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Apartment prepping

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I am very new to prepping and live in an apartment complex. Obviously this means space is at a premium and trying to figure out what/how to store stuff is a bit overwhelming. I've started with basic canned goods, rice, beans etc in the pantry and currently working on turning my storage closet into an extended pantry. The storage closet is a floor below me so I dont plan on storing anything I would need quick but I have to use all the space I can. I live next to a fresh water river and pond so I've just focused on water purification as opposed to water storage. That being said I do have about 15 gallons stored in the apartment (5 in plastic dispensers in the fridge and 2 5 gallon Gatorade coolers in a closet) with my limited shelf closet space what should my primary focus be?

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Sounds like your head is in the right place; evaluating your situation and starting with basics.

Just how Urban is your area? Or is it like a developed rural area? As for suggestions.. really sounds like ur well on your way. Water is obvious, but it doesnt have to be in the fridg to be stored. Get some water tablets and stick the water in the closet so you can actually use that fridg space. Living in close proximity to a River is good, but consider many people will be leeching that same spot.. If you plan to 'Bug-In', then id suggest next looking into a propane Camp stove. Get yourself a GOOD portable water filter/purifier, more than just an Emergency Straw. ANd something to Defend yourself with. Hammer/nails/OSB board/2x4s/Roll plastic/duct tape


Bet ya my apartment is smaller :P but im a Bug-out guy.

Edited by NavyVet_77

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The water in the fridge is for everyday drinking, I am pretty active and go through it pretty quickly. I'm definitely in a developed rural area but far enough from a city to be comfortable. Do you have any recommendations for a water purifier? I have a CZ 75b 9mm for protection/hobby and looking into getting a shotgun for the same purpose. Thank you very much for your input!

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Water purifier..

See my whole SHTF planning is for Bug-Out, which dictates different gear. Being that you are a Bug-In, I believe others on this forum will have better suggestions for you. Im sure you'll get some suggestions tommorow. For Bug-Out, I went with AquaMira products. A thought about your water storage.... for additional containers to use later, perhaps think about those Collapsable water bags

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CZ75 well than how many mags? you need about 5 + and 1K rounds


Mcrot most of this post is not for you or about you just a reminder to the mall ninja's

and couch commandos.


beans do not keep over a year they get hard and then wont cook also bugs eat holes in them

all grain has bugs the only way to kill them is freeze for 10 days and put inside for 2 to get to room temp

and bucket better yet mylar bag and seal / tie tight.




for size and weight I would go with wise foods come in square 5 gallon buckets

get breakfast lunches and dinners buckets and then augment with canned goods


canned of the following:

canned hams

chicken breast

beef in gravy

chicken and dumplings

beef stew


canned tamales

mexicali rose refried beans

canned beans and vegetables.


all grains dry food goods need to be frozen 10 days allowed to return to room temp for 2 days

and placed in a sealed bucket preferably screw top

potato buds or flakes

rice 5 gallons

oats 5 gallons

cream of wheat gallon

flour 40 + pounds for 1 person

powdered buttermilk 3 to 6 cans

cornmeal 5 gallons

bread crumbs gallon or 2


these items can stay on original cans / packages

salt pure pickling salt from morton or buy 40 pound bags of water softener salt from wall mart

white sugar

baking soda in13 pound bag

cans of baking powder

large jars of powdered bullion beef chicken tomato and vegetable if you can find it.

spices pepper garlic onion cinnamon nutmeg pickling spice comino Italian seasoning

etc. with out them food taste like paste.

real vanilla extract other extracts like almond lemon banana pineapple walnuts if you like it have it


these need can be found at places like www.beprepared,com in # 10 cans {about a gallon}

powdered shortening

powdered butter

powdered eggs

powdered milk

powdered peanut butter

freeze dried vegetables and fruits


my reasoning you need biscuits, bread and crackers Period without these your in trouble complex carbs

grains for fiber and a way to stretch your food and fill that hunger spot.


tortillas unleavened bread








noodles pasta all kinds


pies meat and fruit




these are all the things that can be made with the items above and 90% of the time they come from more than 1,000 miles away and must be purified for use if there is a 2 week to a month outage it will take way longer than that for things to return to normal under NORMAL circumstances.


you need 90 day supply of medications over the counter for headache muscle aches diarrhea antacid

cough sinus ear ache cuts bug repellent constipation pills once a day vitamins antibiotic ointment etc.

gauze bandages bandaids paper tape and there are instant cold packs and benadryl a lot of it.

a primetein inhaler or epipen...


living outside in the weather low food intake and overexertion iffy water and numerous other problems

will gang up to kill you


and let us talk about water it tastes like nothing boring so I have all kinds of kool aid and powdered

sports drinks tea and coffee hot chocolate lemonade etc.


people talk a good game but if you have kids or on your own you need to have mental diversions

like a cool drink something different or you will crack up sooner than later.

ask anyone lost at sea how they liked the emergency biscuits and water after a few days you beat each

other just to taste blood its different emergency rations come in coconut and almond cookie flavor

saw dust depends on the company who makes them 2400 and 3600 calorie packs try eating that sh*t

for a couple of weeks the batteries in the emergency locator beacon start to look good.

and I almost forgot protein foam {firefighting} a 5 gallon can on board for emergency rations LMAO

go ahead try to live off the land in the best of times it is meager or same old crap different day

there are only so much squirrel and tree rat and snake before you start having nightmares about

fish and vegetables and fruit and those are seasonal.


I have eaten everything cat dog chicken crayfish fish of all kinds deer bear moose and most exotics

snakes rats big and small from nutria to cappa berra alligator crocodile frogs lizards turtles

some bugs goats pigs cattle different ones of those emu ostrich all kinds of eggs.

and I would have killed for a bowl of pinto beans and cornbread or some cold pickled beets or fresh

vegetables and regular chicken eggs or spices to make what i was eating worth a sh*t.

and the worst is lamb YUCK.


I cleaned and skinned them my self or with help if available now try working up a good appetite

after gutting something and hair on the meat many have but those that have not are in for some

real eye opening experience.

I have seen people kill each other for sh*t I would not use for firewood.


all these arm chair survivalist will be dead in a month because the secret is survival is not a skill

you can teach or learn from a book it takes experience and lessons learned the hard way

people can make fire from friction and the die in the ensuing wild fire food is all around and it

can look just like a poison cousin.

bees ants scorpions spiders and hornets wasps are not your friend and they hang out in the most bizarre

places in fruit trees back side of a tree is hollow and you walk by ground hornets you won't see them

spiders are as big as a match head to a nickle and will destroy your flesh and wither an arm.

and this is the U.S.A. not some exotic place there are many types of Caterpillar and other bugs

that will make you cry for your mama.


go ahead with your BOB and do ninja flips its one brown dog tick will make you so sick you will shoot

yourself LMAO

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Howdy neighbor! I live just up the road a bit from you in Tampa, and I'm an apartment prepper too.


What are you prepping for? This makes a difference in how/what you choose for your stores. I prep for hurricanes - specifically my goal is to be able to weather a Cat 5 hurricane, and 5 weeks of post hurricane chaos (no utilities, no law enforcement, no relief supplies from the government, etc). That means my gear is oriented towards staying put ("Bugging In"), with a backup plan of evacuating later if needed ("Bugging Out"). I have a pretty good sized apartment at the moment, but I will be moving to a newer/smaller place in a couple of months to save money. Maximum efficiency is the theme when you are trying to fit a lot of gear in a small place.


Since I don't know what you're prepping for, or the specifics of your situation, I'll give you an example from my own personal situation. First, it's just me and the wife - no pets, no kids. We're both in our 40s, in average physical shape, and Army veterans. We live smack in the middle of urban Tampa, right along the border where several not-so-good neighborhoods bump up against each other, but in a pretty decent apartment complex. Our apartment building is a two story brick unit, and we are on the first floor.


With all of that in mind, I prioritized things with my 'Survive A Five' goal. First, the apartment itself. I had to decide if the building itself could actually protect us in a major hurricane. If the building won't hold up, then I need to change my plans to 'get the hell out ahead of the storm', right? It's brick, tucked in a corner of the complex on higher ground than the parking lots, has a earth berm and brick wall around it on two sides, and only one puny tree near by. After some research, I decided it will probably work just fine. I invested in some storm shields for my windows, and store them flat in the back of my supply closet. There are a few other minor things I can do to improve my shelter but as an apartment dweller you're really limited in that regard.


With shelter taken care of, I looked at the rest of what I need, and what is most important for my disaster planning. Water, food, sanitation, medical, communications, defense, and transport - in that order. Without clean water, in three days of Florida heat, you will be dangerously dehydrated and none of the rest of your gear is going to do you a bit of good. After water comes food, because you need calories to work, travel or fight. Sanitation is next up because without it you will quickly become ill from disease, and attract natural predators and/or vermin. Medical is only slightly less important than sanitation, as prevention is worth more than cure when your supplies/skills are limited. It is better to avoid getting sick or hurt than it is to treat an illness or injury. Communications is next up because you need to know about the big picture outside of the local disaster area (is there another hurricane coming, has the National Guard started operations in town yet, etc). This is also a big morale boost, being able to keep in touch with others when you need it. Defense is the classic 'guns vs looters' thing, but also something to deal with animals and vermin. Last, but still important, is a means of transportation. You may need to evacuate later, so you need a reliable means to do so.


With everything prioritized, I started with a storage space. One of the closets in the apartment got cleaned out and all of the shelves were removed or rearranged to give me more space. (This was a good opportunity to ditch a lot of junk we had, too.) That gave me a space about 22 inches deep by 7 feet wide to work with. One third of that space is water supplies. Water is important, and it doesn't compress well so it takes up room.


I have 15 gallons of bottled water (that's 5 cases of half liter bottles, 24 bottles to a case). I have 20 gallons of treated water in four Aqua-Pak (5 gallon) cube containers, which stack on top of each other. The bottled water came from WalMart, on sale for a couple of bucks per case. The Aqua-Paks I bought from Emergency Essentials online, and then filled myself with water that I treated with bleach.


That's 35 gallons of 'ready reserve' water if my water supply gets cut off without warning. At 5 gallons per day (two people) that will last a week. For a hurricane, I expect plenty of time to fill my WaterBOB in the bathroom tub (90 gallons, because of the shape of the tub). I'll also shut off my hot water heater's incoming line and disconnect the power when the storm approaches, which will give me another 50 gallons of fresh water storage if I need it.


That's 175 gallons of fresh water, or 35 days worth for two people. I also have 4 (collapsible) 5 gallon water jugs that I can fill from the tap when I do the WaterBOB (they are the ones I will drink first, too, so I can refill them later with rainwater). On a side note, most of the common canned foods that we have stocked up have water in them (which is why canned goods are so heavy) so that will help relieve some of our water needs.


I also have the tools to harvest water from water heaters, swimming pools, or rainwater (everything fits in a little green garden wagon), so I can replenish my water supplies as needed. The wagon is very handy for hauling 2-4 5 gallon buckets of water in one trip.


For purification, I'm planning on a Berkey Light filter system (I can't afford it yet, it's like $230, but its the best you can buy). Until then I have water tablets (100 gallons worth), unscented bleach, and a bag of Pool Shock (Calcium Hypochlorite, 78%) with the tools to make my own Stock Chlorine (bottle, filter mask, rubber gloves, measuring spoon and eyedropper).


I just went and measured the stack of water supply stuff with a tape measure. The garden cart is under a bunch of other things, so I didn't count it. The Aqua-Paks (20 gallons of water) is a 10 inch by 12 inch stack 60 inches tall. The bottled water is on shelves with other stuff, but if I yank them off and stack them by themselves I get a stack that is 10x15x45. All the purifying stuff and water collection stuff fits in a couple of 5 gallon buckets, which sit in the garden cart along with a garden hose and a couple of lengths of PVC pipe that stand up in the corner (the frame for my rain catcher).

Edited by survivalcyclist
corrected spelling, as usual

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Guest survival101

What Auto said. But, some people are sensitive to Immodium (think allergy) For them get coconut cookies, flaked coconut, There are more solutions when I remember them. And, get Colace or Dulcolax. Lot of people have IBS and stress and different foods can make them sick in more than one way.

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Thanks for all the help! Survivalcyclist I am trying to prepare for hurricanes or any other natural disaster to head our way. As a native Floridian I have weathered my fair share of hurricanes and know they aren't to be taken lightly. Making my shopping list to take care of as much as I can as soon as I can. Is there anywhere in the surrounding area I can buy any of the filters/supplies you listed or is my best get online? Call me old fashioned but I prefer to go get stuff myself as opposed to just pointing and clicking. The medical stuff I have already started stocking up on from work. (I have every OTC medication and first aid supplies I could ever want or need) thank you again for all the feedback! Making this so much easier than going it alone

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The Aqua-Pak containers are best bought online, Emergency Essentials had the best price once you bought more than 2 (because they have a flat shipping rate, where everyone else charges per item). Bottled water and canned goods can be gotten from your local grocery places or Wally World. You can try out freeze dried foods from Mountain House brand - they are available in individual serving sized portions at the big sporting good chains like Sports Authority, Dick's Sporting Goods, etc.


Most of the 'big ticket' items (the Berkey Light filter, etc) are best bought online, and direct from the manufacturer or an authorized dealer (to avoid counterfeits and outrageous prices). I always check the manufacturer's web site for a 'Find a Dealer' link, and work from there. The rest can be gotten locally from your hardware store/Home Depot/Army Navy Surplus etc. The WaterBOB is made in Clearwater, and runs about $25 bucks for one, but I think they are out of stock until mid june right now. You can buy them on Amazon but they are marked up pretty high there (supply vs demand, right?)

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