The one group of people that often get overlooked when it comes to modern survival is the apartment prepper. Survival experts have wonderful preparedness tools… if you are in a home and have land to work with. Even the residential suburbia dweller has difficulty with many survival tips. What can someone in an apartment do to prepare to some degree until moving is an option.
First, I have to voice my opinion about living in an apartment. DON’T. If you decide that survival is your thing, then you must get away from apartments. You have too many people surrounding you that will not be prepared for an emergency asking you for the help that you unfortunately cannot provide in that limited space, or trying to take what you have with violence and deception. My recommendation is to look for a spot that will have at least a few acres of land that you can utilize outside of a municipality or suburban area so you have limited rules and laws in the way, and trust me, I have experienced this myself in the past.
Now that I got that out of the way, what can you do quickly to get yourself prepared? Let’s dive in shall we?
AT THE HOME FRONT: If you must stay home, because there is absolutely no “bugging out” scenario available, you may want basic previsions at the apartment.
Water- You will want to store 2-liter soda bottles (best plastic for storage) full of water. You will probably need 2 2-liter bottles per person per day. So, if it is just you and your wife. For a weeks worth of water, you would need 28 2-liters of water stored up. It can take up a lot of space to store all of this, but this is why I love the invention of the bed skirt. In an apartment, you have to just cave to the fact that you will be making use of every possible space there. Place them under the bed with a nice full bed skirt if you are worried about how it will look. An important spot, if you have the room is to keep a frozen bottle or two in the freezer. This ice will keep the food in the freezer frozen much longer, especially if you don’t open it much. All bathtubs and sinks are perfect for water storage right before a bad storm or something that you have a little notice. A bathtub could hold up to 50 gallons of water, or more.
Food Stores- You will need food. My two main suggestions here are copy canning and freeze dried foods. When you go to the grocery store, get extra cans of the foods that you like. Make sure that you keep a cheap can opener (or more) around. The freeze dried food and canned food is great for two things. They last a long time, and they are edible without cooking. I like the weightlessness of freeze dried food and the fact that it lasts a REALLY long time (were talking 1.5 years opened, and 15 years sealed!)
Electronics- It is good to have lots of flashlights (my favorite is the LED camping headlamps) and a couple emergency radios that work with multiple power sources, and one must ALWAYS have a hand crank option. I also always stress that you need a 400W inverter (about 50 bucks) with a really long extension cord to reach your apartment that you can tie directly to your car so you can turn it into a generator for small items in your house. This could make all the difference in the world!
Documents- Keep copies of your important documents in a binder and keep originals in a hidden fireproof/waterproof safe. These are licenses, any ownership papers, deeds, car titles, investment documentation, bank information, birth certificates, or other important documents.
First Aid- Make or buy a good, all inclusive first aid kit. I would keep it in a backpack or duffle bag, so it is easy to get to at home… or on the go. Premade kits are pretty cheap these days if you don’t want to make your own, but I would always check the contents and add my own. Prescriptions should be considered. Many survivalist gurus would say to keep around 6 months to a year’s prescriptions available all the time.
Sanitation- Toilet Paper, wipes, deodorants, and dry soaps are good items to keep a supply of. My ultimate magic number is usually 6 months to a year, but for the starters, let’s go with keeping an extra 24 pack somewhere or TP. Feminine products should be considered as well.
Important Mindset Items- Fill up tubs and sinks with water. Building storage in hidden spots, like under coffee tables are a good way to store items without detracting from a generally pleasant looking apartment. Same with storing behind a couch or closet corner. Hidden storage areas are everywhere in the apartment and it will actually supply redundancy of supply if it is scattered and hidden throughout. If part of the place gets damaged, but another is untouched, you would be glad that you had your supply spread out instead of that one spot. If possible you need to leave before you are stuck. And with that…
Money- Keep two weeks (preferably you get to a month, and then six months eventually) cash on hand. Hard assets are important since they can keep value even when the dollar has none. Since you don’t have land (which you should get some so you can move), you can invest in hard gold, silver, and copper. I am not talking about paper investments, I am talking about coins, bullion, bars, etc.
GETTING AWAY FROM THE APARTMENT: You will want to have a good bug out location. You don’t have to own it, but you need to have permission for nearly unrestricted access to it in an emergency. Family and friends will usually be happy to assist you. You will want a good bug out bag like I have already posted on my blog AND made a bug out bag video about it. There are items that you would want in your vehicle to help you in your travels.
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