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21 October, 2012

Guest Post: Organizing your Shelter

In the survivalist community everyone knows the value of having a shelter prepared for extreme cases and natural disasters. Having a well-stocked, well-protected room underground (preferably) is not an easy thing to do since for most people collecting that many supplies in one spot and building something like that requires a significant investment. One thing a lot of unprepared people seem to forget is that a location like that is supposed to be survival-oriented and not a room in a 5-star hotel. We must keep to the essentials and regardless of our need for fun we must have realistic expectations for our shelter. Space will be limited and in case of disaster we must be able to move in there within minutes at best if we want to have a truly efficient hideout.


Depending on the nature of the disaster we are preparing for we might require different types of protection. The most common things we're looking for while setting up a place like that are non-perishable, long-lasting foodstuffs and a fresh water supply which will make us independent from the outside world. Ideally drilling for water deep underground is a good idea which will allow us to build our shelter around this, though no matter how well we build it space will always be limited. So here are some tips on how to utilize the space we have to the best of our abilities:

1.      Every surface is a viable storage unit


If you make sure everything you store on any given set of shelves is stable by finding ways to fix it in place in cases of seismic activity, then you'll be able to count on the storage you've set up in your shelter. Remember this is a design specific solution which requires nothing but common sense, so the simpler and easier to use it is the better. Depending on the nature of the shelter, whether we're talking about short-term solutions or long-term ones we might require different sizes of storage ranging from simple racks with foodstuffs and medical supplies to whole storage rooms. Whatever the case you should think in three dimensions and remember that ceilings and floors can always be made modular where one can find more storage space. The classic solutions of the 60s fallout shelters are more than obsolete nowadays since we are swimming neck-deep in technology and internet societies which may offer great new ideas.

2.      Folding bunk beds or mattresses


Those are a much better choice than other types of beds and besides the space you'd waste on a whole bed somewhere can be utilized in a much more flexible fashion by making it mobile. Think of the way the Japanese sleep on the so-called shiki futons (nothing to do with the US idea of a futon, its basically a mat). These futons are easily folded, stored and moved around with the added advantage of allowing us to use the extra space in any way we want instead of having a static, conventional bed.

3.      Indoor hydroponics vs food storage


Depending on the population intended for your shelter you can either have a static supply of foodstuffs or you can combine that with an indoor hydroponics farm. Hydroponics are a great way to grow your own food independently of the outside world in an underground environment under the right lighting. Since we're only giving ideas here you can find out more on the web about ways of setting up something like this. A viable food product you could easily grow underground are mushrooms which only require the minimum amount of light. There are number of them which can be grown in these enclosed spaces providing a somewhat reliable backup source of food apart from stored supplies.

4.      Be independent from the local power grid


Try to keep your dependence to a minimum by installing solar batteries to feed power to your shelter and make sure you can find a way to protect them from harm by being able to retract them underground.

These are merely a few ideas, though we could write volumes on the subject of preparedness and pragmatism. The balance between price and possibility is precarious and in the end it all depends on how much we are willing to spare on a serious project like this.

A good thing to take example from when it comes to practicality within a small space are the Japanese capsule hotels which offer everything one can possibly need in a unit minus useful food storage space. Organizing your bedroom within such small boundaries and taking that as an example is a good way to know what dimensions one should look at when planning.

Always remember – space is a precious commodity in a shelter.

About the Author:



Grace Bailey is a desperate housewife and a passionate writer. She enjoys writing about Home Organizing and Cleaning. You can visit her and read more removal tips and storage ideas.


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