Apartment Prepper's have special space challenges to contend with. Living in a one-bedroom condo with my husband and two cats, I thoroughly understand the challenges of a limited amount of space to store your supplies.
"be prepared not scared" - ready.gov
Here are a few practical tips for the apartment prepper for apartment survival during hard times.
Finding Space to Store your Supplies
One of the biggest challenges is trying to find space to organize your supplies. Space is a REAL concern unless you have an extra bedroom or large garage; I don’t have one, so I feel your pain. Also, I don’t relish the idea of storing bottles of water under my bed.
Go through each room and pick one drawer or cabinet that can be dedicated to emergency supplies only. I have dedicated the following areas to my prep supplies:
•Kitchen Pantry (my shelves are 24 inches deep– the bottom shelf is used to store water only, I can easily store enough food to last a month. I only store food I normally eat, and it’s replaced as needed.
- Top shelf over broom closet in the kitchen – crank radio, flashlights, batteries, duct tape, etc.
- Corner of the closet in the bedroom – bug out bags
- Bottom shelf of Linen closet in the hallway- small solar generator, kitty litter, a box of large heavy-duty plastic bags, solar shower.
- Hallway coat closet – Inside the door, I taped a list of supplies and their location in the house.
Other tips for the apartment prepper
Ask yourself what are the most likely disaster situations and threats you may face and plan accordingly. The answers to these questions will help you to decide what supplies you need for your specific situation.
Did the area experience long periods of time without electricity or safe water?
Is your area prone to earthquakes, hurricanes, tornadoes, etc.?
What are the crime statistics in your area?
In the event of an evacuation, where would you go and how would you get there?
Are you more concerned with a natural disaster, an economic collapse, long term unemployment, or a Zombie attack?
Once you determined exactly how prepared you want to be it’s time to put your list together and make sure you have room for everything before you go out and start buying supplies.
You can also start growing plants inside on a windowsill or on your balcony. Small container gardens are a great way to save a little money and be more self- reliant. Many fruits, herbs, and vegetables do well in an indoor or balcony setting.
Here are a few items you may want to include in a basic supply kit:
- Food and water- have a3-14 day supply for each person. If nothing else, you really need to have an adequate supply of water.
- Hand crank radio - if you are out of power a hand crank radio is a must have for every apartment prepper, they are small, inexpensive and will keep you informed when the power goes out. When your phone battery dies you will be thankful you one on hand.
- Flashlight and batteries
- First Aid Kit
- Basic First Aid Manual - this isn;t just for apartment preppers, every house should have this book.
- Dust Mask
- Towelettes, garbage bags, and plastic ties
- Wrench or Pliers
- Manual Can Opener
- Local Maps -you may think that the map on your phone is all you need, but when the power dies you won't have access, having a few local maps
- Pet food and extra water - fido or fluffy rely on you so don't forget to include them in your emergency preparedness plans.
- Cash and coin - in a serious disaster you might not have access to ATMS, so keep enough cash to fill up your gas tank and buy any basic supplies to get you through.
- Fire Extinguisher - look for a multipurpose fire extinguisher.
- Paper plates and utensils
- Extra blankets - look for lightweight blankets that aren't too bulky and easier to store.
- Matches in a waterproof container - I like long matches and also a few disposable lighters are good to have.
- Battery-powered lights and extra batteries - these little guys make your house so much nicer. I have strings set up in the bathroom, and other parts of the house so all I need to do is just flip the switch. I change the batteries yearly.
Some solar supplies to consider include:
- Portable Oven - if the SHTF and you don't have any electricity you'll be glad you have an easy way to heat up food. A solar oven or even an old style BBQ Grill with supplies will get you through in a pinch.
- Portable Shower - mine sure came in handy when our water heater broke and I was without hot water for a couple of days. Being too cheap to go to a hotel and not wanting to impose on friends just to take a hot shower, the solar shower sure came in handy. I heated up water on the stove and filled up the solar shower bag then hooked it over the existing showerhead, viola a hot shower!
- Backpack - the solar versions are great because you can use it as your bug out bag and have a way to charge up your electronics anywhere.
- Portable Generator - Quiet and safe to use. I can put my generator on the balcony to charge up and use it in the apartment in whatever area it's needed in.
Have a Bug Out Plan
At some point, you may need to evacuate so make sure your supplies are mobile. It's important to have a bug out bag that’s ready to go in a moment’s notice. If you don’t have room in your home, at the very least keep a BOB or Bug Out Bag in your car.
You need an evacuation plan. Each member of the household needs to know what to do and where to meet up
Note: Always keep your automobile gas tank full.
Have a plan for pets
If you have pets have a bugout bag ready for them also. Personally I keep a few cans of cat food, dry food, a large bottle of water, small trash bags and a couple of travel kitty litter boxes in the storage area over my parking space.
If we need to bug out quickly I would toss those items in the trunk before leaving. My cat carriers are stored in the hall closet and I’m considering getting a 2 cat carrier since my cats would undoubtedly freak out, and they would be more comfortable if they can cuddle up together.
The ASPCA has some great information about disaster preparedness for your pets
Closing tips for the apartment prepper in the city
Preparedness is an ongoing task; you want to rotate your food and water supply and check batteries, generators, etc. to make sure they are working properly.
So many times when I start to talk about prepping people will mostly roll their eyes and think I’m being a bit paranoid. Preparedness isn’t always about an Economic Collapse, Nuclear War, or a Zombie Attack; most of the time it’s just making sure you have what you need in the event of a natural disaster or sudden unemployment.
I suggest not being too vocal about your preparedness efforts. During a major disaster, you don’t want or need your neighbors to know exactly what you have. However, you should always be a good neighbor and share what you have and look out for others who need help. I would gladly share my supplies with my neighbors and their pets, you want it to be your idea.
Start moving toward a more self-reliant lifestyle by being prepared and living within your means. As I get older I don’t think I really want the responsibility of house so I live in a condo and intend to make it my little prepper heaven.
Some people may tell you to move to a rural area, learn to hunt, buy guns, etc., I’m not that kind of prepper which is commonly referred to as a "survivalist", I love the city life way too much to move away. But…. I sure would love a little piece of land and a vintage Airstream. Maybe one day.
What does it mean to "Bug Out"?
...to depart in a hurry, usually because of a natural disaster has occurred and you need to find a safe place to stay.
What is a Prepper?
...a person who believes a disaster or emergency is likely to occur in the future and makes active preparations for it, typically by stocking food and supplies.
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