Basic broad strokes
Shelter is one of the basic human needs at any time of year. The best case scenario is of course if one can stay where one lives. There are many advantages to being able to remain in your home and in your own community:

  • You are not a stranger  You know your neighbours and may be able to depend on each other for help the lay of the land is familiar
  • All your stuff is at home and last, but not least,
  • in times of crisis it can actually be more dangerous out on the road

Deciding to stay or go
That being said, there are times when even the most cautious soul has to decide “should I stay or should I go”. Such as

  • extreme weather events,
  • forest fires.
  • natural disasters, that may or may not rock the nucleur power boat armed conflict that spills over into your community
Please note that if law and order has broken down, you will be much safer if you already have a plan in place.

f you do have to hit the road, at the very least it would be helpful to have:

  • camping gear … the time to buy that is actually in early summer when stores are getting out the back to school gear. Before you buy new though, its worth checking the online ad sites and folks do rush out and buy a lot of gear sometimes before realizing its not their cup of tea
  • First aid kit. If you have pets bring one for them too.
  • spare pair of footwear and for everyone. Its not a bad idea for everyone in a house to have an emergency bag with spare socks, warm sweater, jacket, etc…. That way if there is an emergency before laundry day you are still set
  • flashlights and batteries
  • refillable water container
  • matches
  • shovel
  • string and rope
  • at least one tarp
  • clothespins
  • soaps of all sorts
  • garbage bags
  • food … and a couple of pots for cooking
  • plates and mugs
  • bug repellent
  • maps
  • cell phone
  • fishing rod .. if you know how to use it …
  • and last but not least, food for any pets in the house … along with dishes, leashes, meds, et al

Why don’t I have any weapons on this list? If you are used to handling guns, odds are you will already have at least one and they’ll be the first thing you pack if the shit hits the fan. If you don’t have weapons … and / or don’t know how to use them … you’ll just get in more trouble with one along.

Never forget that your best weapon in your brain. In other words … if things have gone to hell in a hand basket … use common sense.   If there are cars blocking the road .. turn around and get out of there. It sounds mean … but that is also not the time to stop and help any innocent looking folks whose cars seem to have broken down either.

Have a map … plan your route ….. and be prepared to change the plan if you have to.

Personally, if I had to get out of dodge, I would head for the nearest federal camping park. Get a map of your nearest one and plan a route to get there. If one had to live rough, it would be easier to do so in a mapped locale with some facilities that were not dependant on electricity. Why not the nearest provincial park? They are smaller and more central and would likely be the first to fill up!

Obviously the best plan is to try to stay at home, if at all possible. An even better plan is to spend a little time thinking about where you would go, and how you would get there … if that was not possible.

As someone who has spent time in the military, I have been lucky enough to have a certain amount of survival skills and disaster training. For anyone ‘off the street’ who did not have the benefit of that, Captain Dave’s Survival Guide would likely be helpful.