Defending an Apartment After TEOTWAWKI

Author: Matthew Zornes       Date: 2012-03-15

Keywords: apartment survival, apartment shtf, urban survival apartment, urban survival doors, urban survival w

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My wife and I live in an apartment in a densely populated area. I admit to having some reservations about living here in case of "the end of the world as we know it," but moving just isn't feasible right now. If you're also living in an apartment and you're worried about a major disaster, you've probably had similar concerns. The good news is, there are some steps we can take to defend ourselves in case looters and hungry scavengers come knocking.

Doors. You're going to want some sturdy doors, ideally metal fire doors. If your apartment manager allows it, I would consider replacing your current doors with them. Otherwise, get some long wood screws and reinforce your door frames. You should also get several 2x4's and cut them to span the width of your door. Then if things are getting ugly and you're ready to bug in, you can drill them into place, at least one a couple feet above and one a couple feet below the doorknob.

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You might also want to get a battery-operated doorknob alarm. Simply hang it on the inside doorknob and an alarm will sound if anyone tries your door. Finally, if there is a gap at the bottom of your door, get some towels to stuff underneath it.

Windows. Even if you're on the second floor or higher, your windows are still vulnerable to attack from the floor below or above or from a building across the way. In order to stop people from checking out your apartment, buy some bubble wrap and tape it over the windows in the day. That will allow natural light inside but will obscure people's view. Also buy some thick curtains, the kind designed to block out 99% of sunlight. Close the curtains at night so no one will see if you're using a light or a candle. If people see your lights, they're liable to assume you have food and supplies.

For additional security, buy or find some sections of chain link fence and cut panels that fit your windows. Then if things get bad, nail these panels to the inside of the window by driving the nails in halfway and bending them over the chain links. If you have a balcony, get enough chain link to completely fence in your balcony. When the time comes, put hooks in the underside of the balcony, hang the fence, and secure it with bent nails at the bottom. You should also keep some bolt cutters on hand in case you need to get through the fence.

In case someone does get through the doors or windows, get a hand or battery-powered portable motion sensor. Set it somewhere that will cover the main traffic areas in your apartment before you go to bed.


I've heard people express concern that if you're in an apartment, someone could go into the apartment next door and start smashing through the wall. But if you start shooting, they'll stop smashing. Do some research and get whatever gun would be best for you and your situation.

If you follow these steps, you should be safe in your apartment for weeks or maybe months. Of course it all depends on the disaster. You might not make it that long if it's a zombie apocalypse or something, but as far as protecting against looters and rioters, this should do. Good luck!

After studying and practicing survivalism for years, Matthew Zornes quit his job and became a full-time Internet Marketer, blogging about self-help products and emergency preparedness at Like most people, he lives in the city because of work, family and other circumstances, but he believes it is possible to survive in the city through all the most likely disasters. Download free eBooks and articles from

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