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My husband and I became interested in preparing for emergencies after Hurricane Ike hit our city of Houston.  As a wife and mother, I feel very concerned about the uncertain times that we are facing in our country.  I want to feel more secure and in control, since I feel we should not rely on the government to help us in any emergency.

Many preparedness sites that I have read gave me good information but much of it is geared toward people who own their homes or have a retreat.  While this is one of our goals towards which we are working, we are currently not there yet.  So I needed to do something in order to feel more productive.  There are some steps we can take now to become better prepared and self sufficient, while living in an apartment in a large city.   I am writing this blog to help not only myself but others who are in the same situation and want to have more control.

Though I am interested in preparing for emergencies and disasters, whether natural or man made, this site is not all about doom and gloom.   I believe in being prepared for most everyday life emergencies that are more likely to happen such as unemployment, illness, crime, etc.

I share new things as I learn and try them, in case others out there in a similar situation may have some interest.   I post two to three times weekly, sometimes more as time permits.

Thank you for visiting!


Disclaimer:  This blog is a personal blog written and edited by me   I am not a survival, or emergency expert, I created this blog to chronicle my own preparedness experiences, including both successes and failures.  Guest posts are accepted on occasion.  Views expressed in comments, linked articles, or blogs do not necessarily represent my own.

The blog accepts advertising in the form of banner ads, and a few affiliates.  While these help support the blog, you have no obligation to purchase from these sponsors.

All reviews of products or services are written independently and effort is made to provide our honest opinions, findings or beliefs.  Therefore any issues or questions about such products should be addressed with the manufacturer or servicer.

Any information given by me in my blog is not to be taken as personal, legal or financial advise, and do not represent anyone else views. Please conduct your own research before making your decisions.

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54 thoughts on “About

  1. I am the author of the book, – How to Live on Wheat.

    I have just released an expanded and updated third edition that has just appeared on amazon.

    I would like to mail you a review copy if you are interested. If so, please send me your mailing address.

    Also, please replace any amazon affiliate links with the new edition. It is improved and a much better value.

    The new ASIN is 1884979122.

    Best regards, John Hill

  2. Hi there,
    Thanks for having a blog about apt storage as we do the same as well! We are in California and are stock piling! Though we have only been at it 2 months, we have put a nice dent in it for doing so. Can John Hill tell me how someone with Celiac can survive on wheat? LOL I have to prep for my husband that cannot have any wheat at all. And a 12 year old son. It’s funny how much food is stored in his closet!Thanks again.

    • Hello, You mentioned about your husband having celiac – have you checked out Chip Monk survival podcast? He mentioned about having celiac and having to prepare different foods as the family, so he may have some helpful tips. It’s on chipmonk.podbean.com, but I actually found it on Itunes. Hope this helps!

    • Hi,
      My daughter has a wheat allergy so I understand the celiac dilemma. She has a rice allergy as well. We are going with stocking alternative grains like quinoa, millet, and amaranth- which are super nutritious. Quinoa has all of the amino acids and is higher in protein than wheat and even things like milk. We also are stocking oatmeal. I would also consider things like buckwheat and it’s flour. Maybe rice would be a good option for you also. I would think living on wheat- like is mentioned in the book- would probably be lacking nutritionally compared to some of the other grains. I’d think pretty boring as well. Just my 2 cents. 🙂

      • Surprisingly, when I read the Living on Wheat book it contained a lot more info than just flour, it even had a section on sprouting, corn and other grains. I was amazed at all the extra content I did not expect. Definitely a good idea to stock up on those other grains, esp if allergies are an issue. Having other allergies myself I have to stock up on Benadryl, Zyrtec, Claritin to keep on hand for allergy attacks. Thanks for the comment.

        • With allergies a theraputic grade lavender oil works very well for most people. It’s actually excellent!!! for burns as well. It never expires. Get a good grade and try it. Heritage oils, young living and doTerra are all good brands. The oil can be put into a gel capsule and taken internally if it’s theraputic grade.

        • If you are going to store grains, beans ,invest in a wheat grinder, or my personal favorite a “Bendtec” food processor. The Blendtec, has SO many function . Grinds wheat, beans, makes soup, I even made a pie crust with it.

    • Learn how to make bread like the mexicans and some of Native Americans did usuing flour and rice instead of wheat and other grains like that. It is how they make their pita, wraps, flat bread, etc. Not hard to do once you get the hang of it.

  3. Hi,
    No, I have not heard of it! I will be sure to check it out! Thanks so much for the link. Happy 2011 to you and your family! Here’s to a prepped New Year!

  4. I hope as i do that you are well stocked with firarms and ammunition as well. As an aprtment dweller myself,i have spent much money and time ,even went down and got a license to carry a consealed firearm . Its a must to have because it can be a matter of life and death .food , water, baterrys, etc,etc,etc, is all good but you need self defence protection period .

    • Hi Rick, My husband has a small collection of firearms, and is well stocked with ammunition since he likes to go target shooting. Thanks for the comments!

  5. Apartment Prepper,

    Would you please help me with this, as your husband has a number of guns? (And as a good Texan, he’s got to know his guns! ;))

    I have been debating the purchase of a long gun. I’ve come down to two – either a shotgun or the survival rifle you yourself now own. I understand that a shotgun would be good for self-defense at close quarters and that a survival rifle can even taken down small game. But if your husband had to choose only one, which one would he get and why?

    I’m slightly leaning towards the shotgun because I’m not an outdoorsman (although I want to learn how to hunt, dress game, etc) and I am slowly picking up outdoors survival skills/knowledge) and therefore at least for now, a long gun w/ medium-long range with the capability to take down small game may not be the most practical right now.

    Still, I’d love to know what your husband would say.

    Also, Apartment Prepper – I found a URL with 10 free PDF downloads for survival and prepping. These are hardcore – I have yet to read even one in its entirety, but I’m so glad I found them. Some people may find these to be overkill, but I for one am a firm believer in the maxim “KNOWLEDGE IS POWER.”


    • Hi Armed and Prepping, I did ask my husband your question. He’s not much of talker, but I got this much out of him. If he had to pick just one between those two choices, and the main use will be for home defense, then it would be the shotgun: 12 gauge is a heavier load, with a strong recoil, but very good for self defense at close quarters and men tend to like the 12 gauge; the 20 gauge is lighter, not as much of a kick, for this reason women prefer the 12 gauge. Either way, the shotgun will not have a lot of range. I hope this helps. Thanks for the link to the 10 free downloads, I will definitely check it out.

    • Because of certain states with different gun laws I would suggest the 12 gauge. I am also a avid outdoorsman and the reason for the 12 gauge it is the most common and should have no problem finding and stocking up on ammo for it. Also it is good for home protection and hunting. What I have is a 12 gauge that is both slug and pellet shot(bird shot or buck shot). The reason I use a shotgun is because the state I live in it is illegal to use a rifle, so what I do is use slug for big game like deer then use bird shot for smaller game, also if possible I would get a bird choke for it for smaller game. For home defense I suggest 00 buck shot. Also for urban survival if you live in a city get a sling shot and practice with it. Reason being is small pellets for that is great for squarel and edible birds inside city limits and you don’t have to worry about getting harrased by the local LE for useing a actual gun. Hope this helps.

        • No problem, well the most common I have seen people say they like for defense and survival reason is numerous Mosberg models, but you can get really good ones at more affordable at places like Wal-Mart. The only thing I can suggest is maybe ya get one with both slug and shot barrell and also with interchang parts like one where you can change parts on it to like the grip and stock. Also for home defense reasons try to get one with no more than a 18″ barrell too. Also get a pump action too because even though they are good, but the gas powered semi-autos do have a tendacy to jam up sometimes.

          • No problem, anything I can do to help, but I am also new at apartment prepping though because most of my life I always have lived out in the country. So living in a small city in a apartment is kinda new to me lol.

  6. I love your site. I am in awe of your consistency in posting. Great material and great writing. Let me know if you ever develop an idea for a longer format book or ebook!

    Fellow Apartment Prepper,


    • Thanks for the kind words Urbivalist Dan. Much appreciated. I do enjoy writing; I would write all the time if I didn’t have a day job! 🙂

  7. Hello,

    I hope this message finds you well. I came across your website as I was researching preparedness in due case of a natural disaster.

    The project will document how individuals prepare for a disaster and be a guideline for others interested in honing their survival skills. I am writing because I was wondering if you or any other acquiantances might be interested in participating. If this is not of interest I would truly appreciate any advice you might have in finding genuine and serious people that would be interested in educating the public.

  8. Hello! Found this site through a post on another preparedness forum. I am active in promoting ‘All Hazard’ Emergency Home Preparation. I look forward to reading your experience as you prepare in a ‘small space’.

    I will be copying snips of significant prepping info and posting them on my EHP website, where there will be a link right back here to read your full blog entry!

    I love when I find new sources for great information to help folks prepare. There is a big need for helping people to prepare in small spaces. It helps them to realize that although it’s going to be a bit harder and they are going to have to be a bit more creative … it IS possible. Thank you for sharing! -k

    • I am glad you are finding useful information on my blog. Preparing in a small space poses some challenges, but there are workarounds. It is gratifying to me we are all able to share and help each other. Thanks for the kind comments!

  9. My wife and I purchased a very good multiuse survival item.

    We got an emergency power pack. These are sold by Harbor Freight and Black and Decker. They are both battery packs that allow you to jump start start your car when needed. They also have 12 volt and 115 volt outlets. They cost about $100 each. Any 12 volt auto device can be used with them.

    We keep our for two uses. When we go camping we chargeup the power packs and have enough portable power for the weekend. We use an ordinary floor lamp with a flouresent bulb that draws only 8 watts. We also have a 12 volt fan. This means that a week end camping trip is easier. No fuel to mess with and just recharge after getting home. We have two and we will probably purchase a couple more.

    We have the power packs charged all the time so if we have a hurricane (we are in Florida) we will have lights and a fan for a few days until power comes back on.

    Multiuse items are nice because they are useful now and are useful for survival.

  10. For longer term food supplementing look at vegtable oil. It has more calories per once than anyother food you can buy. The oil also makes other food taste better. If you add oil, salt, and a hint of sugar it is almost like adding butter.

  11. I was just linked this site from a fellow prepper and I would just like to say thank you for providing this blog! I am moving into an apartment by the city of Pittsburgh in September and I dread it so much. I want to have control over my situation when and if the SHTF. I think my apartment would be the worse possible place to be in any major crisis, especially if we’re caught unprepared. It’s just my Husband and I but I am the only prepper. (My husband is a bleeding liberal and thinks the government will take care of us. I guess he’ll find out the hard way.)

    Thank you again and good luck in all that you do!

    God Bless!,


    • Good luck on your move. If you do what you can to be prepared, you will feel a lot more in control. Thanks for visiting, I am glad to help!

    • I too am the only prepper. My husband thinks in more religious terms, as far as getting saved if and when the shtf. I too am an apartment prepper. I not only have to be creative in where I store things, but I cannot always let him see where either. I do not want him to reveal anything in conversation to anyone that he thinks he can, but shouldn’t, trust.

  12. Bernie,
    I just wanted to say thanks for your great new book. I picked it up at my local B&N Monday night and devoured it most of yesterday. I love the bite-sized nuggets of info without over explaining the rationale for each decision. My wife is not on board with prepping yet, but I feel that your book, written from a female perspective, could help to move her inthe right direction.
    I pray that you have much success with this book, your website and your prepping.
    Best regards to you and yours.
    Garry F. Owen Trooper

  13. Enjoy your site!! New to Texas from Cal. New to prepping and “apartment living” Love all the helpful info, greatful to find someone posting on how to begin with space restrictions. I will learn the lessons of gardening along with you, look forward to your posts. ” Liven the blessed life in plain sight” ~iamforya

    • iamforya, Welcome to the site! I am glad you are finding some helpful tips. Moving to TX from CA is a change, but I think you will like it. Thanks for the comment.

  14. i used to live down near galveston back in the 1970s. we ran from and were flooded out by canes and even smaller storms too many times. then i lived on the land. now im retired to florida – even better for canes – and im retired in a small apartment. just found your blog and am looking forward to learning lots from you. thanks. mag

    • Maggi, Those hurricanes can be something else alright. I see we have them in common! I hope you’ll stop by and visit with us again.

  15. Thanks for writing a book that gives me a lot of great ideas and advice but doesn’t scare me. I read some other prepper books and felt completely overwhelmed. Thank you also for listing defense weapons that are not guns nor knives. Not everyone can handle those weapons. Your book has also made me aware that some of the skills I take for granted are survival skills like gardening and knowing how to make bread. Such simple things. You are very encouraging. Thanks again.

    • Hi Linda, Thank you for the kind words. This is very encouraging for me as well; not everyone approves of the basic approach that I took with this book. I am glad I am able to help you prepare and feel more secure.

  16. Bernie,

    We would like you to post on your blog our book “A Failure of Civility” which has a section on High Rise Building Defense during disaster or civil unrest.

    You’ll find our book is not the run-of-the-mill survivalist handbook.

    Thank you.

    Mike Garand and Jack Lawson
    Special Forces Association Chapter 51

    “We sleep safe in our beds because rough men stand watch as our guardians in the night to visit violence on those who would do us harm. A soldier must seize every advantage to defeat his opponent. He must strike swiftly and strike hard-he who dares-wins. But under all circumstances those guardians must stand ready to protect the innocent and those too weak to defend themselves…”

  17. As a Dutch follower of your website I like to say the things you come up with are good and most of them are not considered by most people.

    I do thing here in Europe we will get problems with the financial system, that will cause problems in food and supply deliveries and eventualy problems ons the street (looting, theft).
    Me and my future wife live in an apartment as well, its big 110 square meters, 2 stories, but has not much of storage capabilities. We do have a bsement that is under the shoppingcentre we live above, the main entrance of this shared with 20 others, but the storage unit itself is locked by a wooden door. There I can start storing many this, but there is one problem. The area is a constant 20 degrees celsius, this due the heating pipes and the heating room for all apartments. What things can I keep for a long time (+10 years) in this temprature ? Humidity is like 10 percent.. Most things i know of don’t do well if stored that warm so advice would be great.

    In the future we want to move away but during the time we bought this place it was all we could and was low priced.
    I am looking in keeping some catfish in several IBC size containers for food, buttts just a plan for next year.

    • Hi Tim, Glad you like the blog. You are fortunate to have the storage unit available. 20 degrees Celsius or 68 Fahrenheit is actually not too bad for storage, you can store dried bulk storage food such as beans, rice, sugar etc as long as they are properly re-packaged and air tight. You would need to repack in mylar bags with oxygen absorbers, or use a food sealer with oxygen absorbers. Then store the packages in buckets Please inspect to make sure there are no pests in the storage area I am working on a post about food items that can store well in such conditions. Thanks for the comment.

      • Hi, thanks for the reply.
        I didn’t know rice and stuff would do well in this temprature, some people told me it was to warm.
        I can get a big load of 20 litre food grade buckets with top. I will get 30 of them and try to start packing stuff. I’m thinking of stockpilling the things I think I need and hide them behind a fake wall that can be wrecked if needed.
        Also I’m stocking up some crosbows with extra parts, for defense, guns aren’t legal to keep here.
        Looking forward to the article!

  18. I feel like there are loads of bloggers out there developing rural homesteads and not so many apartment-dwelling preppers. This is a great angle you have as you chronicle your experiences, and I wonder if you’d consider sharing a post from time to time on the Saturday Preparedness Fairs hosted by preputilityvehicle.blogspot.com. I know the blog’s author would love this fairly new preppers’ link party to grow.

  19. I found this site last night – what a pleasant surprise. A year ago I had to leave my home on a small farm and move into an apartment. I have been a prepper for years but now has such limited space for storage. I have become very inventive! I liked the posts on guns. I have been a black powder enthusiast for years (25 years) but my guns (3 rifles and a pistol) are limited to one shot each. I am now planning to get a shotgun in the near future. I would like a modern pistol but not sure I want to go thru the hassles of getting the permits to carry. I also am not “familiar” with modern pistols so would have to find a gun range to practice. May try to see if my ex can assist me if I decide to get a pistol. Anyway – loving your blog. Thanks.

    • Hey Leal, Sometimes I wonder if I am truly reaching a lot of apartment preppers out there. Your comment is encouraging. Thanks!

  20. Hi, Bernie! I found your recipe and instructions via Twitter today and would love to follow you on Facebook and other social networks. Your page here is clear and helpful and a really great idea for adding not only vanilla flavoring but others to the food prep recipe book. Thanks for posting this article! (I shared it with my followers)

    I was an apartment prepper until the beginning of this month. I have moved my container garden to a house with a yard and am very excited to branch out. Keep on letting people know they CAN prep in small places!

  21. Hi There!
    I’m so happy to have found this site. Most people concerned with prepping are in homes with property and apartment living has a whole different set of concerns. Please contact me Id love to collaborate with you. I was stranded during Hurticane Sandy with no power for over week. All my preps worked beautifully except our building has oil heat run on electric pumps and thermostats. We had no heat and the temp dropped below forty. If this had happened during the recent polar vortex with temps below ten drgrees I would have been out of luck. Im working on alternative energy suitable for keeping an apartment heated without generators or fire or heaters requiring propane… which are not safe in enclosed spaces. If you’re interested let me know. Thanks!

  22. Will all due respect, I would get out of the large city, especially if you live in the core.
    Houston, and most of America’s other large cities, will become gigantic concentration camps when the time comes to declare martial law. Having a lot of experience with Texas, I know that there are large numbers of small towns scattered in every direction around large Texan cities, well within easy commuting range via US and FM roads, so one needn’t sit in traffic jams on the interstate. In addition, you could probably buy a house pretty inexpensively in those small towns right now, when the economically disadvantaged are abandoning those small towns to move to the big city to find work.

  23. I very much enjoy reading your blog. I retrieve new updates on my Samsung phone whenever they become available.

    Due to a change in my marital status I will be moving to an apartment. I have a large house of about 18 years with all the yard tools, auto tools, kitchen appliances, furniture that you would expect to accumulate over period of time.

    Its time to downsize. My oldest will be in and out of the house while attending college. What would you suggest that a downsizing homeowner should retain and what would you should I toss? I have about a month of food stored mostly in cans and dry goods and a few water storage containers.

    Regards to my new apartment. I am looking for a 2 bedroom, 2 bath with a extra outside storage. Renting a house might be outside my budget. Regards to preparedness, what considerations should I be looking for in my new place?

    I hope this question isn’t too nebulous. Possibly it has been asked before by other readers. I look forward to hearing from you. My intent is to locate an apartment within the next month or so and transition from a large house to a much smaller dwelling while keeping all of my preps.

    • Hi Tim, Glad you like the blog. When choosing an apartment, safety is of utmost concern. Check the neighborhood crime stats, and read reviews online from a year or two years duration. Tenants who have complaints about crime post about them. Read my previous article http://apartmentprepper.com/are-gated-apartments-safer/ for a few other tips. Be aware of entrances and exits to the complex, as well as proximity to main streets and freeways.

      If you are unable to rent a house, an apartment with lots of storage is the next best thing. Is the outside storage temperature controlled? You would need temperature control in the summer if you are storing preps and wood furniture-they will be damaged by heat and humidity. If not, consider a storage facility in a nice area. This article may be helpful: http://apartmentprepper.com/10-tips-for-renting-a-storage-facility-for-emergency-supplies/

      Regarding what to keep and what to toss, it all depends on how much room you will have in the new place. I’d keep some of your basic home tools but your yard and auto tools will be sitting idle as long as you are in the 2 bedroom apt. If you have a relative you can trust to hang on to your stuff, perhaps they can help you out. You will need to sell or donate your kitchen appliances and large furniture. Keep your food and water storage, water purifier, power outage supplies etc. Save a few items for your college age child for their emergency car survival kit. Thanks for bringing up this question. I may write a post about this in the near future. Good luck to you!

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