My name is Mike and this is my first post.  I have been an avid AoM reader for almost a year now and have read a variety of posts and articles in that time regarding survival, prepping, ‘off-the-grid’ living, and such.  I find such topics to be very interesting and cannot get enough of AoM’s similar posts.  The most recent article “Survival Lessons of World Z” really peaked my interest, but at the same time was disheartening a bit.  I live in Long Island, NY and rent an apartment on the second floor of a two-family home, and many techniques and suggestions are difficult, if not impossible to fulfill given my circumstances.  I do not have a balcony, or access to the yard.  I have but only a few windows and minimal living space.  I know I am definitely not the only one out there in similar circumstances with similar interests and passions.  I have stumbled upon a few websites regarding more ‘urban’ prepping and survival, but maybe I just love AoM writers as most do not seem to fit my style. 

I have begun researching community gardens (although we are approaching winter), started acquiring some of the basic supplies (first aid, survival kit, LED lights, etc), but wanted to see if there are any other resources or ways to train/practice such “survival skills.”

Any advice from fellow AoMers or have there been any articles posted that I may have overlooked regarding survival/prepping/etc. without owning a house and/or yard? 

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World War Z was a great book, The Zombie Survival guide is another good one(same author)

But if you want to get into surivalism I'd start with a Bug Out Bag(B.O.B.). Also even if you can't grow your own food you can still stock pile it. I've know people to file every nook and cranny, under beds, in closets ect. . . with canned food and such. The other thing, and it's one a lot of "preppers" tend to ignore is personal fitness, get in shape and stay there.

Other than that, do some research online. There are countless blogs and facebook pages with survisim and 'prep' advice. Alot of them use the "zombie" approach which can make it fun. The Zombie research society has a good forum. Personal favorite is Knowledge Weights Nothing.

There is also a group on Zombie here as well as one on survivalism, although neither is very active. But hey maybe some fresh blood will help bring them back

http://community.artofmanliness.com/group/surviving-doomsday

http://community.artofmanliness.com/group/survivalism

hmm. . . Seems zombie group has been deleted

Shane has it right.  Stock basic foods, rotate them.  DO NOT FORGET DRINKING WATER.

Have some illumination, candle lanterns at least, and a hand crank rechargeable radio.

I concur with the general sentiment so far.  Don't worry about growing food in a tiny urban apartment, unless you're into gardening.  It won't provide much help in an emergency.  I also don't see much point in serious prepping for the end of the world as we know it, especially since NYC will almost certainly be hit hard by nuclear war/zombie apocalypse/plague/whatever.

Rather, focus on having supplies to help yourself (and others) in the event of a less serious disaster that disrupts things for days or even weeks.  Plan to be able to live at home for a few weeks with nothing but what you have at home, and have a plan to be able to get out of town with enough supplies to keep you going for a while.  You'll want food, water, a water purification method of some sort, first aid, light sources, clothing, shelter, etc... Plenty of good lists out there.

That said, gardening is a useful and tasty skill to have.

Thank you all very much. Such advice and direction is exactly what I was looking for. My question/concern about gardening was less about food storage, and more for developing a skill. I have a passion for learning and developing skills, almost any skills. I figured that one could be beneficial for doomsday or just a hobby for when I convince my wife to leave New York.

I'm starting to work on a bug-out-bag, will start with food/water storage, and will start doing more research now that I have a bit more direction.

Thank you all for the advice and support! Keep it coming!

Good point.  We've got stuff that we keep in our car.  My wife works just a few blocks away, but I have a long commute, so we keep it pretty stocked, just in case.  It also provides a nice minimum of stuff in case we need to load the car and get out of town quickly in an emergency.

The American Red Cross has disaster preparedness recommendations applicable to all kinds of living arrangements.

One thing they talk about that no one here has mentioned is communication. Do you have key phone numbers memorized? What about the number of someone in another region who could act as point person? If there's no one you're going to be frantically trying to reach in a disaster, and no one is going to be frantically trying to reach you, this is no biggy. But most people will want to be in touch with someone.

Sure. Which is why the Red Cross advises families to have meeting places other than home in case of regional disaster (also in case of a house fire). If you can't get through, you can't get through. But if you're safe sheltering in place, it is helpful to be able to tell your family that.

Along with keeping yourself in good shape is drinking plenty of water to keep yourself hydrated. If something happens and you are already partially dehydrated then you will have to use a portion of your water supply to hydrate yourself. I have heard that about 60-70% of Americans are always dehydrated. If you are fully hydrated when some situation arises then you are better off and more ready to react.

I grew up in Queens and worked/spent a lot of time in Nassau and Suffolk Counties, so I know your area pretty well.  The first thing to recognize is that, in real disaster, you're not going anywhere unless you're near the water and have access to a boat to get you off the island, bugout plan or not.  Forget about crossing Manhattan, and I'd expect that the bridges and tunnels would be impassable, not to mention the roads taking you West.  You'd need to bug out before the other 4 or 5 million people that live in Brooklyn, Queens, Nassau and Suffolk got the same idea.  Otherwise, well ... you've probably seen the LIE during regular weekday rush hour (for the uninitiated, the Long Island Expressway is also known as the world's longest parking lot...)  This would make that look like clear sailing...  Can you spell "road rage"?

The second thing to recognize is that, in a prolonged disaster situation, there are going to be a LOT of people competing for very scarce resources (canned food, etc), if the rule of law breaks down.  There will be looting, and eventually, people will be killing one another for food, gas, whatever, because most people will not have prepared.  I hate to say it, but your biggest obstacle to survival in a situation like this will be your fellow humans, unless the cops are able to keep order.  (You saw how well that worked in New Orleans, after Katrina...)

If the problem is prolonged, and the cops/National Guard/etc are not able to cope or evacuate you, you're basically screwed, unless you're ready to protect yourself and your stash of food and supplies.  That's much more important than a bugout bag.

We did pretty well with Sandy-Storm last year.  I'm also in an apartment, and I stocked up on water, charcoal, batteries, candles, matches, white gas (for my camp stove), canned and dry food that would last us a couple of weeks.  I was lucky - never lost water or natural gas, so I didn't even have to use the camp stove or the charcoal.  Was without electricity for a week, though.  And gasoline was next to impossible to get.  Luckily I made sure I had a full tank before the storm started, and basically used it only to run the engine to charge my cell phone.  I did volunteer in a local shelter, though, helping people who weren't as well fixed.  But that was only a week, so things didn't get that ugly.

You can't live off the grid in the big city.

You need to have enough supplies to hold out for 2-3 weeks or 1 week plus what you think it would take to get to a friend who can take you in.

The first few days of the disaster will have you all locked down.  After about a week supply lines will open up meaning you should be able to leave.  After that how long will it take you to get possibly on foot to a transit point out and what do you need for that trip?

For full scale end of the world thoughts, watch the following

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WgOp-nz3lHg&feature=c4-overview-...

And realize that odds are no-one will really make it.  Save some well armed, knowledgeable experienced people, and even then, probably not.

Would like to have watched it but the poster has blocked it for my country

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