Sheltering in place, it’s a prepper basic. For those of you who may be new to prepping, or debating about your current living arrangements, let’s talk about the general things to keep in mind.
First and foremost, for this blogger, there’s no plan better than the shelter in place plan. Most bug out plans put you in the status of refugee. That is never a good position to be in. Think about it for a minute. Even in the BEST case scenario for bugging out, with days worth of warning and a large vehicle, you’re still very limited in what you can take to survive.
How much food can you really fit in your bug out vehicle? If it’s well packed rice and beans, maybe a month’s worth, MRE’s, maybe a few weeks worth; canned goods, you might have 2 weeks of food in the car. Plus water, there’s a basic. How much water do you really think you can pack in that vehicle? 1 week’s worth of drinking water? 2 weeks? If you haven’t found a place to settle by the time all that runs out… then what? Hope the Red Cross is headed your way? Hope your friends and family can provide for you? Risky propositions. But! Calamity, there are always going to be situations where leaving is safer than staying. Yes, yes there are, but I really think you should try to push it as far as you can to stay in place.
Know the hazards for your area.
If fires are the main hazard, put some fire prevention practices into use. There are metal roofing systems and fire resistant soffits available that can help greatly reduce the chances of your shelter going up in a giant bonfire.
DisasterSafety.org says, ”box in the eaves, fascias, soffits and subfloors with fire resistant materials…”
Clear cut the area around your house, and have adequate water storage on site to do some basic fire fighting. Rain water collection into some really basic cisterns or tanks would go a long way towards dousing your vital living structures if a fire was headed your way. Instead of planning to run at the first sign of smoke, plan to fight to save your hard work and survival gear.
If earthquakes are your main hurdle, planning to leave already puts you behind the ball, because no one gets warning for that shit. You have a MUCH better chance of making to the other side of an earthquake alive and with food and water if you plan your shelter appropriately. Build, or rebuild, your house to the maximum standards for earthquake resistance. A properly engineered structure does not necessarily have to be extremely strong or expensive. It has to be properly designed to withstand the seismic effects while sustaining an acceptable level of damage.
Tornadoes? Build a safe room, re-enforced to withstand the winds and debris and make sure all your supplies are in there. Losing your couch is ok, loosing a years worth of food is not so cool. Digging a storm shelter can be a cheap and doable project.
Tsunamis? Well… I’m open to suggestions on this one, but there must be a way. Design a floating survival pod anchored to the ground, or plan your house so that the bottom half is submersible with only minor losses. Trying to stuff your survival gear in your pickup in the 2 hours notice that the tsunami warning will give you… well, let’s just say I doubt your chances of making it out of town with anything even close to a good pack.
Sheltering in place keeps you near your life support systems.
You can’t bug out with your garden, staying in place means you can have fresh food as long as you can keep it alive and growing, and food for next year if you save the seeds. You can’t bug out with your rain water collection. If you shelter in place you’ll have fresh water, the smallest rain water barrels will give you 50 gallons of water that only needs a bit of filtering to be drinkable. Once you have the basic system in place, you can scale up quickly and relatively cheaply if need be. Books, a years worth of canned goods, tools, relationships, all of these things will be left behind if you have to leave. Plan to stay, and your plans for survival get easier, not harder.
– Calamity Jane