If you believe in preparing for disaster, it’s a good idea to have a shelter available with everything you need. Judging how well that shelter will serve you can be difficult, though, when preparing for the unknown. If you really want to be prepared, compare your setup with these essentials to know if your shelter is truly ready to carry you through a doomsday scenario.
Your Supply Level
The best place to start when assessing your survival shelter is with your supplies. You need to know how much of a cache you have built up and how long it’s going to be able to last, at least in theory. If you don’t have more than enough to make it for a few days on your own, you’re not really looking at a viable survival site – you’re just looking at a temporary storage location. While sustainability is essential, it is also essential that you have at least a few month’s worth of supplies in the event you need to bunker down and not leave your shelter for a good while. This also will give you plenty to work with during your transition period of adjusting to a harsher, post-apocalyptic life.
How you get your water is incredibly important. While setting up shop near as stream can be helpful, the only truly clean and sustainable water source is groundwater. With this in mind, if you own the land where your shelter is setup, you can prepare a sustainable water source with a residential water well pump. While stocks of bottled water will be important for storage, that water will eventually run out if you don’t have a way to renew it. If zoning laws or other factors prevent you from installing a water well, set your shelter near another natural water source and do some research on how to collect water with minimal supplies, such as with rain barrels or DIY wells. Make sure to test the water in the area as well to ensure that it is, at least at the moment, safe to drink.
You’ll also need to look at food sustainability to determine the fitness of your shelter. For most, this means proximity to regular sources of food – access to hunting grounds or fishing, in other words. However, hunting will provide the least of your food source, so if you’re looking for long-term survival, this also means looking at whether or not you have access to arable land. If you’re in for the long haul, you’re going to need more than just canned food. Farm animals, such as chickens and cows, can also provide another source of food.
Basic Health and Safety
Finally, you’ll want to take a look at basic health and safety. How well-stocked is your shelter in terms of health supplies? Do you have splints, bandages, and alcohol for cleaning? Painkillers, essential medications, and antibiotic ointments will be essential as well. Plan for every eventuality, and then figure out how you’ll tackle those same problems once your medical supplies run out. While they are no substitute for modern medicine now, books on natural cures and treatments will be an invaluable last resort when you’re left with nothing but what your hands can make.
Your survival shelter needs to contain a reasonable supply of supplies, have access to food and water, and contain the tools you need to stay healthy. If it lacks in any of those things, it won’t help you enough when the worst comes to pass. Make sure that your shelter well-stocked now so that you can worry less if something terrible does occur.
Meghan Belnap is a freelance writer who enjoys spending time with her family. She loves being in the outdoors and exploring new opportunities whenever they arise. Meghan finds happiness in researching new topics that help to expand her horizons. You can often find her buried in a good book or out looking for an adventure. You can connect with her on Facebook right here and Twitter right here.