apartment prepping

Apartment and condominium prepping
Prepping in tight spaces

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 water and
supplies, and plan for contingencies in their urban dwelling.

How to prep in an apartment or condominium

#1: Growing your own: 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,

pictured immediate left. 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!

















#2: Community gardening.
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
Joy's
Start a community food Garden - the Essential Handbook,  
pictured left, 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,

#3: Small spaces and finding places.
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!

  • Make one item do two things. Another thing you must
    realize is that 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. A Big Berkey water filter 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:



















#4: 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 more.

  • 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.














  • 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.

























#5: 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
    security)
  • 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:





















#6: 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.

#7: The 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 buidlings is an emergency escape
hood  oxygen mask respirator.

























#8: Risk of carbon monoxide.
Did you know that during an ordinary blackout one of the major
causes of death is carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning?
Apartments are particularly vulnerable 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.

#9: 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.
Solar generators are available and affordable solutions.

Pictured immediate left is Great generator for apartments
because you can use it indoors and most apartments dont allow
gas generatorsThe 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.

#10: 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

#11: 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.

#12: 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.

Related articles...

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Apartment gardening
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EMP survival guide
Apartment washer / spin dryer
doing the laundry by hand wieht Easy Washer
How to start a community food garden
Vacuum sealer
Urban prepping with kids
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Use a bean bag chair to hide your preps
bike storage
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laundry hanger
Simple prepper home defense device
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Kidde Fire Escape ladder
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