How To Prep For An Apocalypse When You Live In The City (And Why You Should)

Apocalypse in the city

Let’s be honest: most of us have probably given at least minimal thought to what life might be like in a zombie apocalypse. If not zombies, the polar ice caps could melt, the oceans might freeze, we could get nuked, a meteor could hit, the government could collapse (maybe you want it to), a pandemic disease could sweep across the globe, aliens could make us their slaves… the list goes on and on! But would you survive? Here’s how to prepare when you live in the city.



Whether you are a die-hard prepper, a mild enthusiast or a hardened cynic, we all can agree on one thing: a plan is needed! We don’t know what is coming. It might be nothing, or it could be something not even Hollywood could have dreamed up. But all of us should have a plan to cover the basic needs for survival in the event of a crisis.

Think about how to overcome the challenges of preparing in an apartment. Not everyone has buckets of money to throw into an underground fallout shelter or a food storage vault up on the top of a mountain range. So, we need to know how to do the best with what we have.

First, let’s go over some prepping philosophy:

Prepping essentials for the apocalypse

The first thing to remember is that prepping is 80 percent mental. You are developing a lifestyle. If you half-heartedly prepare, you will only be half-heartedly ready.

You should always be looking ahead and examining the possibilities. In crisis situation “A,” what will you need to keep you and your family fed, clothed, sheltered, healthy and safe? What about situation “B?” Think ahead!

The second thing to remember is “Murphy’s Law.” What can go wrong, will go wrong. It will do so at the worst possible time. Do not fall into the trap of thinking “that would never happen” or “that is statistically impossible so I don’t need to worry about it.”

The best part of a good backup plan is the second backup plan. Your plan B should always have a plan C. Now let’s apply these to preparing in an apartment.

Rules for apartment prepping

Be sure you don’t view this as a list of priorities from most critical to least critical. These are all equally important.

Rule 1: Don’t prep in an apartment

While cities can be a great place to get valuable resources after a social collapse, they are also the biggest source of danger. You are much more subject to looting. Your visual line of sight is severely limited so you don’t know what or who is coming toward you. The streets could be impassible due to abandoned vehicles from a mass failed evacuation.  Finally, the amount of space you will have for storing important survival items is limited.

Unfortunately, it is not always possible to live out in the country. Keep these cautions in mind and use them as a guide. These are things you will have to take into account.

Rule 2: Know your budget

Spend your money wisely on apocalypse prep.

Spend your money wisely on apocalypse prep.

There is absolutely no sense in spending all your money on items that get hidden under floorboards if you are not going to pay your rent and get evicted before the apocalypse even comes!

You never know how much time you have. Be purposeful and driven, but be smart and make prepping part of your monthly budgeting. Money may not be a valuable commodity after the zombies attack, but right now you kind of need it for everything. So, make sure you have some.

Rule 3: Make sure it’s secure

There is not much point to stockpiling resources if the day the world turns upside-down you are going to get cleaned out by looters. A generous heart is very noble but some people may not be interested in sharing as much as taking everything you have and killing you.

Be sure that your stash is a secret! Make your hiding places the unlikeliest spots, or else make it seem like it is more trouble that it is worth so that looters will give up and move on. You may not be a gun person. However, if you are, make sure that you are prepared, look into the local laws and restrictions about owning a gun within city limits. Gun laws may go out the window when “it” happens, but you don’t want to be in jail when chaos erupts.

Finally, talk to your landlord about upgrading the locks. High-tech security systems may not work in the event of an apocalypse, so don’t put too much trust in them.

Rule 4: Get creative with storage

Remember that you need to have room for yourself as well as your food, generator, extra fuel, health supplies, weapons and other gear. Many apartments are not suitable for storing large quantities of these items so you should think about having a secondary fallback point somewhere close by. Only keep enough in your home for a few weeks or so.

Rule 5: Have an escape plan

Gather maps for an escape route in the event of an apocalypse.

Gather maps for an escape route in the event of an apocalypse.

Even if you have the best storage system in the world, you may be forced to leave in a hurry during an apocalypse. Prepare yourself for this now and know what you need to take with you for an extended road trip. Have a “Bug Out Pack” ready to go at all times.

You absolutely must have a route planned out. Your GPS on your phone is probably not going to be working anymore. Instead, get good maps and draw out the quickest ways for you to get out of town or get to your fallback point. Plan the route and know how much time it takes to travel.

Don’t forget to breathe

All of this apocalypse talk can be overwhelming. So, whatever you do, don’t forget to breathe! Remember: you have a plan. Don’t lose hope before anything even happens. It’s important to plan for the future, but don’t forget to live in the present. Enjoy life! Be ready to duck when the bombs start falling, but until then, sit back and enjoy each day. Be grateful for even the small things along the way.

— Susan Patterson

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