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melissa7

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I've been thinking about my situation, and the truth is that I will most likely perish if things get really bad. But not without a fight!

It is impossible to bug out or to move at this time. I would like the best advice on the bare minimum I need to shelter in place, as well as what to watch out for. Advice can exclude water & food supplies.

My current living situation is:
  • A second floor apartment, with stairs on the outside.
  • One balcony with sliding glass doors, with a large tree 2 feet away.
  • All windows are old, single-pane aluminum-framed.
  • A wood-burning fireplace that works.
  • Lots of storage space.
  • No access to attic, but I could make one in a closet.
  • Surrounded on right side & the rear by connecting apartments.
  • Left and front wall are open to outside.
  • One apartment directly below.
  • Lots of trees and foliage - all apt. entrances face interior courtyards.
  • In-ground pool outside of apartment, very close.
  • Outside of complex is suburban houses to the left, and businesses to the right (for miles, off of a main roadway)

Please don't tell me there's no chance of survival, or tell me to bug out. Bug out to where?
I need advice on the things I can do now to prepare in my current situation. Cheaply.

Thank you!
 

S Johnson

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First, you need to prepare for security: get barbed wire or some other means of keeping people from coming up your outer stairs. Buy blackout curtains or some way to hide your activity inside from people passing by. You'll want some way to procure food as well as grow it, the balcony may provide some room to grow food. You'll absolutely need a firearm and training with it.

After that you'll work on food storage, enough food and water for a year or more of long-storage foods you will eat, start by buying extra every time you shop and storing it. Get cookware that can be used on the wood-burning fireplace, and store some wood and those long-burning fake logs with low-smoke, which will attract much less attention than real wood smoke will.

Food/water storage and survival skills are your best bet. Install a rain catchment system if you can, and work on a way of securing the entire building if shtf, so you can utilize the courtyard for food growing and your neighbors for additional security.
 

Rob Painless

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Depends on exactly what you are wanting (specifically) to prepare for. But, for the most part, you've got some assets to work with.

One balcony with sliding glass doors, with a large tree 2 feet away.
Lots of trees and foliage..
A wood-burning fireplace that works.
Very cool! That gives you an advantage that most folks don't have. You can heat & cook food & boil water. Make sure you have plenty of matches/lighters etc. to start a fire as well as something you can cook with. Cast iron skillet & dutch oven? And, sounds like you're covered for firewood. A rocket stove of some type would be more efficient for fuel conservation.

"In-ground pool outside of apartment, very close." Good. You have a ready source of water. Get on e-bay & find a cheap water filter/purifier and an extra filter or two. Here's a link for my favorite..... http://www.ebay.com/itm/First-Need-...840558?hash=item33b62e9e2e:g:5ggAAOSwiylXAWtj

"Advice can exclude water & food supplies." So I assume you've got that covered? Some rain gutters or a tarp to catch rain would be good to have as well.

That leaves security. Make sure you have a way to bar your front door & cover your sliding door to block light (you do have some back-up source of light...don't you?) as well as intruders. Plenty of shotgun shells are in order, since you said that is your weapon of choice. 00 buck & #4 shot are my favorites for defense.

Hope that helps.
 

Maverick

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For starters (front door)
Without getting into trouble with your apartment manager, however you can keep these supplies on hand such as 3" deck screws, use the screws to better secure the entry door frame to the 2x4 framing around the door plus unscrew the screws in the hinges and replace with 3" deck screws (on the frame side not door side of the hinges) Replace the existing deadbolt strike plate on the frame with a high security strike plate that will be screwed to the frame with the 3" deck screws. Replace the existing deadbolt with better security deadbolt. You would only install these items when thing start getting bad, by this time I don't think the manager really going to give a crap ;)

The list below is strictly for show and tell, you can pick these items up locally.

dead bolt
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0..._m=ATVPDKIKX0DER&pf_rd_r=1A6J77CG4APVS6R5K84H

strike plate
http://www.amazon.com/MINTCRAFT-HSH..._UL160_SR160,160_&refRID=0JPJESVXMQQY6R843H6X

lock re-enforcement
http://www.amazon.com/Prime-Line-Pr..._UL160_SR160,160_&refRID=0JPJESVXMQQY6R843H6X

or (not knowing your door?)

http://www.amazon.com/Prime-Line-Pr..._UL160_SR160,160_&refRID=0CZG96J4YA3ZFR0KZ3PJ

3" deck screws
http://www.amazon.com/Grizzly-G3959...F8&qid=1462073498&sr=8-7&keywords=deck+screws
 

melissa7

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First, you need to prepare for security: get barbed wire or some other means of keeping people from coming up your outer stairs. Buy blackout curtains or some way to hide your activity inside from people passing by.
Blackout curtains - no problem.
I don't think my next door neighbors, who also use the stairs, would appreciate barbed wire wrapped around them!

I was thinking of purchasing a used chain saw to have on hand. Then check to see if the folks next door are staying or leaving (or gone), and just cutting the stairs away. That way someone would have to use a rope with an anchor or something to climb up to get to the door.

*Before I did this, I would make sure that I have one or two of those fire escape ladders that you throw out the window to have another exit.


Install a rain catchment system if you can, and work on a way of securing the entire building if shtf, so you can utilize the courtyard for food growing and your neighbors for additional security.
Securing the entire building would be a huge job...too big for me to do alone. Plus, I don't personally know any of my neighbors, and therefore don't know if I could trust them. (From what I've observed, most of them look like college kids, working millennials, and a few elderly folks.) I would probably hide inside and just spy out the window with binoculars to see if any neighbors are still around and how they are behaving before I would consider collaborating with them.

Rain catchment...again, I would have to wait and see what the outside situation is before I would make my presence obvious.

Thanks for the info! :)
 

melissa7

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For starters (front door)
Without getting into trouble with your apartment manager, however you can keep these supplies on hand such as 3" deck screws, use the screws to better secure the entry door frame to the 2x4 framing around the door plus unscrew the screws in the hinges and replace with 3" deck screws (on the frame side not door side of the hinges) Replace the existing deadbolt strike plate on the frame with a high security strike plate that will be screwed to the frame with the 3" deck screws. Replace the existing deadbolt with better security deadbolt. You would only install these items when thing start getting bad, by this time I don't think the manager really going to give a crap ;)
I'm so glad you brought this up Maverick! I've watched several videos on how to do this, as well as installing a barricade bar on the inside. And I think that Lowe's or Home Depot (can't remember which one) might carry the strike plate set for about $60. This is something I want to do really soon, because my door is damaged from the previous tenants, and if the deadbolt isn't locked, you can just push my door open without even turning the knob.

My dad, who's been deceased for five years now, had a ton of tools. It's about time that I talk my mom into letting me have some of them...especially his old drill and bit set.
And for what I pay for this place, I don't really care what the management says! The only person who ever comes inside is the maintenance man and he seems pretty cool.

Thanks so much for the advice and the reminder to get this done by the end of the month. :)
 

melissa7

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Depends on exactly what you are wanting (specifically) to prepare for. But, for the most part, you've got some assets to work with.

Very cool! That gives you an advantage that most folks don't have. You can heat & cook food & boil water. Make sure you have plenty of matches/lighters etc. to start a fire as well as something you can cook with. Cast iron skillet & dutch oven? And, sounds like you're covered for firewood. A rocket stove of some type would be more efficient for fuel conservation.

"In-ground pool outside of apartment, very close." Good. You have a ready source of water. Get on e-bay & find a cheap water filter/purifier and an extra filter or two. Here's a link for my favorite..... http://www.ebay.com/itm/First-Need-...840558?hash=item33b62e9e2e:g:5ggAAOSwiylXAWtj

"Advice can exclude water & food supplies." So I assume you've got that covered? Some rain gutters or a tarp to catch rain would be good to have as well.

That leaves security. Make sure you have a way to bar your front door & cover your sliding door to block light (you do have some back-up source of light...don't you?) as well as intruders. Plenty of shotgun shells are in order, since you said that is your weapon of choice. 00 buck & #4 shot are my favorites for defense.

Hope that helps.
Thanks Rob, it does help. Particularly telling me what kind of buck shot to buy. ;) Yes, I do have [primitive] back-up light...two oil lanterns, candles, flashlights, and extra oil, wicks, and lighters/matches.

Actually, firewood is not yet covered. I have to find someone to haul some up here, and I'm debating on keeping it on the balcony or inside. What do you think? I'm afraid of spider/bugs if I keep it inside, right?


And I do need to go to the thrift store and find some cast iron skillets and a pot. I'm not a good cook and don't cook much now, so I just need something to heat up canned stuff, or boil water.

Thanks again :)
 

melissa7

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I suppose I'm preparing for an EMP, martial law, or civil unrest. I live more than 250 miles from any nuclear power plant, believe I'm far enough inland from any ocean catastrophes, and our worst weather threat is an occasional tornado in the spring. Our tornadoes are weak (compared to tornado alley), and the two big ones that came through during the last century followed the same path, and hit the same town. Winter snows can be bad, but it's been decades since we've had a real blizzard (1978). Ohio is one of the safest states as far as natural disasters go (knock on wood).

I'm partially worried about a pandemic, in which case I would NOT go outside at all, or a bio-terror attack. I have no fancy gas masks and don't intend on getting any.

My biggest concern after this election is an invasion by Russia or China. THAT is something I could not survive, as I'm unskilled in warfare and could never protect myself against bombs, tanks, or soldiers with machine guns and grenades. In that case, I'll just have to bend over and kiss my ### goodbye.

So I'm mostly sheltering in place in case of rioting, looting, and just the crazies being on the loose.

Any ideas on how to prevent a fire from starting/spreading in my building? Or would I just have to bug out in that case whether I want to or not?

Thanks again for all of your great replies! :)
 

jontte

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well,melissa7,you have geography to your countrys advantage,it's a hell of a logistical nightmare to haul troops for an invasion,so that should be kinda out of the question,at least for now.
in pandemics it's better to stay indoors if you don't already have a BOL and warning time,plenty of it.
those sliding glass doors,well I would put on them that plastic film,which makes it harder to come through them.
 

melissa7

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well,melissa7,you have geography to your countrys advantage,it's a hell of a logistical nightmare to haul troops for an invasion,so that should be kinda out of the question,at least for now.
in pandemics it's better to stay indoors if you don't already have a BOL and warning time,plenty of it.
those sliding glass doors,well I would put on them that plastic film,which makes it harder to come through them.
Yeah, I checked out a website for that "blast-proof" window film. They showed a hilarious video of two guys trying to break into a store front that had the film on it. They finally gave up. But since the company has to install it, I'm fairly sure it's pretty expensive. I might inquire just about the sliding doors though.

I'm sure you're correct about the invasion thing. Seems like I read somewhere that the Russians could invade from the North, down through Canada. Got myself worried for nothing, I suppose. I feel like we only have until December or early 2017 before something happens. It doesn't matter whether Clinton or Trump is elected...they both will make us the laughing stock of the world. No foreign leaders will be willing to talk to either of them, in my mind. Most male leaders don't respect women, and Donald is crude and has zero experience in diplomacy.

I just don't see anything good on the horizon for our sad country :(
 

Gazrok

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For starters (front door)
Without getting into trouble with your apartment manager, however you can keep these supplies on hand such as 3" deck screws, use the screws to better secure the entry door frame to the 2x4 framing around the door plus unscrew the screws in the hinges and replace with 3" deck screws (on the frame side not door side of the hinges) Replace the existing deadbolt strike plate on the frame with a high security strike plate that will be screwed to the frame with the 3" deck screws. Replace the existing deadbolt with better security deadbolt. You would only install these items when thing start getting bad, by this time I don't think the manager really going to give a crap
Pretty sure you could do all of this without your apartment manager even knowing (except changing the actual lock). I would certainly recommend all of this. I've done it on my external doors also.

The glass doors represent a real security problem. My recommendation would be to get 3M safety film for them. Again, something you could likely do (if you apply it yourself) without your apartment manager being the wiser. Also, get a good glass door locking mechanism.

Having a battery operated alarm on doors and windows is a good (and cheap) idea as well.

For EMP, get a metal trash can, line it with cardboard, throw in some needed items (radio, flashlight, pdf reader (with survival manuals) etc.), then tape the lid with aluminum tape.

Survival books help.

Lots of medical supplies.

Cleaning supplies. (sanitation is always a major issue).

I'm going to ignore the food/water thing...because these are important.

Water filter (plenty of these around for sale)

Tub water storage bag (check out Emergency Essentials for it).

Bottled Water

Dry foods in gamma lid sealed containers (dry pasta, rice, potato flakes, corn, beans, etc.)

Canned goods

Plastic sheeting and duct tape (lots of duct tape)

Generator, LED lights, small cooktop

Gas / Charcoal grill

Firearms, ammo

3M Masks (not big gas masks, but they'll help)

Rubber Gloves

Potassium Iodide tablets

Grow some potted food plants, on your balcony, indoors, etc.

Buckets (you're going to need to use that pool water, and get it up to you)

Finally, GET TO KNOW YOUR NEIGHBORS!

Not just for ones you can trust or depend on, but so you also know who may be trouble, etc.

Survival post SHTF is going to depend on being part of a group, like it or not...especially if bugging in!

You don't have to tell them you are prepping (in fact I wouldn't), but there are ways to be subtle.
 

Rob Painless

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Finally, GET TO KNOW YOUR NEIGHBORS!

Not just for ones you can trust or depend on, but so you also know who may be trouble, etc.

Survival post SHTF is going to depend on being part of a group, like it or not...especially if bugging in!

You don't have to tell them you are prepping (in fact I wouldn't), but there are ways to be subtle.
Exactamundo!!
 

Silent Earth

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Hell my neighbours would rob me blind if TSHTF, bout ten years ago I made the mistake of breaking out the candles and light sticks for the street during a prolonged power cut, and Mrs NR used our supplies to ensure everyone had hot soup / stew. I should have guessed because the year before in a blizzard I had the only snow shovels in the street and I lent them out, i only got one back and it was broken............................. Anyhow back to the candles and light sticks, the following year more storms and another power cut.................. after about 90 minutes knocks on the door ................ twas MULTIPLE neighbours .................... ""Erm NR have you got any candles and lightsticks , can you let me a flashlight, are you going to make soup again?""".................................................NEVER AGAIN, charity breeds dependence, dependence breeds demands. I will NEVER turn away a fellow prepper / survivalist in need, but the sheeple can sod off.
 

Gazrok

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Not suggesting to provide for them, but if you all at least know each other, and are cordial, you can come up with some mutual defense plans, and possibly collaborate on some solutions.
 

melissa7

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Pretty sure you could do all of this without your apartment manager even knowing (except changing the actual lock). I would certainly recommend all of this. I've done it on my external doors also.

The glass doors represent a real security problem. My recommendation would be to get 3M safety film for them. Again, something you could likely do (if you apply it yourself) without your apartment manager being the wiser. Also, get a good glass door locking mechanism.

Having a battery operated alarm on doors and windows is a good (and cheap) idea as well.

For EMP, get a metal trash can, line it with cardboard, throw in some needed items (radio, flashlight, pdf reader (with survival manuals) etc.), then tape the lid with aluminum tape.

Survival books help.

Lots of medical supplies.

Cleaning supplies. (sanitation is always a major issue).

I'm going to ignore the food/water thing...because these are important.

Water filter (plenty of these around for sale)

Tub water storage bag (check out Emergency Essentials for it).

Bottled Water

Dry foods in gamma lid sealed containers (dry pasta, rice, potato flakes, corn, beans, etc.)

Canned goods

Plastic sheeting and duct tape (lots of duct tape)

Generator, LED lights, small cooktop

Gas / Charcoal grill

Firearms, ammo

3M Masks (not big gas masks, but they'll help)

Rubber Gloves

Potassium Iodide tablets

Grow some potted food plants, on your balcony, indoors, etc.

Buckets (you're going to need to use that pool water, and get it up to you)

Finally, GET TO KNOW YOUR NEIGHBORS!

Not just for ones you can trust or depend on, but so you also know who may be trouble, etc.

Survival post SHTF is going to depend on being part of a group, like it or not...especially if bugging in!

You don't have to tell them you are prepping (in fact I wouldn't), but there are ways to be subtle.
This is one helluva list! But I'm grateful to have it. Thank you :)
 

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