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#106298 - 09/19/07 05:42 PM Long-term survival planning in a condo
philip Offline

Registered: 09/19/05
Posts: 639
Loc: San Francisco Bay Area
I've looked at lots of posts here about long-term survival, and people have considerable stashes of water, grains, and so on, along with fuel and gear.

I live in earthquake country in a condo. My storage space is in a building that I don't expect to be standing after the Big One. I live in an area bounded by freeways with overpasses that I don't expect to be standing, so I plan on sheltering in place. I live near a stream where I do expect to be able to get untreated water whenever I need it.

There are no self-storage areas in my neighborhood; the closest one has been built below a large aerial freeway interchange. :-> I'm sure the land was cheap.

My thinking so far has been to get together with all the looters and hit the two local supermarkets as quickly as possible. (One is a high-end gourmet market, by the way, so we'll eat well as long as it lasts.) Or maybe not. Who can tell?

It's an urban area where there are no crops and the only animals are lapdogs and the occasional rescued greyhound.

What's the agenda for people who live in cities with no space for bulky food storage?

#106307 - 09/19/07 06:46 PM Re: Long-term survival planning in a condo [Re: philip]
Blast Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 07/15/02
Posts: 3561
Loc: Spring, Texas
My first thought is a jar of peanut butter and a jar of vitamins. It'll give you enough calories to keep functioning, but that's about it. The other option is survival bars like Datrex or Mainstay. They don't take up much space. If nothing else, two dozen Snickers Bars in you BOB.

Yummy? No (except for the Snickers). Keep you alive? Yes.

How many days worth of food do you want to have? Three days? Three weeks?

How much can you afford to spend? Can you afford to purchase stuff especially for emergencies and throw it out/replace it when it expires or can you store what you eat/eat what you store?

Do you want food that'll just keep you alive or food you'll actually enjoy eating?

As far as raiding for food goes, think outside the box...what businesses are around you? Do they have employee cafetrias or at least snack vending machines? Do they have breakrooms with coffee? Sugar+creamer+water will give you calories. Do food delivery boys or coffee trucks pass by at certain times? Are there any possibilities for guerilla gardening?

Read books about prisoners of war, depression-era living and other stories of people who had to make it through tough times. You'll glean a lot of tips from them as well as have a better understanding about what people need (or are willing to do) to survive.

Short term, it's all about calories...


Blogging the Borderlands
Wild Edibles Blog
I miss OBG.

#106320 - 09/19/07 07:45 PM Re: Long-term survival planning in a condo [Re: Blast]
raydarkhorse Offline

Registered: 01/27/07
Posts: 510
Loc: on the road 10-11 months out o...
Along with what blast said one thing to think about is the fact that the only ones faster about getting around than looters are reporters. After the King riots in LA they used the media pictures and video to prosecute people for months after things settled down.
Depend on yourself, help those who are not able, and teach those that are.

#106321 - 09/19/07 07:50 PM Re: Long-term survival planning in a condo [Re: Blast]
Loganenator Offline
Bike guy

Registered: 05/04/07
Posts: 151
Loc: Sacramento, CA, USA
My wife and I also live in earthquake prone suburbia in a one bedroom 700 sqft condo. We have plenty of room for bulky food and water storage. You just have to prioritize your storage space. Hmmm old tennis rackets and holiday decorations or food and water...tough choice. One other approach we have used is under and behind the bed and behind our bookcase. Hell, I bet superpails (6 gallon buckets) would make great end tables to the modern survival decorator. My wife vetoed the latter idea. wink

Get creative is the bottom line...most of us have too much crap that could use a little prioritization. The biggest short coming to a small place I have noticed is fuel storage for heating and cooking. The only solution I have found is a couple gallons of denatured alcohol/methanol for my camping/backpacking stoves and a solar oven. Large propane, diesel or gasoline storage tanks just isn't feasible for us condo folk.

If you need a good cheap outlet for long term food storage check out: survival acres out of Washington state. We have purchased all of our food here.

The owner is a bit of a ranting TEOTWAWKI type survivalist but he is very friendly and has the best prices on food + shipping around. He has some good food plans and is very up front about stating the deficiencies of the plans (namely fat, oils can be bought separately in gallon sized containers at supermarkets to fill the gap).

Good luck!
You must be the change you wish to see in the world - MK Gandhi

#106369 - 09/20/07 02:05 AM Re: Long-term survival planning in a condo [Re: philip]
Chris Kavanaugh Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 02/09/01
Posts: 3824
All country is potentially earthquake country. Have you lived through any major seismic events? I am sitting at the desk my great grandmother sheltered under in 1906 San Francisco. I have been through numerous earthquakes including the Northridge quake. I'd really like to know where you are, as your 'plan' is hardly SOP for those who have experience in such things.Looting? do you have a firearm and are you prepared to add premeditated murder to burglary, breaking and entering and theft? You need a major rethink here.

#106378 - 09/20/07 02:32 AM Re: Long-term survival planning in a condo [Re: philip]
ironraven Offline
Cranky Geek
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 09/08/05
Posts: 4642
Loc: Vermont
Storage is not as hard as most people make it out to be- you have space you aren't using.

Do you have book shelves that you've got three or four inches of shelf between the front edge and the books? Put stuff behind the books.

Under the bed is the classic. Ditto under overstuffed couches and chairs. Or dressers and wardrobes.

Odd corners in the closet, maybe on either side of the door at the front, where you basically have to get into the closet to find what is in them?

My personal favorite is to use a couple of totes, Conterra foot lockers or 5 gallon buckets and a peice of plywood to make a coffee table. Put a sheet over it, and it looks like fairly normal. Put sheets over your other living room furniture and tuck them in, so everything matches.

You'd be amazed how little space two weeks of food actually takes up when all is said and done. It is water that is bulky. Store what you eat, and rotate it.

When a man dare not speak without malice for fear of giving insult, that is when truth starts to die. Truth is the truest freedom.

#106389 - 09/20/07 02:55 AM Re: Long-term survival planning in a condo [Re: ironraven]
dougwalkabout Offline
Crazy Canuck
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 02/03/07
Posts: 2728
Loc: Alberta, Canada
I'm no expert, but here are my ideas, FWIW ...

First things first: kudos for recognizing that you're in a situation that could turn sour in a hurry. Facing that fact, and doing something about it, is more than a lot of people seem willing to do.

I feel it would be very difficult to make ends meet in your location for more than a few weeks. Even that assumes you have adequate food resources, water and water treatment gear, and the ability to lay very, very low (be invisible, fly under the radar).

Travel, as you suggest, would be extremely difficult and risky at first. But I would imagine that after 2-3 weeks, even in a disaster, it may be possible. Motorcycle? Bicycle? On foot?

At that point, I would say you need to bug out. You simply don't have the resources around you to sustain yourself. Do you have relatives you could make arrangements with? You need a reachable location that will be expecting you. (If you arrange this beforehand, and show up with useful skills and attitudes, you will probably find a welcome.)

Anyway, that's my take on it.

#106395 - 09/20/07 03:21 AM Re: Long-term survival planning in a condo [Re: dougwalkabout]
Susan Offline

Registered: 01/21/04
Posts: 5163
Loc: W. WA
You aren't a dog show person, are you?

Lots of dog show people have a bunch of dog crates in their homes. They are referred to as "end tables" and "coffee tables" and are covered with cloth. Usually they are full of things like kongs, stuffed toys, and frooming and agility equipment. As Ironraven said, containers covered with sheets can hold a lot of food.

If you buy new furniture, buy with storage in mind.

If you're in a high-density area like SF, I am assuming that the military would arrive at some point and open up a few roads for access. That could be the time to bug out to friends or family, if they're within easy reach.

"Getting together with looters" is not an option. You are competition, and most of them know how to get rid of competition really fast.


#106401 - 09/20/07 04:04 AM Re: Long-term survival planning in a condo [Re: philip]
philip Offline

Registered: 09/19/05
Posts: 639
Loc: San Francisco Bay Area
> My storage space is in a building that I don't expect to be standing after
> the Big One.

Well, it's interesting that people are suggesting storage behind bookcases, covered boxes full of foods for end tables, and the like, when I don't expect to be able to get into the house. I guess I should have made it clearer that I don't expect my living quarters to be standing after a big quake. I expect the unit to be collapsed. I've got stuff in my condo now, but I don't expect to be able to get to it after the big one. Given that expectation and the fact that I have no outside place to cache food, any suggestions?

Sorry for causing so much confusion in my statement that I don't expect my building to be standing after a big earthquake.

#106405 - 09/20/07 05:43 AM Re: Long-term survival planning in a condo [Re: philip]
LED Offline

Registered: 09/01/05
Posts: 1474
Being an apartment dweller in a 50's era building I understand your concern. I always keep a case of 1.5L bottled water in the trunk along with the usual extras. Aside from your car(s) the only thing I can think of is a single story storage rental space. You could rent a small, cheap unit, preferrably with a manually (non-electric) locking gate so it would still be accessible without power.

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