This post is by Bernie Carr, apartmentprepper.com
There is a lot of advise about preparing for disasters that may not be helpful to city folks, especially an apartment dweller, if taken at face value. To make them work, you’d have to rethink the advice and modify it for your needs.
1. Bury a cache of emergency items in a secret location
This is bad idea, possibly even dangerous within an urban area. You never know when there are hidden pipes or gas lines that you can inadvertently puncture and cause an accident. Also, even areas that seem isolated are private property. When we moved in to the apartment, there was a heavily wooded area right behind our unit. The area was covered with trees and looked very private. I’ve even seen the occasional backpacker set up a tent for the night. A couple of years later, the bulldozers moved in an completely cleared the area. Now an office building is going up. If anyone even thought of hiding anything back there, it would be dug up and missing by now.
Workaround: Store your emergency supplies in an accessible storage facility or with a trusted family member or friend.
2. If you need water you can easily collect water from decorative ponds and water features, and just boil it.
In many cities and suburbs, especially in desirable subdivisions, you see a lot of man-made waterways as part of the landscaping. They may appear to be good sources of drinking water, but this is not the case. These water features are usually built as a way to divert runoff and prevent flooding. The result is a melting pot of metals, chemicals, pesticides, bacteria and viruses, other waste products and are likely full of pollutants that even boiling would not remove.
Workaround: Store plenty of drinking water for emergencies – at least one gallon per person per day. Invest in a good water filter and maintain it. Water filters vary widely in what metals, chemicals, bacteria they remove – check the fine print in your water filter to find out.
3. Store gasoline in your garage for emergencies.
Storing gasoline is prohibited by most leases if you live in an apartment. Even if you own a home, it can can be dangerous if not done properly.
Workaround: Always keep your cars’ gas tanks above a quarter full, or even half full. This way you never have to worry about running out at an inconvenient time. If you are able to store gas, make sure it is kept in EPA compliant containers and use a stabilizer such as Sta-bil. Do not store your emergency supplies or near a gasoline storage container, as fumes may ruin your storage.
4. Get your neighbors involved with your emergency preparedness plans.
Having an emergency preparedness group is admirable and can be beneficial for your plans. However, depending on your neighborhood, this may not be advisable. If you live in an apartment, many residents are short-term; in my building several units are corporate owned, and used for clients visiting from out of town. And some of the building occupants are not really what you’d call neighborly.
Your neighborhood may also border on an undesirable area, and you don’t want word getting out that you have a lot of supplies and gear stored up.
Workaround: Be careful whom you trust and use your best judgement when sharing your preparedness plans. If you are not able to establish a community within your neighborhood, reach out to others such as friends and family who are like-minded.
5. If you don’t store food, you can always hunt and fish.
Hunting and fishing would be severely limited in an urban area. Houston has the bayou and some nature preserves, but these would not have enough wildlife to to support all the residents if they were to hunt and fish.
Workaround: You really need that food storage plan! Make sure you have enough food stored up to cover at least a month’s worth of food for your family and go from there.
What survival advice do you think won’t work for you? Please share!
© Apartment Prepper 2015
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