In this installment of the series (It’s Wednesday right – shoot late on this again) we will be talking about shelter.
This is actually an easy one…wherever you live right now is most likely shelter. Your house, apartment, dorm or trailer are all examples of shelter. The key is to prepare your shelter for whatever the disaster situation is that will most likely occur in your neck of the woods.
I live in hurricane country so there are several things that have already been done as part of construction and there are several more things I am doing to prepare. Our building codes require hurricane strapping which is basically metal strapping that fastens the roof to the walls and the walls to the foundation. (You would think something like this would be a no brainer but I can almost guarantee if you buildings codes don’t require it your house will most likely not have this simple defense against wind damage). We have a reinforcement kit on our garage door…this basically consists of horizontal metal studs running the length of the door behind each section. The most common area to fail when you have a pressure buildup because of a storm is the garage door. We also have impact resistant windows, they are not unbreakable by any means but they are a little tougher than you normal run of the mill window.
There are several things I am doing to try prepare above and beyond whatever construction enhancements have been done. The first is to by enough plywood to cover your windows, unless you have storm shutters, which I do not. I am slowly picking up plywood as I can afford it, I then cut them to size for a window and number them so I can keep track of which window they belong to. One other important thing to do is to clean up around your dwelling, the stuff you have will most likely become a projectile in high winds. We keep stuff we need outside but there isn’t anything my wife and I can’t bring inside in less than fifteen minutes.
If you live in an apartment you can do similar things. You can buy plywood to put up on your windows…most likely on the inside instead of the outside. If you live in a trailer I would NOT recommend you stick around in the event of a hurricane or tornado. Lots of people die every year because their trailers are demolished in high winds. In the event of civil unrest or the collapse of civilization as we know it, people should lay very low. Keep your house secure but don’t advertise that anyone is inside. Practice light and noise discipline – hang some kind of covering over the windows on the inside to help with this. Don’t make yourself known if someone knocks on the door (stranger)…maybe they will leave…if not then you may have to take steps to convince them to leave (I have a whole part in this series dedicated to that – coming soon). The bottom line is; do not look for a fight. The smart survivor is low key and stays that way.
Make sure you have plans to bug out if you are compromised or you feel like your family may be in danger. Have supplies and equipment ready to go at all times (BOB – Bug Out Bag or INCH – I am Never Coming Home bag).
Make sure if you always have a full tank of gas in your vehicles and a few spare FULL gas cans as well in case you need to abandon your main shelter. This leads me to a very important point….have a backup shelter! This can be as simple as rope and a tarp, a tent, travel trailer…whatever…but have something. I have a few tents that I keep ready to go in the garage. One of them is a cold weather tent that I can use as a shelter should we have to abandon the house.
The key here is everyone can prepare. You don’t have to have a cabin in the woods to feel safe. You can hole up in an apartment just as well as a house if you make some preparations. Have some kind of backup shelter especially if you live in a colder area…something to keep you dry and out of the wind and you will be fine.
...that is all.
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