City Dwellers Safeguarding Your Emergency Essentials and Firearms during an Outbreak
Previous articles talked about caching supplies on your property to protect them in the event of a pandemic. However, to be able to do so you must have the property, so what if you live in an apartment or Condominium.
Extra closets, bedrooms and even on site storage probably have worked until now, but with quarantines and the possibility of government officials inspecting your apartment you may want your supplies out of sight, in particular your arsenal needs to be out of sight and safeguarded.
In Dallas the late Mr. Duncan’s temporary home, which was an apartment was thoroughly cleaned, and most if not all items that essentially were not part of the apartment were removed for supposed decontamination or destruction.
The entire complex was not shutdown however, and others living in adjoining apartments were not, to anyone’s knowledge, required to have their apartments inspected or decontaminated. Things can change however.
If you live in a building were a person is diagnosed with the virus you simply do not know at this point what the procedures will be. How things are handled in the event someone else in another state is diagnosed may be determined by the state and their emergency managers.
What Happens To Your Emergency Essentials
We all are operating under certain assumptions, but you should assume the worst and work back from there. Assume your apartment would be inspected, and you have to assume supplies could be contaminated. If not contaminated your supplies would likely have to be left behind in any event, if you had to leave due to an outbreak in your building. Take for granted your firearms would be confiscated for the general safety of first responders and of the public at large.
Criminals not being very smart may target buildings that have been evacuated due to an outbreak, yes, looters are that dumb, and so another good reason not to leave your supplies behind.
The answer obviously is to make sure you do not have a year’s supplies in your apartment to be confiscated or left behind. Have just 30 days worth on hand. This would give you enough supplies to ride out the 21-day incubation period.
Storage rooms in apartment buildings are sometimes shared and in some cases, you may have your own room either way however, they are subject to inspections by health officials and law enforcement. If you have something in them that police or public health officials simply do not like, you may lose those items, in particular firearms. Onsite storage is an ideal option.
Offsite storage facilities are an obvious choice but not just any commercial storage facility is suitable. They should be climate controlled, and you should have access to your storage unit from the inside only. Tin metal sheds sitting in the middle of a concrete parking lot is not ideal. The temperature variations alone are enough to damage some of your supplies not to mention security.
You will have to pay more for climate-controlled facilities and if you want optimal security, you will have to pay more as well. It is worth it however. Read the contract carefully so you know who can gain access to your unit without your permission. Do they require you to provide them with a key or if it has a digital entry pad who else has the pass code or an extra key card. Is the facility accessible 24/7 all year around and how do you access it, can anyone, or do you need a code or access card to gain entry to the property where the units are located.
Things you need to consider is how to get to your supplies if you need to evacuate your home for temporary quarters. Typically, commercial storage is not recommended for Preppers to store their supplies in. The buildings can be broken into and they are prime targets for looters during a crisis. Additionally, people working for the facility may have access to your supplies, and government officials could gain access in some cases as well.
Failure to pay the rent on the unit would mean you would lose the contents, so you do need to plan financially for this.
However, as in any crisis you have to be able to adapt and keep an open mind. In the case of using storage facilities, you are choosing the best option open to you if you cannot cache your supplies on your own or someone else’s property.
You can cache supplies in the ground on public lands, parks and other places but this can be risky if you do not own the land. You could be caught digging on federal or state land, or someone could stumble upon the site, stay hidden while you are working or inspecting your previously buried cache, and then remove your cache after you are gone. You have to be assured you know how to locate your cache once buried as well.
Caching any substantial amount of supplies in your vehicle carries considerable risk. The most obvious of course is the vehicle can be stolen or broken into or you can be pulled over by police, and questions asked about the contents of the vehicle.
Your vehicles may be inspected and/or have to be decontaminated if there is an outbreak. Mr. Duncan was purported to have vomited in public, what if someone infected vomits on, in or even near your vehicle.
Moving your supplies to a trusted friends or relatives home is an option but their community’s carry the same risk as yours do and they could be quarantined or isolated as well.
At some point in any disaster situation, you have to accept certain risks, but you also have to make sure you have the percentages on your side. There is a point where you can only do so much, but having information, and with carefully planning, you can reduce the risks.
Keep in mind the President has stated the Ebola outbreak is a national security issue so this gives local, state and federal law enforcement and other government official’s wide latitude in dealing with the outbreak of the virus.
You do not want to wait until there is a knock on your door and you are told you have 30 minutes to vacate the premises to begin thinking about the things being left behind. Move certain things out now that you need for survival before they are labeled contaminated or dangerous and then confiscated and/or destroyed.