Hunkering Down: Convert Your Home into a Long-Term Survival Base

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The basic necessities of life—those things we all take for granted every day, are always what becomes most important to us when faced with a serious survival situation. These situations, whether they arise from incidents of extreme weather events, natural disasters, or some chaotic disruption in society itself, require intensive planning on the part of those who wish to survive them. Foresight, in this matter, can include a plan to convert your home into a functioning survival shelter.

Food and Water

We can’t know for sure that the retail stores we depend up on for food will be open for business in an extreme survival situation. To this end, it’s advisable to learn as much as one can about safely storing food and water. Although survival meals can be purchased ahead of time, they are meant to solve temporary food supply outages. Long-term planning requires being knowledgeable about the bulk storage of beans, rice, freeze-dried foods and canned goods. Canned food can be stacked on shelves, but items like rice and beans need to be stored in air-tight plastic drums impervious to moisture and pests such as insects, rats and mice. Water can also be stored in steel or plastic drums with liners or in bathtub bladders made for that purpose. However, if one chooses to store fresh water, their plans should also include the means to capture and purify rain water to be used for drinking and cleaning purposes.

Living off the Grid

It should surprise no one to hear that, when it comes to survival, simple strategies are almost always better than complicated ones. Complex tactics have a greater number of failure points, making them volatile and unreliable survival plans. A complex strategy is also likely to rely too heavily on things that might not be available when they are most needed. A good example of this is the sewing machine–it’s always better to own a treadle-powered sewing machine (and know how to use it) than to keep a modern electric-powered one that will do nothing for you if the power goes down. One way to survive comfortably without electricity from the power company is to generate your own. This can be done by hooking up a generator to a stationary bike and pedaling whenever you require electricity. Surplus electric power can be stored in series of linked car batteries, which can be bought and stored at any time.

Guard Against Intruders

What’s worth preserving, storing and caching is worth protecting from intruders. In a survival situation, a reliable home security system is a must. A Vancouver home alarm systems specialist from Astro Guard Alarms reports that, while most systems require alternating current to run, certain systems will operate perfectly under backup battery power. In the absence of a functioning electric-powered security system, your best bet is to create the perception that your home is not worth breaking into. You can create this impression by leaving a very large dog bowl or an empty box of shotgun shells—anything to create an intimidating façade to make potential intruders think twice.

Emma is a freelance writer currently living in Boston, MA. Her interests include urban exploration and indoor rock climbing. When not writing, she enjoys reading and baking.

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14 thoughts on “Hunkering Down: Convert Your Home into a Long-Term Survival Base

  1. Following you via google+ as Stacey Bic


  2. No firm plans yet, still in the "pondering" stage. I've looked at everything from hurricane shutters to plywood to burgler bars… I'm wanting something useful but out of the way when not needed. No practical solution yet.

  3. I would love to live off the grid. I remember reading about which cities were best to do it in and cant remember where it was I saw it. So many cities are prohibative to wind or alternate power sources.

  4. I just bought my house 2 years ago and am now kicking myself for how many windows I have – what drew me to it in the first place (all the sunlight streaming in) I now see as a potential liability.

  5. Great article! I dream of a home where I can feel completely safe…As a renter, I have converted to the best of my ability. I definitely think that when SHTF I will have to bug out as opposed to bugging in.

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