PREPS

Apartment Dweller Preparedness Recommendations

Apartment Dweller

About 23% of all people in the United States live in an apartment dwelling (structure type: 2 or more units). That’s about 68 million people according to nmhc.org 2015 statistics.

If you fit in that statistic and if you are a prepper, you’re presented with certain unique challenges for your preparedness.

What are the preparedness challenges for the suburban apartment dweller?

What can be done about some of these challenges?

 
A recent email posed the following question:

I live in an apartment in the northern Seattle ‘burbs, and would like to know if you, or the online community, have thoughts or suggestions for those of use who don’t have land/gardens/etc.

I have about a months worth of food, and a couple of weeks of water (more if I drain the water heater), good clothes, radios, TP, camp stove with fuel, lights, etc.., a decent GHB in the car, and am pleasantly surprised to see the Washington state EMD urging at least two weeks home prepping.

Storage is limited as I am in a two bedroom apartment and cannot reasonably relocate to the East-side of the state due to aging parents and work (working on the work aspect).

My current approach is to continue my preps and maintain a low profile, and would like to draw on the MSB community for additional thoughts. Thanks.

 

Apartment Dweller Preparedness Challenges

Here are a few that come to mind. Add your own in the comment section below.

INSIDE Space limitations

While we all have our own space limitations (we all live within walls), the apartment dweller may tend to have less space than the typical home dweller. Since preparedness does involve a collection of supplies, they need to go somewhere…

OUTSIDE Space limitations

Similarly the apartment dweller may have little or no space outside. No big ‘yard’ to speak of. There may be a small space off the back patio for 1st-floor residents and-or there might be a common area for everyone in the building. But it’s not like having your own personal yard if you live in a single family home. Gardens? Privacy? Security?

Closer proximity (density) with others

The apartment dweller lives right next to other apartment dwellers. You might even hear them through the walls. If there is a disruptive event whereby you implement your preparedness plans, you will be up close and personal with your neighbors so to speak.

OPSEC

Operational Security. Most preppers try to keep a low profile given the stigma that exists around preparedness (which itself is stunning – why would the masses look down upon preparedness?!). Trying to keep a low profile in an apartment might be challenging.

Preparedness Level-2,3,4

If you live in an apartment and undergo a Level-1 event (hours, days, maybe up to one week) you should be just fine there. However when we go beyond that (several weeks, a month, longer?!) it will become quite a challenge if not impossible to deal with in an apartment.

 

What Can Be Done About Those Challenges?

This is where the ideas flow. Leave your comments below.

A few initial thoughts to get it going:

There’s only so much space inside, even for those who own their own home. Instead of haphazardly acquiring ‘stuff’ for preparedness, give it some serious thought first. What are the most important things? Take care of that first. Things like water, filtration, and food storage should be first. Then evaluate from there.

Utilize space in a unique way. Example:

During a time when we lived in a smaller home, I kept twelve 5-gallon buckets (food preps) behind a couch. I had a row of six buckets across – stacked two high. I covered (draped) them with a fabric which matched (blended) with the couch color. I placed a proper size board across the top which I had stained/finished as a nice looking shelf (I shimmed it to bring to the similar height of the couch back). The shelf board turned out to be a convenient practical thing, and it served to hide all those buckets of food storage. No one knew.

Under the furniture. Under the bed. Behind furniture. In the furniture. The closet. In your luggage bags. Hiding in plain sight. Stay organized.

If you’re really tight for space, you could rent a storage unit. Many people do this anyway. Sure it costs money, but it’s an option.

Although it may be less likely that you have other friends or family that are into preparedness, the fact is that if you do – you might be able to arrange with them.

As an apartment dweller, if you have a little space outside, maybe there’s enough for a 4×8 raised garden? You might also plant some veggies in ordinary planters on the patio. Even though you’re not looking at life-saving food production, it’ll get you into gardening – which is always a good skill for preparedness.

Look around your local area for water sources. Make a mental note of it. You do have a good water filter, right?

Be aware of your OPSEC. Know that you have more eyes watching you when you live among population density.

Beyond a Level-1 event, you better make a plan. While the odds of a Level-2,3,4 event are quite a bit smaller, “if” it does happen you will need to know what to do. Most apartment dweller situations will not be conducive for survival under such conditions.

The plan will need to include a pre-determined bug-out destination. There are lots of bug-out related articles here on Modern Survival Blog, just search for them…

Search: “bug-out”
Search: “bug out”

Focus on adaptability. Focus on preparedness related skills. Be healthy. Strengthen yourself. Multiple uses for a given item. Think about your personal security. Utilize your vehicle for preparedness – have a well stocked kit there. Keep the tank on the full side.

 
SUMMARY
Regarding the original email above, it sounds like this person is pretty well prepared for Level-1 (and a bit beyond that) given the limitations of an apartment. My general suggestion for him is to focus on a bug-out plan and all that it entails. The good thing is that most all ‘typical’ disruptions are Level-1.

That said, he evidently lives in the Seattle area. I’m sure that he knows about the Cascadia subduction zone. That would definitely be beyond Level-1 for that region…

Prepping and Preparedness 1 – 4

That said, lets hear your specific or general recommendations for the apartment dweller prepper:

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53 Comments

  1. OK everyone loves canned food BUT it takes up a LOT of space so i started DRYING stuff hell ive even dryed homemade chili
    and it DOES stay good for a LONG A TIME

    1. I just almost went to the store this morning for green peppers to use in green tomato reslish after tearing down my plants.
      Then, I remembered the dried vegetables in storage; hence green peppers from my garden and Aldi’s.
      Bingo–no trip, no delay, and the relish is delicious!

  2. Most apartments that I have lived in also had a small caged area in the basement for storage. If you have a space like that you can put preps in it.

    1. I have lived in condominium apartments with these lockers. Some people use curtains or shower curtains inside the wired cage for privacy or to hide expensive items. One thing to watch for is rodents which may give away the storage. Animal and insect proof containers are a must. Those wheeled suitcases are great for storage and to bring in items. One can always explain visiting a non existent relative out of town on a regular basis. Many people store their luggage in these lockers.

  3. The best advice I can think of is to MOVE.

    In addition to all the other things mentioned in the article, I can think of a few problems (OPSEC, no garden space, limited storage, too many people close by, etc.) with living in an apartment — or any home you rent from someone else.

    One problem is enough water, especially if you live on an upper floor. Can you lug enough water up several floors to supply your family with drinking, cooking, washing water? What if you live on the 20th floor? Is there even a source of water nearby? The amount of water you can store in an apartment is very limited. What will you do after that is used up?

    Another problem with living in a rented space is that the owner may tell you to leave, especially if government protection is absent. Maybe he wants the space for his relatives, for storage for his preps or maybe a large part of the city has become uninhabitable due to flooding, fire, etc and he can get a much larger rent from some of those displaced people.

    I once found a house I loved that was for rent. I wanted to buy it but the owner was adamant that the house was not for sale and would never be for sale. The house had been in his family for 40 years, etc. I asked for his promise in writing that he would give me first option to buy it if it ever was offered for sale. He repeated his claim, “The house is not for sale. Period!” One year later I had to move out as he had sold it to someone else without telling me. It was a private sale, not through a Realtor, and he had apparently shown it to prospective buyers while I was at work. I had to move and had to find a new school for my daughter.

    You have no security if someone else owns the home you live in. Interest rates are low and it is a good time to buy, even if it is an old small house on a tiny lot. Owning is the only security.

    1. That’s another problem with renting. The owner can access you home and your preps while you are away. No OPSEC from the landlord

    2. Unfortunately moving is not always an option as he stated in his question. Ranting on about the problems living in an apartment was a waste of time. While all your points are valid they didn’t address the question.

  4. My best advice, from living in an apartment most of my childhood, would be to get furniture that stores things. Most furniture can be “tweaked” to provide a hidden compartment to store things. When our daughter was little she used to have a bed with drawers in the bottom, it was totally enclosed, we hid Christmas and birthday gifts in behind the drawers for years. No one ever knew they was there.
    You can also get bed extenders to make a bed taller, about 3 inches, to store more under the bed.
    We have studied hidden compartment furniture and have made several pieces. No one knows and like Ken said “hidden in plain sight”.
    Also try vacuum sealing bags of things, if the things can be crushed, it makes everything smaller and easy to grab if needed in a hurry. You would be surprised how small 4 rolls of TP can get!! LOL

  5. Good Morning! I can understand the ageing parents situation all too well. Two Primary Issues you need to address first before we talk about storing preps in a small apartment.

    First Issue. I’ve spent much time in the Seattle-Everette area so how do you plan in getting out of that area in a disaster given “Normal Rush Hour” traffic is parking lot….

    Second issue is what are you going to do with your parents in a disaster? Do you have a plan to recover them and where do you draw the line of death FROM “Saving” Them? Harsh thought my apologies but realistic.

    My plan to escape Seattle area involved a beater sailboat as I could bicycle to the boat even through traffic and buried barrels of supplies in the dryer parts of the sloughs. I kayaked the sloughs enough to know what is upstream and the flood-drought cycle changes. Fun too BTW.

    Honest talk with your spouse and parents about that situation will help prevent crippling “Survivor Guilt” later.

    NH Michael (Happy not to be in a city)

    1. I definitely agree about having “the talk”, especially since aging parents are one of the main reasons for being there. We did this several months ago. One of the things we realized is that it isn’t a one time thing, it’s an ongoing discussion. The first time, we brought in a professional to lead the discussion. He did an incredible job of making everyone comfortable with a difficult subject, kept everything very matter-of-fact/not overly emotional, and laid out some of the most likely scenarios where decisions would have to be made. FIL’s insurance paid for it. He has since passed, but conversations with MIL have been ongoing and are easier. DH has talked with her about various levels of SHTF situations and what her wishes would be. Having those discussions are one more aspect of preparedness.

    2. NH MICHAEL,, I haven’t been north of the Lewis county line for years ,seattle is a arm pit. BUT if you venture a hundred miles south it’s a different world ,, if you hate guns ,think preping is nuts ,are bothered by people that say hi how are you and mean it ,, if you can’t stand fresh air and clean water ,it might be best to not come here BUT THEN AGAIN if you can put up with the above ,,look me up I’ll show you around,,,,, ,if you promise not to tell any one you came from seattle
      Gun show in Chehalis this week end ,,thrasing bee in Toledo ,a good place to meet farmers and ranchers that have FOOD to sell ,,,some folks have a hard time with a slower life style

      Tea and chocolate

      1. Chuckle my time in Seattle area was from childhood and later US Army. I used to have a cabin (now a days a TINY HOUSE LOL) in Selah so I know well your area. A bit dry for my taste thus I am in New Hampshire now.

        I still stand behind my suggestion for the Seattle Apartment Prepper to get a PLAN to get out when the stuff hit’s the fan. My beater Boat idea cost me less than 1K and when I left Seattle I was able to sell it for much more. Sweat Equity at it’s best.

        NH Michael

  6. Live in an appartment?

    Your SOL if its any sort of major problem,,,

    Better to start trying to make other plans.

  7. I found this cart on .kickstarter.com. A great idea if you have to bug out or even to use around the house.

  8. I definitely think that for a suburban apartment dweller, a BOL should be a priority. Preps in the apartment for a Level 1 situation or getting through several weeks of low personal finances, BOL for anything more than that.

    1. Agree Skibum….
      and if you live in an apt or any high density population have BOB and BOL supplies ready to go…
      Whatever you need for your vehicle, and other packs/bags ready to go in garage or closet next to exiting door so you can grab and go for greater emergencies…
      Preparedness, Awareness, and Thinking Ahead may just save your life!

  9. If you are in any type of housing on the Texas coast, now is the time to visit someone further north. Bring identification, insurance papers, valuables, contact numbers, cash, …. you know by now what you need on the road. If you go now, you can still buy fuel and supplies on the road – will not be possible in another day! Even if you are on upper stories of an apartment building you may lose power, sewage, water, …. the hurricane may even take out your windows or roof.

    1. darn Ken’s intuitive, robotic, hyper-grammar checker did not catch stories – should read storys or storeys – none of which show as being correct.

      1. I had it tell me I was posting to fast and to slow down yesterday. : ) Never saw that one before.

  10. Seattle “burbs”

    First of all congratulations on the progress you have made in your Preparing. Seems you’re way beyond the masses with a month’s of food and 2 or more weeks of water. Plus the cooking and rest covered. Good Job.

    Without knowing a LOT more of your situation I don’t believe there is a lot of advice to give, except for a few points to follow, first this;

    I will tell you that you have some very Very VERY hard decisions to make regarding your situation, such as;

    1. How likely do you feel TSHTF is coming? Next week? Next month? A year or two? Never?
    2. Is the Sky Falling or is your feeling that nothing major will happen that will affect you beyond a week or so and our buddies FEMA and .gov will save us all?
    3. Here is a hard one, can you’re aging parents survive for a month or longer without medical, electricity, and all the rest some need to survive? Can they travel under adverse conditions? AND would they want you and yours’s (if you have a family) to risk your lives to be with them? Do you have the prep’s to support your parents for a month also?
    4. How tied are you to the City other than your parents? And pleaseeeee don’t say money, that’s a fool’s errand.
    5. If TSHTF-hard do you have a BOL to go to, and can you get your parents to go and can they?

    Ok, enough of that, on with a couple of suggestions;

    The very first thing I would say; MOVE, and I do mean MOVE everything, including the Parents (remember they do have places for Elderly Parents outside the Cities…..). Remember us Country Bumpkins also have Parents to care for.

    Second thing; Find a hunk of dirt somewhere, build a home or buy one that’s your “Little piece of Heaven”, Why you ask? Because life is wayyyyy to friggen short not too.
    Learn and live the “Lifestyle”; the freedom you will feel is tremendous, you have NO idea. Raising your own food and having the knowledge of the being able to take care of you and yours’s is like nothing you can imagine. Yes it’s hard work and at times you will want to quit, until that day you pick your very first ripe tomato from your own Garden, or start collecting eggs from your chickens….. I could go on for an hour, but you get the idea.

    Next, give up the Garbage you/we are inundated with, meaning the CRAP news and hate we are now seeing. Get rid of the TV and the BS nonsense we are smothered with. Come to the realization you are in control of your life, sure you still need to do some .gov things like pay taxes and have health care, but become smart to what this life has to offer, when is the last time you stepped outside at night and marveled at the Universe of Stars out there? Or listened to the sounds of a quiet stream as you’re fishing? Dump the crap by the side of the road as you leave Seattle/City.

    Some people will tell you that you need this or that to prepare, I will bet $$$ to Doughnuts that you already know 99.99% of these things, what you need to learn/realize is you need a good kick in the azz to do what you already know.

    BTW, one thing I do like about this group of GREAT people here on MSB, if you ask a question, you had better be prepared for some Straight Forward, Honest answers…. Who is John Galt?

  11. Super secrete (well not now!) hiding places within an apartment….
    If you are a handy fellow…
    1. Cut clean holes (stud to stud) into the Sheetrock walls, fill with supplies like canned meat or freeze dried foods then remount Sheetrock, tape plaster, give entire wall a fresh coat of paint.
    2. Remove Kitchen cabinet kick plates (bottom cabinet), store supplies like extra 12ga. canned meat and ammo under the cabinet then remount mount kick plate with screws. Extra bonus if some jack a$$ kicks in your door and your in the kitchen, duck down yank the kick plate and grab that 12ga. surprise surprise!
    3. After everyone bugs out (or dies off) in a bad shft event you should be able to bust holes in the walls between apartment units and create a luxury pent house suite for yourself in the apocalypses. You’ll be livin the high life! :)

    1. 1. Cut clean holes (stud to stud) into the Sheetrock walls, fill with supplies like canned meat or freeze dried foods then remount Sheetrock, tape plaster, give entire wall a fresh coat of paint.

      I have remodeled a house and for 90% of the population…that sheetrock scheme ain’t happening!!! Not at my house!!

      1. You are right you need some skills to accomplish a patch job. I guess it depends on the finish of the walls themselves and your experience level.
        Plaster rough textured walls are easier to blend in seamlessly if you have no experience. Flat walls require attention to detail. You can also remove a section of sheet rock say behind your refrigerator or a large wardrobe or inside a bedroom closet. This would be less obvious spaces and you can learn the art of taping mud and sanding.

  12. Ya know, this topic isn’t only for apartment dwellers. I have a neighbor that pretended she was starting stockpiling supplies and didn’t..Opsec ruined for me!! :-(
    Then she talks about not having space for canned goods, etc.
    She has three bedrooms; that means she can sell the suites and use those two bedrooms’ space.
    Gee..it’s a no-brainer!
    I visit apartmentprepper .com a lot and even with 4 bedrooms, a storage room, and other rooms I don’t need, I get ideas there.

  13. I lived in apartments for most of the time I lived in the California Bay Area. The cost of living was so high one could not afford to buy property and land. I was going through trade school and working.

    Some of my preps were kept in an off-site storage unit. Key phrase here is cheap, run-down looking and low profile. My vehicle was a small p/u truck – same thing: it looked cheap, run – down looking and low profile. When traffic was at standstill, I rode my mountain bike around the city. There were 3 reasons I grew flowers on the deck of my apartment: 1. People saw me and my balcony and thought that I was a slightly built effeminate dude that was probably alternative-lifestyle. ( because he is out there watering his pansies for goodness sake!) 2. It concealed the fact that I was a gun-toting retired cop that was prepared for civil unrest and had supplies and a plan in place to survive an “event”. 3. Growing flowers can be fun and I enjoy their presence.

    The above is what I call Urban Camouflage. For these same reasons, I tuck my range bag and ammo case into a reusable grocery sack from the local Natural Foods market or Safeway store. Many criminals will break a window in order to steal your Dillon “Tacticool” range bag with MOLLE magazine pockets and loop attachments. ( there just gotta be something good and valuable inside.). When I kept my long guns wrapped in Little Mermaid Beach Towels and carried my ammo in a pink grocery sack ( Breast Cancer Awareness Campaign.) Nobody bothered breaking into my old, disreputable looking and dirty truck.

    I now have a professional license and a steady job. Lastly, I live in the ‘burbs’ like many people on this site. I do not live in the country in an off-grid home. We all have to find our happy space.

    1. Hahaha, nice. Being a burber myself, I’m the guy puttering around in my front flowerbed and grazing the various inconspicuous edibles in the yard and definitely not the go to guy for a crisis. I found that for the range trips a broken down AR fits nicely in an old pack and play carrier and the rest sits happily in an old Trader Joes canvas shopping bag. Alas, my buddy has me beat with an old guitar case with Coexist and Bernie stickers all over it.

  14. When we lived in an apartment, the prospect of bugging-in was daunting. The building complex was on the edge of a modest-sized town in older suburbs (and woods). So, the location didn’t scream Get-Out-Of-Dodge Immediately. Winter power outages were the more frequent issue.

    We had food for quite awhile and a way to cook it (balcony grill). Even supplemental heat (Massachusetts) seemed workable — even if on the chilly side. What we couldn’t fix was Water. City water, city sewer. We could manually flush, but that took stored water (even if saved gray-water). Being on the second floor meant the folks below would suffer sewer backup before we did, but that was little comfort. We’d be next.

    We could store some water, but it seemed assured that we’d run out of stored water far sooner than food or heat. Rain catchment was possible but too iffy to bank on. Moving to a house in NH was the better solution.

    — Mic

  15. Lots of great suggestions already given, just a few added thoughts:
    – How do you use your 2nd bedroom? If you have kids then you really do have it tough, as you are going to have to resort to under-bed storage, shelving, closets and creative use of space as already suggested.
    – Do you have a garage? My in-laws have tenants and none of them park cars in their garages. Everyone parks on the street and uses their garages for extra “stuff”. One has his home office in part of his attached garage, and shelving/cupboards in the other part.
    – If you have shoes on your closet floor what is underneath them? Even if you only have a little bit of space between the bottoms of hanging clothes and the tops of shoes on the floor, you can still add a single layer of canned goods. You can pack cans in the tops of copy paper boxes and put your footwear on top of the cans.
    – Do you have a patio or balcony but no space for a dirt patch? I’m with Ken – try container gardening. I have very little yard space and so have containers going. I’ve noticed a few of our neighbors starting to do the same thing. You won’t get a lot of food, but it’s really good practice and fun. We’ve had strawberries, tomatoes, onion, herbs, cucumbers, and my orange bell peppers are going gang busters now. I’m also experimenting with carrots, and recently added two dwarf citrus trees that can live in very large containers for years if need be. I have good weather year-round and so will be experimenting with more root veggies as the weather cools.
    – I also agree about your parents place. If they have a home I would think you would be planning to go there to help them, so you can store there as well. If they are in assisted living or something like that obviously that won’t work. If you haven’t talked with them about preparedness then its obviously time to do that.
    – If you simply cannot relocate (and I understand that) and will be in your general area for the foreseeable future, and your current apartment does not have a patio, or garage, or other space then you may want to look for a new place. I agree with DaisyK that there are serious risks with renting, but if that is what you must do right now then rent the most favorable space you can… maybe an apartment with more outdoor space, more storage, or a bigger garage? Or, maybe you can find a small house (rather than an apartment) a little further away from work and commute a little bit longer (trading more commute time for more space)?
    – Offsite storage was covered… but is worth repeating if you have “stuff” you seldom need (but can’t bear to get rid of) that is taking up precious apartment space (furniture, Christmas decorations, seasonal clothing or sports gear, keepsakes). Those items can go into a small, affordable storage unit – freeing up closet, cupboard or garage space you can use to keep more preps at home with you. I would advise caution on storing preps in offsite storage – would you be able to get to them in an emergency (ie: no electricity so you can’t get in the electronic gates?)

    1. And BTW, I would be out of the suburbs forever if I could (not quite there yet)… the preps I am talking about are short-term measures until I can save up the $1 I will owe NRP when we move away permanently. : )

  16. Please let us know early in the process if you move in with NRP. If so I will purchase numerous stocks of companies producing TP. I believe his fear of having to share his stash will cause him to increase his supply exponentially This event will drive stock prices up due to a decreased supply globally. I’ll buy low and sell high. I’ll even split some of the profits with you and NRP.

    1. Heck, I would invest in Gin stocks, chocolate, popcorn, and nitro tablets for his heart.

      1. hermit us
        Gin, Chocolate, Popcorn ,Nitro-tabs
        Now that sounsd like something out of the Anarchist Cookbook LOLOLOL

  17. Has anyone tried an indoor garden? I found a site darlinsplace.com that describes one (located under “food and water”, then down to “4 Square Foot Garden”). It’s an interesting concept. If I relocate, or get rid of, my small kitchen table there will be enough room there to grow food for my family.

    1. @ Doug
      Another interesting concept I have seen is people who make an herb garden out of a military-tiered shoe rack you would hang on the door. You could also sink eyes and hooks into the ceiling joists and make a small hanging garden in a well lit room.
      If you are truely bugging in and you know the SHFT big time, find an empty apartment and turn it into your grow house. If you are in a tall building, find out which floor has the injector pumps (if so equipped) that push the water to the upper floors, tap into the system there for irrigation and extra water. Depending on the size of the building, you could be looking at hundreds or a thousand+ gallons. If you can get to the roof and shape/pitch allows, start a roof top garden.

    2. The main problem with indoor gardening is light. Plants need a lot of it. I did a small indoor garden with lights and mirrors once, and the plants survived until spring, but wilted and leggy. Even growing in front of a south facing window was insufficient, as the plants only got light for a few hours per day. Soil and water can be an issue also. Consider attempting hydroponics if you can work out the light. Hydroponics or aquaponics take some adaptation to traditional gardening but you can grow much more in a limited space. They generally also require electricity, so pick your poison. Without electricity your system is stinking up the entire house within 2 days. Without water your plants are dead in the same period.

      1. Lauren, the water could be poured manually into a top grow bed and drain via a very small tube into a lower tank… as long as the water can not completely drain, but there is a small reservior of fertlized water either chemical/ natural/ fish emulsion…it must be done, but could be done either q 4-8 hours depending on sleep and ake cycles. part of lighting can be addressed with placing mylar or alum foil behind the plants.. with grow lights possible. look up you tube…growing greens, tomatoes, bell peppers etc.. lots of info. the same water in a hydroponics system is used over and over for at least 4-6 weeks. with adequate filtration in place…can extend that for some time and have a minimal amount of water that caan be filtered as well for use. rain water? could be obtained? possibly? to add back into system. To strengthen leggy plants a small fan blowing on them works wonders. be sure to turn the plants…..will strengthen from all directions..

    1. Because putting up the walls put the families apart from each other. Apart-ments as in keeping people apart.

    2. As I understand it, the phrase came from the old boarding houses, where big rooms might be broken up into small family apart-ments simply by putting up a flimsy wall or a curtain.

      1. It really comes from old French/Italian terms meaning to “separate” or “set aside”. 👍

  18. Do his aging parents live in their own home? Perhaps store supplies there. That could then become an alternate base should the apartment become compromised. But in the event that an incident occurs, you will likely head there to check on your parents. You can recover supplies at that time. The nice thing here is that “all your eggs are not in one basket”.

    Among the other concerns already voiced about living in an apartment, I have always felt that you were to a degree at the mercy of your bonehead neighbors. I felt that it was more likely that one of them would burn the place down due to smoking in bed or leaving a pot on the stove. Having said that, my recommendation is that you work out in your mind now, after spouse and any children/pets, what item is your priority to evacuate in the event of fire or gas leak? What few small things will you grab on your way out the door? Once you leave, fire/police will likely not allow you to return for hours, perhaps weeks.

    But keep getting creative with storage space. I filled the space under and behind my couch with canned goods. It amazes me how many people do not think about the space under the couch.

  19. Both of my adult children live in apartments outside of an area under the threat of Hurricane Harvey. Panic buying has been going on for a couple days now in our area and I, as some say, have sat back eating popcorn watching the circus. One of my children came by today for supplies as that is the way our family has its plans. Our home is the central location and it is just my wife, dog and I in our home. Two bedrooms are now storage for our preps so it’s understood to rally here or come get supplies from us to take to their apartments. Our other adult child will be here to get what he needs and may end up staying a few days since where his apartment is, it’s prone to flooding. Our last rain forcast is for 30 inche’s the next 3 days. Guess what I’m trying to say is if space is limited, network with other trusted friends and family. You mention helping caring for your parents. Can you store supplies at there place? Even the trunk of your car can be used to store some supplies such as water filters, portable stoves and lights etc. long term and food and water for shorter periods.
    Gonna be an interesting 3 or 4 days here and will be another good test of our prepardness. I’m cautiously optomistic of our preps. It’s also gonna be a good chance to see if we have any holes in our preps/plans.

  20. Reading this makes me sooo glad not to be an apartment dweller anymore. My little place in the burbs might not be ideal but I don’t have to deal with landlords and close proximity neighbors anymore.

  21. As I read the posts of others, I have to say I have had some pleasant memories of apartment living. I have had good like-minded neighbors and made arrangements watch each others place while we were gone on a business trip or mandatory overtime. Some neighbors were trusted with keys to feed the cat (s) while there are others that we absolutely do not ever trust.

    The downside of renting is the fact your housing is up to the whims of the owner or property management company. The only protection you may have is if your landlord goes off-the-rails and violates your rights as a tenant. (then it is off to civil court to settle matters) Living in an apartment has always meant: keep your bug-out bag ready to go at all times. Living in an apartment is good practice for practicing the bug out drill. When your good neighbor is replaced by the modern remake of the Beasty Boys on Meth, sometimes the best solution is relocation. ( Yes, I speak from experience. If you live in apartments for years, you know exactly what I am talking about. )

    I have tried to be a good renter when I lived in rented housing but it is impossible to ignore the fact that you are throwing away money as a renter. Even in California, you get tax breaks when you own your own home. When you sell, you get cash equity. ( As a renter, how many of you have ever received 100% of your security deposit back?) Lastly, I met and dated my wife while I was an apartment dweller. She settled down and married me after I bought the house in the ‘burbs.

    To the Seattle based apartment dweller: Sounds like you visit your parents and help them. Keep some stores at their place unless they are in assisted living. (no/minimal storage space). good luck to you and keep the dream of finding your happy space.

  22. So you have a months supply of food & water. What are you going to do when the apartment sewage system packs it in? Sewage is going to be a BIG problem when the SHTF not just in apartments.

  23. I had to move out of a condominium apartment bldg due to fear… of the middle aged man dealing drugs. Vehicles would deliver drugs to the condo and he would meet them in the parking area and transfer money for product. He could record all residents on lobby watch and provide tapes to his thug associates. It was common knowledge among the residents who pay tax on their own income. Some snob condo boards do not want publicity or neighbourhood watch signs on the premises. Some owners only care about resale value although crime monitoring is a selling point. I gave all my clothes away and purchased new ones so I would be less identiable in case lobby watch tapes had been provided to his associates. I do not know how big his operation was but I felt that I had to leave. Each year there are more and more rentals in the building. I do not even know if unit owners know of any sublets and who is actually residing there.

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