At the moment, society is relatively calm, which is exactly why now is a great time to think through how you would handle a social or natural disaster emergency.
Your first question is: Where would you go for a few days until trouble blows over if you sense that your homestead is not an optimal location?
We bring this up because most Americans are the preparedness equivalent of zombies. Clueless and completely unprepared.
Which makes people a threat in the event the water or power are off for more than a week and food and other essentials are in short supply.
In social chaos situations lasting for more than 10 days, the unprepared and the flat-footed are going to be knocking on your door – especially if you appear to be weathering the crisis better than them!
Let’s discuss bug-out homes and micro-house getaways. With these little ideas in place, you can run off to safety and have much more comfort than a tent. Best of all, if some type of short- or medium-term crisis hits – such as a bio-terror assault, particularly one that overwhelms government preparations, you and your family can benefit from a private and secluded hideaway that costs almost nothing to build, own, or maintain.
Little House on the Prairie…
or Almost Anywhere You Can Imagine
In Bill Kaysing’s 1988 classic “Freedom Encyclopedia,” he sings praises for the Minigranny (Granny House). A backyard bedroom built like a small home (under 650 square feet), with electricity, kitchen, bathroom, yet not permanently attached to the property.
He predicted these micro houses would help solve the housing shortage and future organizations would build them as permanent homes for the homeless, senior settlements, or portable housing for migrant farmers. Everyone else would have one as a spare detached bedroom, or as a back up or permanent house somewhere secluded.
Since 1988, however, the trend in housing has been bigger, not smaller. From 1988 to 2007, the average home’s square foot increased 26%, per the U.S. Census. Comparing homes in the 1950s, the average home size has more than doubled – leading to the term “McMansions.”
For the moment, things may be returning to simpler times. The National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) estimates the average house will shrink at least 10% by 2015.
Nonetheless, mini-grannies, micro homes, and bug-out homes are in a class to themselves. They average less than 1,000 square feet. Some are under 100 square feet and fit on a small trailer or boat! Their size makes them practical to build or move to almost anywhere.
For savvy preppers, these could serve as desirable fallback positions while offering comfort and style. Think how fancy one can build the interior of a yacht, Lear jet, or RV. With today’s micro house designs you don’t have to give up comfort, style, or amenities.
What Are Some of Your Options?
Talk This Over with Your Significant Other
Bug-Out House – Mobile is Key
Some mini-house enthusiasts build their home directly on a trailer. With this design, they can hitch it to a truck, park their house almost anywhere, and call it home. At the same time, they can quickly pull up stakes when they want to, or need to, and run off.
How many people can fit in one depends on the size of the trailer. But, even a small trailer could provide for at least two people. One design used a low vardo-style roof for better aerodynamics and portability. It had space for a queen-sized bed and underneath held a storage compartment for dry provisions such as beans, rice, powdered milk, and more.
It even fit a wet bathroom that included a shower and composting toilet! The kitchen had enough space to prepare food, and one could choose between an electric, gas, or alcohol stove. Finally, things were kept chilled with a 12 VDC cooler.
What’s great is a slightly modified design could also work on a small boat or floating platform. In this case, instead of driving and parking, you pull up anchor and sail to your next destination.
The Downside: Most of these mini trailers or floating house boats look like tiny houses – pitched roof, house-like windows, wood siding, and sometimes a chimney (if space permits).
Typical owners look for cuteness and style while cutting down their environmental footprint and downsizing their life. For preppers, however, this may not be the best way to stay incognito and blend in. Keep that in mind.
Micro House: More Permanence,
But Easy to Hide, Build, Camouflage…
Even Transport by Air?
Kaysing’s Freedom Encyclopedia predicted mini-grannies would be “transported by helicopter to mountain eyries, desert hideouts, and remote beaches.”
Transporting by air is not a common option, yet. However, it’s something to consider if you’re truly motivated. Beware, if you’re that secluded, you’ll most likely be completely cut off and far from any help if you need it.
There is no set definition for a micro house. It depends on your needs and wants. But, what gets the media’s attention, according to the Small House Society (established in 2002), are houses in the 500 square feet and under range. This small size also makes them good as private hideaways for necessity or for a nice weekend trip.
The first thing you should do is scout a location. Here are some thoughts to get you started:
As a hideaway or fallback position, especially in emergencies, the location should be different than your primary living environment. For instance, if you live in hurricane alley, consider choosing a location not affected by hurricanes;
Ideally, you want arable land to grow food, nearby food sources (fishing, hunting, foraging), and water (well, spring);
Since you’ll be as self-sustaining as possible, you could buy cheap “useless” land and plop your micro home there;
Build it in a like-minded friend’s backyard, especially if your friend lives far from your regular area of operations;
Look into rural or farm land, in the forest, in the desert near a spring, near the ocean, lake, or river;
Camouflage it with paint, native materials, and by planting fast-growing vines or trees on or around it. Conceal the entrance.
Once you have a spot, make it more hospitable. Consider:
Solar electricity generator;
Add a water tank and camouflage it as well;
Provisions to hold you over for a few months or longer;
Cache supplies beforehand around your micro home to minimize theft.
For More Information on DIY Micro Home Blueprints, Pre-Fab Kits, and More…
Small House Association http://www.resourcesforlife.com/small-house-society
Your bug-out hideaway can be a comfortable home away from home. Give it some thought and planning today while the skies are still clear and sunny.