Our homes protect us from inclement weather and from the intrusion of other people. We live and store our personal property there. It is the center of our daily activities, and contains a place to prepare food and sanitary facilities. It is our home and we have the right to defend it. It is our obligation to maintain our shelter by paying attention to the need for repairs, whether we do the work or have someone else do it, repairs mean safe shelters. Security also involves habits like locking the door behind you, having screens on windows, and  placing dowels in sliding doors.

ShelterAdd a steel plate over the frame of doors to reinforce the deadbolt area. This will reinforce the door locks. Remove existing door trim, screw in steel strip. Make sure your screws don’t interfere with the bolt positions. Replace the door trim. The door will not give way easily.

During disasters, our first instinct is to shelter in place at home.

If our home is damaged, we may have to leave it and find protection from the elements elsewhere. Depending on the situation, we may be able to find a public shelter in a school or other facility manned by a humanitarian organization.  If the disaster is widespread, you may need to make do with items you have in your emergency supplies or apply some wilderness survival techniques to make one. If you find yourself in this situation, preparing a shelter will be a first priority. You will want to get it finished before nightfall.

This will be the time that you are happy to have an emergency kit. Items included in your kit like a flashlight, rain poncho, hand warmers, extra clothing and waterproof matches will be welcome. You may not have an air mattress, but that thermal space blanket and plastic tarp will help avoid hypothermia.

There are many ways to improvise a shelter, based on the situation you find yourself in. It may require some creativity on your part. To stimulate your creative juices, here are some suggestions.

Thanks to Joe Marshall for use of this table from his book, “The-Preppers-Playbook”.  Joe is an average guy with a passion for sharing everything he learns. He is managing editor for www.SurvivalLife.com. Joe is graciously making this book available to Every Needful Thing readers at a special price. Click on The-Preppers-Playbook link.


Remember the 4th Survival commandment: “Adapt to the surroundings, wherever they may be.” Gaye Levy

September 2013, Every Needful Thing                              Billie A. Nicholson

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