Monday, August 28, 2017

Prepping Challenges 21 Thru 30--Shelter

Next up for your survival challenges...shelter.

#21--You have been camping or backpacking (and have the necessary gear) for at least a week during the past year.  Shelter is easy when you have an actual roof over your head, a bathroom down the hall, TV and internet for entertainment, and a well stocked kitchen.  Shelter becomes a challenge when you need to figure out how to shelter yourself and your family from a storm with only a thin tarp tent over your head, a bathroom that requires a trowel, and entertainment sans electricity and internet.

#22--Your home is as secure as possible.  This includes a video/audio security camera system, bolt locks on all doors, fire extinguishers in the kitchen and garage, smoke detectors and CO2 detectors in your home, a secure fence around your home, motion detector lights around your home's exterior, appropriate landscaping, etc.  If you are bugging in, you want your shelter to be as secure as possible.

#23--You know what natural disasters are most common in your area and have taken steps to mitigate the effects of these types of disasters.  If you live in an earthquake-prone area, you have "earthquake-proofed" your home, if you live in an area prone to flooding you have taken steps to mitigate the effects of flooding to your home, ditto wildfire areas, winter storm areas, hurricane-prone areas, etc.

#24--You have adequate homeowner's/renter's insurance to cover any disaster that may strike your home.  You also have any necessary riders for special circumstances (ie: flood insurance, earthquake insurance, jewelry riders, art riders, etc) as well as robust liability coverage too.  In addition to insurance, you make an annual home inventory video in case of insurable losses.

#25--You have additional SHTF preps in your home.  Examples include a generator if your area is prone to power outages, hidden safes in your home, a solar power system if appropriate, an ax and breaker bar in your attic to escape through the roof if necessary, storm shutters in reserve if you live in a hurricane-prone area, etc.

#26--You regularly practice good security around your home.  You check window and door locks before bed, you re-key locks when you first move in and when several people have had access to your keys, you never leave your house key attached to the car key you leave with the valet, you never invite strangers into your home, you teach your children age-appropriate home safety skills, you don't leave your garage door opener in your vehicle if it is parked in the driveway, etc.

#27--You have appropriate tools--and the general skills--to make repairs in your home.  Basic plumbing, construction, and electrical fixes are easy enough for most people to accomplish on their own.  Of course you always take safety precautions (use safety glasses, turn off the electricity when making any electrical repairs, etc) and use the knowledge of friends and YouTube if in doubt.

#28--Your home includes alternate cooking, heating, refrigeration, and sanitation options.  Do you have a gas grill outside that your can use if your kitchen stove isn't working?  Do you have a kerosene heater and electric space heaters to use if your gas heating system and/or electricity is out?  Do you have coolers you can use to store cold food if needed?  Do you know how to dig a latrine and/or have 5 gallon buckets, plastic bags, and kitty litter to use if needed for sanitation?  And don't forget to have a bunch of hand wipes as well as hand sanitizer on hand for waterless hand cleaning.

#29--You have alternate shelter plans in case you need to evacuate or bug out.  This can be plans to go to a friend or relative's home if a disaster hits your area (have several of these places pre-planned including someone across town, across the state, and across the country), a boat or RV on standby, or a separate bug out cabin/location.

#30--You have stockpiled disaster supplies in your home.  These include blue tarps, rope, duct tape, heavy rolled plastic sheeting, shovels and rakes, candles, flashlights, batteries, matches, lighters, toilet paper, paper towels, soap, blankets, etc.  Basically if your home needs to be an island for an extended period of time, do you have all of the supplies you need on hand without having to go to the store to get them?

More information on disaster-proofing your home can be found here, here, and here.

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