Friday, February 6, 2015

Friday's Thoughts and Other Stuff (Apartment Prepping)

6 February 2015 (Apartment Prepping)

Dear Preppers and Survivalists,

photograph by

Since I live in an apartment, away from my family, I will be sharing some of my thought on apartment prepping.

First Things, First
Folks, if you live in an apartment, you're not going to survive the apocalypse. There is not enough room for all the supplies and other 'stuff' you and your family are going to need.

But, ... You will be able to survive a short term event.

With that out of the way, let us talk about insurance, renter's insurance.

Renter's Insurance
I don't carry renter's insurance because all of my stuff is from the local charity stores or I have minimal amounts of stuff. If the apartment building was to be totally gutted, I would probably lose less than $1.000 worth of stuff.

O.K. $1.500 worth of stuff. Plus, I keep a cache of stuff at work, like clothes, warm coat, polypro long johns, socks, water and food.

Now, some folks are going to have more stuff or expensive stuff, like televisions, multiple firearms, and newer furniture, so renter's insurance will help recoup a loss from a fire.

But, ... You need to have an inventory.

Trust me. When we had the barn fire, a couple years ago, the insurance company wanted a list of the stuff. We didn't have a good list, so we lost out on some of the insurance money.

Plus, if it gets bad enough, I'll hightail it back home with my ...

Emergency Evacuation Kit
After mounting fire/smoke detectors, probably the best single thing (after an emergency fund) a prepper can do is build an emergency evacuation kit (Bug Out Bag, BOB; I'm Not Coming Home, INCH; Get Home Bag, GHB; and ad nauseum). There are many resources out there; some unrealistic, some not.

Whatever you pack, pack a kit; warm clothes (stocking cap, gloves, coat, long johns, socks, walking shoes, extra clothes, and ...), a little bit of cash to pay for fuel (gas station may not take debit/credit cards), a source of heat (candle heater, warm blankets, or a quality sleeping bag), and ...

I can't say it enough. You and your family need to focus on storing water in your apartment. It only takes three to five days to die from dehydration.

So, ... How do I do it?

I don't have a lot of cash, so I use recycled one liter water bottles. The water bottles are delabeled, cleaned, and sanitized.

Once that's done, I fill with city tap water, cap, and place them in a nifty milk crate that I bought on sale.

You may notice: I saved the clear plastic protective caps, so the sippy part of the bottle stays clean.

You can also see that I only had eleven bottles, at the time of this picture. Since then, I have added the twelfth bottle to the water stash. Remember, prepping is a journey.

By now, some of y'all have done the math. twelve liters divided by 4 liters a day gives me ... That's right, three days worth of stored water.  I can easily store more by running down to the local grocery and buying a few cases.

But, ... My work would require me to show up, and they have lots of water. Plus, don't forget my work cache, another three days. (More about that later)

Of course, most new preppers make the mistake of focusing on 'Food and Water.'

Remember, most folks can survive weeks without food except for the old, young, nursing, pregnant, and ... everything I'm not.

But, ... I like eating, so I have a stash of food.

As you can see in this picture, I purchased medium-term food storage, canned foods. I am a 'food is food' kind'a guy, so I saved money buying store-brand foods.

Some of the cans have pull off tops, but some don't. So, ... I have an inexpensive can opener, too.

Next, all the canned food and the can opener goes in a box. That's it.

To rotate the food, I have a semi-planned food buying program. To do this, once every few months, I buy replacement food then take the 'old' food and replace it with the recently purchased food. I do this for a couple of reasons.

First, I have fresh food, if you can call canned food 'fresh,' for the longest shelf life. Next, I am able to rotate any food that I don't like. (come to find out, I don't like the store brand of stew. the potatoes are too mushy) Lastly, I can experiment to make sure that I really have enough food for three days.

When it comes to being prepared medically, I feel sort of prepared. I have band-aids, moleskin, triple antibiotic, and other first-aid supplies. The knowledge to improvise other equipment, as needed. Plus, I know where the local hospital is located.

But, ... I still feel only partially prepared, so more practice using techniques from the U.S. Army First-Aid Manual, FM 4-25.11

If you don't know by now, I have a .357 revolver with a couple of speed loaders beside the bed. I live in the unfree State of OPSEC, so I can't carry outside the apartment. (really, I'm saving up for a nice holster for the revolver, so I can carry it, concealed)

Of course, depending on where you live will determine what you can have.

After buying a smoke detector and installing it, I purchased a weather alert radio, new. Next, I followed up with a portable radio from the local charity store with a couple of backup batteries for each radio. These two radios provide all of the local, some national, and a little international news that I would need during an event.

As a side note: I recently got rid of the internet at the apartment. It was costing me $50 a month (really $25, since I have a roommate) that could be better spent on something else.

I found a 'free' bicycle. It needs two inner tubes to be good to go. To make it a get home bike, I need to purchase two tires and two foam inner tires. The bike will allow me to get to work, if the car takes a dive or is crushed during an earthquake.

By the way, the bicycle is stored by the front door, for a fast get away. 

I have an excess amount of clothing. I have four work 'uniforms' and about five pairs of regular clothes. I also have about four lightweight jackets, two or three serious coats, and some ploypro long johns.  Except for the polypro, socks, and my work uniforms, all of it is from the local charity stores.

To illustrate some of the deals, at the charity stores. I recently bought a L.L. Bean coat with wool liner for $10. I get jeans for $7, shirts for $4 to $5, and polypro jackets, usually 1/4 zip pullovers, for $6.

As you can see, I try to purchase rugged clothing. This insures I have clothes that will last a few days of hard work and no washing.

Now, some folks would say I'm crazy for buying cotton. It's rugged and warm when layered over polypro long johns (on sale at Cabela's).

Just Remember: Avoid Getting Wet.

Oooh, ... And wear a rain suit or surplus gortex jacket and pants with gortex sock, if it's going to rain.

The amount of information that I need is limited. I have a couple of maps from surrounding states, a battery operated radio, and the local library for the internet. Plus, a cellphone to call Katniss for any updates about an event.

Don't forget texting, too.

Needless to say, if you're living full time in an apartment, you're going to need account information, social security card, wills, your insurance agent's phone number, and a lot more.

Emergency Cash, Emergency Fund (in a local credit union), and a high limit credit card, just in case.

Power Production
My Landlady would be upset if I had ten gallons of kerosene and a heater with its spare wick in my room, so I plan to use an improvised flower pot heater for emergencies. For light? The old stand by, candles in an appropriate holder.

You did read this week's linkfest about candles? Didn't you?

I don't plan to get in a firefight, but I am planning to purchase a nice holster for my revolver. Plus, during longer-term events. I'm leaving for home.

Lastly, ...
For most event, you and your family are going to be fine because using a couple of techniques (I'll talk about next Friday), you will be able to easily stock two weeks worth of supplies for an event.

If you would like to learn more about prepping, you will be interested in the book Prepper: Surviving the Tough Times Ahead by yours truly ; - )


Anonymous said...

I'm like you.
Don't have internet service. I'm using my friends computer. I don't comment in Nazi-sites where they ask to leave your e-mail or any other info for them or others to track you.
You got a good post today. I'm going to follow you from now on.
I don't have or will have a 401k. I'm planning to die broke. Thanks for the post.

Nikolas (the greek). [I'm broke just like my country]

Someone You Know said...

Dear Nikolas and Many Others,

You make a good point.

First, use what you have. If you don't have a computer, borrow one from a friend or relative.

Second, some of us (you and your family) may not have access to the traditional retirement programs (that can be easily raided by our governments or inflation), so we have to invest wisely, in our businesses, our education, rental property, and ...

Third, like me, you and your family have a 'concept' of what the future holds for us. But, ... This future could be wrong.

Lastly,thanks for commenting.

Sincerely, SYK

Nikolas, thanks for the idea on an article ; - )