Prepping in an apartment

Bronzino

Spunky sidekick
Gold Subscriber
#1
If you are an apartment dweller, how do you maximize space? While best chance of survival will be bugging out, what scenarios have you prepped for if you have to shelter in place and for how long?
 

Donfini2

Slayer of hops and barley, lifelong hill William
Brass Subscriber
#2
When we stayed in an apartment it proved a challenge, the way that worked for me was to come up with a modular system. You can grab groups of items on the run and not have to sort out what won’t be needed.
 

sauced07

Well-known member
Brass Subscriber
#3
Watch videos on those tiny homes. Some of those people are really creative with their space, often using the same space for two or three things. Might also give you ideas on hiding stuff in plain sight. Is that a funky cool antique looking crate as an end table or does it have 6 #10 cans of Mountain House stored in it giving 60 servings? That type of thing
 

Back40

Homesteadin'
Brass Subscriber
#4
Bronz, I lived in an apartment in Dallas when I first started prepping. Wife and I lived there a few years while she was finishing college.

We went with a modular system like Don mentioned. I had bags packed as "bug out" bags, with all the necessary gear. Water purification, survival gear, etc. Typical bug out stuff. If it hit the fan, we were going out to some family's place in the country.

Water and food we had stashed under our hanging clothes in the closet. Kept the pantry well stocked. Used any extra cabinet space. That kind of thing, just in case it wasn't a "bug out" scenario. We also put in additional shelving in order to maximize dead space on the walls.

I would say that one of the most important things you can do in an apartment is try your darndest to get out of apartment living!
 

The Branch Manager

Winter is coming. Forever.
Gold Subscriber
#5
During my 3 year camper stay after Katrina I was forced with the same issue. I don't know if my solution will work for you or not.

I have a 20' enclosed trailer that I basically turned into a walk in cooler. I used panel insulation against all inside surfaces, then built a 2x6 metal stud "wall" on all sides including roof and floor, filled with roll insulation, and capped with more panels then plywood on the floor. Used a tiny window unit that drew a whopping 20$ monthly in power during the Louisiana summer.

Two methods for power, the simplest being of your apt parking lot has trailer spaces with "shore power". The second one we built used harbor freight solar panels and some recovered flood batteries. That one wasn't mine, so I'm not sue of the exact components, but I'm nearly certain the guy still uses it in that configuration. Last I knew anyhow. Lost his number and I'm not crazy about going over there to find out.
 

Sentinel one

Man is a bad animal...
Brass Subscriber
#6
Some really good advice so far... What floor do you live on, Bronz?? I lived on the top floor of a 21 story apartment building while I was going to school in Toronto.. I had a climbing harness and 300' ft of mountain climbing rope to get out in case of emergencies... you need to get out if
the stairs or elevator are out. Depending on your physical fitness, think about taking a
climbing class... a lot of fun, and a real confidence booster!! I'm too long in the tooth for
free climbing anymore, but I still rappel quite a bit.
 

Donfini2

Slayer of hops and barley, lifelong hill William
Brass Subscriber
#7
Depending on the age of the apt bldg., it might not have backflow preventers, so avoid basement level. (Whatever is up is coming down) I’m sure people above you won’t stop using toilet if services are out.
 

The Branch Manager

Winter is coming. Forever.
Gold Subscriber
#8
Some really good advice so far... What floor do you live on, Bronz?? I lived on the top floor of a 21 story apartment building while I was going to school in Toronto.. I had a climbing harness and 300' ft of mountain climbing rope to get out in case of emergencies... you need to get out if
the stairs or elevator are out. Depending on your physical fitness, think about taking a
climbing class... a lot of fun, and a real confidence booster!! I'm too long in the tooth for
free climbing anymore, but I still rappel quite a bit.
Never given this much thought, but I make my living "on rope" and @Jayclimber has a ton of experience on line. I'm glad you help in any way I can, including donating out of service ropes for escape purposes. I won't use them for rigging anymore, but they are perfect for escape ropes. They're usually in the 150'ish range because I cut the knotted area off several times before scrapping the rope. Or, I can steer y'all towards premade self rescue kits. And, if your close to baton rouge, I'll always take someone to a jobsite and give you a quick rundown on knots and self rescue.
 

Catapult

Well-known member
Brass Subscriber
#9
First (If I were you) consider who will be in your apartment. If only family, for instance, you could probably be more aggressive with your storage. If you throw parties for friends, you will need to be more stealthy.

Make your modular go bags as suggested. You can also prepare your car with certain goodies (first aid, flashlight, etc.) to reduce the variety burden on your mod-bags. Pack a water tight bag of clothes in the car. Less to bug out with, as it's already there.

Get 2 or more brand new 5 gallon buckets. You can put soft foods in there for now (think MRE bags) and if you ever face a water shortage dilemma you can dump out the other stuff and fill them with tap water. Keep a case or two of bottled water in your trunk in case bugging out is your only option.

Shelves in the closet is golden.

Also, keep canned food, bags of rice, etc.. under the bathroom sink and behind a jumbo pack of toilet paper. Use that space!

If you have artificial house plants, consider pulling out some of the "stuffing" and put food items underneath. Nobody will ever know.

Buy one of those draping bedding things (I don't know what it's called) that goes on your box spring, and under the mattress, that hangs to the floor. Use that space to put food and water or whatever makes you happy.

Most apartments have a linen closet near the bathroom. Jam the top shelf full of goodies and bury it behind old towels you don't use.

Important: Keep your essentials in a fanny pack. This pack can be easily hidden when you're gone. At night keep it near your bed. It should have a spare set of keys, emergency money (enough for 3 days of living in a hotel, food, and gasoline), back up ID's, a small flashlight, eye glasses, pepper spray, etc. Whatever makes you happy. In case of a fire evacuation that little bag can be a blessing.

In that horrible situation (fire) you arrive at your car in your pajamas with your fanny pack, water in the car, clothes to wear, and first aid. You are 10X better off than your neighbors.

Just my 2 cents, Bronz.

Let the creative juices flow.....
 

Jayclimber

Modern Minuteman
Moderator
Brass Subscriber
#10
Never given this much thought, but I make my living "on rope" and @Jayclimber has a ton of experience on line. I'm glad you help in any way I can, including donating out of service ropes for escape purposes. I won't use them for rigging anymore, but they are perfect for escape ropes. They're usually in the 150'ish range because I cut the knotted area off several times before scrapping the rope. Or, I can steer y'all towards premade self rescue kits. And, if your close to baton rouge, I'll always take someone to a jobsite and give you a quick rundown on knots and self rescue.
I'd happily donate an out of service rope to someone here in need!
 

COharbinger

Well-known member
Brass Subscriber
#11
I know this is an old post but me and my Girlfriend are looking at getting an apartment together. I insist on a 2 bedroom. I tell her its gonna be my man cave, and part of it will, but i mainly want it for prep storage. I have too much stuff and i know ill drive her nuts if i tried to fit it in my room.

When i was living in the barracks, we couldnt have weapons in our rooms so me and a buddy went in on a strategically located, very secure storage unit. we both had bug out bags in our rooms and vehicles but had some even more combat oriented bags in the storage unit. That was our little doomsday locker. we stored ammo, gear, guns, food, weapons, medical It was big enough to sit in and clean them or do some light work. Man i miss that little storage unit.
 

Inazone

Self-Determination or Death
Brass Subscriber
#12
I know this is an old post but me and my Girlfriend are looking at getting an apartment together. I insist on a 2 bedroom. I tell her its gonna be my man cave, and part of it will, but i mainly want it for prep storage. I have too much stuff and i know ill drive her nuts if i tried to fit it in my room.
This sounds like a solid plan. I have to say, moving from a 1BR apartment to a 4BR house, I thought I'd have more space than I'd ever need, but foot for foot, that apartment had more usable storage space in relation to the overall square footage. If not for the music/gaming/storage room ("man cave" as you said) it would be a disaster. As it stands, I don't think the wife has any inkling of what all I have in there, but I have strove for the most efficient use of space possible for such a mix of stuff. Along the way, I've surrendered 90% of our master bedroom storage - just a total of four dresser drawers remain - but I can live with that.
 

LostViking

Well-known member
Brass Subscriber
#13
I think what has already been said makes good sense.

I have a house. But it's under 1000 square feet. So space is at a premium.

Look for storage options that work in space already taken up by other furniture.
A bed with under bed storage will eat a lot of stuff. A queen with four draws allows easy access to the frequently needed items. But it doesn't take up any more space than your bed already did.

Same with a living room coffee and end tables. Acquire ones that allow for enclosed storage rather than just looking pretty.

A foot locker at the bottom of your bed works great.

In my mind an apartment is not the best case scenario. But at times, you do what you have to do.
One of the worst parts is too many people can see what you bring in and out.

A lot of closets allow for another shelf higher that the typical one.

Metal rod closet storage systems create a well organized space.

Think portable. You will want the ability to take your new stuff with you if you should need to change apartments. Or you move on to a house down the road.
 

COharbinger

Well-known member
Brass Subscriber
#14
Along the way, I've surrendered 90% of our master bedroom storage - just a total of four dresser drawers remain - but I can live with that.
i think all men have just accepted this. I said you are gonna have a whole house to decorate and put goofy pinterest things in so i need my space too. we agreed that i get the smallest bedroom as my man cave and the garage if we ever have one. If i get the job i want and save a couple years ive been looking at mountain properties and most have detached garages with a loft. loft will be the gym, garage is the workshop and storage