Understanding the need to be able to provide shelter within an emergency situation, is only superseded by the need for air. In a time of survival, the rule of three’s is law.
- Three minutes without air,
- Three hours without shelter,
- Three days without water,
- Three weeks without food.
Conditions involving submersion in icy water, or loss of blood complicate matters, and should be treated as a priority.
Back to shelter, whether in an urban setting, or the wilderness, there is a need to protect yourself from the elements. In summer, the sun is hot enough to dehydrate, and to burn the skin – even causing blisters, leading to infections. Getting wet from the rain causes the body lose heat more rapidly, possibly leading to hypothermia. Wind can magnify the effects of both the sun and the rain, contributing to dehydration, and wind chill.
Finding accommodation with a town or city, during a weather emergency, is often
Houston,TX.,9/2/2005–Approximately 18,000 hurricane Katrina survivors are housed in the Red Cross shelter at the Astrodome and Reliant center. FEMA photo/Andrea Booher
reasonably easy, as governmental and volunteer emergency services often provide emergency shelters for people in distress. In the event of a terrorist incident, the area of danger, is often limited, allowing plenty of opportunities to find help within the surrounding region.
In non-urban localities, the range of possible settings could be endless. A situation could arise in any type of terrain, or environmental situation. From coast to mountain, desert to tropical jungle, there may be a need to find shelter in any of these situations. The type of shelter that may be required, could also be determined by the season.
Where it might be possible to sleep on the beach without shelter, during the summer, it may be quite dangerous to sleep in the open above a certain elevation. As elevation increases, temperature falls, on average 3.5 degrees (F) for every 1000 feet in height .
Wilderness shelters could range from a lean-to made with branches and leaves, to a snow cave dug into a snow bank in the mountains. The key features are to keep out rain, wind, and too much sun. In the wilderness, these shelters are only meant to be temporary. If a situation develops, which requires a long-term shelter in wilderness localities, a more permanent dweller will be required.