This was sent to me by “SF in Hawaii” and I thought it offered enough useful, creative information to warrant posting it here.
NYC or any high density (vertical population housing) location would be better left but if you can’t, or won’t for whatever reason, then for what it’s worth, you should consider bugging out to the roof. It will have several advantages.
Water: Older houses and apartments have gravity fed water storage tanks on the roof. If you can tap into it, or divert it fully (sorry to the people below you) with some basic plumbing skills you will have thousands, even tens of thousands of gallons of drinkable water to use. Ranger Man has seen these storage tanks.
Food: A rooftop garden, and trapping the flying rats (pigeons) that inevitably perch on rooftops. A rooftop also gives you access to solar ovens and solar panels.
Sanitation: Whereas most NYC apartments are tiny (600 to 1,200 sq ft is my guess to average size) and pose significant sanitation problems if you can’t flush a toilet, rooftops are much larger. The rooftop where I lived covered 24 apartments and was well over 20,000 square feet. Dedicating a downwind corner of the rooftop to the privy would be less of a hassle and again, being open air ventilated it’s less of a problem again.
Heating: The disadvantage of not having 4 walls and a roof around you to maintain heat are more than made up for (IMHO) by the ability to light a fire without risk of CO poisoning. Get a good sleeping bag or two and a tent and it’s just like winter camping. Ranger Man wonders about fuel sources for a fire, and thinks the “winter camping” idea is more plausible.
Ventilation: See above 🙂
Security and self defense: You gotta love this one. Many rooftops are only accessible through one door and that door (at least where I lived) was very secure. You will not have windows to worry about. If the door is not high security metal, then do some homework. Get the measurements. Go and buy a metal security door that will fit it and put it in your closet. When the time comes, bug your things to the roof, pop the hinge pins and put in your door. Other security measures are open to imagination but you will have the advantage of ‘high ground.’ Sabotage the area below the door. Get creative. A hole in the door for you to shoot through?
Take a look at the walls along the rooftop. Typically they will be 4 feet high so you have a corner as a heat reflector for your fire and a 1/2 a shelter built right there. Broken glass and gorilla glue along the top of the walls in case someone want to try to get up from the top floor windows… As to throwing things down at people who are hassling you, remember your buckets of waste 😉 Ranger Man: Lol – that’s so gross, and yet – probably effective. Just don’t piss people off so much they snipe you from another building, which is entirely possible. (Get it? Piss people off – nyuck, nyuck, nyuck.)
Fire detection and bug out: Since houses can burn, you will be at risk. Some basic climbing gear should get you down a smaller building. If not, then you’ll need to crash through the windows as far down as your rope allows and exit internally. Being on the rooftop will give you the advantage of looking down and seeing where the fire is the least problematic.
Legality: Do what you gotta do.
Firefighting and odors: On the roof there is less to catch fire and odors go up up and away.
Noise and light discipline: If I felt the only way in was secure, I wouldn’t be as concerned. With elevators out, I’d put lubricants and broken bottles on all the stair surfaces, and probably use the stairwell as my toilet. Would you want to climb 12 flights of stairs, in the dark, slipping and landing on broken bottles and human feces? The stink alone should discourage them. Remember, this isn’t the back woods where the next prospect for finding bounty is 1/2 a mile away. The city has perhaps a million apartments. They would likely just move along to the next building where some mad flamethrowing, excrement hurling, pre-1894 rifle toting survival nutcase hadn’t barricaded himself on the roof.
Sanity and exercise: The larger area would allow a good run and as for sanity, if you live in the city, sorry, but you’ve already given that one up.
SF in Hawaii
– Ranger Man
BTW: MORE on urban action. Reading SHTFblog from Florida? Miami police are planning to test a new gas powered Micro Air Vehicle (MAV) to help fight crime in the big city. This thing can land and take off vertically, hover in the air and provide real time video feed to coppers. The military has used similar versions to detect IED’s. Want to scope the news article? Go here. Want to scope the MAV? Just watch: