4 Tools You Need in Your Apartment During an Emergency

Spread the love

Written by Bernie Carr

One of the perks of renting an apartment is that you generally do not have to worry about repairs or home improvement projects.  As a renter, you may be responsible for repairing any damage that you caused, while landlords are generally responsible for wear and tear as well as building defects such as electrical or plumbing issues. To be on the safe side, always check your lease to make sure it allows you to do minor repairs to your unit before proceeding.

Every renter should have a small set of tools to use for temporary repairs that are needed to secure your home or prevent further damage while waiting for maintenance to arrive. 

You do not need an extensive toolbox to take care of an emergency, and you’ll be glad you have one of these tools on hand to help you.


The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) advises every household to keep a wrench on hand to turn off utilities in an emergency.  A wrench can also come in handy for DIY furniture assembly, fixing a bicycle tire or tightening a loose shower-head.  Select an adjustable wrench so you can work with nuts and bolts of various sizes, says DIY Network.

Screwdriver Set

Like a wrench, a screwdriver can help you cope with a variety of emergency situations, while you wait for emergency maintenance personnel to repair damage from a natural disaster, such as tightening cabinet doors that have come loose due shaking from an earthquake. You may be able to use it to open the drainage valve on your water heater if you don’t have clean drinking water available during an emergency, says FEMA

Screwdrivers are useful for non-emergencies as well, you can use it to assemble furniture or open a paint can.  Choose a magnetic screwdriver with assorted removable tips to help with multiple jobs.

Duct Tape

Ready.gov recommends duct tape as one of the items to include in a disaster supply kit in the event you need to seal up a room with plastic sheeting. To remove gummy tape residue left by duct tape on surfaces, use rubbing alcohol or vodka.

Duct tape can be used for stop-gap repairs until you can get professional help: Hold together a window that cracked during an earthquake.  Seal a leaky pipe, says DIY Network, until a plumber can fix it permanently. Patch up a tear in a door or window screen or seal cracks to keep pests away. Close a wound if you don’t have adhesive bandages, adds Reader’s Digest.

Multi-Purpose Tool

Be prepared and consider getting a multi-purpose tool. You’ll have a little bit of everything — various knife blades, mini screwdriver, pliers, scissors and maybe even tweezers. I keep a small Swiss Army knife on a key chain. You’ll it useful for everyday tasks, from cutting a string, tightening eyeglasses screws, or opening a can of food.

If you found this article interesting or helpful, please consider helping us out (without costing you anything)! We are an affiliate of Amazon.com, which means we received a small commission if you click through one of our Amazon links when you shop, at totally no cost to you. This helps keep the lights on at the blog. Thanks!

Bernie Carr is the founder of Apartment Prepper. She has written several books including the best-selling Prepper’s Pocket Guide, Jake and Miller’s Big Adventure, The Penny-Pinching Prepper and How to Prepare for Most Emergencies on a $50 a Month Budget. Bernie’s latest e-book, FRUGAL DIY has just been released on Amazon. Her work appears in sites such as the Allstate Blog and Clark.com, as well as print magazines such as Backwoods Survival Guide and Prepper Survival Guide. She has been featured in national publications such as Fox Business and Popular Mechanics. Learn more about Bernie here.


Spread the love


  1. Thanks, Bernie. Interesting article. Gives you something to think about. I graduated college as an Industrial Arts teacher (shop teacher) but took an engineering job instead. My four tools of choice would be (1) hammer, (2) saw, (3) vice-grips, and (4) a screwdriver set. You need at least one Phillips-head screwdriver and one regular screwdriver. AND a couple of really, really tiny screwdrivers can sometimes be priceless (think eyeglass repair). Just my two cents.

    1. Hi Ron, That’s a great list. I hadn’t thought about vise-grips but I can see how useful they can be. And those tiny screw drivers are essential, I carry them in my purse 🙂 Thanks for the comment!

  2. For me:
    1. A phillips #2 screwdriver
    2. A flat screwdriver
    3. A 8″ universal pliers
    4. A visegrip pliers

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *