When looking for a shelter site, keep in mind the type of shelter (protection) you need.
However, you must also consider:
When preparing for an emergency, it is recommended to set priorities. After food and water, shelter may be the next top priority in survival. A shelter will not only provide you with protection from the elements and possibly animals, but will provide you with warmth. The easiest way to be sure you will always have shelter is to carry it with you wherever you go. A light tent or tube tent that you can keep in your bag or pack is ideal. If you are in your car when you become stranded, stay there because the car is a great shelter, as long as it is not too hot outside. Be sure to leave windows open when it is above 65 degrees F so you won’t get heat exhaustion. While it may not always be practical to carry your shelter with you at all times, it may save you the trouble of having to build or find yourself shelter in the event you cannot return back to your home or another building.
How much time and effort you need to build the shelter.
If the shelter will adequately protect you from the elements (sun, wind, rain, snow).
If you have the tools to build it. If not, can you make improvised tools?
If you have the type and amount of materials needed to build it.
To answer these questions, you need to know how to make various types of shelters and what materials you need to make them.
Shipping Container Survival Shelters
Initially developed as an experiment for art installations, emergency survival shelters and vacation homes for wealthy modernists, cargo container housing is moving off the fringe and into the mainstream.
“People have begun to think of it as viable instead of weird,” says New York architect and artist Adam Kalkin, who began building homes with containers in 2000.
Kalkin and a handful of other architects and builders have begun using the corrugated steel boxes for everything from high-rise apartment homes and coffee shops to senior residences and even luxurious suburban homes.
The advantages of using shipping containers as your construction building blocks include:
• They’re readily available anywhere in the world. Google “shipping containers for sale” and follow up with getting some price quotes. Make sure that you specify that the containers must be ISO standard. There are some sites trying to pass off imitations for the real thing.
• They are inexpensive. A used container (or ISBU—intermodal steel building unit) will cost between $1000 and $6000 each, depending on size, age, condition and distance from the building site. Each 40 foot container gives you 320 square feet, so add up to cheap space. They generally cut overall construction cost by 20-50%.
• Cuts construction time. It is not unusual for an ISBU home to go up in 24 hours and be completed within a month or two. Walls, doors, windows can all be precut in the manufacturer or retailer’s warehouse. The seller can generally put in the electrical, painting, insulation, and other built-ins before the unit is shipped to you.
• They cut the carbon footprint. It takes far less energy to reuse shipping containers in a building than to melt them down and reform then into steel beams. Add solar panels and even the ongoing energy use will be green.
• When ISO standard containers are used it is easy to mix and match containers from different sources and still be assured that they will line up exactly with your plans.
• They are versatile. They can be arranged just about any way that a 40’ x 8’ rectangle can be arranged.
For Specific Information on Planning and How to Build Different Kinds of Shelters, Hover Over the Survival Shelters Menu above.