Please add your knowledge to the shelter article. For example you could add how your favorite shelter is built or your way of finding shelter, why you prefer a particular shelter or real life experiences of times when you had to seek shelter. If you ever lived on the streets, writing an article about your experience would be really, really appreciated as well!
You can write directly in the Wiki and / or edit other articles to improve them. If you do not want to write in the wiki feel free to email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and Selco or me (Jay) will format and add your article(s) to the Wiki.
Please keep in mind that a wiki is meant to provide factual (and in our case practical) knowledge. Please use the real life experiences section (down there on the bottom) for personal recommendations.
That’s it from me, now on to Selco’s article about shelters.
Urban Survival Shelters
Think about perfect shelter in a way of what it needs to provide for you. There are many great shelters and I hope you add your knowledge to our shelter article in the wiki, I write what I know about and this is urban survival shelter.
1. Everything can be breaked, forced, overwhelmed
“Let them come, I will take down all of them”
Yep, eventually someone will come, and NO sometimes you can not take them down all. You need to accept fact that point of survival is to survive, not to die like hero in big gunfight. I prefer to be living sneaky person who is good at hiding, instead of dead brave hero.
No matter how much time and money you spent in making your shelter inpenetrable, everything can be broken and taken, it is just matter of time and enough force. We are talking here about ordinary people who do not have ex. rocket launch silo for shelter.
2. Your shelter can not look different than anything that surrounds it
No matter what kind of shelter we are talking about, be sure that it looks like anything else around it. What that means? There is no sense of doing things to your house in order to make it more secure and then to look very different from other houses in your neighbourhood.
If you want to improve your house security do it in way that nobody sees it from the outside. In other words if you are living in street where all of the houses are pretty much same in way of looking, same yards, lawns, fences etc. just look like everybody else.
This is like a swarm of fish who all look the same. Chances that you get picked out and eaten are smaller that way.
The first looted houses in your area show up, loot your own house and make it look like it was looted already. You do not want to be first house that looks abandoned and not last.
3. Improve your security the “invisible” way
Of course you need to improve your house security, but doing that with only high fences and alarm alone will not do the job.
Plan now in peaceful and “normal” times. If you have yard, plan and plant plants and trees. Go out with pen and paper, sit down and take some time. Think about planting some stuff in order to help you in some future time. Think about any possible scenario that can happen to you and your neighbourhood. Trees (big or fallen trees…) or some plants (garden) can hide some things, can be obstacles, can offer you some outpost for scouting things. Also some plants carefully planned can hide some emergency exit or entrance in/out out of your house.
Some things, usually bad things can happen (and things like that happened) by pure luck or bad luck, so sometimes just to have house that is not so clearly “visible” from street is great thing.
I mean lot of bad things happened just because something just looked interesting from the street, or something just caught attention.
Be sure to have things ready in your storage to reinforce your house. Things like steel bars, steel plates, plywood, bags (for sand bags). Look now around your living place and think what you could use for reinforcment when SHTF. For example I used steel covers from sewage openings to reinforce our house.
4. First make your self uninteresting
When you think how to make your home the perfect shelter, first think about how to remove any possible reason for somebody to check it, to attack it.
Today in this time be “usual”. Do not give anybody reason to pay you visit when SHTF. That means of course to hide that you are prepper and that you have interesting things inside your house when SHTF. People are acting on one way today, when SHTF yor first neighbor or your colleague from work may remember you that you mention few times that you have good storage and plenty food for any case. Keep low profile.
Think about any possible scenario that can happen in your area. Nuclear plant? Military base? Infectious diseases outbreak? Think in that terms and obtain some signs. Depending what scenario is gonna happen good thing is to have some original signs like: unexploded devices, infectious desease, or chemical hazard or similar.
5. To go in and out
To have one hidden enterance and exit is must have. In SHTF scenario people might not have food, but time to watch surroundings. Prepare for fact that you are not going to use your normal way in house, your door or gate. You must have one exit that is not visible from the outside of the house. Point is that you can go in and out of the house in order to do things, or to evacuate and that people on the street can not see you.
Think what is the best option for your house and for you. For example simple hole from one of the back rooms reinforced inside with bags and hidden outside with plants. For apartment one of the ideas to use windows and neighbourhood apartment to go out and in.
Reasons are multiple: People are gonna scout and check if your house is empty, how many of you are inside, what kind of things you are taking in and out, or simple evacuation.
This all does not mean that you have to now make hole in your wall. But good idea is to think about this now, and have plan where to make this thing when times are here, or to simply plant some trees and plants on correct place now. Or to check now on your neighbouring apartment and figure what is safest route, and what aparment probably gonna be empty. Point is to plan today and take right steps.
6. Have things ready and practice
Think today how you can collect water from roof, try it few times and see how it works because you gonna save time when need really comes. Rainwater is usally also good for your plants you keep so it might not be bad idea to collect some now.
Just try to collect water during the rain with some barels pipes putten in your drainage and filter it. Practice safest, most silent and quickest way.
Have things ready and think about anything possible scenario that can happen to you and your house. Keep in mind you are more vulnerable outside of house than inside, so if you have more inside of house you have to go out less.
Think and try some things today. If you never broke through wall with big hammer you might not have security googles to protect your eyes from flying stones.
7. Out of the sight house
Yes, but again you need to make it out of the sight. Eventually you gonna need to defend it. But as more as you delay that moment it is better for you. I am not finding too much use in term “distant house” from city, or far from the most frequented road in the city. In city everything is close, and to have house in real densly populated area in city can be better than to have it in more peaceful neighbourhood in city. It is matter of attraction again. It is more peaceful in “eye of the storm” then in more rich and nice city neighbourhood when SHTF. Especially if you make yourself not interesting.
A “ghetto” area in which families of gang members live can be more protected and safe than nice suburb that the gangs go in to hunt for resources.
8. Understand your priorities and understand your chances
Your priority is your life. So everything else comes after that. Do not think about your house like about something that cannot be left behind sometimes. If you find your self in situation that you must leave your house, just leave it. Come back again later if you can and continue. Have some place inside your house, safe and hidden where you can put valuable things and run.
I know what I speak about. If I could turn back time I should have left before I was trapped in city.
A guy who I knew left his house several times because people who searched it, and looked for valuable things. His urban survival shelter was just apartment but he had good scouting position right under the roof of his house where he could lay down and look out of small gap under the roof.
Whenever he saw them coming he run and hide in neighboring graveyard. Once he spent two days and nights there while guys drink his alcohol inside his house. He had small hidden chamber under his floor where he kept his small storage. After they left he just came back. He survived. He said he felt really safe in one of the family tombs where he hided. Later he made jokes that guy who saved his life is dead for almost 100 years.
He just did not had chance in fight with the guys who came to his place, but was smart enough to know it.
Shelter in urban environment is about low profile, many ways of hidden exit and entry and also being in the right area of your city. A good urban survival shelter does not have to be strongest fortress, it can be the one with the best overview and escape routes (like the guy who hided on the graveyard), the one that looks least desirable, the one that people do not see as shelter.
Flexible and creative way of thinking and looking like everyone else while thinking different can save your life in finding the right shelter, like in most survival things.
Your Bic Lighter and your pocket knife...Don't leave home without 'em!
â€œLearning is not compulsory. Neither is survival.â€ W. Edwards Deming