A wilderness shelter for survival built with branches against a tree.

Shelter

(Last Updated On: December 11, 2019)

Shelter:

The second rule in the Survival Rules of 3- “You have only about 3 Hours to live Without Shelter For Survival in a harsh environment.”

This simply means protecting you, your family, and your possessions from harm at all times. You want your shelter to keep all this safe especially during any emergencies and times of disaster that may affect you.

There are many forms of shelter that we must have prepared on order to do this. Let’s take a brief look at each of these:

Home

Your home is usually the best shelter for survival, the best place to be during times of disaster.

Why do I say that? It’s because that’s where most of our prepping energy goes into to prepare for any emergencies or disasters. It is the place where we are best protected and stock up on our emergency supplies. As such, there are many things we need to do to prepare and protect this shelter.

Small safe in the shape of a house. Your home is the "safest" place to be during most disasters.

As Preppers, we spend a lot of time and money to prepare our home to be ready is disaster strikes.

  • We have stocked our food and water supplies in case of disaster.
  • We may have vehicles stocked up with emergency supplies.
  • We have our bug-out-bags ready to go.
  • We have stocked up on other supplies that we may need during a disaster, like medicines, soaps, toilet paper, and other personal hygiene products.
  • We have provided alternate energy supplies for cooking and heating, and lighting our homes during disasters.
  • We have set up protection for our homes in the forms of insurance and alarms systems.
  • We have set up personal protection for ourselves in our homes: firearms, door stoppers, pepper sprays, safe room, etc.
  •        We have prepared our home for Natural Disasters that may affect us. (Hurricanes, floods, wildfires, etc.)
  •        We have prepared our home for Man-made Disasters. (Home invasion, fires, etc.)

Sound like a lot of preparation?

Yes, it sure is. It’s not something that can be done all at once. Preparing your home for disaster is an ongoing process. It is something I am constantly working on- trying to improve in each of these areas. There are a lot of details in each of these areas we need to cover.

Go to these articles for more in depth  information on How to Prepare Your Home For Disaster:

Fortify Your Home For Disaster

Bug-Out Location

Your Bug-out Location is the  place you set up in advance in case you need to evacuate your home. You home is usually the best place to be in case of a disaster, but in some instances you may be safer by evacuating to a pre-setup bug-out location.

Recent hurricanes and flooding are one example of this. You do NOT want to depend on the government for these evacuation shelters and aid. Just look at how people suffered when evacuating to the Louisiana Superdome during Hurricane Katrina.

A more extreme example many preppers plan for is the SHTF senario (Sh*t Hits The Fan), where if things go really bad, say an EMP terrorist attack, and the power grid is wiped out, gangs and looters may attack your home when their supplies start running out. In cases like these, your bug-out location may be the safer place to be.

How Do We Prepare A Bug-out Location For Disaster?

As a prepper, there are many things to consider:

  • Where is the best place to have a bug-out location?
  • What makes a good bug-out location?
  • Is it close enough to get to quickly?
  • How will I get there?
  • How do I prepare the bug-out location-supplies & safety?

Log cabin in the woods, a good potential "bug-out location.

Your bug-out location could be anything from a friend or relative’s home, a tent in the wilderness, a cabin or vacation home, all the way to a “doomsday” bunker buried in the ground!

Sounds pretty extreme, doesn’t it! But I think everyone should have some location to evacuate to. A house fire, gas leak, or even an insect infestation (like termites) needing your home to be fogged, may make another location a safer place to be.

Go to these articles for more in depth  information on How to Prepare Your Bug-out Location For Disaster:

Vehicles

Our vehicles are often our shelter to protect us. Think about it, when we are away from home, we are often in our cars, trucks, campers, or other vehicles that are serving as our shelter. If an emergency or disaster were to occur, we want these vehicles to be prepared.

Land Rover on a muddy road. A good vehicle for shelter during disasters, or to get you to your bug-out location.

How to Prepare Your Vehicle For Disaster

Here are some areas we want to plan for:

  • Have vehicle in good repair and ready to go.
  • Have it protected (insurance)
  • Stocked with emergency items (First aid kits, emergency food & water, etc.)
  • Having a “bug-out bag” and a “get-home bag” in every vehicle

 

Make sure your vehicles are prepared with these articles:

Auto Emergency Survival Kit

Work or School

A place we are often at when away from home is either work or school. We want to be sure to make preparations: Office cubicles. A place where you should have an "emergency get-home bag".

  1. To have these serve as a place of shelter in case of emergency or disaster.
  2. To have a “get home bag” with any supplies you may need to make it back to you home for shelter after a disaster.

 

 

 

Urban

Finding places for shelter in an urban area has its own set of challenges, especially in larger cities. One of the biggest concerns is the fact that you must be aware of the added security risks you will face in addition to just finding a place of refuge. Normally “civilized” persons may turn to violence if they realize you have something they need for their own survival in a disaster situation.

A large city downtown on a waterfront. A place that may present different challenges when looking for shelter during disasters.

Wilderness

Finding or making shelter in a wilderness situation means you may need to develop a whole new set of skills.

  • Knowing where a safe place is for shelter. For example, a cave may sound like a good shelter, but it may also be home to wild animals. I’ve been in caves where I found skunks have made a home and rattlesnakes have threatened my entering into or leaving them.
  • Knowing how to build a shelter with the materials on hand. Knowing how to build a shelter in a desert area where I live now, is totally different from the type of shelter I needed when I was in the forests of Wisconsin and Minnesota.Building a campfire. An important skill when making shelter in a wilderness environment.
  • Learning skills like fire making to stay warm and for cooking.
  • Learning to navigate without getting lost!

Clothing

Clothing is another form of shelter that many preppers don’t tend to talk about many times. Here’s just a few things to keep in mind to make sure your clothing is serving a a good type of shelter to protect you:

  • Have clothing available that you can travel in. If your car broke down and you are wearing you dress shoes or high heels, you probably want a Blue jeans wearing person wearing blue high heels. Not good footwear when walking during times of disaster.good pair of walking shoes if you have to go find help or walk home.
  • Be aware of potential weather changes for the time of year. If a winter storm suddenly blows in, you’ll want warmer clothing, boots, gloves, and a hat to wear. If a rainstorm developed, you’d want some rain gear to prevent getting wet and cold, with the possibility of hypothermia happening.
  • In disaster situations, you want your clothing to let you “blend in”. Flashy clothing will just draw unwanted attention to you. You don’ want to have the appearance that you may have something that others may need or want.

 

Read the posts going into more detail on shelter for survival. Once we have prepared our needs for shelter, then we’ll be able to move on the the next items in our preparations for disasters: Water and Food.

Share your comments below!

Happy Prepping,

David

Leave a Comment