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Posted: 7/17/2008 2:54:48 PM EDT
I will be going to college for the first time this fall,

and I was wondering what y'all think is vital to have,
as far as survival and preparedness while living on
college campus. Guns are an obvious no no. But
considering my very limited living space my options
for preps is very limited.
Link Posted: 7/17/2008 3:06:31 PM EDT
Water filter, some ready to eat food, and a pre-paid credit card to buy gas to get home. :P
Link Posted: 7/17/2008 3:47:00 PM EDT
Credit Card with a 0.00 balance.
Link Posted: 7/17/2008 4:29:58 PM EDT
TT_man: Well congrads, you made out of HS. My daughter is also dorming at the local university, and her place is really cramped. She has a roommate, but her place is about the size of my bedroom.

I would get a ruck sack and fill it with a couple of MREs, some water, maybe a flashlight with extra batteries, a pocket knife and a Leatherman-type tool. But dorms are pretty safe so you shouldn't have to worry too much about survival.

But at my daughter's dorm, the power went out for 24 hours, so she and her roommate just high tailed it down to the nearest Starbucks.
Link Posted: 7/17/2008 6:55:39 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 7/17/2008 6:56:28 PM EDT by Racecar_Guy]
Get some bed risers or even concrete blocks to raise your bed. This will give you more space to stash stuff. If you can, try to make a loft style bed (basically a bunk bed with no bottom bunk), this way you will have even more room. I remember dorm life and 2 dudes, beds, desks, mini-fridge, microwave, and everything else, fill up a 10x10 room quick. If you have a car parked on campus, you might be able to store some less essential stuff in the trunk, this way you have it with in a couple hundred yards, if need be.
Link Posted: 7/17/2008 6:55:43 PM EDT
The first, the most important, and the least expensive thing in your "SHTF" preparedness, is for you to conduct a hazard analysis and determine what the most likely scenarios are in the area of your new school, and their relative severity for your situation.

Once you know what the risks are, you need to plan out how you'll either prevent or minimize the unpleasant consequences of each situation for yourself. Will you bug out? If you do, will you try to go home or some other family rally point? Girlfriend's house? Bug in? If so, will it be in your dorm room, in a shelter location established elsewhere on campus or elsewhere in the community?

What's the school's emergency plan say about how they'll handle the student population in an emergency? Your plan also has to be functional in the context of the school's planning, too, unless you plan to simply go AWOL (and maybe find you're in trouble when the dust settles and classes resume).

Until you identify the threats and get some planning in place, you can't intelligently address what you'll need to protect yourself.

The credit card isn't a bad idea. Stay away from all the pre-apporved offers you'll be getting a few months after freshman registration. Get it from the bank where you have checking or savings. Once you have it, use it once a month to buy something you could pay for with the cash in your pocket at the time. Each month, on the day the bill comes, not a day later, pay it in full. That way, you not only keep the card at a zero balance, but you establish your creditworthiness.

The bugout/bugin bag is a must-have, but tailor its contents based on what you've planned for your response to an emergency. Think outside the box (or bag)!


... dorms are pretty safe so you shouldn't have to worry too much about survival...


Or, not so much. I would remind you that Seung-Hui Cho's first two victims at Virginia Tech were in a residence building. Given that any weapon to adequately counteract that type of threat is, as you said, "an obvious no-no," your recourse is to mitigate the hazard by using whatever resources are available. In other words, you have to avoid becoming a target.
Link Posted: 7/17/2008 7:18:17 PM EDT
Been thinking about this all night. The weapon restriction does suck, but can you have sports equipment (think it through)?

Also, consider ways to prevent access to you. Zip ties, or even sections of rope and snap-links can be used to bar a door if you are being chased. They don't take long. You can effectively place barriers at every opportunity as you flee (no gun). Or fortify your current location. It worked for the shooter...

I would look at ways to bar your door, those 'chicago bars' to prop against your door knob isn't a bad idea.

Escape ladder! Escape hood! Get 2 fire extinguishers! Buy a surplus wool blanket, and keep a gallon of water handy (seal off a door from smoke or make an escape).

Surge protectors on every plug (big buildings can be big problems).

I love the idea of raising the bed and storing underneath.

Get a reflective material or flag that can be hung out your window to draw attention.

Consider a personal alarm (pull cord and it screams).

Your plan should focus on getting out and getting home. Stage gear in your car. Good luck!

Link Posted: 7/17/2008 7:19:16 PM EDT
Oh another thing keep 10-100 in singles and 10-20 in quarters NO MATTER WHAT! You can get a lot of survival foods from the vending machines, and it lowers your risk personally on non-emergency days because you don't have to leave the dorm at 2 am.
Link Posted: 7/17/2008 8:17:41 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 7/17/2008 8:22:36 PM EDT by K1rodeoboater]
LOL I can help here...I'm graduating this year so here's a quick list

buy a case or two of water
buy some sodas, juice, Gatorade around to drink
buy canned goods (high in sodium yes but hey it's good for a midnight meal)
buy pasta and sauce (1 box = 2 or 3 meals for me and 1 jar for 3 to 4 meals)
buy lipton rice packets and chicken in a can or tuna in a can/foil (my BOB staple, great for a meal)
buy some instant oatmeal and have some raisins around (good to have around for a quick breakfast)

FREE STUFF
sugar packets from the caf
salt and pepper shakers (lol yeah I took them from the caf)
tea bags (again took them from the caf, you can make ice tea if you want something other than sodas)

Other stuff
Don't take anything you're super attached to...your roommate might decide they like it and will take it...or a "friend" will. Theft is a HUGE problem in the dorms, never leave your door unlocked
keep your BOB packed and ready to go, the only thing not in mine is my sleeping bag which stays uncompressed but can be shoved in very quickly.
keep 2 rolls of quarters in your room, you'll be using them for laundry and snacks
keep some cash in your room, and I HIGHLY recommend you get a lock box you can chain to your bed to keep it and any important documents in.
keep at least 1 roll of OH SHIT toilet paper in your room on a shelf...you'll need it one day, and remember this......look before you sit when you go to take a shit
Don't attract unneeded attention to yourself (generally speaking don't wear gun shirts on a college campus...with all the school shootings and campus police might flag you as a possible risk)


Lastly, semi survival related, remember to have fun but be responsible. Partying is fun and great, but remember that if you fail out then you just wasted your time and money. It's all about balance. Same goes for drinking, read about alcohol poisoning...you'll probably encounter it more than a few times your freshman year with your classmates at parties...better to know what to do than to have someone die at a party.
Link Posted: 7/17/2008 9:11:54 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 7/17/2008 9:13:59 PM EDT by TheSurvivalist]
Water, water filter, some food bars and other ready to eat food. Save some of your empty 2 liter bottles of soda to fill up with water. Toilet paper.

Credit card.
Enough cash on hand to fill your car with gas and get you home, in case there's a problem with the credit card or place your trying to use it, no matter if its one or two stops for gas to get you home.
A couple rolls of quarters for tolls, pay phones and vending machines.

Knife, multi-tool, flashlights, small radio, extra batteries.

Your car should have a good spare, tools and the usual car kit that you read about here.

Sucks you can't have a firearm. Don't know what to say to that...maybe buy a baseball bat or a bow/crossbow, if thats even allowed, Not very affective against a armed mad man on campus, but might discourage other students from wanting some of your preps.



Link Posted: 7/18/2008 12:16:52 AM EDT
Thank y'all for all the replies. I have a decent ( a work in progress) GHB in the truck along with a case of water and a few days of food and a tool kit. I like the idea of being able to bar the door from forced entry. Have the knife and baseball bat covered for defense along with one of those LED mag-lights. I will be in Lubbock so I would assume either school violence, building fires or tornadoes of some sort would be my major problems. Bugging out wouldn't be much help in a true crisis. I am more prepared than the rest of the family, but going home would mean a real house and financial access along with my duty to help out the family. I like the idea of building credit now, true long term planning.

Keep the ideas coming this is great!
Link Posted: 7/18/2008 3:16:40 AM EDT

Originally Posted By TT_man:
Thank y'all for all the replies. I have a decent ( a work in progress) GHB in the truck along with a case of water and a few days of food and a tool kit. I like the idea of being able to bar the door from forced entry. Have the knife and baseball bat covered for defense along with one of those LED mag-lights. I will be in Lubbock so I would assume either school violence, building fires or tornadoes of some sort would be my major problems. Bugging out wouldn't be much help in a true crisis. I am more prepared than the rest of the family, but going home would mean a real house and financial access along with my duty to help out the family. I like the idea of building credit now, true long term planning.

Keep the ideas coming this is great!


I just got my first credit card 3 months ago....I should have gotten it 3 years ago. Get in the habbit of only using it to build credit by buying things you normally would have purchased with cash, otherwise don't buy it if you don't have the cash and you'll be fine. Establish good habbits now and they'll stick with you the rest of your life
Link Posted: 7/18/2008 6:12:25 AM EDT
Condoms - Don't go knocking a chick up.


Seriously just have some food, water, small hand tools, cash, and a emergency only credit card on hand. If you are several floors up I would suggest some rope to get out of your room during a fire.

Link Posted: 7/18/2008 7:04:02 PM EDT
Living in the dorms can be a good way to meet lots of people and make new friends but whatever you do, DO NOT go telling others about your preps. A few people get wind of it and tell a few more and soon everyone will know about it and then you're missing flashlights, toilet paper, food, and anything deemed 'cool'. Many a drunk or dorm stoner will find your stash of mac and cheese, MRE"s, etc. and eat through $50 worth of prep food in a sitting. The more secure you can and obscure you can keep your preps, the better. Good luck.
Link Posted: 7/18/2008 8:28:31 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 7/18/2008 8:31:35 PM EDT by bluebayou]
Well, from my dorm life back in the day (1988-93 Louisiana Tech):

Cash, and not cash that was drinking money, not cash that anyone knew about

Ramen, canned soup, crackers, etc see above

Doorstop to bar entry or chair, something to bar entry

Tools, need basic handtools to change girls' car batteries, etc

Tarp or sheet plastic to cover car window that some drunk sumbitch broke in dorm parking lot

FixAFlat, jumper cables, HEET, duct tape, etc for vehicle

Off campus BOL, friend of family, church member, someone

Copies (could use USB drive nowadays) of prescriptions, contact prescription, car title, registration, birth certificate, DL

Flashlight, couple jugs water

Biggest SHTF events in my 5 years undergrad: hurricane blew out over Northern LA and dumped 12" rain in 8 hours, no means to go home, car hit 4 times in 2 years, water out in dorms multiple times (jugs water for bathing in sink), drunks coming to my room because some guy USED to live there who's ass they wanted to kick,

AND FRIENDS OF FRIENDS WILL STEAL YOUR STUFF. Hide your stuff in ceiling tile, under drawers, whatever, someone WILL steal your stuff. You may trust your roommate, but do you trust him not to turn his back on a friend of a friend for seconds?

Also, the campus cops have total access to your vehicle probably, so don't count on keeping anything questionable there.

oh, yeah, and about the rainstorms/no means to get home- get a map and have 2-3 ways to get home no matter how goofy they look on paper, once had to go 30 miles East to Monroe, North 30 miles and West 30 miles.......90 miles, just to get to destination that was only 40 odd miles away as crow flies. At night, in rainstorm, after working 15 hours, etc.
Link Posted: 7/18/2008 11:44:09 PM EDT
As stated, discretion is very important if you have any valuables anywhere near you.

I learned in school that the safest place for anything was in the trunk of my ugly car, without anyone knowing anything was there, but every situation is different.
Link Posted: 7/19/2008 5:19:54 PM EDT
There's a reason why I get a single room instead of one with a roommate. I don't have to worry about any of my stuff getting stolen and I don't have to worry about being ratted out for any dorm contraband.


I'm basically set up to survive out of my car if necessary. Some of the stuff I have with me at college:

Binoculars

Flashlight

F­ood (I need to get some)

Water (I need to get some)

First aid kit

Tools (mainly for my car; tire jack, tire iron, etc.; a knife is also incredibly handy)

Self-defense weapon (if guns are banned, carry a folder)

Medication (college dorms are basically giant petri dishes; I used to never get sick, until I lived in a dorm. I still don't get as sick as others do and I get well sooner, but I still get sick.)

Cell phone and charger

Bad weather gear (a couple disposable ponchos and some more permanent storm gear is in my car and my dorm room)
Link Posted: 7/19/2008 7:04:50 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 7/19/2008 7:06:04 PM EDT by K1rodeoboater]
A single is the shit...I love mine. I have 4 other ppl in my suite but I have my own room which is perfect.

As far as meds go, get a good multivitamin and your usual assortment of NSAID's, pepto, and sudafed/nyquil. Most times I got food related sicknesses, not viruses, so I kept a lot of pepto and tums around.

another thing that I didn't see mentioned was insurance on anything valuable...trust me...you'll want it. If something gets stolen then you're covered, or if there's a fire and the sprinkler system toasts all your electronics, you're covered.


I don't have to worry about being ratted out for any dorm contraband


You'll still need to worry about safety inspections, someone with a beef reporting you, or if you're loud and the campus police come they might do a no-knock or bring a search warrant
Link Posted: 7/19/2008 7:18:27 PM EDT
If the S really HTF won't the college just shut down and send you home to mommy and daddy? I only lived in a dorm for one semester but I remember they wouldn't let me have a coffee maker. How can you prepare to bug-in to a place you don't own?

My advice is figure out how to get home without using highways.
Link Posted: 7/19/2008 8:03:17 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 7/19/2008 8:03:55 PM EDT by BKC1869]
What does SHFT mean. Dorm Living Shaft Prep.

Sorry I could not resist when I read the title.
Link Posted: 7/20/2008 12:20:59 PM EDT
What are your plans - stay put or bug out?
If you have a place to go - parents etc how would you get there? Car bike?

I would think Food/Shelter/Self defense
A half dozen MRE's should give you 2-3 days of food. Don't forget water - a hydration pack would be a min.

Put in some decent shoes, change of socks, underwear and have the right clothes for the outdoor environment you will be in if you can't stay.

I would add that when I was in a dorm, I may or may not have had a Ruger Redhawk .44 mag. Plenty of power to take down any game in North America yet not too big to hide.
Link Posted: 7/20/2008 4:54:25 PM EDT

Originally Posted By K1rodeoboater:
A single is the shit...I love mine. I have 4 other ppl in my suite but I have my own room which is perfect.

As far as meds go, get a good multivitamin and your usual assortment of NSAID's, pepto, and sudafed/nyquil. Most times I got food related sicknesses, not viruses, so I kept a lot of pepto and tums around.

another thing that I didn't see mentioned was insurance on anything valuable...trust me...you'll want it. If something gets stolen then you're covered, or if there's a fire and the sprinkler system toasts all your electronics, you're covered.


I don't have to worry about being ratted out for any dorm contraband


You'll still need to worry about safety inspections, someone with a beef reporting you, or if you're loud and the campus police come they might do a no-knock or bring a search warrant


The RA's do compliance inspections. 99% of the time, they're lazy and don't properly examine the room for safety violations or contraband. This coming fall will be my sixth (and final) year at college and I've never gotten caught for anything, even when I had a roommate.

Nobody who has a beef with me knows where I live OR wants to fuck with me. After you dye a guy purple and he stays that way for nearly a month (amongst other things), people tend to take a hint and leave you alone.

I'm not loud and the campus security (not police) have no authority to enter my room without the RA and the RD present.

Half the RA's on campus are in my fraternity.

I stay low-profile, people know not to screw with me, and I follow the number one rule for staying out of trouble: all information is on a need-to-know basis and nobody needs to know.

That said, I rarely do anything that would get me in trouble anyway.
Link Posted: 7/20/2008 7:21:51 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Swindle1984:

Originally Posted By K1rodeoboater:
A single is the shit...I love mine. I have 4 other ppl in my suite but I have my own room which is perfect.

As far as meds go, get a good multivitamin and your usual assortment of NSAID's, pepto, and sudafed/nyquil. Most times I got food related sicknesses, not viruses, so I kept a lot of pepto and tums around.

another thing that I didn't see mentioned was insurance on anything valuable...trust me...you'll want it. If something gets stolen then you're covered, or if there's a fire and the sprinkler system toasts all your electronics, you're covered.


I don't have to worry about being ratted out for any dorm contraband


You'll still need to worry about safety inspections, someone with a beef reporting you, or if you're loud and the campus police come they might do a no-knock or bring a search warrant


The RA's do compliance inspections. 99% of the time, they're lazy and don't properly examine the room for safety violations or contraband. This coming fall will be my sixth (and final) year at college and I've never gotten caught for anything, even when I had a roommate.

Nobody who has a beef with me knows where I live OR wants to fuck with me. After you dye a guy purple and he stays that way for nearly a month (amongst other things), people tend to take a hint and leave you alone.

I'm not loud and the campus security (not police) have no authority to enter my room without the RA and the RD present.

Half the RA's on campus are in my fraternity.

I stay low-profile, people know not to screw with me, and I follow the number one rule for staying out of trouble: all information is on a need-to-know basis and nobody needs to know.

That said, I rarely do anything that would get me in trouble anyway.


How about finishing up "The Survivor". I'm ready to finish it.
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