During an emergency, the minimal needs of proper
housing will still need to be met. There will be times when you
may need to leave the comforts of your home and there will
be other times when you will need to stay put, even
Below are some ideas on Housing.
Sheltering - There may be a time when you
are required to stay inside your home for an extended period of
time. Click here to learn
more about In-Place Sheltering.
Lean-to - This
a homemade shelter usually made out of rope and plastic or a
tarp. It probably has both ends open, exposed to the elements
but it can provide some shelter.
To make a Lean-to:
- Collect three pieces of nylon rope, a huge plastic
sheet (preferably 6 Mil in thickness) or a tarp, some
clothespins, stakes, and a hammer.
- Stake two parallel ropes into the ground a few feet
apart. The ropes should be as long as your plastic or
- Tie one more rope parallel to both of those to two
trees such that the height of the rope is at least 3 feet
off the ground (the more the better). This rope should be
directly over one of the other two ropes.
- Stretch your plastic or tarp over the top rope and
around the two lower ropes. This will produce a triangular
shelter that will allow moisture to run off the sloped
- If there is extra plastic, either overlap it or move
some of your ropes.
- Secure the plastic to the ropes with clothespins or any
way you can.
- If you are able to have one end of the lean-to butt up
against a tree or bush, that can provide extra
- Dig a trench to channel any runoff water away from the
- Practice building a Lean-to before the need
- Note: a Lean-to can also be made out of logs and
plywood. The idea is to build a shelter that will allow you
to escape wind and moisture.
Tent - These
come in various sizes and are usually rated as to how many
people can comfortably sleep inside.
Consider the following concerning Tents:
- Make sure that the Tents you plan on using can be
- Make sure you have all of the ropes, poles and
- Make sure you have all the tools to set it up.
- Make sure you know how to set it up. If possible, store
tent setup instructions in a zippered plastic bag with the
- When you set it up, choose a location that is not in a
wash, or a low area that could easily flood.
- Make sure the tent is not the highest point around to
reduce the chance of being hit by lightning.
- Put a plastic or tarp under the tent to reduce the
amount of moisture that will seep into the tent. Be careful
that this plastic does not stick out and catch falling
moisture, thus channeling it to your tent.
- After setting it up, dig a trench around the edges of
the tent walls so any moisture will run off, away from the
- Make sure the tent ropes, poles and stakes do not
produce a hazard for people walking nearby. If you can,
mark anything that could be a problem by using white flags
or reflective tape.
- If you put a piece of plastic inside to cover the floor
of the tent, it will be easier to keep the tent clean and
- Some tents come with a dew cover that will keep dew
from settling on the roof of the tent. If your tent does
not have one, you can use a light plastic (painter's) with
clothespins to protect the roof from direct rainfall.
- Open all the windows and air the tent out.
- Do not put anything in the tent that produces Carbon
Monoxide such as a gas heater or lantern. Some heaters and
lanterns may be safe inside a tent, and if they are, they
should be clearly marked. If they are not marked, assume
that you should not use it in a tent.
- Inside the tent, do not let anything touch the walls of
Winter Hiking and
Camping - Click here to learn more about
Hiking and Camping in winter conditions.