Apartment Prepping: How to Get Started

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In a perfect world, we’d all have big houses with dozens of acres of land. That would make prepping much easier. But some people, particularly those who live in big cities, don’t have that luxury. They’re forced to prep with limited space available. Some people think, “I don’t have that much space. I might as well not prep at all”. This is a poor mindset that I encourage you to stay away from. Believe it or not, it’s very possible to prep in an apartment- you just have to be creative and resourceful. In this article, we’ll show you how to get started as a prepper living in an apartment.

Limited Space – A Problem for Apartment Preppers

The average apartment in the United States is only about 1,000 square feet. Since this is an average, we can assume that some people have more than this amount of space, and some people have less. Either way, it’s not that much. As a prepper, you’re going to need to learn how to utilize every inch of space you have. Just know that it’s not impossible to prep inside a small apartment. From food rotation storage shelves, to storing things under your bed, you’ll need to utilize a lot of creativity to make it happen. The “Shelf Reliance FRS Can Storage” unit, which measures 75″ x 36″ x 24″is a great option, and holds 375 soup sized cans. CHECK PRICES

Home Defense – A BIGGER Problem for Apartment Preppers

apartment preppers

I’ll be the first to warn you: defending your home in a post-crisis world is going to be tough. Unlike a regular house, you’ll have limited control over how to barricade your living area. For example, you can’t install fences (unless the apartment complex owner decides to install them) or have a watch dog keeping an eye on the parameter of your property (in some cases, dogs won’t be allowed at all).

Not only will you need to defend against people who live outside your apartment complex, you’ll also need to defend against people who live IN your apartment complex. I’ll do my best to provide you with practical solutions to both of these problems in the upcoming sections of this article.


As I said, you’ll have less flexibility when fortifying your apartment in comparison to a regular house, but this doesn’t mean it can’t be done. A lot of people will say that buying a handgun (if one is legally allowed to do so) would be the best thing you can do to prevent unwanted people from getting inside your apartment. Hopefully you would never need to use it, but you would have one just in case. I would also sign up for local gun safety courses and learn how to use it correctly. Check out the article Top 10 Handguns to Own & Why for more information.  Here are some additional tips to consider:

  • Secure Your Entries:
  • Start by upgrading your doors and windows. All hinges, bolts, locks, and door material can be upgraded to make them virtually impenetrable. You can buy a door reinforcer on Amazon for about $80, which will make breaking down your door very difficult. Make sure that you’re not breaking any apartment complex rules by doing this.
  • Install Security Cameras: Depending on your apartment complex, having these outside your door may or may not be allowed. However, when SHTF, I highly doubt it will matter. By having security cameras located outside your door, you’ll have more time to prep for an impending break in. Security cameras don’t cost that much money either.

You could have a dog, but I wouldn’t recommend it. Dogs are loud, and they could give away your position by barking at every tiny sound or movement. Plus, you need to think about where your dog is going to use the bathroom- are they going to pee and poop in the apartment? It’s definitely possible to make it work, but the benefits of having a dog don’t outweigh the maintenance involved of owning one in my opinion (not to mention you need to worry about keeping them fed). Here’s one of my favorite scenes from the movie Limitless. If only we all had this much money…

Tight on Money? Read This

The excuse I hear the most is, “Since I’m living in an apartment, I obviously don’t have much money, so it’s impossible to prep”. Hold it right there. This simply isn’t true. There are ways to prep on a budget. Even if you’re only able to afford $50 to $100 per month in supplies, that’s better than having nothing at all. Recently, I wrote an article called 10 Survival Items That Cost Less Than $10. It’s not very long, but it wasn’t meant to be. I simply wanted to point out that it’s possible to buy things that can protect you in a time of crisis without spending a lot of money. I recommend reading it if you’re on a limited budget when prepping in an apartment.

Urban Gardening – The Basics  

Why buy food when you can grow it in your apartment? In theory, it sounds nice, right? Being able to grow vegetables while living in an apartment would be a dream come true. And guess what? It’s possible for anyone to do. Even if you live in an apartment with limited space, you can start your own urban garden so you can have your own food supply. Since urban gardening is beyond the scope of this article, here are some links to articles by fellow preppers who have written on the topic. Enjoy!

In the beginning, urban gardening might look complex. That’s a totally normal feeling to have. Just know that the more you practice it, the better you’ll become. For sustaining yourself indefinitely in an apartment after a disaster, learning how to grow an urban garden is a crucial skill set to have.

All New Square Foot Gardening – The Revolutionary Way to Grow More In Less Space is a book by Mel Bartholomew, and is a #1 seller on Amazon in the Urban Gardening niche – and it gets rave reviews. You might want to check that out.

Buy a Small Piece of Land Away From the City

apartment preppers

If you can afford it, buy a small piece of land that’s located away from the city. Why “away” from the city? Well, if you ever need to evacuate, you can evacuate to your piece of land (hopefully you’ll have some supplies setup there beforehand).

If the disaster isn’t completely unexpected (like if you see the warning signs for example), then you can retreat to your piece of land ahead of time to avoid getting trapped in your city. In most parts of the United States, you can buy an acre of land for less than $10,000, although in some places it will cost more.

The Golden Rule of Apartment Prepping – STAY QUIET!

Never, under any circumstance, talk about what you’ve prepped with other people. I understand that you want to show family and friends how prepped you are, but you’ll need to resist the temptation. The more people who know about your resources, the less safe you’ll be. In a post-crisis environment, civilized people will turn into animals. That friendly neighbor you always said hi to in the morning could turn around and kill you to get your stuff. It’s sad, but it’s the truth. Since you’re in very close proximity to other people in an apartment complex, you don’t want anyone knowing what you’ve got. Period.

Bottom Line

I hope that this article has helped you realize that being an apartment prepper isn’t impossible like many people think. Is it more challenging than having a regular house? In some ways, yes. But if you use your wits, and plan accordingly, there’s no reason why you won’t be able to survive in a post-crisis environment from your apartment. I recommend reading the article, 10 Foods With a Long Shelf Life. It will teach you about food preservation, as well as show you what the best foods to invest in as far as prepping is concerned. Thanks for reading.

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