Shelter, at times in its multiple and various forms, will support all of the other “Nine Provident Living Modules.”  For many situations, shelter will directly affect comfort, safety, security, rest, recreation and overall well-being.  Shelters come in many different forms and can be made from a very wide variety of materials in an endless array of structures and shapes.

Understanding the basics of shelter choices for differing conditions and situations will maximize the overall benefits.  There are some key basic areas to contemplate when exploring sheltering options for self-reliant living.  The solutions being entertained will vary greatly when considering the type of “events” to prepare for —ranging from short-term disturbances, to living long-term in a grid-down world.  You will want to look at:

  • Principles of Sheltering
  • Movable Shelter Options
  • Heating Concept Options
  • Maintaining Your Current “Home”
  • Can’t Buy One, Then Make One
  • Special Sheltering Needs


Shelters can also be grouped and classified under a number of headings (singly or in combination):

  • Permanent
  • Portable
  • Expedient
  • Do-It-Yourself
  • Semi-Permanent
  • Movable
  • Rigid
  • Consumer Grade
  • Temporary
  • Luggable
  • Semi-Rigid
  • Professional Grade
  • Fixed
  • Truckable
  • Natural

However, probably the biggest factor affecting the kind of alternative shelters you can have for an emergency will be the availability of money.  Costs will range from tens of thousands of dollars, to a few thousand, to several hundred, to less than a hundred, to under ten, and of course free.  Each option has it’s own set of advantages and disadvantages outside of cost.

No matter what your budget is, start from where you are — you always have the option to move up — and expand to whatever capacity you may have in the future.  Shelter, like all areas in provident living, is a process, not a destination.