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Bugging in, in an apartment

Posted: Tue Jan 02, 2018 9:16 pm
by Clarence
While not an apartment dweller, I have seen enough tissues in office towers and condos to highlight some serious issues. Some have been touched upon in posts I have seen on this site.

Water: you will need to store or obtain it. When obtaining, you will need to walk past people carrying it ( once found in some city environment). As boiling it will likely be an issue, It will need to be treated with chemicals or filter system.

Water leaking in on your unit from frozen pipes? You will want something to help divert water leaking in on you. Maybe plastic tarps or roll of plastic.

Water needed for toilets. Collecting of water from balcony or rooftop will require recepticals to catch it and if on a roof, you will need to be there so it isn’t stolen. Perhaps you can rig up a funnel and catch type basin to place on balcony railing or hang out a window. A 2X2 foot pan, or baking pan can catch water and funnel into a pot etc on the inside. Make your water Catcher in advance so you know it will work. Break it down and store it away until needed

Access to building and in and out of underground parking with your car will be an issue. Power goes out in the winter and landlord will keep garage door closed so sprinkler and building pipes do not Burst. And even in the summer, you will not want that door open for others to walk in. Card access systems will either immediately fail or fail within 2-4 hours. This includes access to stairwell, garage and elevator on card access. Power failure will see elevators all go and remain on the ground floor. This is a building code requirement, so you will need to use stairs! And you will need flashlights to navigate them! At a hint of losing power, I would strongly consider getting my car out of the garage.

Food. To cut down on need to cook and exposing yourself to what you have when warming up food, consider marine type emergency rations from datrex. Shelf life of approx 25 years. Dry and bland tasting but they provide calories and do not need water or cooking. You want to avoid odours of food and attracting all the neighbours. Plus it is small and therefore stores and stacks nice and easy under a bed etc

Heating an apartment, like any home, takes a lot of energy. You will want to have material such as 5mil plastic sheeting, duct tape, maybe wire etc, to close off rooms and heat only what you need. You need fresh air circulation so you do not die from fumes etc. Candles can give off a fair amount of heat, store forever, are cheap and do not require mechanical parts that can fail. They also provide light. Speaking of light, you will not want neighbours seeing it under your door OR from other buildings across the street. So heavy black cloth or plastic may need to go on exterior windows.

Protection: legal note here that no one condones breaking of laws. If YOU were to approach / try and break in a door and the person had pre drilled a hole in their door at door handle height and was shooting pellets or BB’s at YOU, would you run away and go find another person to steal from? Guessing YOU would. The person shooting at you would likely use their door peep hole to monitor their shots and see how effective they are. Those things sting and can price skin so YOU wouldn’t likely hang around trying to open the door.

Identical to a home, you will want to discreetly reach out to others on your floor or building and see who else is like minded. OPSEC always being maintained!

Communications. Inexpensive two way radios can be used for people within your building. Range is always a factor but, with luck, you can even use a relay method to get messages up or down a building. Setting up a watch system may be advantageous and needed.

During a power outage...The landlord will need to set something up at the front door so only bonafide occupents can get in. Ask them what they have planned for such an emergency.

You will want and need good flashlights. Hallways will become pitch black in an outage. Emergency battery powered lights in hallways and stairwell will go out within minutes to hours!!!

You will want to have someone babysit your apartment if you need to leave it. Traveling within the apartment will be best if done in pairs. Thus the need to find others in the building who are ready to help and who you can trust?!?

All the best and please provide any feedback so I can look at adding to my website. Cheers

Re: Bugging in, in an apartment

Posted: Wed Jan 03, 2018 12:56 pm
by Wayne
Every situation must be carefully measured on its own merit. The number one consideration is the estimated time period in-which you will be in survival mode without power. If you believe that it's likely that this will be a greater time than you have prepared for, do not attempt to bug-in if you find yourself in an apartment.

The primary reason for this is water. Many apartments are several stories above ground. Hauling water (assuming that you have a source) is difficult at best. Do not use the water you have for toilets. There is no need as toilets operate on gravity. Water is too valuable to use for this purpose if it's in short supply.

Rather than the prospect of undertaking long-term survival in an apartment, you are likely better off in the wild with a tent and camping gear (an easy prep to maintain and store). So equipped, you have a good likelihood of securing firewood for warmth and cooking, as well as a greater possibility of securing water. In an uncoordinated population, survival cannot help but be a competitive event. Remove the competition if at all possible, by removing yourself and your team from the situation. Leave to one of three predetermined locations (each located in a different compass direction).

Again, everything depends upon the situation/ You need to size this up as to the likelihood of duration and act accordingly. The preparations you make ahead of time should be focused on this.

Re: Bugging in, in an apartment

Posted: Wed Jan 03, 2018 7:19 pm
by term0shad
My 2 bits on this. First you need to form a group way before shtf. With out numbers bugging in or out. Your days are numbered. Personally i wouldn't stay in the city. Now if done right a apartment can become a spot to protect easyer to fortify then a house. 3rd floor you set up security then 4th and up living . That's if you have a group. But also its a good spot to loot. You would have to limit ways to get in. Jam stairways with shopping carts and hallways too. On 1st and second floor. Main issue with staying in city is trying to keep your location a secret. Very hard to do in any spot in the city. Only way to stay hidden is not to leave it. But sooner then later you will need to leave to find supplies. Now water could be collected on roof and garden set up too and out house on roof. Solar power set up there too. There tons of ideas on how to do it. But that all takes time. So really what it comes down to is easy to set up outside city everything you need. But still need some one there 24/7 if your not. Doesn't matter how far or hidden it is. Thiefs will sooner or later find it. Then when shtf sooner or later looters will come. People will do anything to survive. Only way to go is a group if not its like i said your days are numbered. You can't protect your area alone.

Re: Bugging in, in an apartment

Posted: Thu Jan 04, 2018 9:35 am
by getFOOD
I am in an apartment in a city, and I KNOW survival would be short term in a long term power failure for one reason mainly, as said above, WATER. I can only store so much. Also, toilets will stop working, and possibly will have flooding from upper floors, I am on 5th of a 6 floor bldg. I reallly dont see how anyone can survive in an apartment bldg for long without power, mainly because of water and toilets flooding. but I am as prepared as I can be for high food prices or food shortages or martial law being unable to go outside for a while, I am prepared for those times.

Re: Bugging in, in an apartment

Posted: Thu Jan 04, 2018 7:42 pm
by term0shad
Lol water not a issue in a apartment. You know how much water you could get off the roof from one rain fall. Also water coming down from the roof. Most roof are 25 yrs before they would leak if flat roof odds are longer. If shingles might depend on age before shtf. Even then it would be a minor leak for yrs.

Re: Bugging in, in an apartment

Posted: Thu Jan 04, 2018 8:07 pm
by getFOOD
but what about if other tenants get plugged toilets or whatever, wont it flood down into my apartment? I know I can pee in kitty litter or whatever, but I worry about that flooding as I saw it happen when I lived in govt housing highrise...not fun...

Re: Bugging in, in an apartment

Posted: Thu Jan 04, 2018 8:27 pm
by thecrownsown
Just some food for thought: medium and high density dwellings (condos, apartment complexes, high rises) are not suited for long term living without continued municipal service. (Hydro, water, etc.) And you the prepper arnt the problem.

If its you getting water, bringing back food... Yes. These dwelling have positives and you could survive for some time. Add the anonymity of being one unit in many for security, access to more infrastructure in a high density setting for scavenging potential and not a bad situation to be in. But there are negatives like any other scenario. One of the biggest issues....all your neighbours. One fire...its all over. One person trying to heat their condo which gets out of control and the building is lost. The wrong type of heater...and there is CO poisoning. One person leaving all their waste in there now have an infection control issue..or perhaps a vermin issue that can effect adjacent units or parts or all of the building.

If you're preparing, you're not the problem. Your planning for all those contingencies like food, water, waste, etc. Its those 20, 50, 100 or more other people in your building that arnt prepared and will do what they can in the moment to get by.

Re: Bugging in, in an apartment

Posted: Thu Jan 04, 2018 10:10 pm
by term0shad
Tolits need running water to flood bad. Pee personal wouldn't worry about. Off the balcony or in a bucket you can dump down toilet. Won't smell pretty after awhile the washroom. Poop is the issue. If possible have 2 buckets one for pee and one for poop. Buy heavy duty construction bags to empty buckets. So buckets stay clean. Home depot or rona or any hardware store carry them. Plus bags are good for allot of other stuff too.

Re: Bugging in, in an apartment

Posted: Fri Jan 05, 2018 8:52 pm
by Wayne
term0shad wrote:Tolits need running water to flood bad. Pee personal wouldn't worry about. Off the balcony or in a bucket you can dump down toilet. Won't smell pretty after awhile the washroom. Poop is the issue. If possible have 2 buckets one for pee and one for poop. Buy heavy duty construction bags to empty buckets. So buckets stay clean. Home depot or rona or any hardware store carry them. Plus bags are good for allot of other stuff too.
If the toilet won't flush, remove it. Use a bucket and pour the contents down the open hole. Seal the whole with plastic wrap to stop odour. Wash the area and yourself well to deter disease. Alternatively, use a camping type portable toilet and discard the refuge in a similar way when required. Some use a chemical to deter odours and have a small holding tank to last a few days (before empting is required). Do not discard over the balcony (people below tend not to be impressed by this). :-) It's a good practise to keep a low profile.

It's likely that there are a number of people who have access to the roof, so this isn't viable as a water collection point. You will end-up requiring more water than you initially think. If you stay where you are, you will find yourself competing for the few resources available. Your long range plan should be to leave and go to a preselected location if this is at all possible.

Re: Bugging in, in an apartment

Posted: Sat Jan 06, 2018 6:32 am
by Clarence
As we all can agree, there are advantages and disadvantages. It all a matter of likely hood and severity.
In the ottawa area, it’s been very cold and in ottawa area tonight it sits at -24 outside my home and that’s without windchill. I worked in minus 50 for years and while this is nothing, it’s no walk in the park for people thinking they are good in a tent. If you feel an apartment won’t suit a low risk or an incident with a duration of only two weeks then, one best look at alternate site, but you need to be real sure you can get there and survive.
The point I was trying to make is, that for many, getting out of dodge and making a go of it isn’t an easy option. If “stuck in an apartment type situation, look at all your options. As some have said, get to know people and work together and be innovative. If a person tried walking out of their apartment building tonight in minus 30, and hoofing it 50 miles, to some cabin, I am guessing many would be dead in maybe four hours. If you have never camped in minus 20 with 30 klick winds, give it a whirl the first time you can, but make sure you have a backup plan if it doesn’t work, because it’s not easy and it would be unfortunate if one died while testing reality! Be realistic, examine your options, be creative and don’t panic.

By all means look at different possible sites, but know that surviving in minus 30 is not easy. If in an apartment tonight and it was day ten of a disaster, I sure as heck wouldn’t be hiking into the woods. If the bad guys are an issue in an apartment, they and weather are going to be far bigger obstacle while carrying a heavy pack, snowshoes, rifle etc for fifty miles. Look at those who survived in Germany...during ww2! They managed pretty good and while they were hardier then us today and there was more Bush then today, they didn’t have our winters etc and they didn’t go pitch a tent to survive, they stayed with family and neighbours in their apartments. Having a cabin or pre built lean to’s with dry wood, food food cache, rifles, ammo is great, but it’s not always an option.

SHTF scenarios, usually provide clues. So have your hot sites, have them stocked and ready and get to them in advance. If you can’t, then make sure your plan deals with being stuck in your surburban bungalow, city detached, semi detached or apartment. Make it as good as possible and be honest with your evaluation. In my security threat risk assessments, I come across all manner of plans that while they thought were good for days or even weeks, wouldnt last hours.! Saturday is supposed to be pretty cool again in many parts of ontario so it’s a good time for anyone who hasn’t done a four walk at minus thirty with a 40 pound pack to try and envision a hike to some safe forest fifty miles away. And if your responsibilities include a spouse and children, ask them to join you.