Most people who live in apartments are more-vulnerable than they think. This vulnerability stems from some fundamental differences between apartments and houses that are almost impossible to ignore. While there are a lot of ideas and tips out there that are intended to give renters some peace of mind, they can also give people a false sense of security. Here are a few realities to consider if you are an apartment-dweller, and hopefully they can help you to reorganize your preparedness efforts.
Apartments are not nearly as safe as homes. Most buildings have a sturdy lock or keyless entry system at the main door, but there is little to stop intruders from breaking into apartments once they pass this obstacle. All it takes is a good kick on a door and they’re inside stealing your food, water, items of value or posing a threat to your safety if you’re home.
Most apartment-defenses are only marginally-effective if an intruder is persistent and willing to spend some time trying to gain entry. Consequently, there is very little that you can honestly do to secure your apartment, and it’s important to accept this reality. Once inside, there are few places where you can hide, escape or even take up a defensive position in order to protect yourself. There are also few places where you can hide valuables or your stockpile as well.
These are just a few examples of fundamental security weaknesses that are unique to apartments. Consequently, it may make more sense to plan on bugging-out once as soon as things get to a point where break-ins are imminent.
Space is a problem in apartments, and this will have a direct impact on the size of your emergency stockpile. Consequently, even if a situation was safe enough to shelter in place, chances are that you’d run out of supplies long before a homeowner does. Whether or not this poses a problem will depend on the situation at hand. However, it’s important to keep this in the back of your mind, and you want to have other options available if and when this becomes an issue.
Electricity and Cooking
Apartment-dwellers also have fewer options during a power outage. Things like running a generator is probably out of the question, and building a fire to cook will probably not be safe either. While these may not be problems for a few days, not being able to cook, or having limited meal options altogether, will take its toll as a crisis drags on.
Along those lines, removing waste and trash may be a challenge as well. Even if you could toss it out a window or throw it down a chute, all of that refuse will accumulate in a short amount of time. Consequently, you may find yourself surrounded by all kinds of pests and vermin, along with human scavengers who are looking for their next meal.
These are just a few examples that illustrate some of the inherent limitations of long-term apartment living following a major crisis. This is why it’s so important to consider your apartment as an emergency, short-term shelter. The emphasis should be on having some food, water and basic survival items on-hand that will get you through a few days or a week at the most. This means that you should seriously think about establishing a good bug out location and focus a lot of your efforts on getting it stocked up. Have a good bug out bag as well, and be ready to leave your apartment as soon as the situation warrants.
You don’t have to completely write-off your apartment as a good place to be following a SHTF situation. However, it’s important to be aware of the risks so that you can plan accordingly. Make sure that you’re not being lulled into a false sense of security in terms of the safety that your apartment can provide. This will help you to target your efforts so that you can make the most of better alternatives in the midst of a crisis.