During a disaster, shelter is one of the most important factors that will determine if you’re going to survive with relative ease or if it’s going to be a struggle. Survival is more than just having a first aid kit or a survival kit. Having a safe place to stay is very important and it will protect you from further danger and give you some time to rest and calm down.
We’ll be assuming that the disaster is of a magnitude where your home is destroyed and you’ll need to take shelter elsewhere. If your home is untouched, then you can always be safe at home… but if that’s not the case, you need to consider several options before proceeding forward.
First and foremost, you’ll need to see how many people there are in your family. A family of 3 will be able to easily fit into a tent or under a tarp and stay sheltered for the time being. An extended family of ten or more will need more shelter and planning.
The duration you’ll be staying in these makeshift shelters will be another factor to consider. Generally, you should make plans to find a shelter where you can stay for about 3 days. This is recommended by most survival experts. However, if you can find a shelter that will allow you to stay for 2 weeks or more, that’s even better.
The kind of shelter you seek will depend on your preferences and the climate conditions. If you are the type of the person who likes the outdoors, you will have no issues setting up a tent and camping outside or in the woods. These are known as portable shelters.
Others may prefer built-in shelters like underground bunkers or houses. This provides extra security since you will be safe from wanderers or other threats while sleeping, etc.
The location you build your shelter is also something you may wish to consider. It would be a good idea to build your shelter on your property. Even if your home is damaged, at least you know that you’re on your property and if you have fencing and security, those will be good too.
The amount of supplies that you need and use will have an effect on the size of your shelter. Generally, during a disaster or crisis, most people will just need the basics.
However, if you wish to have a little kitchen, bathroom, etc. you will need more space in your shelter.
The most basic types of shelters are tents and tarps. They can be easily set up and secured with some rope. They’re portable and can go with you anywhere you wish to.
If you prefer something more ‘solid’ and you have the budget for it, you can set up a storm shelter above ground or below ground. The shelter will be basic with some room for a few people and some space for your supplies. People who prefer more comfort can build an underground bunker which will have a couple of rooms and bathroom facilities.
Ideally, you should spend some time researching on all the different types of survival shelters and see which one suits you and your family best. Generally, families with children will do well to have bunkers and ‘secure’ shelters. Most people prefer shelters that doesn’t leave them overly exposed to the weather or other people. So, plan well and prepare your shelter beforehand so that you’re ready should an emergency arise.