We get a lot of emails from people asking about prepping for long-term disaster and collapse situations while living in an apartment. Because so many of our readers still live in urban areas, many of them in apartments, we are going to start doing some articles on what you can do to prepare while living in an apartment or a condo.
It seems like most of the advice out there is geared towards people in houses, and any information that is out there for apartment prepping usually sugarcoats the reality of the situation. I think one reason so many people ignore the topic is because living in an apartment is going to be extremely difficult during a total collapse scenario. That being said, don’t be discouraged; there are some things you can do.
Preparedness Challenges that apartment preppers must learn to deal with.
Finding enough space to store emergency supplies:
One of the biggest problems apartment preppers face is finding enough room to store all of those extra supplies. You are going to have to get creative and learn how to use every inch of space you have. From under the bed storage solutions to food rotation storage shelves, there are a number of products that you can buy or build that will help you squeeze the most out of your space.
Finding the money to prep on a tight budget:
A lot of people who live in apartments do so because of budget issues. So planning for disasters and crisis situations is definitely something that could cause problems for those who are already on a tight budget. Remember, you don’t need a ton of money to get started with prepping, but you do need to be smart about what you buy. Start with the basic necessities for sustaining life: Food, water, shelter and self-defense.
Another top concern, and probably one of the biggest threats to your safety when trying to prep in an apartment, is your ability to defend your home during times of crisis. The problem with living in an apartment is that you are at the mercy of not only those who live in the apartment complex, but those who live outside of it that might want to get in.
I’m not going to try to sugarcoat things, prepping in an apartment is going to be tough. You are going to face far more challenges than those who own a home, and you are going to need a solid plan of action to be able to make it through a long-term crisis situation.
Apartment Prepping: Where to Start
In order to have a solid plan of action, you need to know exactly what threats are out there, and what threats you are most likely to face based on your own unique set of circumstances.
- Identify the most likely threats and disaster situations based on your geographical location and historical data.
- Identify what threats are unique to your living situation. Are you living in a high crime area, are there logistical challenges to evacuating your area?
- Are there any areas of your plans, security, or overall preparedness efforts that need to be addressed?
Put together a bugout plan: While I think everyone should have a good evacuation plan, it is particularly critical for those living in an apartment. The challenges you face in an apartment may require you to have to get the hell out of Dodge once things start falling apart.
- You need to consider where you will go in case you have to evacuate from your apartment.
- Do you have friends or family that are willing to let you stay in their home or on their land should disaster strike?
- Make sure your supplies are mobile. While you might not have a whole ton of space to store extra supplies, you need to have a good bugout bag that’s ready to go at a moment’s notice. If you don’t have room in your home, keep it in the trunk of your car.
Start Moving towards Self-Reliance: While you may be stuck in an apartment now, you need to start moving your thoughts towards living a more self-reliant lifestyle.
Even apartment dwellers can take steps towards becoming more independent. You may not be able to become completely self-sufficient, but there are things you can do which will help move you in the right direction.
- Start growing plants inside your apartment. Small container gardens are a great way to supplement your food supply. They require very little room, they can be used to grow a wide variety of fruits, herbs, and vegetables, and they do well in an indoor setting.
- Learn to Hunt and Fish. Living in an apartment doesn’t mean you can’t get out there and learn to live off the land. Check out my article on survival fishing tips and basic hunting skills.
Look into buying a small piece of land. While apartment prepping is possible, it’s not the best option for survival. At the very least, you need to start looking into finding a small piece of rural land that you can head to during a bugout situation. There are still a number of places where you can find a small piece of land and a cheap RV or trailer that you can park on the land for under $10,000.
Some Rules for Apartment Preppers
- Keep your mouth shut about your preparedness efforts and plans: Tell no one, and be careful about who sees you bringing supplies in and out of your home. During a disaster, you don’t want or need your neighbors to know what you have.
- Make sure you have a strict budget. Before you spend a dime on prepping, make sure you put together a rock solid budget that includes a line item for how much you can spend a month on prepping.
- Identify local resources that you can exploit: Make sure your plan includes ways to find food, water, and other supplies within walking distance of your apartment.
- Always be ready!