One of the tenants of Survival Planning that this Survival Writer believes Survival in a Total Collapse, be it in an Urban or Suburban Area or in a Remote or Rural Area will be near impossible in a very small group. I am very sure of my ability to survive wilderness conditions and even conditions where armed men are actively hunting me, but that is simply surviving like an animal – there would be no reasonable correlation to living.
To be able to maintain security, accomplish daily survival or life tasks such as fixing things, tending to vegetable crops, procuring foods and other things, cooking, and resting the Survival Group would need at least four adults who are competent and could be counted upon. The more in this Survival Group, the more survival tasks could be rotated and usually a better quality of life.
However, the more people in your Survival Group the more commodities and food will be consumed and the greater the chances there are of human conflict.
Choose wisely who you bring into your Survival Group. In the fictional Survival Novel, Patriots – A Novel of Survival in the Coming Collapse, the Survival Group plans well ahead of time ensuring that the Group has adequate supplies at the Safe Location (a farm in Southern Idaho). They go so far as to ensure all members of the Group buy the same type of camouflage uniforms and firearms to have compatibility.
Both in the Novels, Patriots and Lights Out, the Survival Groups well into the beginning of the Collapse begin a process to interview and otherwise vet (check out) new incoming potential Survival Group members to make sure they only allow people who can contribute in some form or fashion to the overall group survival effort.
If you haven't read those books, you really need to. Patriots is available through the Amazon carousel at the bottom of this page. Lights Out is available (free as a PDF download) through the link under Book Reviews.
So not only are you going to have to be careful who you clue into your Urban Survival Plan and Preparations, you need to make sure they can contribute and will not be a burden.
You will also need to plan for strap hangers showing up. What if a young mother comes to your door and begs for you to help her? What if you refuse and she then begs for you to take her 3 year old baby? Human nature is to be compassionate. Human nature is also to be jealous and greedy. Bringing in an untested and unknown someone into your small Survival Group could spell doom. Refusing to help someone could also damage your humanity quotient for lack of a better term.
Think and wargame various possible scenarios. For Jim, he would have to think about his ex-wife. What if she calls or shows up at the beginning of a collapse? What if she and her new boyfriend and baby show up at the Family Cabin? Who else has she told about it? All of a sudden the duration, that the food in Jim’s Survival Cache will last, is reduced in half. What happens if you have several adult single males in your group and your wife or girlfriend is the only female?
I could go on and on, but I think you get the idea. Be prepared and that preparation starts with thinking about and Wargaming likely events and possible solutions.