10 “Must Have” Emergency Gear for Apartment Dwellers

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This post is by Bernie Carr, apartmentprepper.com

Several months ago we covered 10 Fast Track Tips for the Single Apartment Prepper; this week we’ll talk about tools you should have in your apartment in case of emergency.

One of the advantages of living in an apartment is that most repairs and maintenance are covered by management.  All you have to do is make a call.  However, this does not mean that you should take things for granted and be completely dependent on the maintenance crew.  If there is an emergency, the office will be closed and you will have to take care of things on your own.

I am not going to include “cell phone” to the list, I am going to consider that you already have one.  You do keep your cell phone charged and with you at all times don’t you?  Don’t scoff, I know folks who wait until their cell phone turns off before charging, or never hear their phone ringing as it is buried somewhere.  It won’t do any good in an emergency if you can’t get to it, so remember to have it charged and close by.

Here are some essential tools (in no particular order):

1.  Swiss Army Knife.  Don’t leave home without it.  I like mine so much I now keep it with my car keys.  It has come in handy more times than I can count.

2.  Can opener.   It’ll be really hard to eat your canned foods without one.  “Two is one, and one is none” is definitely applicable to this one.  Keep a couple of good can openers in your home at all times.

3.  Multi-tool.  For anyone who is space challenged, the multi-tool that combines a screwdriver, pliers, knives can be essential for doing emergency fixes around your unit.

4.  Duct tape.  From packing up boxes to repairing tears, and even sealing up leaky windows, duct tape is essential to have around.  Keep a few spares just in case.

5.  Water Filter.  You never know when water can become contaminated or scarce.  Plumbing repairs have caused our apartment water to get brownish and muddy.   But we never worry about it, as we run everything through our Berkey water filter.  We never have to buy bottled water so it saves money in the long run.

6.  Flashlight.  You should have a flashlight on your bedside table within easy reach.

7.  USB flash drive.   Back up your important documents on a USB flash drive.  Even if a disaster never happens, computers crash all the time.

8.  Weather radio.  We used ours a lot during the last hurricane.  When the power goes out, you still need a way to find out what’s going on.

9.  Solar Charger.  A good solar charger will charge your cell phone and other small appliances in case there is no power.   You may want to consider a portable power bank as well.   They really came in handy during the last big hurricane.  

10.  Screwdriver set.  I can’t tell you how many times our screwdriver set has come in handy, from assembling furniture to tightening cabinet doors and fixtures.  I am always glad I don’t have to schedule a maintenance visit for minor adjustments.

This list is by no means all-inclusive – there are many more items that are handy to have around, but these are some of the first ones that come to mind when I think of tools I use frequently.

For more preparedness tips, read my book:

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  1. you need to add an emergence window escape ladder. if your apartment is higher than the 2nd floor. And a good quality small tool kit is a lot better that a multi-tool. a good quality pliers and 2 adjustable wrenches with a quality set of screwdrivers covers a lot of repairs.

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