Simplify Your Family's Emergency Preparedness

How to tackle prepping in an apartment

collage of items for apartment prepping.

**This post contains affiliate links, which means if you click on a link and make a purchase, I may make a small commission at no extra cost to you.

When it comes to emergency preparedness, not all things are created equal. Prepping in an apartment takes a bit more consideration and planning because right away you’re dealing with space challenges. 


Stick with me though, because in this post I’ll be addressing some of the most common concerns with preparedness in small spaces, how to prioritize, supplies that are multi-purpose, and a few miscellaneous tips to help you feel successful.


And even if apartment preparedness isn’t your concern, a lot of this applies to those who might simply be lacking in storage space.

Common concerns when prepping in an apartment

Let’s start with the obvious – SPACE. In general, apartments have less square footage all around. That translates to fewer (& smaller) closets, less cabinet space, etc. This is a valid issue and the more people you have living in a smaller space, the less extra space you have.


Another concern is that you’re in close proximity to more people. This relates to your emergency preparedness in a few ways:


  1. You don’t want the whole world to know about your small space stockpile, so you need to be more cautious when bringing stuff into your space. 
  2. Sometimes, you have to deal with issues from people in the apartments around you. You cannot control a fire that starts in another apartment.
  3. Evacuation can be a little bit more tricky with more bodies. 

All of that being said, it’s not impossible to build food and essentials storage or stash emergency supplies. 

Storage tips for Apartment Preparedness

Look for opportunities to create more storage space. You’re not trying to create something out of nothing here. It’s simply stretching yourself to think outside the box and see your space in different ways.

Here are some ideas to get your creative juices flowing:

closet full of emergency preparedness items.

Identify your emergency preparedness priorities

Honestly, this is something everyone needs to do. There are so many areas under the preparedness umbrella. No one has it all covered. But, prepping in an apartment forces you to dial it in even more.

Some good questions to ask yourself:

  1. What natural disasters are most likely in your area (wildfires, earthquakes, hurricanes, tornados, flooding, etc.)?
  2. Is your area prone to power outages?
  3. What kind of town/city do you live in? Densely populated areas will typically run out of supplies quicker than sparsely populated areas.
  4. Does someone in your household require medical equipment and/or medication that is necessary for survival?

All of these should factor into your decision

Here are some essential things to consider as a starting point:

Food and Water Storage When Prepping in an Apartment

Everyone needs food and water. Period. But, these are also items that take up a lot of space. So, let’s walk through a few ways to work around that constraint.



There are a lot of options when it comes to water filtration and storage. You can read about different long-term water storage options in this post. WAter storage is only half the equation though; don’t forget to decide on a plan for water filtration.

Not all of the options listed in the posts above are going to be feasible in an apartment. Here are a few options that would work well in smaller spaces:


One solid piece of advice when it comes to food storage starts with getting yourself/family on a solid meal rotation plan. If you can establish, say, a one-month meal plan that you rotate through, you’ll know what to store, you know you’ll eat what you have, and you’ll also be consistently replenishing your food supply.

  • Start with a 2-week supply of food and water and once you’re comfortable with that, begin working toward 30 days, then 60, and so on.
  • If you’re going to store things that need to be cooked, you’ll also need to store an alternative heat source. This foldable stove (affiliate link) is a great option, just don’t forget the fuel!

If you’re not sure where to start with this, consider joining 52 Weeks of Growing Your Food Storage. It’s a program where I send you an email every Sunday morning and tell you exactly what to add to your grocery list that week, for an entire year! After 52 weeks of me holding your hand through it, you’ll be amazed at how awesome and diverse your food storage is looking!

prepping in an apartment with food storage in ottoman.

Items to keep on hand when prepping in an apartment

The best piece of advice I can give here is to look for items that serve multiple purposes. The less stuff you have to find space for, the better (and less cluttered) you’ll feel. Here are a few ideas:

  • 5-gallon bucket WITH a toilet seat and lid (affiliate link) – can be used for dry goods storage, keeps things protected from outside elements, easy to transport if you need to evacuate, and doubles as a toilet. 
  • Fire extinguisher (these come in all sizes…the bigger the extinguisher, the larger the area it will cover). To learn more about fire extinguishers, fire blankets, etc, I highly recommend Quick & Easy Preparedness, where we cover all the basics of emergency preparedness in just one month!
  • Vacuum sealer – this is a GREAT way to store paper goods like toilet paper and paper towels. Simply remove the cardboard roll from the middle, put them in a bag and suck all the air out. They’ll be nice and flat for easy, space saving storage.
  • Alternative power source – Keep a few on hand if you can. Anywhere that is more densely populated is bound to take longer to restore power. This is BY FAR my favorite portable charger (affiliate link). It plugs straight into the wall to charge, and it has the 3 most common charging cords built-in, as well as a USB to put your own cord into. I love love love this thing and we have a few of them.
  • Multi-use cleaning supplies – I use Force of Nature (affiliate link) daily, but it is a really great option for apartment preparedness. I have an entire post that tells you all about why Force of Nature has replaced multiple cleaning supplies in my home.
  • Tool set
  • Printed contact list – who memorizes phone numbers anymore?! But in a power outage situation, once your phone is dead, it’s dead. The Information Hub is a great way to store all of your important information digitally, but you can also print out essential pages and keep them in a safe somewhere too.
  • Carbon monoxide detector

General apartment preparedness tips

There are a few more things to consider when prepping in an apartment. 

While prepping in an apartment might have a unique set of challenges, it is possible to tackle emergency preparedness. In fact, most people don’t have one big space to dedicate to this. I don’t! Remember, look at the space you DO have and find ways to work with it.


If you’d like more great tips for small space storage, check out Jessica @thefaithfulpreppers on Instagram. I really love her method of:

  • Things to Get
  • Things to Learn
  • Things to Do

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