Shelter is your second priority in a survival situation. You need to be able to keep warm if you want to live. Having a backup heater and fuel supply is invaluable for your home. Blankets and cold-weather clothing (no cotton) will help conserve fuel. A waterproof tent should be in your BOB. If you want to stay warm, you must stay dry. A low-temperature sleeping bag is also very important. If you have a retreat site, you should have all of these things there as well. If you are looking to purchase a retreat site, here are a few things to consider:
- Availability of Water
- Off-grid Heating
- Property Taxes
- Age/Condition of Structure
- Amount of Land Included
You want to equip your retreat with a supply of water that doesn't rely on an electric pump. You will also want to install a wood stove for heat, as fuel may become unavailable. Consider the property taxes and whether or not you can afford them now. Check the condition of the structure and foundation. You don't want to buy something that will fall down or something you will sink your entire income into for repair. Think about how much land you will need and who surrounds it. You may want enough to grow some crops. Is the building insulated? Good insulation will save loads on fuel. Is it affordable? Don't go beyond your means financially. How remote is it? Will drifters or looters show up if SHTF?
Having a means of communication with the rest of the world will also be important. I suggest getting a HAM radio license and unit. You can communicate globally with it. Also, having a crank powered radio with as many bands as possible will allow you to get news and entertainment. I suggest a shortwave radio so you can listen globally.
Having renewable lighting will be important. Solar garden and walkway lights are useful for this. They aren't very bright so you can use them with your curtains closed and nobody outside will be able to see them. You will also need something a bit brighter such as a crank powered flashlight. If you have the finances, you could set up a complete solar power system for your retreat. I suggest getting 12V appliances because inverters are inefficient.