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How To Prep In An Apartment Or Small Living Space

September 25th, 2012

If you’ve ever watched the posted videos from the apartment dwellers who survived the 2011 Fukushima earthquake, you’ll understand the importance of prepping, even when in an apartment. Many of the dwellers had little to no food in their refrigerators (since they ate out much of the time), and found their water contaminated. Limited space in an apartment means you may have to be more selective and creative when prepping for a disaster. But remember, the steps you take now can mean all the difference in a survival situation. Here are a few tips to get your started:

How To Plan An Apartment Garden

Start by saving now for a small garden, and reserve money each week. Use recycled goods to keep costs at a minimum, and begin saving soda bottles, yogurt tubs, food jars, etc., for later use as containers. Garage sales and thrift stores may also have some useful items.

It’s wise to carefully plan out your space, and work with what you have. Most apartments have a balcony or patio – but also consider using the space near a sunny window, or on the rooftop if available. Need some guidance on how to garden in small spaces? Find websites or blogs that detail their successes with container gardening, and take notes on what practices they used. You’ll likely discover small tips, like growing plants vertically which can manage small spaces better, and yield a crop comparable to larger garden spaces.

Invest in seeds that are non-GMO and non-hybrid, and store them in waterproof and rodent proof re-sealable containers. This will ensure long-term food storage, leaving the option of growing seeds now or later.

How To Store Food When Space Is Tight

Getting creative is a must when storing food in an apartment. Consider any unused space as a potential place to store food – under the bed, linen closets, storage lockers, or shelving units can hold dozens of cans and survival items. If you truly have limited space, try living minimally (that is, without unneeded items or furniture that take up space). You may find it challenging to give up some possessions in your home, but remember that it may mean the difference between surviving and thriving if a disaster strikes.

When storing food, remember to:

1)    Keep dry food up high. Keep all dry food up high and away from the ground to prevent water damage or problems resulting from high trafficked areas.

2)    Keep food away from sunlight. Sunlight can destroy the nutrients in food and cause internal temperatures to rise and fall in a container.

3)    Keep food in a cool, dry location. Cool, dry places provide the optimal environment for food to stay well preserved.

How To Plan Emergency Gear In An Apartment

Since space is limited, it can get tricky finding ways to store different kinds of emergency gear. Instead, stick with gear that is necessary and has multiple uses, and check our list below.

A Multi-Tool - a multi-tool can provide a screwdriver, pliers and an assortment of knives all in one.

Can Opener(s)  – food is necessary for survival, store at least two of these.

Portable Water Filter – water must be filtered or boiled if you suspect it’s contaminated.

Solar Charger – small devices can become fully charged even in the absence of power.

Duct tape – with its dozens of uses, duct tape can repair tears, seal up windows, pack up boxes, and more.

Other useful items: flashlights, a weather radio, hiking shoes, USB flash drives, emergency preparedness books, first aid kit, rain gear, lighter or matches, self protection such as pepper spray, and small hygiene items.

To learn more, see our guide to canning, as well as our other emergency preparedness posts:

Canning 101

Five Tips For Prepping

Tips For Sustaining A Survival Garden

Survival Gardening: How To Boost Your Disaster Preparedness 

***Preppers and gardeners:  What are your favorite tips for prepping in a small space? We’d love to hear your thoughts and ideas.

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