the city is a nice place to visit but I wouldn't want to live there.
Couldn't have said it better myself.
On the bright side, there are tons of raw materials to work with. You're unlikely to be hard up for cloth, combustibles, water containers, or
Very true also, it's crowded and it's dangerous, but there are lots of resources. There are all manner of supermarkets, private homes, retail
stores, warehouses, and so on. If one can find a way to move about largely undetected and unmolested, one would have no problem at all staying fed
and supplied with whatever manner of tool one could ever want.
I can propose a couple of ideas for those who may need to leave the city, or move around within it.
How about sticking to the rooftops at night? One could use a hand-crank pully and lines to go up, and a flying squirrel suit to go down - like a
regular superhero. This is only an option if you're fit and strong, and fast. The less attention one draws, the better. If you can, create an
electronic or paper database of good spots in the city, and find a way to preserve the information for future use. Laptop and a generator in a
Faraday Cage, or scrapbook in trunk, as your means permit.
Another possibility (if you have to move around on the street) is to make yourself untouchable, literally. If you appear virulently ill, most people
will not want to come into contact with you. This tactic is NOT advised in the case of a pandemic situation where the trucks are roaming around
picking up the infected. That would be counter-productive I think.
However, in a collapse/war type situation, looking like you've got leprosy or ebola or some horrible pox is a great way to move unmolested on the
ground. Bone up on your acting skills, and take some studio makeup classes, I guess. Could prove much more valuable than a handgun or a sword, or
something like that.
If you don't mind rats (seeing them, smelling them, touching them, eating them, using them as pillows), it might make sense to go underground.
Nightvision would help in some cases and not in others (if there's no light at all for your goggles to amplify, they're useless), but batteries
would be hard to locate. IR would be a better bet, but the cost is pretty high for a set-up.
If you decide to live underground, you could use a sewer tunnel junction as your living space, a hammock to sleep in, and an early warning system down
each branch to let you know of unwanted visitors, if you could get used to the smell it might not be so bad.
Everything in an urban area is inter-connected by utility access tunnels. If one had intimate knowledge of these, it would definitely be the way to
go. For someone with no idea where they're going, it would probably not be such a hot idea.
I think it is certainly worth exfil, even if the place is a war zone.
That would be entirely situational. In the case of a city like Manhattan, in the event of a quarantine, I'd stay for sure. The perimeter could be
too easily controlled, all the exits buttoned up, and the water patrolled. I'd rather take my chances against the other city-dwellers, in that
It really depends on the exact nature of the event. It's all good speculation though, one can never have too many contingency plans.
I would probably be looking for a boat, and an ocean, in case of something serious. Fewer problems out at sea. Better to be crushed by a rogue wave
than eaten by cannibal crackheads...