Living in an apartment, you frequently have strangers coming to your space: the “once a year” inspection, fire and smoke alarm inspection, pest control and let’s not forget the maintenance guy coming in to change vent filters and what not. Apartment dwellers are not the only ones who have visitors, anyone can have pizza delivery, cable installer, plumber and other repair technicians may enter your house.
Emergency supplies are your own business, and you don’t need anyone else checking them out and wondering what’s all that stuff. People will form conclusions about you such as:
- You’re a nut.
- You’re loaded and have lots of “goodies” all over
I’m not saying anyone is out to get you, but all it takes is a word or two said to someone else in a friendly conversation and before you know it, word has spread. At the very least, you’ll want to avoid any questions like “What’s all this?”
What do you do if you have an apartment inspection or other strangers coming to your house?
- Know your rights. When you are informed of an apartment inspection, reread the terms of your lease, your rights as well as what the manager can do and cannot do
- If you object to an inspection be very nice about it and you just may get what you want.
- If possible, try to be at home during the inspection. Follow the inspector around so you know what he or she is looking at. We once had a guy looking in one of our closets. I was right behind him so I asked him, “What are you looking for?” He said “The smoke alarm.” But I knew there never was any smoke alarm in the closet.
- Hide your supplies in places that are not obvious: under the dining table covered by a long table cloth, under the bed, in an unused closet, in a laundry hamper etc.
- Spread out your stash, so it does not look noticeable.
- Use your closet wisely: store some long dresses in front of your five gallon buckets, collect empty shoe boxes and use them for smaller supplies such as flashlights and batteries, first aid kits, etc.
- If you know you’ll be having a lot of foot traffic in your home, say you are selling your home and have an open house planned, consider moving some of your gear to a trusted friend or relative’s home, or storage facility. I know of a couple who had lost valuable items during an open house, as thieves were able to roam freely among the lookie-loos.
- If you were to consider a storage facility to keep your supplies, make sure it has 24 hour on site management, is climate controlled, and most of all, easily accessible to you. Preps won’t do any good if you can’t get to them when the need arises.
Finally, if your supplies are noticed and commented upon, be matter of fact about them and just say you were cleaning out a closet or going through your hurricane (or other risks in your area) emergency supplies. No need to elaborate nor give additional details.
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