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?
It's possible to grow a vertical garden on the back of a closet door (use shoe hangers), or a hydro garden inside the closet (expensive). There are options for limited spaces, hanging planters from the ceiling, replacing the corner curio cabinet with a grow center. You're not going to get a lot of yield, and you definitely won't survive off an apartment garden. The best you can hope for is some fresh herbs and tomatoes. Basically you'll work for an entire season to grow one serving of spaghetti sauce. Proper kitchen gardens are a lot of work, and those Liberty Gardens from WW2 took up most of a suburban home's back yard.
You'll be better off stocking up on store bought foods. Bulk up on the basics and pay attention to expiration dates. Figure out a proper method for rotating stock, and you'll be in business. It's a lot easier to find places to store cans, than it is to find places to grow the food that's in them. One thing is certain though, two days after Hurricane Sandy, people were dumpster diving for food. That's stupid. If you can't survive a month with what's in your pantry, you're wrong.
As for what to do in TEOTWAWKI, plan to stay put for a good week or two, then bug out to some other location. Basically, avoid the initial panic, then move before the looters get desperate.
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
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.
Think about get home bags as well. What are you going to do when disaster hits while you're at the office and you need to get home on foot through chaos?
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.
Thinking specifically of NYC. When the Towers went down, it was a pretty hefty walk for a lot of people after the subways stopped running. Some of whom ended up on the wrong side of the water due to evacuations by ferry boat. Water main break across surface streets in the middle of winter, blackout any night of the year; what do you have in your office which will either let you stay put, or get you home on foot?
I agree with the Bugout Bag and associated plan. The only reason the cities survive is because everything is brought into them from outside including water. Once the muni supply of water goes out you'd be reliant on rainwater, which is notoriously fickle in its supply. Having a plan to vacate the city would be a better option. Not only vacate the city but have a plan in place for a number of places you could go; take vacations there and check out the areas.
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.
Communications by normal means in a disaster are problematic. Examples include the WTC aftermath when cells and telephone exchanges were overloaded; Katrina when cells from the affected areas didn't work even when the cell phone was in another state. Texting worked but can also overload the system. Multiply by thousands this if the affected area is region-wide or nation-wide. If it a sudden and catastrophic event the government may shut down all public telephone and Internet access to limit the bandwidth use to Continuity of Government Operations and Emergency Response and Recovery Efforts. Even short-wave and other radio communications may be limited.
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.