apartment prepping

Apartment and condominium prepping
Prepping in tight spaces

Prepping in a condominium or apartment.
You don't need to live on acreage to be a prepper! Families
nationwide have learned to prep in small spaces and urban
places. Apartment and condominium preppers can grow their own
food in the city,
stockpile emergency food, store adequate
amounts of water and supplies, and plan for contingencies in their
urban dwelling.

Get started prepping in your apartment today by putting together
an apartment emergency kit, securing your home and
understanding the risks unique to apartments and condos...

Apartment preparedness
If you live in a condominium or apartment building, your prepping
needs are different from preppers who live in a house or
homestead. Below are some tips on apartment preparedness.

#1: Put together an apartment emergency kit.
It's never too late to start assembling a disaster survival kit for
your apartment. A home emergency kit for an apartment starts
with getting enough food and water to last you 30 days. If you
can last 30 days in your apartment with food and water then you
will be well poised to bug in during a long term emergency. Food
is easier to store than water when you have a tight space. One of
the ways to help resolve the water problem is to have a bathtub
water reservoir. There are many other tips for preppers who live in
apartments. Get started now!

To create your apartment emergency kit, you'll need some basics
in place:

As a secondary layer in your apartment emergency kit include the
following items:

#2: Always maintain situational awareness.
When you live in an apartment or condominium you share space
with many other people and for this reason your situation is
different from a prepper who lives in a house or on the

Bernie Carr, author of
The Prepper's Pocket Guide: 101 Easy
Things You Can Do to Ready Your Home for a Disaster and the  
Apartment Prepper's Blog,

#3: Grow your own! Get into apartment gardening.
A great resource for preppers who live in an apartment or condo is
Amy Pennington's book,
Apartment Gardening, plants, projects
and recipes for growing food in your urban home,
immediate right. Apartment Gardening details how to start a
garden in the heart of the city. You don't have to live in an
apartment to appreciate this book. Growing food an in urban
home is a delight thanks to this helpful guide. Learn how to grow
cherry tomatoes, cucumbers, herbs, lettuce, sugar snap peas,
squash, strawberries, and zucchini.

Preppers who live in an apartment or condominium can start an
apartment garden to harvest windowsill squash, wine barrel
arugula, asparagus in a milk crate or corn in a parking strip. Start
small and gain confidence in gardening whether it's a sprouted
seed project in the kitchen or growing corn in a large planter box,
anyone can learn to grow.

From building a window box to planting seeds in jars on the
counter, every space is plantable, and this book reveals that the
DIY future is now by providing hands-on, accessible advice.
What's more, apartment growers are among the a happiest of
Happy Preppers because these gardeners can harvest an array of
fruits, vegetables and herbs without much nuisance from pests,
such as aphids or slugs!

#4: Join a Community garden.
City dwelling preppers can also participate in community gardens
to harvest vegetation and find like minded folks. In particular,
preppers who have children should actively participate in school
gardens, as it not only helps solidify the family position on the
importance of self reliance, but it provides an invaluable skill set.

If no community garden exists, consider starting one! Lamanda
Start a community food Garden - the Essential Handbook, is
a highly rated guide that covers every step of the process:
including  fundraising, community organizing, site sourcing,
garden design and planning, finding and managing volunteers,
and managing the garden through all four seasons. Most
importantly, it offers tips for growing food. This is an invaluable
survival skill,

#5:  Find small spaces to stockpile.
No matter where a prepper lives, finding places for stockpiling
becomes an issue. It's just that apartment and condominiums are
generally smaller in square footage and may have limited
opportunities for storage. It's nothing that a little creativity can't
solve. The first thing you must realize is that something has to
go! Prepping is about decluttering to make room for the live-
saving things you need. What you keep in the household is all a
matter of priority.

  • More is less! If you're new to apartment prepping, toss what
    you haven't used in a year and donate or sell it, particularly
    if it's clothing that's worn out, improperly sized or stained, or
    if it's books you haven't read and aren't planning to read. We
    all keep stuff out of guilt. If you live in an apartment, your
    priority as a prepper is to toss anything that's not a survival
    tool, a memory or a necessity of daily living. If it's not one
    of these things, it has little value in a small prepper's home.

  • Add shelving. If you own the property create extra storage
    space by adding a second shelf in closets. Or ask the landord
    if you can install extra shelves as these are invaluable for
    increasing your storage space.

  • Make do (or do without). There are many things you can do
    without. Do without an ironing board, for example. If you
    need to iron, use a towel on a washer dryer, table or counter
    top instead of storing an ironing board. Presto ~ you now
    have more space!

  • Double up (Look for multi-use supplies). The most
    important preps you store in your home are the ones that
    have multiple uses and functions. For example, an end table
    can have storage, and function for your everyday use.
    Another example is a Big Berkey water filter, which can make
    you healthier today, minimize your dependency on bottled
    water and help you filter raw water in an emergency.

  • Compress your available space. There are many
    conventions to help you find places to stash your stuff and
    help you take advantage of the space you have. Another
    favorite idea is a vacuum sealer, for example can help you
    compress items for storage, which gives you more space,

#6: Stranger danger (hiding your stuff).
Another aspect of where to hide your wares is that strangers may
have more access to your home than if you lived in a house. The
management of your building may need to access your home for
maintenance, pest control, fire alarm inspection, plumbing, cable
~ you name it. If you've filled every crevice of your home with
preps it may become quickly apparent to the stranger that either
you're a crazy hoarder needing intervention or you're a savvy
prepper worth your weight in salt! In either scenario the stranger
will register the memory to take advantage of you in crisis.

That's why it's important to disguise your preps so as not to
cause a mental trigger. To that end, Bernie Carr author and owner
of apartmentprepper.com offers
ways to hide your emergency
supplies from strangers. The author offers a compact reference for
your library: the prepper's pocket guide, pictured left.

There are many places with which to hide food and supplies:

  • Beds. Money in the mattress is an old notion. Under the
    beds is today where prepper's find storage space for what's
    really valuable: food! Bed risers can raise the area available
    under your bed for even more storage.

  • Closet organizers. Closet organizers can make more space
    for hanging clothes, so you can stash your prepping wares.
    Shoe organizers for example can hold loose food items, such
    as food bars or ration bars, tablets for water purification, and

  • Ottomans and storage benches. Instead of a coffee table,
    you can get an ottoman with storage to enable you to hide
    food there. It's out of site from all except maybe the nosey
    babysitter or housesitter.

  • Bean bag storage. To find space and hide your wares, you
    can get a bean bag chair. The clever bean bag chair below is
    for clothing, however you could just as well store rice and
    beans in thick mylar bags or seal them up in a vacuum bag
    and hide them inside. Or use an ordinary bean bag chair. The
    sitter will never think of looking there.
sprouting kit
Seed sprouter
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#9: Understand risks of carbon monoxide poisoning.
Did you know that during an ordinary blackout one of the major
causes of death is carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning? Apartments
are particularly vulnerable to carbon monoxide poisoning because of
the occupancy, which increases the odds.

For this reason, you may need to remind your neighbors to:
  • Never use portable flameless chemical heaters indoors!
  • Never use a generator indoors either.
  • Make sure the owner vents the gas appliances properly.
  • Never patch a vent pipe with tape, gum, or something else as
    this will cause a build up of CO.

Everyone is at risk for CO poisoning, but in particular babies and
the elderly are high at risk as are people with anemia, asthma or
other breathing problems and chronic heart disease. Common
symptoms of CO poisoning include chest pain, confusion and
dizziness, headache, weakness, and vomiting or stomach upset.

Know the symptoms and make sure to install a carbon monoxide
detector in your home to keep everyone alerted.

#10: Go off grid with solar.
Because you won't be able to use a generator inside your
apartment, you'll need to come up with an alternative backup power
source. Solar is an ideal solution for apartments and condos.
generators are available and affordable solutions.

The huge benefit of a solar generator is that it's silent and safe
with no noise or fumes! A noisy generator would otherwise attract
too much attention of human predators in an extreme situation.

#11: Plan on bartering.
When you live in an apartment or condominium, one thing you'll
quickly realize as a prepper is that you won't be able to stockpile
everything you need for a worst-case scenario. In planning for
uncertain items, you'll need to be clever. For example, you can
stockpile small bartering items, so that you can still get what you
need down the line. BIC lighers are

#12: Setting up a sanitation station.
Having an alternate means of going to the bathroom is important
where ever you live. Fortunately, you can
plan your sanitation
needs very easily with a simple honey bucket solution, as with a
Luggable Loo, pictured right. Store your new Luggable Loo with
sanitation bags, toilet paper, wet wipes, ration bars and other
supplies, ready for the day when you might need it. You can also
set up a simple bidet system instead of toilet paper. A bidet
irrigates the area with a small amount of water to cleanse. It's a
solution for
when the toilet paper runs out.

#13: Doing laundry.
Doing laundry without electricity is possible in any home. Drying
the laundry  is perhaps more of a challenge in an apartment or
condominium because hanging the clothes out to dry may invade
living spaces. In old apartment buildings, before regulations about
such things happened, people would hang their clothes to dry
between the buildings in the city. Using an easement building
owners would reciprocate a line pulley and tenants between the
two buildings could hang their clothes out to dry manipulating the
pulley through a window.

You don't often find such an arrangement today, as ordinances
have come about because of the visual pollution. What's more, the
advent of commercial dryers also eliminated the need. What is a
prepper to do in case the grid goes down?

Clean clothing may not be the most important aspect of prepping
for urban preppers, but it is something to consider for short term
grid down scenarios and conveniences. Thankfully some modern
solutions exist to make things easier. Preppers need only to look to
how owners of recreational vehicles handle the situation.

The convention of manual spin dryers and washing machines is
something that doesn't require a generator. If there is proper
ventilation for a generator then an urban dweller can take
advantage of those conventions.

A final word on renting...
If you are not a homeowner, you are either renting someone else's
property or living in someone else's property for free. In either
circumstance you are not in control of the property and are at the
mercy of the landlord or in limited protection with tenancy laws.
That's a long way of saying that this shelter isn't really yours! You
are paying for a service and not entitled to it.

Your ability to stay in the shelter is directly tied to your cash
resources. With this in mind, a reserve of money should be at the
top of your priority! Aim to have a six month reserve, but start  
with the goal of one month at a time. Who knows, you may some
day have enough money to own a bugout location or a home you
can truly call your own.

Happy endings...
Planning for contingencies in urban environments may require
thinking, but there are plenty of resources and conventions to make
the job easier as a prepper.

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#7: Plan for rioting and civil unrest.
Having a plan for rioting and civil unrest is especially important
if you live in the city. Self reliance,
self defense and survival
psychology come into play on many levels.

  • Stun guns offer a measure of protection for getting to your
    vehicle safely.
  • Tasers are another option for urban living, particularly if
    you have over regulation of gun laws in your state.

#8: Ensure a great escape for a fire.
When you live on a second story, it's important to have a
method of escaping fire. If your building doesn't have a fire
escape, or the fire escape isn't accessible from every room, you
should plan a contingency. The fire escape ladder, pictured
right, is available for second or third story units. For units much
higher in the sky, there is a parachute option. Another
interesting prep for such buildings is an emergency escape
hood  oxygen mask respirator.
#6: Have an eye on apartment Security.
A home on the first floor is more vulnerable to intrusion than a
home on the upper stories, but in any apartment or
condominium, apartment security is a top concern. With so
many people coming in and out of buildings, it's a high priority
for an urban prepper to have a home defense plan that begins
with securing access to your front door, deck, patio, porch and
windows. There are so many products available to help you
keep intruders out and your family safe inside, including:

  • anti-climb spikes
  • door jams
  • garage door locks
  • sliding glass door locks (even a wooden dowel can provide
  • window locks and stoppers

As well, you can enhance the security of your apartment or
condo with a wireless alarm system. Here are more ideas on
apartment home security:
  • Water bricks. Possibly you can stow water bricks behind
    the couch or stack them and cover them to disguise them
    as furniture.

  • Diversion safes. Secret storage spaces for guns, gold or
    silver, and cash is another area that preppers who live in
    small spaces need to consider. You don't necessarily need
    to buy a commercially produced diversion can. It's possible
    to make your own, such as a fake mayonnaise jar that
    looks almost empty by painting a clean jar and scraping it
    to look the part. The clever prepper also can cut and glue
    book spines onto storage boxes and return the hidden
    storage to the bookshelf. Another idea is to store heavy
    food in a box labeled "Grandma's China" and lighter freeze
    dried food in a box labeled "Christmas ornaments." The
    key to apartment prepping is creativity!

  • Storage units. Many condominiums and apartments
    include garage spaces or storage lockers or closets, which
    a prepper can use creatively. Carefully organize this area
    and stow camping equipment in boxes labeled "Uncle
    John's books." Another idea is to stash freeze dried cans
    and buckets into boxes labeled "toys." This creates a
    necessary diversion and uses the space logically. In
    addition to such storage areas, it's wise to consider
    renting a small storage unit if one is within walking or
    biking distance.

  • Bikes. To save on space for more preps, an apartment or
    condominium owner can get creative by owning a folding
    bike instead of a conventional bike. A bike is a good way
    to get out of the city to a bugout location and ultimate is
    a key consideration for apartment and condo preppers.
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