Emergency Preparedness -- Shelter

We’d all like to think that if we’re unfortunate enough to have a major disaster befall us, it would at least have the common courtesy to happen during the spring or summer when the temperatures are mild and we don’t have much rain to worry about. But since that only describes our climate for about a third of the year (a little more if we’re lucky), the odds are probably not in our favor.

What options are available to you if you are displaced from your home and can’t shelter in place?

  • Having something that’s fairly easy and fast to set-up is important, especially if it's raining

Car or vehicle

  • The quickest place to find shelter, comfort, warmth, light, and power

  • You never know how long it will be before you can get more fuel, so it's a good idea to never let your tank get too low

  • It’s also a good idea to also have some basic supplies in your car

RV (Recreational Vehicle)

  • A pretty comfortable shelter may be sitting next to your house

  • Keep a basic supply of items in your RV at all times

Camping Gear

  • A waterproof tent with a rain-fly, tarp or canopy of some kind to keep the rain off

    • Even waterproof tents eventually become less so if the rain doesn't let up

  • A pop-up canopy can be a pretty simple and quick initial shelter to set up, at least to get out of the rain quickly

  • Several sturdy, waterproof tarps of different sizes

    • Rope or cord to affix them in place should be stored with them

Be sure to practice setting up whatever shelter you have, both in the light and in the dark. The time to figure stuff out and solve problems is before they're needed.

The other important component of being protected from the elements is clothing. It's far less of an issue in warmer months, so a heavier focus needs to be for wet and/or cold conditions.

When a disaster hits, it’s pretty unlikely that you will have time to casually go through your closet and pick out the appropriate clothing and accessories. It's more likely that unless you’re wearing it, have it packed in some type of go-bag, or have it bundled with other shelters, it probably won’t be with you at all.

Shelter preparedness, as in other areas, should be a dynamic process. Going through your preparedness supplies twice a year can give you the opportunity to switch to more seasonally appropriate clothing.

Coats, outerwear, hats, boots, and rain gear for one part of the year, and lighter apparel for the other part.

Remember, things need to be functional and they needs to fit, but they don’t need to be new.

  • Use older clothing that you’ve replaced

  • Look at second-hand stores or garage sales

Questions? Contact info@CERTClarkCountyWA.com