Ask any mom and she’ll tell you that quiet time and privacy are requirements for remaining sane. In a crisis, though, privacy quickly becomes a luxury and very nearly unattainable. Imagine life in a Red Cross shelter, with dozens of strangers sharing a gymnasium, with cots lined up uncomfortably close to each other, and you get the idea.
Personal space and privacy are more important to the human psyche than you might think. Privacy protects our dignity, quiet allows us to get our thoughts and emotions under control, and personal space can provide time for both sides of our brains, the creative and logical, to function. In fact, science tells us that when our personal space is constantly invaded, the amygdala activates and sounds a warning to our subconscious.
That may be why many people find it stressful to be surrounded by crowds for long periods of time. That amygdala doesn’t shut off until quiet, privacy, and personal space have been restored.
Privacy in a crisis
When chaos, fear, and indecision surround us, as in an emergency evacuation, privacy and quiet are imperative for mental health as well as dealing appropriately with the crisis. As you make plans for a possible evacuation or prepping for long term survival in a worst case scenario, include plans for providing quiet spaces and privacy if at all possible.
Along with the mental health angle, consider other practical reasons to include this in your preps:
- Children of all ages need nap time during the day.
- Those recovering from an illness or injury require extra rest for their recuperation.
- A quiet private area can become a makeshift doctor’s office or surgical area. It’s much easier to keep a small area sanitized.
- Children will still need to learn and a separate quiet area can be turned into a school room.
- In a large open area, such as a public shelter, a separated space becomes a room within a room, whether it’s a bedroom or just somewhere private for family members to hang out.
- Daytime sleep area for someone who has been working during the night.
- A secure area where a family’s belongings can be safely stowed
- An enclosed area is easier to keep warm during cold days and nights.
- An area for changing clothes is important for maintaining privacy.
How to provide that private area
The easiest way to have a quiet, private area is a tent or a Privacy Pop. These collapsible structures allow you to set up a quiet, private space anywhere and can also double as a more or less permanent extra bedroom or a study area. Both are lightweight and easy to carry or pack in the trunk of your car.
For a privacy screen, a structure made of PVC pipe is an easy DIY project and requires very little money. In fact, narrow rectangular frames made from PVC pipe and fittings can be lashed together to create a lightweight divider. Sheets, blankets, or even lengths of plastic can be attached to each frame for privacy. When finished, this project can be folded flat and stored under a bed or upright in a closet.
A super easy and ultra budget friendly privacy screen can be created by hanging a curtain rod or a wire across a section of a room or in a doorway. Either drape fabric over the rod or wire or use curtain rings or hooks. This is very inexpensive, and all the supplies can fit in the trunk of a car.
Finally, building a sturdier privacy screen from wood is a DIY project that requires material, a few tools, and the ability to use them. This video provides a simple tutorial:
Necessity, not luxury
Maybe you’re skeptical about taking privacy into consideration with your prepping and survival plans, but maintaining your mental health and staying focused on survival, step-by-step, is difficult enough when conditions are fairly normal. Under highly stressful conditions, a quiet place where you can relax, think, and be alone may be exactly what you need.
A Privacy Pop giveaway!
When Privacy Pop asked if I’d host a giveaway for one of their bed tents, I was thrilled. We own a Privacy Pop and pull it out whenever any member of my family just needs extra quiet time on road trips when togetherness goes into overdrive! Now you have a chance to win one of these – your choice of color and size!
Read all about the Privacy Pop on their website, view the sizes and colors, and then enter to win right here! This giveaway ends at 11:59 p.m. on Wednesday, June 8. Winner will be selected at random, contacted by email, and must respond within 48 hours or the prize will be forfeited and another winner selected.