Saturday, September 21, 2013

Apartment Prepping

     I don't particularly like where I live from a strategic point of view.  I have a bug out plan and a route.  I can only imagine, in a disaster, what it could be like for people who live on top of each other.  I saw hundreds of people crying in the streets after Hurricane Sandy struck the Northeast last year.  They didn't understand the position they were in or how the disaster response teams work.  They thought FEMA was a magic word you could say and some benevolent government fairy would wave a wand a make it all better.  Snap!  I pitied them in their dissolution. (or, do I mean delusion?) 

    But, for reasons of cost, or convenience or close proximity for work, we live where we live.  I have been meaning to address apartment and city dwellers for some time now.  First, I wanted to build a foundation.  Then I thought, we could talk.  So, let's talk.  

     Get a plan.  The day you move into an apartment, you should make yourself a fire or evacuation plan.  Find out where the exits are.  Don't assume anything.  Go see the fire exits.  How old is that building? How old is the fire escape?  how old is the evacuation plan? -
    Most apartment dwellers choose the smallest space they can live in to reduce cost of living.  Your living area may not leave much room for storing prep supplies.  But, in my opinion, even in a college dorm room, there is room for a well planned and packed bug out bag.  

     You will have to be creative in the stacking and storing of bug in supplies, using every square inch well.  Your ability to garden and grow your own vegetables is limited by your space but not your creativity.  You can still practice window gardens and maintain a minimal living space.  As the plants grow, they absorb your carbon dioxide and return to you clean oxygen, improving your life.  

    Let's examine the apartment during a disaster.  

     An apartment tends to be in town, stacked and clustered in an area with easy access to main roads.  This sounds good, until a storm comes and evacuation orders are issued.  When you try to leave via the easily accessed main roads, so, too, is everyone else.  If you decide to remain behind or wait until the roads are clear, you may be cut off from escape by the disaster itself, emergency vehicles, or orders to get indoors. 

    Having a plan with escape routes, alternate escape routes and practice driving those routes at different times of the day will help you prepare.  Don't be a sheep getting in line for slaughter.  Have several routes in mind and get out of the line when it is safe and smart.  Sometimes the best way around is the long way around.  

Remaining in place:

     You need to be prepared to weather that storm alone.  Emergency vehicles and rescuers cannot risk their lives for your mistakes.  You need to get to high ground, be prepared to stay fed, watered and safe all on your own. 

If you are in an area that was evacuated:  

     Stay in doors.  Do not go out to watch the storm progress.  

     You will need food, water, warm clothing, alternate power units for cell phones, electronics and lights, first aid kit, and a good rapport with your neighbors.

     If water gets too high you will need to move up.  Knowing your neighbors allows you to move without being shot or reported as a malicious malingerer!  They may welcome you and your supplies and expertise in their apartments.  Get to know a few neighbors before a disaster.  Go to meetings or throw a disaster plan party of your own. 

Wintering in harsh climates:

     This is an annual disaster in some areas.  Hurricanes in Florida come when they come.  Winter comes everywhere, every year in many different incarnations.  If you live in an area often cut off from electricity with blocked roads, or other dangerous conditions, be prepared. 

     Winterize your vehicle.  Have safe tires and motor maintenance taken care of before the harsh weather sets in.

     Winterize the home or apartment.  A second set of curtains on the windows or a sheet of bubble wrap, can keep heat in longer, better.  Gather warm clothes, and bedding.  Check needed medications regularly and don't run out.  

     Get to know what emergency services are available and if you are able to remain  in home or will need to bug out.  In other words, get a plan.  

Look through this blog and others for information or disaster readiness.  

I will post more on prepping on an apartment scale as I go along. 



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