A Human’s Guide to Surviving an Alien Invasion: #4 Sheltering Safely from the Weather

When faced with the threat of alien invasion, whether in the form of little green men or acidic bacteria, it is the duty and responsibility of every man and woman to do their bit to keep the Human race alive. Your species depends on you! This set of guidelines has been collated by the British Government to help you survive should you find yourself stranded, without power, and staring into the face of danger. Any polite and sporting alien should provide ample opportunity for you to read the correct section in line with the Intergalactic Fair Invasion Treaty (2012), before attacking you. Good luck.

Sheltering Safely from the Weather

During harsh weather conditions, finding appropriate shelter can be the difference between life and death. Most people will be unable to survive uncovered for more than a few hours. Caves, rocky crevices and large trees are natural options that provide adequate protection. Whenever there are none of these available, however, it may become necessary to locate an area where a simple shelter can be erected quickly. An ideal shelter is one that both protects from the elements, and allows the users to rest comfortable within.

Locating a good spot to erect the shelter is very important. When making a decision, look for as many of these features as possible:

  • Dry, well drained and relatively flat ground.
  • Somewhere within walking distance of a source of drinking water and firewood.
  • An area with building materials for the shelter.
  • An enclosed site with protection against strong winds.

It is also important to avoid:

  • Areas that have loose rocks or dead trees, which may fall on the shelter.
  • Being too close to the water, as this encourages insects. Never build a shelter near a river, because heavy rainfall in nearby hills may cause flash floods.
  • Areas that are located close to the ground, such as narrow valleys and ravines. These are normally damp, and cold, during the night. Mountain tops are also very cold, because they are exposed to high winds. The ideal ground space is somewhere in between.

The shelter should be made just large enough to accommodate those that are going to be in it, especially during cold weather. The smaller the area, the easier it is to keep it warm. A lean-to is a quick and easy shelter that can be made with only a few items normally found lying around.

How to Construct a Lean-to

Step 1: Locate a Base

The purpose of the base is to provide a structure that branches can be placed against. Any large immobile object can be used but long boulders or fallen trees are ideal, as they provide a horizontal base.

Step 2: Create the Frame

Once found, two sturdy sticks can be placed securely against the base. These will become the sides of the lean-to. Leave enough room between them to be able to comfortably crawl through, and into the shelter. The lean-to should be constructed as close as possible to the ground to keep it out of the line of the wind, and the view of others.

Step 3: Fill in the Structure

Grass, moss, leaves and other debris should then be piled over the frame to create a ‘wall’. This will provide further insulation, and protection, from the weather. Pack the debris together as tightly as possible to decrease the likelihood of it blowing away. Debris can also be put on the floor of the shelter, to provide more insulation.

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