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Prepping in an Apartment

drwkids
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Prepping in an Apartment

Postby drwkids » Mon Oct 27, 2014 12:55 am

Prepping in an apartment

Here are some topics that I would like to cover that are different then prepping in your own home/property.

Space - where do you put your preps so they are out of site?
Water - Storage?
Heat - Especially in Canadian Winters if the power goes out how do you keep warm?
Security - Thoughts for any level. Ground floor has different issues then a top floor. Fire / looters ect?
Bug in vrs Bug out. Keep in mind most people who live in an apartment do not have the funds to have BOL of their own.
Apartment Gardens - both with or without a patio

Anything else I am missing add it below. Would love to hear others thoughts, and compare to my own.
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peppercorn
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Re: Prepping in an Apartment

Postby peppercorn » Mon Oct 27, 2014 2:21 am

Lots of ways to do this. Apartments are tough as space is so limited but for short term a day, a week, maybe 2, one device will give you a minumum level of heat, light, and a little cooking ability. A honda eu 1000, google the specs, something like 8hrs on 2 liters. with a db level of 54 or so half way loaded....very quiet, You could run this on your deck. Pick up a power bar for the honda.Now buy some bed heaters, plug them into the honda,these are 50 to 120 watts each they are heated blanket things that go under your sheets and you lay on them, I forgot the name of these, this will at least keep you warm while you sleep, have a small hot plate that you can plug into the honda, I like the old stuff found at flie markets or antique places, something in the 500 watt range. So now you can cook a bit, though really for emergency cooking, those 1 pound propane bottles are great, at canadian tire there are burners that screw right on to the top of the tank. though if you have a barbeque with the 20 pound tank you can get a adaptor and run the burner off that....with a 20 pounder you would be able to cook for a month. Light, again a trouble light that you can plug into the honda with a 6 to 10 watt led light will get you by, or a alladin lamp, now these will light a room no problem, and they throw off about 2000 btu's to boot... The fuel stores for ever, the only thing is the smell...I cant stand them...so if I had to use one it would be near a window...I would open the window up maybe 6 inches, duck tape some alumminum foil over the openning. poke a hole in the foil the size of the chimeny top . Then I would roll up some tin foil into a tube that I could put over the chimeny top and poke it through the foil to the out side. though it would be better to prepare ahead for this and get a 2 foot piece of flexable exhaust pipe they use in car repair shops, and if your preparing ahead you can buy from homedespot some aluminimum flashing to fashion your window opening out of. anyway a few quick ideas to get you started.

Just adding that the 20 pound propane tank can also feed a propane mantle lamp, I have used these and they do work well, you will get some heat, can even cook on top of some, and lots of light, fully silent ofcourse. So 3 ways to get started, I do favor propane a lot if used for light and cooking..stores forever, lots of btu's in a tank so it lasts.
Last edited by peppercorn on Mon Oct 27, 2014 5:08 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Oddmott
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Re: Prepping in an Apartment

Postby Oddmott » Mon Oct 27, 2014 2:55 pm

While you mention that "most people who live in an apartment do not have the funds to have BOL of their own", it is important to realize - So what?!

Long term, emergency living in an apartment is not feasible. You cannot store enough food and water. You cannot fortify it securely enough (i can break thru an average apartment/condo wall in 10 mins with an 8lbs sledge). You cannot maintain safe hygiene practices. You cannot grow enough food.

At some point your plan has to take into account that an emergency situation could be prolonged enough that it becomes a SHTF situation and then bugging out will be the only viable option.

As for your question of how to prep in an apartment, if secrecy is your goal then your only option is to be clever and hide stuff in plain site.

-Water storage is as simple as a massive fish tank with no fish, sports team drink coolers kept full all the time, 2L soda jugs refilled, etc
-Reduce your glassware, dinnerware, dishware to bare minimum to leave more space for food storage.
-Make extra space in your closets by putting extra sets of bedsheets on the UNDER SIDE of your mattress.
-Make custom wall units, bookcases, cabinetry with false backs for hidden storage
-Floor lamps with long, hollow tubes are great for storing money, meds, etc
-Furnish with ONLY safe to burn all wood and natural fibres furniture. Not synthetics, not fiberboards that are 70% resin.

No matter how creative you get, you will very quickly run out of space. You'll have to prioritize exactly which preps you find essential and which you can get away with not worrying about or stocking.

The average adult requires 1 gallon of water per day to stay fit, healthy and cognitive longterm. 2 quarts for sipping, 1 quart for personal sanitation and 1 quart for food & cooking sanitation. That means one person needs 31 gallons for a month. That's not too difficult to store. But once you get into prepping for a couple, or a family of 3 or 4... it starts to take up a lot of space.

The average north american 2 bedroom apartment has enough space for 2 adults to adequately prep for 3-6 months if they want to appear normal. lol
If appearances aren't a concern and the couple is willing to pack the entire place wall-to-wall, floor-to-ceiling, then they can actually squeeze in enough stuff to carry on for about 12-18 months.

If an emergency situation lasts longer than 3 months... imo, you've got to get out.
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underprepared
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Re: Prepping in an Apartment

Postby underprepared » Mon Oct 27, 2014 5:09 pm

As mentioned above, apartment prepping is a challenge, but not impossible. There is lots of space wasted in conventional furniture. Under beds, couches, etc... there is plenty of room to store stuff, you just need to adapt the spaces a bit. I would have bottled water stored, but also keep one of those big bladders that you lay in the bathtub and fill up. The municipal water pressure should remain for a little while even after the power goes out. So, if the power goes out, start filling the bladder immediately. A good electricity suggestion has been given above (Small Honda Generator), but what if you don't have a balcony? You'll have to adapt a pipe from the muffler to outside the window. That could be tricky.
Sanitation - Your toilet may or may not work. If it does, you can just use grey water (water already used for washing stuff) to help flush down waste. If it doesn't work, you'll need a pail, lots of bags, and a toilet seat adapter for the pail. Those are all pretty cheap to buy. Keep a store of wet wipes on hand so you aren't using water for all your clean ups around the toilet.
Security - Depends a little on what floor you're on, but in general. broken glass in the hallway will be both a deterrent to trouble makers and an early warning system for activity. All of your windows should be blacked out. Experiment with cardboard and garbage bags one night to make sure you have a system that works 100%. Don't forget about the crack around your door to the hallway. That crack can give you away if you don't block it off.
Doors can be braced without making structural changes to them. Lots of stuff on-line about how to do that.
Garden - Unless you have a big balcony and want to play around, I wouldn't bother. You won't be able to live on a few tomatoes and herbs. You can grow that stuff, as well as aloe plants (inside) for something to do, but don't plan on relying on your garden to feed you. Store as much long term storage food as you can so you don't have to venture out.
Remember the three "B's". Beans, Bandages and Bullets. It's simplistic, and you may not actually have bullets, but the concept is the same. Store food (and water), medical supplies, and means of security. In that respect, apartment dwellers are no different than anyone else looking to be prepared for an emergency.
If you end up filling your apartment and have no more space, look for cheap storage space close to your apartment and start a new cache there. A lot of what you can do will depend on what you already have or don't have. Is your apartment a newer, bigger one with cement floors and cinder block fire separation between units, or an older all wood design where you can hear your neighbour snoring?
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peppercorn
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Re: Prepping in an Apartment

Postby peppercorn » Mon Oct 27, 2014 6:45 pm

underprepared, good idea about bladers...didnt even think of that, but that then got me thinking about water beds..what a great store of water, even if you just put one under the bed rather than use it as a bed, I would keep it filled all the time with a few chemicals to stop anything from growing. if you need water for flushing, washing there it is, if your going to drink or cook with it fashion a still from a kettle that you can boil with your propane burner....hint you can buy soft copper tube for the condenser , say 3/8 from home despot in 20, 30 foot lengths, 1/2 inch is better but home despot stoped carrying that size a few years back in my area.. I wouldnt shape it into a coil until you need it as it stores in a nice flat package as is.

That suggestion of in bed heaters (not heated blankets) comes from a cousin. they are off grid in every way and the wood heater even with fans (due to the long length of a trailer hallway, 60 feet) cant get the heat to their back bed room well and at -25 and below it was to cold for them. they tried these and even off grid on batteries (12 t105's) they have heat all night no problem. they love them. Cant remember if they are 12 volt DC ones or 120vac one though. If you cant get enough sleep that will cumulatively wear you down faster that anything.
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Goldie
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Re: Prepping in an Apartment

Postby Goldie » Mon Oct 27, 2014 10:12 pm

You can grow SPROUTS inside , however they need water , so would be ok if your water supply is still working.
So might have water but a situation of no electricity , no heat and no gas etc
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Re: Prepping in an Apartment

Postby CSG » Tue Oct 28, 2014 12:25 am

Space - where do you put your preps so they are out of site?

If you own the apartment make some modifications to the internal walls that will give you some "hidden storage". I did this when I lived in a cond and you would be surprised how much you can fit in this space. When you want to move re drywall it and you are good to go.

Heat - Especially in Canadian Winters if the power goes out how do you keep warm?

If you live on the top floor it shouldnt be an issue as you get the heat from the units below you. If you are on the bottom the above suggestions are good.

Security - Thoughts for any level. Ground floor has different issues then a top floor. Fire / looters ect?

Make sure your front door is one of the commercial fire rated doors that most provinces require to be in place. If not replace it. Put in a security bar or two that will prevent a kick in. I would also put a pry protector around your from locks as well as a high security lock. Regarding windows if you are high enough it is not going to be that big an issue as most people are lazy. I would put security film on your windows so they cannot break them. Make sure you have reinforced your windows so they cannot be lifted out of their slots this can be done with some flat head screws. if you have a glass door onto your balcony film it, reinforce it and bar it at the top and bottom.

http://www.frogdogfabworx.com/User_Imag ... ars-01.jpg

Bug in vrs Bug out. Keep in mind most people who live in an apartment do not have the funds to have BOL of their own.

This depends where you live if you are in a metropolis and without a car, I would bug in which means you will need more supplies. If you are not in a metropolis and can get to a family members house you could set up your BOL there and help them secure their house for the future.

Apartment Gardens - both with or without a patio

Ask if you can create a garden on the roof. I would be surprized if there was not already one up there from an older aparment owner.


The most secure and best location in an apartment for mne would be the top floor south west corner, I would own it so I could modify it and I would make sure that I could get to the ground with a ladder from a window if required.
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drwkids
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Re: Prepping in an Apartment

Postby drwkids » Tue Oct 28, 2014 1:00 am

Hey All. Got a great response here. Here are my thoughts / questions / comments

So here is my situation. We are in a decent apartment but too close to downtown for my liking. My kids are under 10 so not really a help. And my hubby thinks I am a nutter except when our power goes out for 3 days then I am freaking wonder woman. I do have family that I could bug out too if needed but at a 2 hr drive, it better be SHTF. They aren't going to super thrilled to see us either.

Security Issues: We are on the ground level which creates all sorts of issues. Giant patio door to protect with no patio to put stuff on. Great for bringing groceries in but honestly moving is something I have started to think about as I have begun to understand prepping and the risks more and more. For my patio door right now my idea is that I would park my van as close to the wall as possible. Not only would that block my gas tank so I still have gas if when I need to bug out, but as I bug in it would provide and extra lay of security on this big dumb glass door. The internal front door in in this little hall way. Which is perfect for a mix of a lock bars and some barricades. I love the glass idea too, I think I would totally break some in our hall way outside the door to discourage entry. I have black out drapes now I would duck tape them down to make sure they are truly light tight. Thoughts......

Heater / Power: I love the idea about the gennie, except they are really hard to use in apartment. First they all require proper ventilation. So no patio means its not safe to use indoors without loosing heat. And in any tight quarters a gennie is going to be so loud when everything else is quiet. Same with any cooking inside. Can't use propane because of cardon dioxide and monoxide. I have a nice little Biolight and a ton of fuel for it, which I can use on the stove top and that over head should give enough ventilation, but boy that's going to get old quick. Is there anyway to turn your stove into a little fire place thats safe???? My biolight did great for our three day outage, but it was only -10 if we were in -40 weather I need some more ideas.

Water / Food Love the water bob Idea. I have been meaning to get one for the tub forever. Most definitely will be doing that. I believe I can safely say we have a good 4 week supply of both, but I want to add and get to at min 3 months. But that wouldn't be even rationing. If I was really worried I would make that go to double easily with only my hubby complaining.

Thanks for mentioning Sanitation. That is a big weak spot for me. I will have to do something about that asap.

No one mentioned solar here...I have a small charges for lights that works well and is small enough not to cause attention. But is it worth it for something bigger / between cost / output / could it increase risk of being looted?

Ok so here is a question.... don't shoot me for asking. I have only actively been prepping for about a year. But if lets say the power went out, doesn't come back on. How long under the average Canadian city starts to turn in on itself? Kitchener/Waterloo for example. If its in the winter I think that looting ect will be less but in the summer when you have less need for warmth I would think it could start earlier. I know some people would bug out at 3 days ect. In a none pandemic situation would the average Canadians have the same problem as the average America?
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CSG
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Re: Prepping in an Apartment

Postby CSG » Tue Oct 28, 2014 1:27 am

awesome that you are prepping, asking other people what they do will only help you get to where you want to go so dont be afraid to ask more questions.

the question you ask is a little tricky as it also depends on demographics of the area you live in. in a storm situation the stores will be without food within 3 hours and the looting can start from there. I prepare for that situation. I would start to read topics about the golden horde as this is what really gets your brain into the mindset to prepare for other people coming to get you and your stuff.
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drwkids
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Re: Prepping in an Apartment

Postby drwkids » Tue Oct 28, 2014 1:48 am

Both my husband and I are able to take care of ourselves, much better then the average person. We are trained and capable. Its not out of fear I ask this question, but rather trying to figure out a realistic scale. Thanks CSG I will look into the golden horde topics.
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